29.07.2019  |  Strategi & ledelse

Developing Meaning: A New Norm of Decision Making

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In a world of endless alternatives, there are a variety of reasons consumers make the specific decision they do when weighing their options. But how much weight does the “sustainability factor” actually have on the process of choosing?

In one study conducted by researchers O’Rourke & Ringer on the influence of providing sustainability information for a product, found that consumers who previously indicated interest in sustainability were more inclined to choose the product that presented sustainability information. This finding displays an obvious advantage of highlighting sustainable knowledge, which is good news. 

On the other hand, for those consumers who are less exposed to the importance of sustainability impacts, researchers found an indifference in their purchase intent. These results may be alarming at first glance for companies looking to invest in more sustainable practices, however, it further demonstrates the need for a new norm, one that includes meaning. 

As a study on sustainable consumption emphasizes, “simply providing information to consumers does not lead to marked changes in behaviour”. Even though presenting hard facts tends to be the predominant strategy used by businesses, researchers, government workers, that alone is not a sufficient practice.

Meaningful Decision Making

So how does one get consumers to start choosing more sustainably if the facts alone are not always enough? To interpret consumer logic, without hiring a psychic, reflection from personal experience can be extremely beneficial. 

People make the decisions the way they do for an array of reasons, some rationally, others based on personal value, and many just choose the most convenient option. But the cultural and social structures that exist today have a heavy influence on the decisions we make on a daily basis. 

In turn, this can affect the exposure we have to the significance of sustainability. For instance, the places where you work or live generate emotional experiences that have the utmost potential to shape personal values. When an emotional connection is made and significance is attached to facts or statistics, that is when they become most effective and become more than just a number or percentage. Therefore, the more exposure and understanding that consumers have regarding the importance of sustainability, the more they’ll develop the care themselves and be likely to choose the more sustainable option. 

Decision making is currently being shaped by the Millenials and Generation Z. They constitute 63.5% out of 7.7 billion people worldwide and it is well known that they are the groups that are highly passioned about sustainability. Companies will need to adapt their decision making to cater to the young generations’ needs. If you want to find out more about it, join our mini-seminar about tacking employee engagement and how SDGs can help your company’s talent acquisition. Register for the event here:  Are the SDGs a threat or an opportunity for HR?

 The Role of 2030 Builders

Even though there is no question on the well-known benefits brought by aligning your business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the method of implementation is a critical aspect to think about. 

What we aim to do at 2030 Builders is first, to approach businesses with unsustainable conventions, and later educate them on why developing more sustainable habits is necessary and beneficial. Then, a reflection process is initiated upon what specifically your company could improve in terms of sustainable initiatives while brainstorming on how to construct development that is effective and sticks in the long term. 

By making methodical changes that turn your business more sustainable, you will provide a basis for informed consumer decision making, evoking an emotional response, which is more effective than just declaring facts. 

One of the first steps companies go through in our SDG Impact Play program is capturing the emotional reasoning for developing more sustainable practices through the reflection process. We utilize our innovative tool to enable organizations to build and align their SDGs to create more business opportunities

We facilitate SDG impact play through a gamified digital innovation process focused on co-creation and sustainability frameworks, that ultimately produce a ready-to-implement solution. The process is particularly effective because developing sustainable business practices will ultimately give your company more leverage and competitiveness in the market.

The SDGs are becoming ever more prevalent as a guide for all companies to achieve more sustainable practices. 2030 Builders wants to shift the norm starting with the companies that surround us by adopting the SDGs as a guide for making business adjustments, which will ultimately translate in more people caring for the environment and social issues. 

As a company, setting the precedent that you care about sustainability results in consumers that value practices that go beyond just the product. Doing so can create a mass shift in consumers thinking more sustainably, and further, develop sustainable user habits. This justifies investing time and money into something your crowd can identify with. It starts with meaningful decisions and a commitment to sustainability. 

Want to get to know how your CSR department can develop more sustainable initiatives? Download our Sustainability and CSR Ebook to learn more and start upgrading your business.



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