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.


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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.

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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

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®.

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.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.