Behavior Change
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Drive Changes in Consumer Behavior?

Calling all innovators and implementers! Beginning in June, Sustainable Brands will launch a new “Issues in Focus” editorial package examining ways brands are “activating sustainability” — driving behavior change toward sustainable consumption.

Guest editors Sally Uren of Forum for the Future, Suzanne Shelton of Shelton Group and the SB editorial team are seeking articles, interviews and case studies for publication.

The Issue in Focus

Shifting to a sustainable economy requires a new kind of brand-consumer partnership. As consumers begin to vote with their dollars for more innovative products and services that both delight the purchaser and support the long-term health of society, they help create competitive advantage for the brands that best deliver. Getting there requires convincing less conscious consumers that they can have their cake and eat it too (drive positive change and indulge their needs), and teaching them to choice-edit for the most personal, planetary and societal impact.

This month we explore the latest models supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption (collaborative consumption, dematerialization), and ways in which brands are engaging consumers to encourage more conscious, less wasteful behaviors. This Issue will explore:

  • the role of brands in speeding up and scaling up sustainable business, and creating systemic change
  • why and how brands’ own behaviours are changing
  • why influencing consumer behaviour is important for brands, categories, people and society — and how it can spur a sustainable future

Brands, using their power for good ...

As more and more brands are working to steer consumers into more sustainable behaviors and lifestyles, hear from Etienne White, VP of SB's Brands for Good initiative, the latest insights on driving that behavior change and measuring the impacts — at New Metrics '19, November 18-20.

We will look at the history of how companies have influenced consumer behavior, as well as what’s next on the horizon for brands, to explore untapped potential in this space and to offer inspiration.

Please send content ideas to the email addresses below.

Content guidelines

Our readers are business leaders and strategists seeking information about how others are profitably innovating for sustainability. They seek insights and ideas that might be applied across market sectors about how to drive top-line growth while successfully reducing the impacts of their operations, and engaging key stakeholders along the way.

We evaluate submissions based on currency and relevance of the examples or ideas presented, balance of perspective, strength and clarity of content and delivered principles. See our Writers’ Handbook for further guidelines.

What

Written (600-1000 words), audio and/or video perspectives. Focus areas might include:

  • What is behaviour change? Why, where and how behaviour change is important for brands; the scope of brands to create behaviour change; the importance of brands collaborating to positively influence behaviour.

  • What can we learn from….? Brilliant examples of behaviour change in surprising places:

      1. soap operas
      1. stop smoking campaigns
      1. pollution campaigns
      1. mainstream advertising
  • Explore interesting research and findings into sustainable behaviours — particularly in emerging economies (e.g. research into different laundry habits in Brazil, London, India).

  • Examples of brands changing behaviour past and present: A critical look at the effectiveness (or not) of brand-led behaviour change initiatives; comparing sustainability and non-sustainability related activity.

  • Brands shifting attitudes and norms, and educating. E.g:

    • consuming less
    • making sustainable desirable
    • body image and health
    • creating new markets for sustainable goods and services
    • systemic thinking
  • Brands delivering social purpose in practice — e.g.

    • brand strategy and activation that creates real benefit for people and society
    • brands building social capital
  • Examples of brands changing behaviour in the future. Explore examples around four themes:

    • Brands influencing the disposal and use of products — e.g. food waste, recycling, energy use, water use
    • Brands making sustainable living easy:
      • changing the consumer experience by connecting across categories
      • removing barriers, often through collaboration
    • Brands forging more sustainable ways of consuming in mature markets — e.g.
      • from products to experiences
      • from ownership to access
      • creating emotional durability
    • Brands forging more sustainable ways of consuming in emerging markets

    Who

    Marketers, creatives, account handlers, strategists, sustainability experts, brand managers — anyone creating communications with the goal of influencing stakeholder behaviors.

    How

    Share a one-paragraph to one-page overview describing your most successful (or unsuccessful) ideas, initiatives, campaigns, implementations and takeaways from your organization, industry, students, staff, etc.

    Criteria

    We’re looking for leading-edge thinking, tools, campaigns, platforms — any brand activities aimed at driving more sustainable behaviors. Preference will be given to pieces that provide perspectives with enterprise-wide and ideally market-wide implications and applications.

    Send submissions to:

    Sally Uren, guest editor
    Suzanne Shelton, guest editor
    Jennifer Elks, managing editor

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