Customers tell us being Green is now as normal as a cup of tea

As you know we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and being transparent in the way we do business. We also recently re-launched our own brand products under the name of ‘Chosen By You’. This was not chosen in the sense of a Buyer finding a product then telling customers its great but chosen in the sense of customers actually tasting it and telling us what they think. It only becomes part of the ‘Chosen By You’ range if they truly love it.

Green Report

So why should sustainability be any different. This may sound strange coming from the person who wrote our current corporate strategy, Sustainability 2.0, but actually I want our customers to directly input into our strategic thinking by telling us what’s important to them. Some are immediately obvious, packaging for example, whereas others may take place thousands of miles away and be far less visible, palm oil for example. Where issues are less obvious then we should help our customers to learn about them in more detail so they can make their own minds up.

That’s why every month this year we have been asking 6,000 Asda customers what matters to them when it comes to ‘green’ issues, to help us understand how we can better help them. We call them “Everyday Experts” because we believe our customers are the real experts on what most people are thinking, feeling and expecting around sustainability in their daily lives. These Everyday Experts are regular Asda customers and they represent every group in the UK; old and young, women and men, from young mums to busy working couples to pensioners on benefits. We asked them what green issues they are most interested in and why. What they are currently doing to be green, and what they plan to do in the future. And we asked them what they think retailers should be doing to support their green agenda.

The results are fascinating. Sustainability isn’t a bolt on or stand alone element of people’s lives – it’s simply part of them. It’s not something they are thinking about getting round to – it’s as normal as having a cup of tea. Green values don’t ‘belong’ to a single part of the population.

Within our Sustainability Study, 96% of Everyday Experts tells us they care about green issues, with over 70% claiming to care a lot – no matter what their gender, age, location or income level.

And it’s not something that falls by the wayside when times are tough – it actually becomes more important than ever. And why wouldn’t it? At its heart, sustainability is about making smart choices that minimise waste and preserve resources – which is key in these tough economic times. Month after month the Everyday Experts on the lowest incomes, struggling with tight household budgets, tell us they care and act on sustainability as much as those on the most comfortable incomes.

Where there are definite shifts are the expectations customers place on retailers and manufacturers when it comes to their future demands. They want to know more; particularly about sustainable fish, local food and alternative transport. Our research has identified five new customer priorities on sustainability:

  • Save me money
  • 100% sustainable products
  • Cut my waste
  • Support my community
  • Use Everyday Experts

Through comparative surveys we’ve even found that the wider UK population mirrors our Everyday Experts panel. This means the findings of our report are about more than Asda customers – they’re a powerful barometer for the whole UK public. We believe this makes what our Everyday Experts have to say important reading for anyone who cares about sustainable development in the UK. Green isn’t new, it’s just the norm and customers are living it every day. Take a look for yourself

Posted by Julian on 07 November 2011
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