Sustainability: Opportunities and challenges for brands

This article is part of a series of articles on sustainability. Read more.

Need to know

  • Behavioural economics provides powerful tools for both understanding and changing behaviour, a critical element in our fight for a more sustainable world.
  • Brands must be careful when launching purpose-driven and environmental campaigns. If the brand is not authentically aligned with the issues they are trying to address, consumers may view their attempts as forced or opportunistic.
  • Understanding behavioural concepts such as anchoring bias, hot-cold empathy effect and intention-behaviour gap helps to inform communications to avoid common pitfalls in effective environmental or purpose-driven messaging.
  • Using social norms to compare someone’s behaviour to their peers or the community, is a powerful tool to prompt people to take action.
  • Carefully considering how the information is framed – there is always more than one way to present the same information – can lead to radically different behavioural responses.