Group Insight & Research Instinctif Partners

April 28, 2021

Post-Covid, how should brands talk about climate change?

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The events of the past year have affected how people think about climate change and its impact on business and brands.

In fact, 57% of Brits think that Covid-19 has slowed us down in tackling climate change, while 55% are concerned that economic recovery from Covid will mean we don’t put enough focus on climate change, according to a survey of the British public conducted by Instinctif Partners’ insight and research business, Truth.

This is the second consecutive year the study has been run, and this year, reflected on consumers’ view on climate change in a post-Covid environment. Over the past twelve months, priorities have shifted – however, nearly two-thirds of people (61%) still want to make more sustainable choices and 57% feel positive that Covid has shown us we can live more sustainably.

So, it is clear that there is an opportunity for brands. We have put together the below key take-aways for businesses in terms of communicating to their customers and stakeholders, to help us all take steps forward in the fight against climate change.

  1. Simplicity wins 

Complexity is a key consumer barrier to making more climate-conscious choices – unfamiliar language, difficulty in evaluating the genuine impact of a choice.   Difficulty feeling confident in trusting the information given.   And navigating the friction of making trade-offs in those choices.

To help bring consumers along the change journey faster, it’s essential to make it easier for them to make confident choices that they can feel good in and feel good will be the right thing for the environment.

  1. Break down the price barrier 

More so than ever in these Covid times, in which many are feeling financially more vulnerable, price is a barrier to making climate-conscious choices across categories. It will be an expectation that climate-conscious choices do not carry a price disadvantage for consumers, and if they do, brands can expect to be called out.

  1. Transparency is a table stake 

Transparency requires simple communications, joined-up messaging underpinned by joined-up strategy, and fundamentally requires a confidence in the business’s climate integrity. The question should not be how transparent can we afford to be, but how can we afford not to be radically open?

  1. Be aware of the myths holding us all back 

To drive meaningful action, the business community needs to interrogate the data and insights on which it is building its sustainability strategies.  What is absolutely true versus what is an assumption?  Assumptions will lead us in the wrong direction and hold progress back.

  1. Bring the situation home 

To bring people along the journey faster, we need to make climate change real – more personal, and closer to home…But without triggering fear that overwhelms people into switching off and feeling that nothing can be done.

  1. Create a shared vision 

Visions are no longer just for brand strategies – they are essential for taking sustainability strategy from technical goals to something people can get behind.

  1. Responsibility comes together 

Increasingly, investors will be expecting integrated ESG thinking, and consumers will become more and more aware and questioning of a company’s integrity and strategic join-up.

These implications were presented at a webinar hosted by Instinctif & Truth: Climate Change & Covid – Implications for brands in a turbulent world on the back of a survey of the British public conducted by Instinctif Partners’ insight and research business, Truth. This was the second consecutive year that the survey was conducted and asked more than 2,000 members of the UK population how worried they were about the environment.

If you’re interested to hear more from Instinctif on the opportunities for businesses for a low-carbon agenda, click here to register for our webinar on Thursday, May 20th.

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