Maria Ritola in the Kesko blog: ”Behavioural change – the untapped opportunity of consumer markets”

Demos Helsinki researcher Maria Ritola guest authors in the Näkökulma (transl. point of view) blog of the Finnish trading sector giant Kesko this week. Ritola’s text explores the new business opportunities arising around sustainable lifestyles.

According to a new study by the communications agency Futerra 80% of business executives believe that the markets for products and services based on behavioural change will significantly expand in the coming years.

In this context, behavioural change is about making sustainable choices both easy and appealing for consumers with new products and services. Lack of demand is not an issue in the creation of these markets. This view that is taken by the executives interviewed in the Futerra study is backed by a range of value and attitude studies, according to which the citizens of western countries, the Finns in particular, are worried about the state of the environment and about the impact their personal choices have on it.

To illustrate the birth of new business opportunities, Maria introduces the scenarios of the Spread Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 study by Demos Helsinki, focusing on the Governing the Commons scenario:

From the point of view of the trading sector, perhaps the most interesting scenario portrays sustainable lifestyles in a society where advances in technology and global networks open up the possibility diversify the use of individuals’ capabilities. Various platforms that allow for co-creation and sharing services become more common and grow the number of service providers like Airbnb that make business out of underused resources. There is a large amount of these companies, and customers may become service providers and vice versa if need be. A wealthy service economy allows for the realisation of sustainable lifestyles. It enables moving from place to place more and more flexibly without a car, opens the market for peer transportation and makes borrowing and lending things easy.