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Sharing your green message effectively

  • Apr 2018
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Limited Resources. Climate change. Pollution. These are just afew issues facing business today. They are also some of the most difficult for consumers to relate to, let alone incorporate into their lives.

Only 28% of people know what terms such as “sustainable,” “responsible,” “eco friendly” and “green” really mean, and just 44% say they trust green claims coming from big brands.

Motivating consumers about sustainability is no easy task. Whilst many struggle to tell their stories using down-to-earth language, there’s also the wider issue that we have reached a point of sustainability overkill. Everywhere we look, we are confronted with depressing facts. News of destructive tornadoes, hurricanes and heat waves emerges almost daily. Frightening footage of melting ice caps and plastic filled oceans circulate online. Yet, even as carbon levels in our atmosphere reach unprecedented numbers, consumer behavior is only slowly changing.

A recent poll found that just 3% of people only buy sustainable, green, or eco-friendly products. An additional 40% say that they buy sustainable products when they are readily available and there is no big cost difference. Yet, a majority (51%) report that they buy whichever products suit their needs at the time, green or not, and 6% never buy green.

Solving for mass consumer apathy represents one of the greatest marketing challenges of our time. If brands truly want to excite and motivate millions of people to change their habits and make different choices, then they need to cut through the “green” noise with a new kind of pitch.

 So how can we get better?

1. Be Positive. Humans are programmed to avoid what is uncomfortable, so why put sustainability-related messaging in the downer category?

2. Simplify the message.  Sustainability issues are complex. But the brands that have inspired the most positive behaviour change resist the urge to over-communicate. They boil complex issues down to simple platforms that people can easily relate to. 

3.  Emphasise concepts that consumers can easily relate to.

4. More brands should think about what they need consumers to do to support their sustainability efforts–and then ask for the desired response.

5: Show them how it can benefit them. 

6: Make it fun

 The reality behind the need for sustainability may be complicated and depressing, but that doesn’t mean marketing needs to be.

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