Beware of Simply Paying Lip Service
But beware, greenwashers!
Paying lip service to environmental credentials, for purely short-term marketing gains, said Nolan, is a thing eco-consumers see through very quickly.
"They can easily backfire and become a [public relations] disaster," he said.
Strategy Analytics additionally performed focus group interviews with 20 participants who claimed that environmental factors play an important role in their decision making.
The participants were asked to provide feedback on the Motorola MOTO W233 Renew, the Samsung E200 Eco and the Nokia 3110 Evolve, as well as an HDTV, an MP3 player and Fuji batteries.
Participants were critical of weak environmental claims and responded most favorably to high-end looks and features. They felt the feature set of the Motorola phone was much better than those on the Nokia or the Samsung.
"I would say the key take-away is that there is no shortcut to monetizing environmental sustainability," said Nolan. "Eco-consumers want a mobile phone to be a winning product in terms of features, performance and style."
Eco-friendly attributes will be the extra factor that can command a small, further premium from affluent purchasers who like that the product indicates their commitment to the planet. But those green attributes, said Nolan, are "just one more reason to justify buying a product that already satisfies their wants and desires in and of itself."
Eco-friendly smartphones, said Nolan, "certainly would seem to be a great opportunity for OEMs."