Are you a modern cosmopolitan with a high degree of social and ecological involvement, sensitive for social justice, solidarity, equality and opportunity for all? Do you feel responsible for what is happening in the world, both in the present and in the longer run? And are you careful about new trends and fads but interested in new developments in sustainability or healthcare, for example? This makes you a Naturalistic Intellectual!

Consumer groups

Consumers are divided into groups based on their lifestyle. Almost every major corporation focusing on consumer goods works this way. IKEA is a good example. IKEA develops profiles of ‘young families’, ‘students’ or ‘city dwellers with double income but no kids’ and literally decorate recognisable living areas for these groups. These kinds of segmentation studies are also done for those buying or enjoying flowers and plants. The ‘Productschap Tuinbouw’ (product board of horticulture or PT) has researched a consumer segmentation study in 2009 on behalf of the so-called ‘Bloemenbureau Holland’ (Flower Office Holland). This means that when the population of a country is divided in like-minded people (groups) based on behaviour, attitude, values and standards, their buying behaviour and attitude are largely determined by what people find important.

Based on this segmentation survey, a number of groups of plants and flowers users have been delineated. Their names actually say enough: the Traditional Carer, the Cultivated Performer, the Cosiness Seeker and of course the already-mentioned Naturalistic Intellectual. In nearly all groups women form the majority and they indicate the group’s buying motives.

What activates the Naturalistic Intellectual?

The research mentioned above show that the group called ‘Naturalistic Intellectual’ is probably sensitive for the message that plants improve the air quality and raise the sense of well-being. This group also has a strong preference for plants over flowers, because the Naturalistic Intellectuals trie to lead a healthy life, keep body and mind in shape and look for a balance in life. They want to be the master of their own time and look for self-development and fulfilment. The Naturalistic Intellectual is successful at work, but looks for a function that fits his abilities and interests and not necessarily a high income or status.

This group consists of more than 10% of the population but spends relatively less on flowers and plants than might be expected because of the size of the group. The reasons that are important for this group in this particular time of their lives are the following with regard to flowers and plants:

  • Make a home cosy and give the house a natural feel;
  • Make a home more comfortable;
  • One can express one’s own style.

green plants

Naturalistic Intellectuals particularly like house plants and feel involved with those in the home; they’re not merely decorative objects. Nurseries or garden centres are their favourite places to go to. Authenticity, simplicity (less is more) and a natural look are favoured when it comes to flower arrangements or plants. According to the Naturalistic Intellectual flowers and plants are unique objects.

Air quality isn’t one of the reasons yet!

This study was carried out in 2009. At the moment the ‘VGB’ works together with the ‘Bureau Sierteelt NL’ (Office for Ornamental Horticulture NL ) to update the study which will be finished by the end of 2014. One important matter, in light of the message of Into Green, how do we deliver the message to this consumer group that plants can do so much more than just add style and cosiness? This group obviously ‘knows’ that potted plants heighten the sense of well-being in a home, but recent research indicates that this group is not yet aware that room plants decrease the levels of CO2 in the air and improve the air quality by breaking down particulate compounds and actively contribute to people’s health.

This is a job well-suited to garden centres and nurseries. And for Into Green, to help them spread the word. We are raring to go. Who cares to join us?