In a country that increasingly seems to be defined by its division, it can be hard to market products and services that everybody needs, a challenge not lost on electric utilities. Happily, there are still some things people agree on—energy efficiency comes to mind—and the latest Eco Pulse report explores how to use those areas of agreement to tell your product’s story.
Agreeing on Earth
United We Understand takes a deep dive to look at the values that drive the attitudes and behaviors people have with regard to sustainability. The data collected in the report suggest that the values structure in our country has more common roots than news headlines would indicate.
A survey of 2,000 respondents showed that Americans believe three things:
- We all deserve a clean planet.
- There’s a big problem happening with our environment.
- Everyone bears responsibility for fixing environmental problems.
Also, the number of respondents who say sustainability is an important part of their consumer choices has increased since 2013 and they believe that companies should do their part. However, a majority of respondents believe companies won’t take action unless a law requires them to.
The report shares words that can unify Americans and thereby help brands connect with consumers. Using words that unite can help businesses use sustainability to build their brands across a broader audience. For utilities, the carefully chosen marketing language can create support for sustainability initiatives and program offerings, ensure a message that resonates and increase customer loyalty.
Language that divides rather than unites is also covered in the report. Words that trigger neutral or negative responses tend to have a less clear meaning across different demographics and do not resonate with our broader beliefs about how the world works.
Speak to values
Researchers concluded that Americans value the environment more than we might expect, but their reasons for doing so differ. Using a set of agreement statements developed in the seminal book, Environmental Values in American Culture, the Eco Pulse report found motivations that can be categorized into three distinct groups: earth-centric, human-centric and economic-centric. By understanding these values, and how to articulate them, you can better leverage your sustainability story, build your customer relationships and drive program participation.
You can download United We Understand for free from the Shelton Group, but registration is required. Start off 2018 with a revitalized marketing strategy for your customer programs and don’t forget to tell Energy Services how it goes. Happy New Year!
Source: The Shelton Group, 12/7/17