Moving Sustainability from Niche to Normal
At the very least, the perception out there is that it takes green to be green. There is a prevailing belief among the masses that they are being excluded from the green movement because they simply aren’t rich or cool enough to participate.
Messages motivating all of us to more sustainable behavior need to adhere to another three Ps beyond people, profit and planet. They will be most successful if they are personal, positive and plausible.
In any lifestyle area where self-deprivation plays a role (or a perceived role), people will start to calculate tradeoffs. It’s a natural cognitive habit to set up a system of comparables and to balance credits and debits according to loose criteria of our own devising.
The report identifies 12 ways to close the green gap:
1. Make it normal. Normal is sustainable. Normal drives the popularity needed for a mass movement.
2. Make it personal. Ask not what the consumer can do for sustainability; ask what sustainability can do for them—and then show them.
3. Create better defaults. If green is the default, people don’t have to decide to be green.
4. Eliminate the sustainability tax. Sin tax is one thing, but consumers shouldn’t have to pay a tax for their virtuous behavior.
5. Bribe shamelessly. Gold stars, cash, kudos, treats—we all love rewards for our good behavior.
6. Punish wisely. Shame, stigma, and guilt are powerful motivators unless they are used too much.
7. Don’t stop innovating. Make better stuff. We don’t like going backwards. High performing sustainable choices are key for mass adoption.
8. Lose the crunch. Green marketing needs to be more mainstream hip than off -the-grid hippie.
9. Turn eco-friendly into male ego-friendly. Girly green is not a sustainable proposition for the manly man.
• Define their sustainability strategies,
• Deliver a positive, sustainable image,
• Gain credibility, trust and respect, and
• Measure the results of their green initiatives and actions.
Gail is a nationally recognized speaker on a wide range of subjects and brings enthusiasm and a unique blend of experience to the podium. As an industry analyst and journalist contributing to publications in the United States, Canada, India and Brazil, she has covered a number of beats, particularly sustainability in printing and mailing, print on demand, variable data printing and direct mail.