With all the activism, ‘plastic attacks’ and focus on the environment of late, you’d be forgiven for thinking that consumers had morphed into eco warriors overnight… but the reality is far from it. Despite good intentions, consumer concerns have not automatically translated into more sustainable choices. Say hello to the ‘intention – behaviour gap’.
Why the gap? Because we are all naturally wired to take the path of least resistance. Our behaviour tends to follow the status quo and run on autopilot, unless it is acted upon by external forces. And it can take a monumental effort to change even the smallest, simplest aspects of our routines. No matter how noble our intentions.
But before we all despair, it is possible to close the gap. Quoting the guru of behavioural economics, Dan Ariely, think of it like the forces needed to propel a rocket into space. ‘Too much friction, and it won’t fly. Not enough fuel, and it won’t fly either’. What marketers and brands need to do is to reduce the friction, increase the fuel and harness the power of peers to help consumers to turn their green intentions into action.
Read our second Sustainabulletin here for more views and ideas on this issue: