Andrea Learned

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VPR Commentary: Sustainability and Consumers

There’s nothing like going back to school to get a fresh perspective, and – wow – have I been learning some fascinating stuff since I stared working toward a master’s degree in socially responsible business and sustainable communities through Goddard College.  The ideas and connections it is sparking, in fact, inspired my most recent commentary for VPR.  Here’s are two excerpts from that piece:

What I’ve seen in my years of studying consumer behavior is that people generally like to feel “in the know.”  They respond to the idea that they can make wise decisions with their money if they just pay a little extra attention and educate themselves.  These days companies are being forced to decide how to manage this new, more demanding consumer.  Will they hide behind the same old business practices, hoping no one looks behind the curtain?  Or will they invite prospective customers in to see what really goes on in operations and product manufacturing?

And –

So, it boils down to empowerment.  Sustainable and socially responsible businesses are educating us in entirely new ways as we sort and learn and decide to purchase.  We can use that new-found information to buy somewhere else; but isn’t it human nature to reward the provider that informed you in the first place?


A point for marketers to ponder? Start tending to your sustainable development in all things, share your learning along the way with your customers, and get those rewards.