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Marketing Week181012


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This article explains why
innovation is a better route to sustainable behaviour than communications

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Marketing Week181012

  1. 1. Sustainability | Chris Sherwin | Head of Sustainability | Seymourpowell Chris Sherwin 1 Nest Thermostat Asking Seymourpowell people to change doesn’t go 327 Lillie Road far enough – help them make London the change SW6 7NR 2 The Bimbo pack was T 020 7381 6433 redesigned to preserve bread E 3 Aircruise concept Why fly when you can slow travel to your holiday?An innovative pathto a greener future 2Chris Sherwin at Seymourpowell explains whyinnovation is a better route to sustainablebehaviour than communications 1 3B ehaviour change is the new green A less recognised ‘win’ was Ariel following Sustainable behaviour in focus Funding local community projects – which many as they are non-physical and immaterial. Take the UK Government’s largely unsuccessful marketing frontier as we move people Turn to 30 with the development and launch Brands started to look at consumption, usage brands do – doesn’t require brands to change Consumers are often busy and time-poor, so far Act on CO2 campaign, which aimed to raise towards sustainable lifestyles, but what’s of Ariel Excel Gel – a liquid concentrate (fewer and behaviour because the largest part of their real, material issues, other than reshuffling better to seamlessly weave this into the product awareness of “the effects of climate change, a marketer to do about this: bet your ingredients, packaging, transport), with dosage footprint is often when in the hands of consumers. marketing budgets. and behaviour itself, rather than giving them the impact people are having on the environmentmoney on communications and social media, control (controlled consumption), in a top-down Over 80 per cent of the environmental impacts something else to think about. and what you can do to help”. Now checkor build behaviour change into your products format (less product wastage), that washes as of detergents are governed by when and how It can be contradictory out the recently launched Nest Learningor services? Though a less well-trodden route, low as 15 degrees (less energy use and carbon people wash. Might consumers see contradictions in a It doesn’t deliver breakthroughs Thermostat created by ex-iPod designers.we believe that innovating with your products emissions). It’s true that Ariel had no monopoly This places sustainability firmly in the hands toothpaste or cleaning brand asking them to ‘turn Many now believe that, for true sustainability, It’s smart, beautiful, cool, learns your behaviourand services is our only real great green hope. on these innovations, as others were active on of marketers and innovators. As a result, brands off the tap’, when the very same brands spent the we must go beyond our current green tweaks to optimise energy use, and turns itself off whenHere’s why. these issues too, but they were certainly the have defaulted to influencing sustainable last 40 years convincing them they need various to existing ‘stuff’, with improvements that could you’re away. highest profile and most integrated with these behaviours through a communications-led types of cleaning implements or toothpaste/ reduce carbon emissions or use of resources The mind boggles at how the £10m ActGreener than white green features. approach via brand activation. mouthwash, etc? across a brand’s total lifecycle by as much as 95 on CO2 budget could aid innovations like this.In the world of ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’ In a microcosm, here’s the central green Thus they turn to their advertising, per cent. It’s almost inconceivable that we can Think too what innovation could do for themarketing (let’s just say green from now on), marketing dilemma: do you back communication communications or PR agencies, which control It’s short-termist communicate our way out of trouble on this: other green behaviours that consumers mustAriel’s Turn to 30 campaign remains the most or innovation for your brand’s sustainability the brand’s interaction with customers. It’s Communication campaigns are often short-lived breakthrough innovation is required. adopt, such as composting, water saving,referenced case. In asking consumers to reduce efforts? Both Ariel’s approaches focused on understandable, as it’s how brands have acted for or seasonal, linked to brand planning cycles; It may be harder and more time-consuming line-drying clothes, eco-driving and reducingwashing temperature, save energy and carbon changing behaviour – the former highly effective decades when faced with new issues, or pressures while sustainable behavioural issues, like high for brands to change their formulation, food waste.emissions, it hit the sweet spot. advertising campaign asked people to change like health concerns or social media. It’s also carbon diets, simply can’t be cracked by a single packaging, supply chain, production line It was good for business – reportedly helping their behaviour via communications, the latter limiting and flawed as it won’t really work for the campaign. Consumer interest in green issues can or business model than it is to change a A green platformAriel regain market share; good for consumers – had it ‘designed in’. It will be interesting to brand, the customer or the planet. Here are five waver too, but they are interested in doing things communications plan or website, but change it As with Ariel, communications can be an excellentlower temperatures can save UK households see which is the longer-term behavioural game reasons why. better, which innovation can deliver. they must. Innovation will be the key to these springboard or complement, but innovation really is£130 per year; and good for the planet – the changer – the communications initiative of Turn green breakthroughs. the best route for green marketing and sustainableaverage UK wash temperature went down by to 30 or the innovation of Excel Gel – though with It can promote laziness It tackles behaviour indirectly behaviour.three degrees during the campaign, while Excel Gel reportedly now making up one-third of Asking people to change their behaviour Though emotionally appealing, communications Moving green beyond communications Redirecting focus, priorities and budgetswashes at 30 degrees rose from three per cent Ariel’s sales and 40 per cent of its value, the green can be an excuse for brands to push responsibility simply do not, and cannot, engage consumers There’s no limit to where this ‘innovate rather upstream is healthier for your brand, forto 17 per cent. A real win-win. innovation route certainly looks more sustainable. on to consumers and do little themselves. directly in their everyday behaviour or actions, than communicate’ model can be applied. behaviour and for the planet. l2 | Opinions from design and brand consultants Opinions from design and brand consultants | 3