“Everybody is passionate, but not necessarily about the same thing.”
Credit to Simon Sinek for this very good point from his book ‘Start with Why’.
I mean, I get it. Everyone wants to be fit and healthy and pretty, but not everyone wants to be green.
If we take Maslow’s hierarchy, being green probably is at the ‘top’. (People don’t get that it’s actually the lowest these days — being green is for survival😂.) Because being green isn’t the ‘primary’ need, it’s easy for some (even myself) to think that we’re the ‘better ones’ and assume a ‘moral highground’. What is tempting is for people to think badly of people who aren’t as passionate about the environment.
The reality is that everyone is passionate, but not about the same thing. In other words, it’s not that people are incapable of giving a damn, it’s just they don’t care about the same thing.
So that’s when this gets challenging and very interesting for me. How do we position our message, which is inherently niche, to something that people naturally are drawn to? How can we break off from the usual stereotypical perception and expand the ‘eco-circle’?
Functional reasons such as saving the ocean or trees won’t get us very far. You might have very outstanding examples or manage to reinforce people who are already green to be more devoted, but the majority (sadly) doesn’t care. (Also if that had worked, we wouldn’t still have polystyrene being legal in HK boo!) If a person genuinely don’t care about the ocean and trees, no matter you talk about 99% of sea life or 10000000 trees, they still don’t (fking) care. People do things because they feel like it, not because the facts tell them to.
So that means I’m left to play the emotional side. We can’t always play on fear (how can you be scared forever?) and people don’t react positively to negative emotions like sadness or guilt either. You want your actions to be associated with positivity, not the elimination of negativity.
The answer is simple, yet difficult and tricky to implement. For me, Marketing is about changing behaviour. I am a linguist-turned-marketer who is constantly learning how to subtly influence thought, mindset and hence decisions. I also love reading about the future of mankind esp with regards to artificial intelligence and the next generation of consumers.
I believe that the future of sustainability lies in technology that makes being green easier than ever (supply), but at the same time in strategic, well-informed and forward thinking marketing that creates a demand for these technology. DM me if you want to know more about how I see and am taking on the challenge on mindset shift! Or else, stay tuned for my next marketing piece ❤️.