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Press Releases

Consumers Say They Will Stand With Brands That Take Up Environmental Causes

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Report shows 73 percent of adventurists think Outdoor and Travel brands have significant influence on positive environmental outcomes

Maclaren Latta
Vice President of Consumer Insights

Bozeman, Mont. — In MERCURYcsc’s recent edition of The Pulse report addressing activism, an overwhelming majority of respondents think that trusted Outdoor and Travel brands could have significant influence on environmental issues.

 And more than half of the respondents — your customers — are ready or willing to stand with those companies who take thoughtful activist efforts.

 The U.S. Congress earlier this year failed to reauthorize the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has safeguarded the country’s wildest places and promoted outdoor recreation for a half century. Where was the public outcry?

That question prompted MERCURYcsc to devote its recent edition of The Pulse to environmental activism. We asked our proprietary panel of 1,500 adventurists – people who travel and purchase more outdoors gear than the average consumer – what environmental issues hit closest to their hearts? What spurs them to action? And most of all, would they follow if a Travel and Outdoor company took the lead on an environmental cause? In reference to the latter question, the answer is overwhelmingly yes.

 Interestingly, while land and water conservation are the two most important issues to adventurists, more than half were not familiar with the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. How could this be? The answer: While they care about these issues broadly, they don’t always follow the day-to-day happenings and discussions affecting them.

 This realization may be somewhat disconcerting, but it’s actually an opportunity for Outdoor and Travel brands.

 Our results showed a disconnect between caring and acting. Many of our respondents (78 percent) said they speak their opinions publicly on environmental issues they care about, and another 63 percent take additional steps such as signing petitions, attending meetings or writing their elected leaders, for example.

 Those who don’t speak up acknowledge it’s due to apathy. Twenty-two percent of the respondents said they felt individually weighing in on environmental issues would have little to no effect on the actual outcome.

Taking a public stand on environmental issues has never been easier thanks to social media, but many are concerned about putting their opinions out there because it’s just as easy for followers to criticize on these digital platforms.

 Yet, most of the respondents in our survey think that brands or companies can have great influence on environmental issues.

 In fact, 46 percent reported an interest in taking part in environmental activism led by companies and brands. Connecting with customers on issues that they feel passionate about is a great way for Outdoor and Travel companies to develop lasting relationships.

Companies our panel identified as the most trusted to lead such efforts included REI, Patagonia, The North Face and Cabela’s. Interestingly, not a single one named a travel-specific company, but rather leaned more towards outdoor companies.

The key takeaways from our survey were loud and clear. Adventurists value quality information. They care about environmental issues that are locally relevant to them. There’s a lack of awareness of day-to-day discussions surrounding important environmental issues, but there’s an interest in learning more. The opportunity to connect with adventurists, your customers, through activism is great – it’s just a matter of Outdoor and Travel brands taking a lead role.

 The full report is available online, and then we weigh in with analysis on our site.