Getting NZ consumers to buy more sustainable brands

Sustainable Business council case study
An in-depth study identified communications and innovation opportunities for mass-market brands.
Jay CrangleManager – Leadership  “This work has enabled our members to sort the fact from the fiction regarding how to get their sustainable offers to the market, while also challenging them to think about how they can continue to lead and improve.”


Consumers say they want  sustainable and ethical goods/services but they do not always choose these options at point of sale.

A number of NZ businesses expressed frustration at this and an opportunity existed to explore the relevant drivers and barriers to purchase in each of their categories. 


We referenced and reviewed learnings from a range of local and global sources including Kantar proprietary assets such as the ‘Who Cares, Who Does’ study and the Sustainability Sector Index to inform and frame the subsequent primary research stages.

We then undertook 12 in-depth interviews and six group discussions, split by life-stage and sustainability segments, to explore issues of shared concern.

This work fed into a 15min, n=2000 syndicated survey. A key element of this research was the inclusion of the NeedScope for Purpose motivational framework to help articulate a sustainability tone of voice.


This project provided a clear understanding of the key barriers to choosing sustainable and ethical options and the most effective behavioural and messaging levers to overcome these barriers at a category level.Innovation opportunities were identified via a range of value-action gaps relevant to each category. We then provided brand specific advice on the executional elements and purpose tone of voice that would most effectively cut through to target consumers. 

These insights also argued powerfully for a strategic business shift beyond the narrow focus upon Eco-Actives.


The report and presentation has already made a direct impact upon syndicate members overall business strategy and tactical execution. There has been a big impact on decisions around how to maintain sustainability's core role within business strategy in the face of widespread cost of living pressure.

In addition, brands have clarified their sustainable brand tone of voice in line with the NeedScope for Purpose framework, impacting and enriching consumers' understanding of each brands' sustainable personality.

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