Trust is another major factor in behaviour change. With hindsight, we can see that the consistency of our communication could have been better.
If consumers feel like brands are giving a mixed message, such as the need (or not) to wash at high temperatures for maximum product performance, then a degree of confusion and hesitancy is “understandable”, Henry adds.
In general, however, new behaviours just take more time to gain traction than we initially assumed. Change first requires the buy-in of a small group of trendsetters, then a larger group of early adopters, and only later, when consumers finally begin to see those in their immediate circle behaving differently, are most people ready to take the leap. What behavioural theorists refer to as ‘herding’.
“Even when a brand has a large share in a market, generating this kind of momentum is very, very difficult. In competitive categories, like those our brands habitually operate in, the challenge is even greater,” says Henry.
Over the years, we’ve learnt many lessons about making environmental behaviours easier and more attractive to consumers – all of which help inform our brands’ ongoing efforts to ‘nudge’ people to use our products more sustainably. Our work continues.