Climate Change, Aspirational Marketing, and Helping People Live Their Dreams
Climate communicators often fall into the trap of trying to convert their target audience into environmental advocates. But as an article from Fast Company explains, advocates will never be more than 20% of the population. Instead of focusing their energy on changing people, then, climate communicators may want to take a page from marketers’ books and focus on helping people achieve their goals and meet their needs.
The guidelines below were originally designed to help businesses market to a particular class of consumers called Aspirationals. Yet the lessons hold just as much truth for climate communicators. Put bluntly, climate communicators, like marketers, need to show how climate solutions will help people do nothing short of living their dreams. Here’s how to make it happen:
1) Manifesto: Give them something to believe in. Show them a vision.
2) Badge: Give them something to belong to. Show how they can be part of a tribe, or show how their tribe is already undertaking the actions and attitudes you want to engender.
3) Megaphone: Amplify their voices. Allow them to contribute their talents and share their ideas.
4) Currency: Give them social status — points, badges, leaderboards, first-to-know access.
5) Rally: Give them a platform for action. Make taking action easy and seamless.
Mitch Baranowski and Raphael Bemporad, Contributor to Fast Company
For decades, the green movement has been chasing the wrong ball. If only we could cultivate so-called “advocates” (pejoratively dubbed “treehuggers”) then we could scale the market for sustainable goods and tip the business paradigm toward more conscious capitalism.
Wishful thinking. The data couldn’t be clearer: Advocates will never be more than 20% of the consuming public. But that’s okay. There’s a new kid in town, one who cares about style and shopping and status and . . . wait for it . . . doing right by the planet.
Image credit: Fast Company