United We Understand: Eco Pulse 2017 Special Report Now Available

by Dec 7, 2017

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek advises brands and marketers to “start with why” – tell the story of the purpose, cause or belief behind why your brand does what it does. This is Sinek’s way of getting marketers to articulate a company’s values. That’s important because the best relationships – those filled with trust and forgiveness – are built on shared values.

Sustainability is emerging as an area where brands can connect at a values-based level, and, in so doing, strengthen and deepen connections with their customers and consumers. In our latest free report, United We Understand, we explore the language and values of environmentalism that actually resonate with and unite Americans. By understanding these values, and how to articulate them, you can better leverage your sustainability story, build your brand and drive product sales.

If you’ve scanned the news lately, the outlook for our ability to get along and find common ground – agreement – seems bleak. But our latest findings offer a story of hope; a flare from the core of our American culture. We actually DO agree on so many foundational beliefs. There is overwhelming agreement that:

We all deserve a clean planet.

  • 76 percent of respondents agree, “People have a right to clean air and water.”
  • 70 percent agree, “We have a moral duty to leave the earth in as good or better shape than we found it.”
  • 65 percent agree, “Working to try to prevent environmental damage for the future is really part of being a good parent.”

There’s a big problem happening with our environment.

65 percent said they agree that global warming, or climate change, is occurring, and it is primarily caused by human activity.

Everyone shares a responsibility for fixing that problem.

  • 88 percent of respondents agree the average person should be taking concrete steps to reduce his or her environmental impact.
  • 78 percent said they feel at least moderately responsible to change daily purchase habits and practices to positively impact the environment.

Like this famous psychology experiment, the aspects of sustainability that unite us can sometimes be overlooked. We’re distracted by all the topics that divide us. Psychologists call it “selective attention.” It means we often only see what we’re looking for. It’s so much easier to talk about the differences – and they are there! But, the more impactful opportunity lies in what unites us.

As more Americans think of sustainability as part of their personal identities, brands can connect with them via sustainability on the deepest levels. A full 40 percent of Americans believe “buying and using eco-friendly products is an important part” of their personal image That’s up significantly from 26 percent in 2012. Sustainability isn’t just what we do, it’s becoming part of who we are. And for brands, there is a huge opportunity to connect with consumers on that deeper level of identity and shared values to become a life-long trusted brand.

We will continue to explore these ideas over the next few months and will look at how the environmental values of Americans intersect with Shelton Group’s long-standing consumer segments.

For now, please download a free copy of our new special report and let us know what you think!

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About the Author

Susannah Enkema

Susannah leads the research department in developing projects, and then in dissecting the findings and boiling them down to the most important insights that pave the way for smart marketing strategies and creative approaches. She works closely with the creative and account departments to offer ideas, support and information that help all departments meet client goals.

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