The green consumer

  • Detect, understand and respond to universal motivations

    What are the elements that make us want to change the way we do the shopping and allocate our food budget to what is good for us?

    A pessimistic announcement to the effect that disaster is imminent is pointless! Gaming is a very interesting approach to encourage behaviour modification, because it is based on rewarding premises, as For Good proposes. We like to pay, to measure ourselves, so why not proceed with a positive competitive spirit? Or perhaps a weight watchers system applied to responsible/ecological purchasing?

    The salient fact behind the search for universal motivation: a bottom up - not a top down - approach!

  • Human dimension at the heart of the debate

    Without venturing into naïve idealism, customer centricity entails that we understand our customers and that the human dimension takes priority again: Not only their receipt, as in the eponymous initiative “Ik ben meer dan mijn kassaticket” [I am more than my receipt] which, through work in the field and knowledge of retail, accompanies the change of paradigm and lends a heedful ear to the reasons of the buyers (and not just their purchases), but above all, the opening to the working conditions of human beings who toil so that we can have our goods picked up by Fairtrade.

    In this respect, a variation of the importance we attach to what is near us as opposed to what is far away comes into play – A sort of passive acceptance of the terms of an injustice no one would want to experience.

  • Back to basics

    What are the elements that make us want to change the way we do the shopping and allocate our If customers are at times lost, it is because they have been denied access due to changes in society, the elementary rules of their diet, and even to themselves. Incredible Company is accordingly conducting a relevant in-company discussion by guiding employees to recover access to themselves through a connection to nature, the basic rules of nutrition, greenery and sensations. These initiatives take place during lunchtime inside the company. It underscores the importance of a clear vision which is above all rooted in reality: no search for a wow effect, but getting the employees to unwind.

  • Human dimension at the heart of the debate

    Working on modifying behaviour in the company pursues a double advantage, namely to:

    • Activate the group effect and in so doing increase motivation through a feeling of belonging to a project that has meaning;

    • Install an “institutional” framework to the approach, somewhat the way a school would do with children. The authority, or rather the leadership of a company over its employees makes it possible to embed the change.

    Ever since Engie implemented its new mobility policy, the number of employees who use their car to get to work has gone from 75% to 25%!

    Furthermore, internal communication on sustainable projects is important as it reconnects employees with meaning – a tool for a cohesive team in addition to the importance of behaviour modification.

  • Nudge positive behaviour

    Make it easier for customers to choose by providing them with responsible and reasoned advice and guidance, as they are no longer consumers but consumactors. Encourage customers through small actions so as not to exhaust the resources needed for transformation: the “smallest step possible” technique.

  • Brand Statement

    Customers do not want to think; they want to be guided. Studies conducted by Ikea prove it: Customers want to have trust in a brand which assumes the responsibility of offering them responsible products. And yet, they are the ones who think that brands do not commit themselves sufficiently to sustainability. We thus return to customer centricity and empathy: if the brand wishes to guide customers, continuing to provide them with a system they no longer want will make them feel hemmed in and break the customer experience. On the contrary, guidance creates trust and the brand will become a reference, which will in turn establish a positive relationship.

  • Perception bias

    One of the obstacles of sustainable consumption often has to do with the price. The defensive argument then consists of comparing certain organic with non-organic but brand-name products, packaged and non-packaged products, fair trade with industrial products, which may work but does not thwart the perception biases. Fair trade retains an image of “expensive; it is not up to me to bear responsibility for the price.” Customers are persuaded that the product is expensive and that they are expected to change everything, which frightens them. This is how knowledge can mean better understanding of the tipping points of change.

  • Verticality of the purchasing processes

    One of the classic errors was considered, probably because of focusing on purchasing and not on the process before and above all the context in which the purchase takes place, whether the purchase was an isolated instance concentrated on the product.

    Now, with this very vertical mechanism, a product becomes comparable to another and loses its competitive advantages, because what will stay is the price on the receipt.

    The rule is not basic, however, and this back to basics approach will be essential: a product is not an end but a means offered to our customers to improve their daily lives.

    We thus topple the silos and consider sustainable consumption as a whole, which once again pushes open the doors to understand the new behaviour better.

    The important thing is to look at the lifestyle and the overall basket: if more responsible products are more expensive to buy, buying better and buying more fresh products helps costumers feed their family longer with a more controlled budget, with greater balance and satisfaction as a consequence. This is a more positive customer experience, in spite of the apparent reduction of the basket -- the explanation given by Delhaize for switching its shelves to 80% bulk, bearing in mind that there is a daunting logistical challenge for organic products not to be packaged (contamination with non-organic products) and that they become the majority portion of the stock.

  • Opening doors

    The sustainable approach is intended to be accessible and above all inclusive. At issue is rejecting dogmatism, the all or nothing attitude that has ruled the roost for many years. The studies prove that there is no radical dimension in change. Every steps leads to a new type of consumption, whether through health, nutrition, economy, ecology… whatever. If we are interested in our health, we will wind up being interested in the nutritional value. If we are interested in the range of foodstuffs, we will be interested in their origin, in the effect of their type of production on our health, and thus come full circle to health. An organic product will raise our awareness about respect for the earth and we will wind up being interested in the impact of packaging. We will thus come to respect for work and probably to greater sensitivity to the working conditions of the suppliers, and by extension a desire to promote fair trade.

  • Meeting the challenges according to your DNA

    Last but far from least, communication is not a CSR policy. Communication reports on what the company does in terms of sustainability, but does not achieve it. The general public is all too quick to cry greenwashing and say that what we say does not suffice: It is necessary to prove it. To that end, it is necessary to identify lines that are consistent with your DNA and that your story can nurture. What expertise does an entity need to make its contribution to sustainability?

    The objectives must therefore be set by top management and they cannot be one-off: it is a matter of a direction to take and to assume in full.

    Whereas the short term risk is losing part of your turnover, the long-term risk is losing your clientele. To conclude, we will use the company’s codes to strengthen its presence: the KPIs. The aim will be to correlate the measuring tools with the objectives of each action, including customer centricity, and we have come full circle.