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August 19, 2008

Eco Align helps you buy LESS from their clients

As women, we are the dominate influencers and purchaser for home products and services. Each day, billions of advertising dollars compete to influence our decisions and get us to buy more stuff.

Today, in a reversal of true fortunes, Eco Align released a survey that looked at how to motivate us to buy less from their clients. These are energy clients who are exploring not only alternative sources, but all the secondary products enhancing that effort. I can get behind that. I'd better, I'm going to heating my home on a fixed retirement income in another 15 years.

Let's look behind the curtain and see how the marketers see us. I would love to hear if you agree with their findings.The survey was taken to see how we relate to our own personal energy company.

Eco Align survey'd 1000 people that matched the U.S. population by age, gender, region and ethnicity. That of course means a 50/50 split for men and women. In past coEco_alignnsumer surveys, that's where it would have ended, but this report also looked at the decision making differences between men and women.

Their joint overall conclusions weren't mind blowing: A) we want to save money B) SHOW us where we saved money and C) make it easier to understand. (Women, wanted MORE of each.) What did surprise me was that we also want companies to show us their leadership.

That last one was telling. In this vacuum of leadership that we have now, we are turning to the leaders of corporations for inspiration, guidance, credibility and trust.   

Deeper insights can be pulled from the full report here.

  1. Discounts are the most popular incentive (85 percent), followed by two-for-one offerings (77 percent, extremely likely/very likely) and coupons (75 percent).
  2. The top two "most likely' incentives to be used by consumers to save money on energy costs are discounts (34 percent) and rebates (22 percent). [Women were 10% higher across the board on this one, which indicates we're either more comfortable with these tactics or we're just watching our pennies more. They noted that women in the Northeast were slightly higher yet.]
  3. The "Energy Star' label is extremely or very important to 68 percent of respondents. [This is interesting in that a label, not a product, has the highest consumer recognition, and once again women were 5% higher on this topic. BTW, it took years of education before that label name recognition happened. Only 6% of those surveyed didn't "know" Energy Star.]
  4. When asked what they would do if they had an extra $200, and could choose from a list of energy saving or renewable offerings, 52 percent of respondents would put an extra $200 in the bank. [Their conclusion was that people are more interested in saving money than investing. Not true, if I could buy an energy saving refrigerator for $200, I'd do it. Many people are moving from their homes. Foreclosure is rampant, I'm sure that's affecting many decisions.]
  5. Consumers are most interested in having their utility provide coupons to purchase energy efficient light bulbs (74 percent).
  6. Consumers were most interested in receiving information from the utility web site (58 percent).
  7. Consumers would like to receive a credit on the utility bill (50 percent) followed by a check in the mail (34 percent). [That's what I would do, a credit is one less thing to mess with.]
  8. Consumers would be much more satisfied with their utility if more energy efficiency and/or pricing programs to save energy and utility were offered. 90 percent of respondents overall would be more satisfied than today. [women again rated this higher than men]

Maybe I'm being swayed by the Eco Align name. I like the idea of a marketing company whose name implies a "partnership" between a buyer and a seller, vs. a manipulation. Or maybe it's because they are one of the first Green surveys that are taking women seriously as a buying group - seriously enough to highlight their opinions from a mixed survey.

I see that as real progress not only because they a women-friendly marketing group, but because they are joined at the hip with the Distributed Energy Investment Group which backs new technologies and solutions to the energy crisis.

There are many things to blog about. Today I'm choosing to promote those who are looking to work with women to co-create a better world. 


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