For decades, well-meaning and erudite social scientists, marketers and their researchers, activists, and advertisers have all been searching for a magic wand. With just one wave, that wand would shift consumers’ choice calculus from socially and environmentally harmful decision making, to instinctive inclinations that would save the planet. They (and we count ourselves at GlobeScan among them) have thus far failed to find it.
The reason why? The assumption that consumers would simply do the right thing if presented with morally “better” options, even if they came with efficacy and style tradeoffs, has been baked into our theories of change. Companies have loaded responsibility on the backs of consumers, rather than investing in innovative solutions to this enduring demand vs supply, chicken vs egg dilemma. The science says that urgently needs to change. So how do we find the win-win?