Coalitions are magic

It’s easy to walk away from an experience like Sustainable Brands and be inspired – after all, the conference exists to create inspiration and spark new ideas. But let’s not forget that inspiration can only create results when you act upon it. SB12 did its job well, now it’s our turn to take the passion generated in San Diego and turn it into something positively tangible.

Suzanne, our fearless leader here at Shelton Group, took the stage at SB12 to present a coalition campaign we created about water usage. (Check out the campaign here.) The campaign and its results generated a couple of rounds of applause, which was great. But what was even better was that Suzanne challenged the companies in the room to begin thinking about solving Big Sustainability Issues together, and she specifically mentioned food waste and recycling/end-of-product life as areas where consumers are looking for solutions and brands have the opportunity to come together to create behavior change.

The response to that challenge has been amazing. We had many excellent conversations about coalition efforts at the conference, and those conversations have continued. We are now actively working on campaign ideas for creating consumer behavior change around food waste and recycling, and we’ll soon be working on paradigm-shifting campaigns around contents and ingredients we all use regularly but never even think about.

The “aha” for us after launching Wasting Water is Weird was that, clearly, many companies are looking to solve some of the same consumer problems (or, at the very least, to create a consumer wake-up-call around similar issues). The “aha” from the Sustainable Brands conversations was that so many brands are excited about this way forward. As Suzanne noted in an earlier post, many of the brands at Sustainable Brands seemed to feel a lot of pressure to Solve Big Problems, and our experience has been that most sustainability folks at those big companies have precious little budget with which to solve those problems. So the idea of pooling resources and working together appears to be offering some relief – and a way forward that’s realistic and manageable with the resources they have.

Long story short: We’re hard at work creating some Big Ideas to solve some Big Problems. Our solutions for these problems may not solve everything, but they will open eyes and draw the attention needed to begin positive change. And, as always, we’re creating those ideas in a way that’s different – memorable and entertaining – while communicating to the right audience in the context of where they are and what they believe today.

Stay tuned … and let us know if you’re interested in being a part of what we’re dreaming up.

About the Author

Larry Washington

Larry Washington is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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