Telling customers what they can’t have will send them elsewhere. Earn their trust and educate them to promote sustainable purchasing.
In the 1980s, the Advertising Council attempted to empower people — mostly young people — to ‘Just Say No’ (to Drugs). While the effectiveness of the campaign is questioned today, it is often cited as an example by people seeking to encourage behavior change.
Because balancing the issues around climate, health, wellness, societal ‘good’ and cost are interrelated, the question is far more complex than a simple Boolean (yes/no) choice. Because these goods often come with a higher price, for example, people may find themselves torn between the immediate needs of their family with the longer-term benefit to the planet or society.
John Friedman, an award-winning communications professional and recognized sustainability expert with more than 20 years of experience, is co-founder and vice chair of the board for the Sustainable Business Network of Washington (SBNOW).
On social media, Friedman is a recognized as a thought leader in CSR, listing among the top voices in CSR by Forbes’ Brandfog. His insights on sustainability issues and strategy have been a regular feature on SustainableBrands since 2008 and have appeared on Ecopreneurist.com, Forbes.com, Vaultcareers, and JustMeans.
When not volunteering his time, Friedman serves as director of public relations for Sodexo, Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com, is @JohnFriedman on Twitter and can be connected on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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KEYWORDS: Transparency, Consumer education, customer education, sustainability, Sustainable purchasing, John Friedman