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Mobilising the Capacity to Act.

People are increasingly asking ‘what do I make with my choices?’ and ‘what do my decisions put their weight behind?’

And importantly people are asking ‘what does this brand have to do with climate change?’

There is a marked increase in scrutiny.

We are past the era of a one off marketing campaign to address sustainability aren’t we? It’s not a matter of patching climate change on to your brand.

You see, something interesting is happening.

As our planet comes under threat people will be moved to protect it – even if we are a bit slow at times.

The notion a business can take from the planet and not give back is under heavy fire.

‘We are part of the problem so we need to be part of the solution,’ say Håkan Samuelsson, head of Volvo. 

It is a big picture recalculation required. It can be actioned incrementally, but it has to be done.

Your core brand strategy needs to address the big questions of our age.


Understanding the psychology of decision making we know this:

  1. 98% of decision making is subconscious
  2. The majority of that subconscious capacity is devoted to answering ‘Who am I?’ Where do I belong?’ ‘What is meaningful?’

The brain seeks out material that aides this process.

We are in an unprecedented time of change and people are seeking ways to make sense of this change.

Brands can aid this process and mobilise the capacity to act.

Climate action is enormous but I suppose we can ask which bit of that can we tackle?

The answer lies in answering – what do you stand for (purpose, values) and what does that have to do with climate change? 

That alignment needs careful consideration.

You may not yet have the mechanisms in place – but in doing so you could mobilise your abilities using purpose.

Throwing your weight behind the task at hand sends an indirect message that we can get the job done.

So what is that job? Unanimously agreed on is our need to change our relationship to the planet.

To do that a brand has to do the same.

Rather than take, it seems it is time to give.

If we align closely with our planet then giving is giving to ourselves.


People will avoid change/action if they don’t have the structures, provided by narrative, in place.

You see taking action is about programs and initiatives to support climate health but taking action, or not, arises in the subconscious.

Unless you have those psychological mechanisms in place you’ll be unintentionally seen as the way to avoid action.

That suits nobody.

Brands have the capacity to work in this way to release the full force of their people to act.

It begins with a purpose driven strategy with carefully embedded triggers. It leads to positive perceptions about what is possible that leads to action.

To get the most action we need to address what we believe is possible.

Brands leading the way are changing what we see as possible, giving people permission to act in ways they have not before.

Those brands have come to stand for just that: a shift in what is possible.

Can you see the synergy in that?