If you’re done with looking up through the supply chain and the science at the challenge of how to make sustainability more engaging and attractive to the masses you may also have become equally bored with cajoling water up various degrees of incline and compressing mineral blocks until the viscera emanates!
So one suggestion – try taking a brands eye view on it – pop on your ‘caring about what people care about’ glasses and have a peek down through the human insight and the everyday. Have a gander at the whole thing through the weekly shop, the interiors magazine and the afternoon saturday shopping ritual – and there, laid bare, will be the base human first world need to pursue stuff – and quite a lot of it shiny!
Do that and you’ll quickly realise that to most everyday people the primary thing they wish to sustain is their best, shiniest, sexiest, gene-pool-consideration-ladder-climbing self and all that might come with it.
So the compelling reason for them to engage perhaps, in smarter lighter living and the brands products and services that help them do that, isn’t Climate Change or the end of the world or even those poor trees and little farmers – its the possible death of sexy – the killing of the killer heel; of shiny things – the disappearance of all that they believe make life bearable and worth living – the things that define and differentiate them from the rest of humanity’s heaving mass.
If we take every sustainability and CSR ambition, target, initiative, innovation and action, and use them to underwrite and add integrity to an aspirational life that is systemically constructed to go the distance and built to endure, that just might unlock the populist conversation. Brands using all of those processes commitments and systemic drivers to maintain their ability to delight, to serve, to entertain, connect and elevate our human existence would be far better placed to capture the value they have already created by instituting and committing to them in the first place.
So desirable and seductive storytelling needs to march in here. We need to transform desire based upon both the gene pool imperative and the deep rooted sustainability truth speaking in unison, and with one light human voice.
The old dark arts of creative storytelling to influence behaviour as used by Hollywood and Madison Avenue are deployed with one clear imperative – to create desire. Desire for something just out of reach – something that if captured would sprinkle some pixie dust in our everyday lives.
Now Id rather we used those dark arts to influence the early majority to buy smarter than just to buy less. Trigger the smart cool shopper reflex in them and allow them get on with filtering the more toxic degrees of their consumption themselves with a few top tips sprinkled in along the way.
Don’t show them your science project or your conscience: don’t sell them A Kind Shoe Range rendered from Net Positive wholly replenishable natural materials and reclaimed and up-cycled leather from accredited sources.
Sell them infinite sexy & cool – sell them the ability to keep wear killer bamboo louboutins with vintage leather uppers forever – they want to, so you’ve sorted it and they can. Love you forever.
This brings me to the topic of lightness of touch generally.
Lightness of touch is essential when speaking to people who are struggling to still present themselves as thriving, vibrant individuals whilst struggling with income, household bills and credit crunching.
So glass half full storytelling is crucial in successfully shifting people towards a smarter more enduring model of prosperity that they can all still aspire to.
And involving the storytellers from the glass half full world in communicating the amazing things going on under the bonnet, we’ll engage far more people with far less pain and a lot more positive consequence than we are now.
Now: where did I put that gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choos? You know the ones – with the reclaimed-hemp uppers hand woven by tribeswomen – and the Maker-Made 3D Printed soles made out of recycled bottle plastic?