Consumer expectations just got higher

If you’re like most people who read the news about the Amazon Dash Button on April 1, you thought it was literally an April Fool’s joke. No way could there be a button you mount to your countertop that sends you more Maxwell House or Tide instantly with one press! Yes way. See it here.

It’s the ultimate in convenience – which we’ve long seen in our Eco Pulse study is prioritized over the environment. It’s also free, available only to Amazon Prime members (who are already wired for convenience since they pay $99/year to get faster shipping and unlimited movie and song streaming), and a BRILLIANT strategy for keeping people brand-loyal. If I’ve got a Maxwell House button mounted in my pantry, I’m not going to be drifting over to Folgers ever.

So why does this matter to you if you’re in the energy, building or sustainability space? Here’s why:

  1. Sustainability: If Amazon can make it so I can press a button and get whatever product I want without the hassle of going to the store and shopping around, why on earth do I need to shop around for greener products? Shouldn’t manufacturers just handle it and bake sustainability in, so it happens automatically?
  2. Energy: If I can press a button and set off a complicated chain of events – my credit card is charged, products are put in a box, a shipper is summoned, and the products are delivered to my already-known address – why on earth can’t I pay my utility bill with the push of a button on my smart phone? And why can’t I get real-time notifications to my phone when I’m spending more money on energy than usual, or get outage notifications with an actual, exact time that my lights will be back on? Why doesn’t my utility – who I buy from every minute of every day – know me as well as Amazon?
  3. Built Environment: Wait a minute … you want ME to change my behaviors to be more energy efficient? Are you kidding me? Isn’t there an app for that? No way am I going to undergo home renovations or extra effort on my part … my house should just already be energy efficient, or there should be a magic button I push that signals everything in my home to power down and up in a way that saves me piles of money, without me having to change anything.

Now, in fairness, many manufacturers and utilities are working on these types of innovations. But every time someone like Amazon launches something like a Dash Button, consumer expectations go up. Utilities, manufacturers and building products and services companies need to get in the market NOW with innovations that make managing our homes and energy consumption super-easy and that make sustainability automatic. The longer it takes, the more frustrated they’ll get. And, truly, whichever tech company gets in the game first with an elegant solution will likely be The Winner.

Skills

, ,

Posted on

April 15, 2015

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and GreenBiz.com.

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Glen L. Vesser III

VP Finance and Administration

Glen manages Shelton Group’s finances and administration, ensuring our internal systems run smoothly so we can provide exceptional client service in a seamless and timely manner. Glen’s financial and administrative expertise has been shaped by decades of experience in a variety of industries, including public accounting, media distribution and health care.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.