Want to save the human race? Stop talking to customers about sustainability

Room 5 | 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm | Thursday, May 4, 2023

I heard an interesting comment the other day – that we need to prepare for a ‘George Floyd moment’ when it comes to the climate; a collective wake-up call that compels widespread awareness and action.

What’s more likely is that the penny is dropping, a person at a time, in different ways, at different times. We can see the pattern that awareness and engagement takes through communities, through relationships. For those consumers, brands either become collateral damage, recruited to be part of the fight, or sitting ducks.

While 5% of us may still be climate deniers or delayers, this ‘awakening’ is undeniably gaining speed, with the number of people stating that ‘climate change is the top global threat’ at an all-time high in every market around the world (PEW Research 2022).

It might feel onerous for businesses to keep up, but let’s not forget that marketing is built on not only being able to keep step with needs and wants, but even create them and be a DRIVER of change.

In this presentation, we’ll look at the idea that the only way to save the world is to stop talking about it, and shift our focus when it comes to our customer insight work. We’ll share research and best practice principles that help us to move beyond the say/do gap and, even better, embrace it as part of our insight work. Finally, we will look at why stronger relationships with customers and suppliers really do build stronger businesses, and that sustainability is core to this discussion.

Key takeaways:

  1. We must move beyond sustainability when talking to customers and instead examine what their future ‘Good Life’ looks like.
  2. That there is a difference between a loyal customer and a captive customer who hasn’t yet worked out how to jump ship.
  3. That future loyalty is built on shared values between businesses and customers, but you won’t please all the people all the time so work out where you want to start.

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