Why Coles misjudged the plastic bag backlash

 In Australia, Coles

Honestly, the plastic bag furore surprised me. On the whole, supermarkets are pretty good at shaping behaviour. Product placement, the music, even the smell is designed to ensure we buy in certain ways.
So how is it that our clued-up retailers are having such as hard time removing those convenient but environmentally unfriendly plastic bags? It’s a behaviour-shaping move that should be right in their wheelhouse, so what went wrong?
Sociologists argue that we live in two worlds: one where social norms dominate and the other where market norms dominate. And we have historically been pretty good at keeping those worlds separate.
For a long time, corporations happily operated under a market norm, and customers were happy with that. But increasingly, businesses are noticing emerging trends and social norms, and are putting them to work selling. Companies, including supermarkets, routinely shape narratives to consumers and set social bargains with them, based on these social norms. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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