No.3 Attentional Bias & Shopping Sustainably

No.3 Attentional Bias & Shopping Sustainably

When we don't try to see all sides of a story we are displaying attentional bias and this comes into play when we are shopping sustainably.

Attentional bias is the inability to see all sides of a story. When you fail to consider the things you don't see, you are displaying Attentional Bias.

Attentional bias is a real problem when it comes to communicating your sustainability credentials because too many shoppers consider all available environmental factors and possibilities when making purchasing decisions. However, our emotional state often influences what we give our attention to and we tend to pay more attention to something that emotionally stimulates us. So make your sustainability communications emotional for optimal cut through.

The more that shoppers are touched emotionally, the more they will focus on the sustainability related emotional stimulus over any other product attribute.

How can I use emotion to encourage shoppers to make sustainable purchases?

Shoppers need emotion in-store and what they emotionally attend to with will be the most appealing, so long as the right emotions are targeted.  So, if you want shoppers to emotionally attend to the sustainability aspects of your brand in-store, there are several aspects you should consider:

Come up with a sustainability related emotional hook

Emotions grab attention much faster than rational concepts and thoughts, so make sure you have an emotional trigger for shoppers to first attend to and engage with.

Make your sustainability initiatives emotional

Whatever your brand is environmentally famous for, make sure to give shoppers an emotional reason to accept that fame. How will it help them fight, flee, fornicate, and save planet Earth?

Fight reason with emotion

When your competitors are making strong (but rational) claims, present shoppers with an emotional alternative as to why your brand is sustainably preferable.

In summary, attentional bias gives you a great way of using sustainability to make your brand look disproportionately appealing. But equally, the wrong emotional attention can seriously damage brand performance. So, find your best emotion and communicate it effectively.

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About Phillip Adcock

My name is Phillip Adcock: I have more than 30 years of human behavioural research and analysis, and have developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people psychologically and physiologically 'tick'.

Would you like to know more about how shoppers and consumers think? Download my FREE guide now. Alternatively, check out, where there are more FREE downloads available there. Or why not simply email me with what's on your mind?

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Phillip Adcock

Phillip Adcock CMRS
Psychology & Behaviour
Change Consultant

Phillips Signature

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