Method
Estimated reading time 3 min

Equip with insight: Motivation profiles

Have you ever wanted to understand what drives people towards more sustainable choices? This tool lets you make more educated decisions.

Writer

Sari Laine

Leading Specialist, Biodiversity and Everyday Life, Sitra

Published

With the help of Motivation profiles you will understand what lies behind our choices and acts. This understanding enables you to promote sustainable change through these underlying motivations.

Often, saving the planet is not our primary motivation when we make choices. The primary motivations usually concern health and wellness, for example, saving time, being a member of a community or bringing joy to your close ones. How can we steer people towards sustainable choices using these separate motivations?

This does not mean demographic-based segmentation, but rather a grouping of an individual’s behavioural models into motivation profiles. A young student from a large city may have the same motivations as a senior citizen from a smaller town. Also, motivations may change in different situations and cultures.

Conducting this research will open your eyes to a new way of thinking about sustainable business development and marketing.

Payoffs

  1. The creation of sustainable lifestyle motivation profiles, which will help you to catalyse action.
  2. People start to perceive sustainable lifestyles from a different angle than they are used to, which can be rewarding and appealing to them. A sustainable life = a good life.
  3. The profiles and workbook are handy for steering your work and you can make use of the profiles in other projects as well.

Results – Finland

  • Dozens of companies and non-profit organisations have used motivation profiles in their business planning.
  • Many articles about the motivation profiles of Finns have been published in major news outlets.
  • This insight has been used as a tool in development programmes to catalyse action (see Accelerator programme for businesses).

What’s needed

You should understand the local context and culture to properly localise the motivation profiles. For example, in Finland, the profiles carry exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek names that help convey their meaning, but a similar tone might not work in your country or region.

Consider how you will use the end results – do not needlessly complicate the process, the questionnaires or the profiles themselves. Take advantage of ready-made questionnaires and use them as much as possible.

You should have 100 Smart everyday choices or a similar action list on hand to be used in the interviews.

 

Download the method as a pdf version: Equip with insight: Motivation profiles (pdf)

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