For the past few years, green has been a key component in our clients’ PR campaigns. We are always seeking out new green information about their products and procedures, and we are always brainstorming new ways to promote these findings for their benefit. For instance, when our client JACLO became a member of WaterSense we issued a press release. When our client ALNO became affiliated with what was to become the first ever LEED-certified concrete home we issued a press release. And when our client Stone Forest introduced their new collection for 2008, we gave the products crafted from eco-friendly, 100 percent renewable bamboo prime placement in the press release. While, we definitely receive editorial coverage as a result of our “green” pitches, we have a hard time deciphering whether or not promoting their “green” characteristics results in sales. A recent survey confirms that our efforts are not in vain.
According to a new study conducted by Context Marketing titled “Brand Virtue as a Competitive Asset,” three out of four consumers are willing to pay more for brands they believe act responsibly. Of those willing to pay more, 40 percent of respondents said they would pay as much as 10 percent more; another 30 percent said they were willing to pay more than 10 percent. Respondents gave a broad definition of responsible behavior: 80 percent said they don’t differentiate between being good, such as using green packaging on a brand’s products, and doing good, such as supporting an issue or cause. The findings of the survey are in line with others conducted during this recession. The Corporate Citizenship Study, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, branding firm Landor Associates, and Burson-Marsteller found that 75 percent of 1,001 consumers polled were willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies. I guess it does pay to be green!