Taylor Gray, Ph.D.
The world is a better place when companies are good corporate citizens. I remain focused on developing meaningful and actionable insights from empirical data in pursuit of a better world.
With Motive's RealScore game you can now explore a sample of brands to see which ones align the most with the issues you care about. The game is available to play from our website. For many of you following along with us, this leads to a simple question: Why a game?
First, we should be sure to note that Motive is not a game company. Rather, we launched the game as a tool to help everyone explore how they would like to engage with data designed to inform their consumer spending decisions. The game is fun and often-times surprising--at least we think so--and we hope you gain some insight into how popular brands align (or don’t) with the issues you care about. We hope you choose to connect with us and share a few of those insights with us so we can continue to develop Motive in ways that are most meaningful to you.
"We are building Motive for consumers and it is fundamentally important to us that we build it in a way that brings value to you."
Motive is designed to support you in your decision-making process--to bring you the information you want so you can hold companies accountable on the issues you care about. The world is better when companies are good corporate citizens, and consumer spending power is the most important force pushing companies to be better corporate citizens. As consumers, our choices have the power to change the world.
Getting It Right
We created RealScore for consumer products so that you can feel good about what you buy. Our research team covers hundreds of public and private sources every day to collect data--actual empirical data, not empty promises or marketing claims--about everyday products and the companies behind them. Our science-based approach, shaped by what matters to you, makes it easy to understand the impacts of the brands you choose, and to discover new brands committed to being better.
To do this, we take in a lot of data and information and in turn produce a lot of data and insights. As a team that succeeds or fails based on information, we pay very careful attention to the quality, applicability, accuracy, and format of the information we access and, perhaps most importantly, the information we provide. Not all information is created equal, and for us to be able to support you in your decision-making processes, we need to be sure to produce top-quality information in a format you want to engage--the value of information is not in the information itself but rather in how it is actually used.
"We don’t simply want to provide information...we want to provide information you want in a way that you will actually use."
And this brings us back to why Motive launched a game. Our early research and observations, and our more pointed user interviews, focus groups, and surveys all tell us that consumers want to make good choices but feel it is incredibly challenging to do so as the information they want is not readily available and the information they get is not necessarily credible. We are all aware that the decisions we make have impacts and we want support in making decisions that optimize the impacts we do want and minimize those we do not want. What is not completely clear, however, is what we each mean by ‘impact’ and what we would actually do if we did have more information about impacts.
For some of us, we find clarity in a singularity of focus. A company aligns with what we care about--or is ‘good’ or ‘bad’--based on how well it reduces its carbon footprint year-over-year, or how many people it employs locally, or how it monitors its supply chains for child labor, and so on. It is easier to define impact when you have a clear focus on one particular element. But how do we understand ‘impact’ if we do not have a singular focus?
For many of us, the concept of impact takes on a more fluid meaning. Impact is about elements of a brand’s carbon footprint, employment standards, supply chains, ecological integrity, and local commitments (as examples) all wrapped up together and always shifting based on which brand we are considering, our personal circumstances, and what is going on in the world at that moment. In these cases, how well a brand aligns with what we care about is important, but what we care about shifts, evolves, and is context-dependent.
"What do we feel and how do we act when we get access to information we think we want?"
So if we all want more information about brands’ impacts, or about how different brands align with the issues we care about, exactly what kind of information would this be? We hope to help you figure this out through our game. In our RealScore game, we have organized hundreds of corporate environmental, social, and governance metrics to be able to provide a clear score along five key themes of brand impact which our early research and user interviews have suggested as being of primary concern to most consumers:
- Employment: This theme analyzes how a company treats the people who work for them in regards to health, safety, economic equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Climate Action: This theme analyzes how well a company finds and implements climate change solutions, especially in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ecological Footprint: This theme analyzes how efficiently a company uses natural resources, including elements of waste minimization.
- Supply Chain Dynamics: This theme analyzes how well a company manages its impacts on human, ecosystem, and animal welfare throughout its supply chain.
- Local Matters: This theme analyzes the degree to which a company contributes to the communities it engages with, including local employment.
When you play the game and see these scores, how do you respond? Are you interested in all the themes or only one or a few? Did you start thinking you would only focus on one theme but now find yourself increasingly drawn to understanding it in relation to the other themes as well? Is the degree of detail of each theme sufficient to help you better understand impact, or now that you have seen a few initial scores do you find yourself seeking more? Are you interested in issues which are not reflected in these themes?
Now that you have experienced more information about how well different brands align with what you care about, how does this shape how you think about these brands and how you may want to (or not) engage these brands? If you had a preference for Nike shoes or Crest toothpaste, as examples, but now see that these brands are much less aligned with the issues you care about than are Adidas or Colgate, how do you respond? What is your initial response, do you find yourself committing to change your purchasing patterns? Are you trying to explain away the difference in scores so you don't feel a need to change your purchasing patterns? Are you shifting your perspective of impact--of the mosaic of issues you care about--to further contextualize this difference in scores?
"Connect with us and help us understand how Motive can bring value to your decision-making process. The game is designed to help us be better."
These are all equally legitimate responses. The key insight here is what do we feel and how do we act when we get access to information we think we want? And what do we feel and how do we act when this information aligns with our previous assumptions, and, perhaps more importantly, when it doesn’t?
These are all issues we want to explore with you through our RealScore game. We are building Motive for consumers and it is fundamentally important to us that we build it in a way that brings value to you. We don’t simply want to provide information...we want to provide information you want in a way that you will actually use. Information without engagement is simply noise, and our RealScore game is designed to help you better understand how you want to engage information about how well the brands you choose align with the issues you care about.
Play the game and explore our data...and explore how it makes you feel. When you are ready, connect with us and help us understand how Motive can bring value to your decision-making process. The game is designed to help us be better.
If you would like to come along on our development with us, we would love to have you join our community and reserve a spot in our Beta program, which is launching soon...but know that you can play the game even if you don’t want to join.
Motive is building RealScore from insights like these. Our Beta program is launching soon...Reserve your seat now!