KPMG research: Consumers are increasingly conscious about their environmental and social responsibility

Today, companies need to prove that their commitments are credible, and this requires an integrated customer and ESG approach. KPMG’s Me, my life, my wallet research focused specifically on sustainability issues, and its segmentation model provides guidance for companies on how to target specific consumer groups.

According to KPMG’s research it is clear that the number of value-centred consumers is on the rise. 87 percent of the survey participants believe that companies have a responsibility to produce sustainable products. 86 percent of the respondents are concerned about the environment, and 64 percent want to know the environmental impact of a product or service that they buy.

59 percent of the people asked are also taking steps towards sustainability. However, the extent to which people internalise these values varies; it depends to a great extent on their emotional orientation, personal convictions, goals and other circumstances, such as financial means.

KPMG categorised consumers into six groups based on how much they care about sustainability values, and how this is reflected in their behaviour. These groups are: the moderates (26%), the pragmatists (21%), the realists (17%), the price-sensitive (9%), the activists (17%) and the collectivists (11%).

The characteristics of each segment are described in detail in the KPMG study, and it also explains how the model helps design marketing programmes targeting the various segments to reach their customers more effectively.

More on the topic in Hungarian: Hogyan szolgáljuk ki a fenntarthatóság iránt elkötelezett fogyasztót? – KPMG Blog (How to serve sustainability-conscious customers? – KPMG Blog)

The research shows that the biggest obstacles to engaging consumers in sustainability programmes are costs and a lack of understanding or knowledge – individuals are not aware of how to achieve change.

“Conclusion: consumers clearly expect businesses not just to participate but to play a leading role in the transformation. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations must be incorporated into operations, but traditional marketing tools can also be used to ensure these are properly reflected in all phases of the customer experience” – explains Erika Halász, director at KPMG. “This requires an assessment of the current status, creating a framework for measuring sustainability, rethinking product lifecycle and customer paths in an ESG-centric way, understanding the needs of the different customer segments, then involving and educating consumers to achieve the goals. The process is unlikely to be a fast one, and may even require redefining the organisation, but in the long run it is destined to generate value.”