In other words, if a shopper is intending to make some form of complicated purchase, they will often ignore the technical and mentally challenging details (think sustainability credentials) and instead make the decision based on a much simpler aspect, such as “I like the colour”. Although many will not admit this in focus groups and other market research.
How can I get customers to engage with my sustainability messaging?
Shoppers need simplicity in-store and whatever sustainability communications are the easiest to mentally process, will be the most appealing. So, if you want shoppers to attend to your sustainability communications in-store, there are several aspects you should consider.
Keep it simple
Shoppers aren’t experts, so don’t let environmental jargon creep into your shopper facing communications. For example, most shoppers are more interested in how effectively a more sustainable detergent washes clothes than in the fact that the packaging has 20% less plastic in it.
Meet basic needs
If your brand is part of a complicated category, make sure to provide shoppers with simple reasons to select your marque: For example, 100% recyclable packaging.
If you can promote a really simple reason for shoppers to buy your more sustainable brand and if it is something they can’t compare with other brands then you have an instance USP (Unique Selling Point). To give an example, ‘Kinder to the planet’.
In summary, attribute substitution gives you a great way of making your sustainability activities, ergo your brand, easier to think about and buy. But equally, focussing on the features and aspects of sustainability can seriously damage brand performance. So, make sure to give shoppers a real ‘no brainer’ reason to sustainably select your brand.