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Video Interview: Shelton Group’s Lee Ann Head On Green Consumer Trends

Bill Roth | Tuesday June 22nd, 2010 | 0 Comments

Today’s businesses are being challenged by their customers to supply price competitive products that advance individual, family and community wellness.

However, companies are struggling with how to evolve their operations and product offerings to meet this growing consumer expectation. A common call to action among speakers at the recent Sustainable Brands 2010 conference (SB10) was the need for innovation in strategy, product design and messaging.

To capture this theme I conducted video interviews with SB10 speakers and attendees that I thought had unique insights on customer expectations and how to deal with issues of greenwashing, product certification and consumer engagement.

Today’s article begins a series profiling these thought-leaders. I begin with Lee Ann Head, VP of Market Research with Shelton Group. I have been tracking Shelton Group’s focus group research for some time and I continue to be impressed with their ability to surface major themes and more than a few surprises on the procurment-maturation of the green consumer, and the business opportunities that are there for harvesting.

Her video is a must-view that outlines what consumers want, what they don’t want and how they relate to green brand messaging.

About 90 seconds into her video interview is an insightful discussion on the Sunchips video ad focused upon their “completely compostable” chip bag. Focus groups ranks this as the best ad among those targeting the green consumer. Yet behind this success lurks growing consumer awareness that “compostable” packaging does not decompose in today’s waste management system. Is this type of advertising an example of vision or greenwashing? What are the dangers of a future backlash from consumers self-educating themselves on sustainable practices who could potentially call it a “greenwash?”

Up next I profile the founder of Shelton Group, Suzanne Shelton. She blew me away with market research insights on how Hispanic consumers are now going green.

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce.


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