26 Feb 2019
By Nikki Wright
The just-released Better Futures Report 2019 has revealed which sustainability-related issues Kiwis are most concerned about.
The research found a growing number of New Zealanders are highly committed to living sustainable lifestyles, which is a win.
What’s a fail, however, is the report found 83% of consumers believe the way businesses talk about their social and environmental commitments is confusing. The number is up 11 points to an all-time high, meaning businesses are finding it harder than ever to get cut through for their sustainability stories.
The report - based on a survey of 1000 Kiwis by Colmar Brunton and the Sustainable Business Council - comes during a week in which tens of thousands of New Zealanders jumped aboard Kiwibank’s I AM HOPE campaign, whereby a dollar for Mike King’s Gumboot Up NZ Fund is donated by Kiwibank for every Facebook frame. Why does I AM HOPE reach the audience with such success when sustainability stories are less effective?
Here’s what’s going on.
Here’s the storytelling challenge and how we might solve it.
Brands must show leadership – or select leaders – if they want their sustainability messages to have stickability.
Consumers are wary of greenwashing (the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of something). Simply saying a product is natural or organic doesn’t cut it. (After all, arsenic is natural and organic!)
Here are some better storytelling examples.
Here’s how I recommend we tell sustainability stories for maximum results.
I’m hoping if organisations take this advice, the Better Futures Report 2020 will provide an update showing Kiwi audiences have supported a sustainability stance and, when surveyed, can name the brand and the person that inspired them.
And maybe, we will see the number of Kiwis confused by the way businesses talk about their social and environmental commitments tracking towards an all time low.
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