Skip to content

Sustainability Myth #8: Sustainable Solutions Are Only for High-Income, Luxury Shoppers

However, sustainable solutions are democratizing across industries and price points, putting them in reach of a wider variety of consumers. In addition, environmental concerns and activism are growing stronger across populations, driving more demand for sustainable solutions across products and price points. No longer are sustainable solutions only restricted to those with means. 

The question insight professionals need to tackle when navigating this myth centers around targeting. What segment of consumers does your brand serve today? Will your sustainable solutions be targeted at this segment or will they be used to build relationships with adjacent or new consumer segments? The focus on income levels only tells part of the story. In fact, Eastman’s consumer research has identified potentially underserved consumer segments across generations and incomes that could be hungry for new sustainable solutions for brands looking to appeal to them.

Consumers Seeking Out Sustainable Solutions

Focusing on Gen X and Boomer populations, there is little daylight between high- and low-income consumers when it comes to their concerns around environmental issues, their desire for brands to do more to live a sustainable lifestyle, and their initiative to seek out sustainable solutions. Although the Gen X+ segment is less open to sustainable solutions relative to younger consumers, opportunities exist for brands targeting this cohort to offer sustainable solutions that appeal across income levels.

When it comes to Millennials, they tend to stay true to the myth–leave it to us Millennials to prove a stereotype. Although environmental concerns are consistent across low- and high-income groups, higher-income Millennials are 15 percentage points more likely to expect brands to do more to support their sustainable lifestyles and nearly three times more likely to actively seek out sustainable solutions. For brands looking to protect or grow their relationship with Millennials through sustainability, focusing on the high-end or luxury segment is likely the best approach. 

For Gen Zers, the trend is in reverse of the Millennials–another great proof point in how Gen Z and Millennials are very different generations. Lower-income Gen Zers are significantly more likely than those with high incomes to feel eco-anxiety and to actively seek out sustainable solutions. Lower income Gen Zers may be an underserved market, hungry to make a positive impact on the environment but with very limited options.

Brands looking to build a long-term relationship with Gen Z through sustainability should tap into this eco-anxiety with affordable, sustainable solutions that help these eco-worriers take an active role in bringing about a more sustainable future for their generation. 

These data points are really meant to inspire insight professionals to dig deeper into your treasure trove of data in an effort to help your stakeholders identify existing or new consumer segments that they can win with their new sustainable solutions. Not only will these types of data create a lot of “aha” moments, they will help your company protect or expand its customer base.

Click here for Justin Coates’ series for All Things Insights, “Exploring 10 Myths About Global Consumers & Sustainability.”

Contributor

  • Justin Coates

    Justin Coates is Eastman’s Head of Global Market Research & Consumer Insights, responsible for leading business intelligence, customer experience, user experience, foresighting, and consumer insights across Eastman. Before joining Eastman in 2017, Coates spent a decade at Cotton Incorporated managing their global consumer insights research and positioning himself as a thought leader on consumer trends with the world’s largest brands and retailers. He holds a Masters of Economics degree from North Carolina State University and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from High Point University. Coates lives with his wife and son in Kingsport, Tennessee.

    View all posts

Related Content

Exploring the Meaning of Human Insights

If you are looking for ways to enhance the user experience of a product or service, digital or otherwise, tapping into human insight is essential to t…

Building Empathy to Improve Insights

While customer centricity is a key attribute in today’s insights and data-driven corporate culture, success must also be built on a concept of empathy…

Reconnecting With Unengaged Customers

We all know the stories of successful consumer loyalty reward programs, which benefit the customers that are most loyal with rewards, points, discount…

 
 

More Related Content

Woman gazing at open window.
user experience

Exploring the Meaning of Human Insights

If you are looking for ways to enhance the user experience of a product or service, digital or otherwise, tapping into human insight is essential to t…

Happy family of four and dog walking on the beach by the ocean.
insights soft skills

Building Empathy to Improve Insights

While customer centricity is a key attribute in today’s insights and data-driven corporate culture, success must also be built on a concept of empathy…

A chain link with one gold link standing out on black background.
consumer behavior

Reconnecting With Unengaged Customers

We all know the stories of successful consumer loyalty reward programs, which benefit the customers that are most loyal with rewards, points, discount…

Colorful windows set into a colorful wall.
questionnaires

Getting Closer to Your Customers

There are a variety of options available when it comes to understanding your customers or target audience. Chief among them in the market research fie…

Baby's hand holding an adult's hand.
consumer trends

Mastering Multi-Generational Marketing

Today’s consumer audiences are diverse and span multiple generations. Each demographic group has unique preferences, concerns, and values. Ultimately,…

Happy man holding trophy and confetti raining down.
customer experience

Using Insights to Win Customer Loyalty

Are your customers staying put, or is your company struggling with retention? Leveraging market research and gaining actionable insights could be the…

A wide range of emoji faces from happy to sad and angry.
customer experience

Improving the Customer Feedback Experience

As the buyer journey becomes more complex, the customer satisfaction survey remains a foundational tool for the market researcher. With it, companies…

Darts resting on the side of a bullseye.
actionable insights

Taking a Customer-Centric Business Approach

Growth marketing continues to be an effective and nimble way to attract, engage and retain customers. Billed as an alternative to traditional marketin…

A big magnifying glass.
consumer behavior

Searching for Cultural Anthropology Insights

Consumers and brands are influenced by culture. Our values and identities, among a variety of societal and social factors, are tied to cultural contex…

playing the Jenga block game
media insights

Building a Marketing Mix Framework

Suraj Rajdev, Head of Analytics at Google, sat down with All Things Insights’ Seth Adler to discuss his session at the Media Insights & Engagement Con…

interior design on mobile phone
consumer trends

Focusing On an Augmented Reality Strategy

Augmented Reality is here. But are consumers and advertisers embracing it with open arms? Aarti Bhaskaran, Global Head of Ad Research & Insights at Sn…

generation alpha

Connecting with Generation Alpha

At the recent Media Insights & Engagement Conference, Seth Adler had a chance to chat with Alexander Cammy, Manager, Insights & Cultural Intelligence…

sustainability

Driving the Sustainability Message Home

Justin Coates, Head of Global Market Research & Consumer Insights, Eastman Chemical Company, knows a thing or two about sustainability and the role in…

persuasion

Thinking Through the Perception Perspective

All Things Insights’ Seth Adler discussed a variety of subjects with author and journalist David McRaney at this year’s TMRE. McRaney gave a keynote p…

consumer behavior

Infusing the Behavioral Insights Mindset

During the “Behavioral Insights” session of the Road to TMRE Gathering, Seth Adler explored “Activating Behavioral Insights: Team & Consumer Themes” w…

actionable insights

Reaching the Consumer

Insights are being generated but in some cases are not being used. The first assumption is that these insights aren’t actionable. Which of course migh…

environmental

Charting A Sustainable Way Forward

Call it an eco-awakening, as more global consumers gravitate to sustainable products or at least indicate their growing awareness and even desire for…

consumer trends

Harnessing the Pulse of Trends

These consistently disruptive times have ensured us that it’s never been more important to stay on top of the pulse of the market. That’s true for pat…

consumer trends

A Changing Consumer Shapes Media Evolution

All Things Insights’ Seth Adler caught up with Edwin Wong, SVP Insights & Innovation, Vox Media, at the Media Insights & Engagement Conference earlier…

consumer focus
consumer focus

Driving Consumer Focus

Putting the customer first is a time-honored tradition that remains current and relevant to this day. Consumer focus is a strategy that focuses on und…

consumer insights

Collaboration Around The Consumer

The consumer is now in the driver’s seat, and James Petretti is no stranger to that fact. Success is not possible if the consumer is not buying into w…

consumer insights

Fan Insights

Thanks to the advent of social media and streaming services, the world of television today looks nothing like it did a few decades ago. All industries…

live sports programming

Live Sports Insights

Programming across the board is looking to develop content that appeals to an audience that engages increasingly with user-generated content (UGC) and…

media insights

Content Marketing Insights

In the past decade, SVOD (Subscription Video-On-Demand) companies have revolutionized how we consume our favorite shows and discover new ones. As medi…

behavioral insights

Media Behavioral Insights

Analytical minds will always benefit from more complete data from farther-reaching sources. Even more fundamentally, Pepe says the questions everyone…

consumer insights

Path To Purchase Insights

Insights leaders are responsible for connecting all of the information gleaned from a multitude of different sources, and creating usable data that wi…

digital twins

Digital Twin Insights

If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that there is a major shift happening in tech, specifically in the ways we quantify the human self, and…

media insights

Media Insights Report

The All Things Insights Media Insights community completed an extensive survey covering what folks are thinking, how they’re spending and the issues t…

consumer insights

Ripple Effects on Insights

For many of us the pandemic brought along with it a series of impactful changes that honestly, none of us could have predicted. Everything regarding w…

media insights

Media Past Is Media Prologue

“Whatever the modern technology of the day, it was a force for disruption, it was a force for change, and it was a force for enchantment, joy, and lea…

media insights

Representative Insights

A great story starts with a single word. From there, the story is subject to its characters, plots, and the conflict presented by the content, all of…

media insights

Super Insights

Talking with Peter Leimbach, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales Research at FOX Sports, it’s clear that pro football teams aren’t the only ones competing…

consumer insights

Gen Z Insights

“Ultimately Gen Z demands a new media plan. The previous ways of thinking in terms of length being a precursor of the efficacy of advertising content…

consumer

LGBTQ+ Insights

Reports indicate that only about 7% of the population is categorized as LGBTQ+, but reports aren’t always accurate. As Angel Bellon Senior Director of…

user experience

UX Insights

Shilpi Sinha is not only speaking at TMRE but joining the pre-event Innovating Insights Workshop as a table co-host. Both the session on the agenda an…

consumer

DEI Insights

What if a key set of insights could drive revenue, help the business run more effectively, make the business seem to be leading edge and make current…

behavioral insights

Behavioral Insights

We continue to spin forward into a next paradigm for global corporate enterprise and society in general. Within a rapidly paced evolution, certainties…

consumer

A Better, More Difficult Experience

Through a traditional lens- ease of use, automation, amazonification- are the ends, not the means. But what if making something more difficult was act…

insights

The State of the Consumer (2022)

eBook by Remesh | 21 Apr 2022 About This Report 2021 has been a transformative year for every industry and organization in the world; from more perman…