Sustainability

Show, don’t tell – the secret behind sustainability storytelling

By 26th March 2021 No Comments
Jessica Johansson

"It’s important to not only highlight the good examples, but also dare to share challenges – and sometimes even bad results – since these figures probably also have an interesting story behind them."

Jessica JohanssonCon

Don’t tell your audience about your sustainability strategy – show what you’re really doing instead. “Don’t be afraid to let your sustainability communication expand, consumers are all ears,” says Jessica Johansson, Content Director and expert on sustainability storytelling at Spoon.

Sharing your sustainability work continuously will send a clear message to your costumers – and telling real stories can be a way to get a deeper relationship with them. We asked content director and sustainability storyteller extraordinaire Jessica Johansson how one should go about.

Why should companies share more of what they’re doing within sustainability?
“First of all, sharing what you do in an honest way can inspire others and change attitudes, both within your business and among your consumers. Companies can also help change negative behaviors by implementing nudging or other forms of behavioral design in their communication. Secondly, there is a big interest from consumers to know what companies do to decrease the negative impact of their business. More and more consumers say they want to buy from brands with high environmental and ethical standards, and they also want to be guided by brands when it comes to make good choices. I call them the ‘conscious consumers’. This trend has been going on for some years now, but the current pandemic has accelerated the urge for companies to act beyond revenues. Consumers want to know how businesses can help reshape the world in a more sustainable way, according to a recent consumer trend report made by Euromonitor International. So, telling real and honest stories can have a great impact.”

What is the key when it comes to successful sustainability storytelling?
“A buzzword since a few years has been transparency and this goes hand in hand with telling real stories. It’s important to not only highlight the good examples, but also dare to share challenges – and sometimes even bad results – since these figures probably also have an interesting story behind them. Most important of all, is to not tell what you’re doing to increase the positive impact of your business from your own inside-and-out perspective. Show your actions in a way that is relevant to the audience instead. The ‘show, don’t tell’ principle is useful for that!”

What’s the next step for sustainability communication?
“I think companies that have migrated their sustainability communication in their ordinary content are on the right track. The most interesting business news today are often about sustainable innovations and solutions, so if you haven’t start looking for relevant and trending topics in your sustainability strategy – please do. And if you don’t find any, start worry – I personally think that brands that haven’t got sustainability integrated its core business offer soon will end up being yesterday’s news.”

Want more insights in the subject? Here’s 2 things that will change how we look at sustainability.