Want to save the planet? Don’t tell your audience!

Pretend you are a wealthy European looking to buy a new car. Which of the two campaigns below would you respond to?

“Tesla Motors designs and manufactures cars that may emit as little as 5 grams CO2/km, a 95% reduction compared to typical European 5 seaters. By driving a Tesla, you will save the equivalent of 20 trees per year from destruction!”

“Tesla Motors designs and manufactures the most advanced electric vehicles and electric powertrains in the world. We do not compromise on innovation, performance, or appeal.” – http://www.teslamotors.com/about/careers

My guess is that the second advertisement will be much more effective. Why? Because it speaks directly to the customer’s desire.

Changing customer behavior is essential to tackle important global challenges as food distribution inequality or environmental disaster. But to create that change, we drastically need a strong marketing strategy. All of us – in our roles of end-users, business executives or politicians – think about the question “What’s in it for me?” when we are made an offer. To scale environmental solutions, we need to define a value proposition which appeals to the end-user’s needs. When you are a car-lover looking to buy a new vehicle, your main consideration is how enjoyable your every ride will be; not how many grams of CO2 you will emit during those trips.

Redefining value propositions is essential also to drive private enterprise to become more sustainable. In stead of using ‘trees saved from destruction’ or ‘kg of CO2 saved’ to measure the impact of an implemented product or service, metrics like ‘$ earned’ or ‘market share gained’ are supposedly much more effective.

SunRun, a US home solar power installer, totally got this. Check out their great 30 second advertisements below. Video > words.

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