Emerald City Sprouts Super Green Adults

According to a recent Scarborough Research Report, All About the Super Greenies, Seattle ranks second only to San Francisco for adults who engage in 10 or more eco-friendly activities on a regular basis. Portland, OR and San Diego are tied for third.

Not Your Typical Tree Huggers

Super Greenies, as Scarborough defines them, make up just 5% of the U.S adult population but in the Seattle-Tacoma DMA, they account for 13% of the adults in the market and are a force to be reckoned with. While some may envision these folks as nature-loving, wool socks and Birken-Crocs types, the more than 485,000 environmentally focused adults among us who compost, recycle, use rechargeable batteries and engage in at least seven other eco-friendly activities look more like jet-setters than tree-huggers. They are, in fact, some of the top-earners and consumers in the marketplace.

The Super Green adults are 66% more likely than the average adults to have an annual household income of $150,000 or more. They also are 60% more likely to own homes valued at $500,000 or above, 33% more likely to own a second home or real estate, and far out-pace the rest of the market in owning a diverse investment portfolio. Not surprisingly, they are 166% more likely to own a hybrid vehicle and 188% more likely to be planning to buy one.

The Green Vote with Their Time and Money

They are the foundation supporters of nearly every non-profit, and champion their environmental interests with both time and money. They back their causes with political contributions and are 336% more likely to support politicians based on their environmental positions.

Super Greenies Support Many Causes

Demographically, Super Greenies tend to be female (61%) college graduates working in white collar executive and professional positions; passionate environmental activity is not an endeavor of blue-collar households. While most work full-time, they have a high representation among part-time workers as well as the self-employed, small-business owners and those who work from home most of the time. Those not employed tend to be students. Super Greenie environmental efforts are not tied to any generation, with equal representation across all but the oldest cohorts.

Green Takes on New Meaning in Today’s Luxury Market

When it comes to conspicuous consumption, the Super Green are far and away more likely than the average adult to spend more than $500 on items such as men’s and women’s business and casual clothing and women’s shoes, cosmetics, perfumes and skin care items, sports equipment and apparel as well as costume jewelry. That said, they are heavy users of coupons and while they can afford fine jewelry and luxury cars, they are no more likely to purchase expensive jewelry or own luxury cars than other market adults (though a luxury car may be in their near future). They do, however, have an affinity for expensive cameras, stereo equipment/home music systems and home-improvement items. Super Greenies also like to shop online, and are 76% more likely to spend $2,500 or more on Internet purchases annually. They dine at upscale restaurants and sushi bars and don’t let a day pass without a visit to their favorite coffee shops.

The Super Green also are well above-average foreign and domestic travelers (business and personal), who enjoy a good glass of wine, a microbrew or hard cider often. There is no doubt that marketers seeking to connect with the population that is apparently untouched by economic woes could benefit from green marketing, promotions and product offerings.

Green Beings Lead Healthy, Active Lifestyles

When they aren’t sorting their trash or tending to their gardens, Super Greenies are considerably more likely than most to be found partaking in such healthy and enriching activities as hiking/backpacking, sailing, attending self-enrichment seminars or adult continuing education, doing yoga/Pilates workouts, engaging in sewing and crafts, doing photography or volunteer work, playing soccer, camping or doing laps in the pool.

You will not find them at casinos or Seahawks games, but they’re fairly fond of music concerts (except country), the arts and attend Sounders, Storm, T-bird and UW and Seattle U basketball games.

Top 10 Activities Participated in by Super Green Adults

Seattle’s Green Media

As noted earlier, the Internet is the key to managing their lives, making it an excellent way to connect and engage these audiences. Super Greenies also are among the heaviest users of newspapers (55%) and direct mail responders. They are fairly average users of other media.

Super Green Media Preferences

There is very little Seattle’s Super Green don’t do online; they are 20-156% more likely to do 30 out of 36 different activities online than are typical market adults. When reading their newspaper, they concentrate on International/national news, Home and Garden pages, Business and Finance, the Editorial and Opinion pages and Science and Technology news. Radio formats that resonate with Seattle Super Green Adults include Variety, Classical, News/Talk/Information, Soft AC and AAA. Though they watch very little TV, when they view TV programming either in-home or on their computers, they typically watch late-night talk, documentaries, daytime talk shows, national/network news, science-fiction programming and talent-based reality shows.

One Day in Seattle: The Media That Deliver the Green

If you are looking to connect locally with America’s most environmentally friendly consumers and those just like them, consider these Top-20 media vehicles that pack the most punch every day:

Top 20 Media Vehicles for Reach Seattle's Super Green Adults

Complementary media that add targeting precision to your broader marketing mix, include these  Top-20 indexing media vehicles; media where you might not reach as many of your target, but where high concentrations exist:

Top-20 indexing media among Seattle's Super Green adults

Bottom line: You won’t have to go far in Seattle to find a potential eco-friendly customer. Those brands and establishments that take the lead on these trends and establish themselves as credibly “Green” (or at least striving to be) and knowledgeable on the topic of sustainability will reap the benefits in terms of an increased share of wallet and shopper loyalty.

Washington is a Green State

In related green news, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its annual scorecard and the state of Washington tied with Vermont for 5th place behind Massachusetts, California, New York and Oregon. Minnesota, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maryland rounded out the Top 10. As noted by Steven Nadel, ACEEE Executive Director, in his blog post, “The mix of states from different geographic regions and political leanings goes to show that energy efficiency isn’t a Democratic, Republican or Tea Party idea — it’s simply a good idea.”

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 Questions? Contact me at seattlemediamaven@seattletimes.com

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