Her goal was to find the most effective communication techniques to persuade people to make green choices. She has identified five motivators that drive people to make greener choices for sustainability, and she discovered that bundling the motivators was most effective in changing behavior.
The first motivator is Quality. Is the greener option better quality? People who buy a Tesla will state as the top reason for their decision the car's great performance, not that it’s eco-friendly. And so, Tesla chooses to bury the eco-friendly message and promote quality first.
Status is another driver. Prius sales were not so robust until the genius idea to have stars arrive at the Academy Awards red carpet by Prius. Suddenly star power boosted Prius’s cool factor.
The third motivator is Health. We want to buy organic food because we know it is better for our health. This is not surprising since we know that the greatest number of people first choose to enter the sustainability movement through food: growing food, choosing organic, slow food cooking, preserving and sharing backyard produce.
Money is the fourth motivator. Delmas shows that a tax is more motivating than a rebate. Remember when we got 10 cents deducted from our bill at the grocery store if we brought our own bag? That was not as effective as when it was switched to a 10 cent tax we had to pay for each bag; suddenly people remembered to bring bags from home. We learned that Starbucks will soon start charging 7 cents per paper cup. Let’s see if a caffeine-deficient crowd will BYOCup.
And finally there's Emotion. Tom’s Shoes is an example of the good feeling about buying a pair of Tom’s shoes knowing that a shoeless child will also get a pair. Dave’s Killer Bread was founded on the same idea: Buy a loaf, give a loaf. Dawn dish detergent had a boost in sales when marketing showed oil-blackened ducks being given new life with a Dawn shampoo.
It strikes me that our Repair Cafe has green bundling at its essence: Save money, do good, gain status, grow seedlings into tomatoes!
An unexpected bonus of our evening with the author and 100 plus other Zocalo followers was that Transition members and old friends from Culver City, Westchester and Whittier were also enjoying the free post-lecture Pinot Grigio. Zocalo, the Spanish word for the public square has a mission to inspire connections and conversations. Mission accomplished!