Assuming equivalent energy efficiency, we could sell a "greener" window or door...

John G. Swanson
August 29, 2007
THE TALK...

ProSales recently reported about an experiment Home Depot conducted at one of its stores. They placed a pile of wood featuring “FSC-certified” labels on the floor with an employee nearby promoting the wood’s greenness. They then placed a second pile of wood nearby, not labeled at all—almost to suggest it came from unknown origins and possibly a not-so-environmentally-friendly source. The "labeled" wood was priced 25 percent higher than the other wood.

There were no takers. A Home Depot executive reported that customers didn’t start opting for the environmentally friendly product until the store lowered its price to only 2 percent higher than the non-labeled product. Pointing to the big box's success with energy-efficient products, the executive observed, “If people can save the world while saving money, they’re all for it,” but the general conclusion reached is that consumers are more enthusiastic for green when it’s the color of money.

Are window and door buyers the same? If two window or door products were identical, but one was "greener" for whatever reason (besides energy efficiency), how much more would customers pay? That’s our poll question of the week. I’d also be interested to hear what customers are looking for on the green front besides energy efficiency. Are they asking about specific materials or corporate practices? Do you have a green message that seems to resonate well in the market?
Email me and let me know.

For poll results and industry feedback about this topic, click to the next page, and read Page 2 of “The Talk...”