How UKWIR is changing public perceptions

The question

UKWIR (a research collaboration between the UK’s water companies) wants us all to see water as a public good, not just a commodity. We helped them start this process by seeing what we could learn when we listened to consumers talking about water.

Our approach

We looked at thousands of conversations about water: paying for it, drinking it, bathing in it and saving it. We examined what people were talking about and why – and sought to see how this could be used to changing perceptions.

The answer

People don’t often think about water. We found when they do and why, and created opportunities for how these moments could be used to help shift perceptions. We then condensed the insights into five concepts – each capturing a different aspect of how consumers use water. These were then developed further by their innovation agency, 100%Open.

“The outcome from the listening exercise provides an excellent backdrop for taking the project forward. It provides both familiarity in terms of topics but also new insight into the way people are communicating and discussing the issues. I particularly appreciate your analysis of getting from “I to We” which gives some pointers for potential challenge areas.”

Steve Whipp / Innovation Consultant