Indian companies target children to push green messages … and sell products

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Let the children lead the way towards sustainability

The article explores how large corporations are seeking to change behaviour bottom up. 

We felt reminded of responses Bettina get’s to a particular framework, developed by Academic Alex Venn (2001).  He had investigated main drivers behind consumer purchasing decisions, and the implications for an organisation’s capabilities.  He identified four phases since the middle of last century:

  1. After the world wars people were just glad to be able to buy thing again!  So the main competency for an organisation was to get their things onto the shelves of shops (distribution was key).  
  2. By the 70s consumers had become more demanding: not only did they want to buy things, they also wanted it to last…  that’s when the quality movement came into its own, and that’s when technical competencies became more important.  
  3. In the Thatcherist era everything was about ‘me’ and we saw the emergence of mass customisation, and organisations’ need to develop some emotional competencies.  
  4. Moving into the last decade of the last millennium we find that people do want stuff, that lasts, that is specific to them AND there has to be something more – the rise of the brands. 

Audiences, when asked what the next thing that influences consumer purchasing decisions might be, respond rather differently: broadly speaking young audiences take a couple of seconds to name social and environmental considerations .  Older audiences often remain silent, and what is more, react highly sceptical to the announcement that it will be social and environmental considerations.  We see some interesting dynamics ahead when the ‘sustainability thinking’ younger generations enter the workforce…

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