Marketing and Comms

How brands are evolving in the area of sustainability marketing and communications — and how their stakeholders are asserting their own needs and preferences.

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Willard: Sustainability Champions Must Learn to ‘Speak Business’

For several years now, Bob Willard, former IBM exec and current sustainability “guru,” has been working to create a resource to help sustainability champions break through to senior leadership and accelerate change within the business world. Last week, on day one of SB’17 Detroit, it officially launched.

The Art of Modern Sustainability Communications: How to Embrace an Audience-First Approach

Recent research clearly indicates that today’s stakeholders expect more from companies — they want to purchase from and work for companies that champion sustainability. This shift in attitude is dramatically altering the way that companies conduct (and even think about) their businesses.

2 Dope Boys & a Podcast: How to Avoid Brand 'Eff Ups' and Cultural Misalignments

“Culture moves faster than brands and companies,” 2 Dope Boys co-founders Michael Brooks and Phil McKenzie said in their Monday morning workshop at SB’17 Detroit. As the antenna and point of translation that operates between culture and business, 2 Dope Boys imparts the importance of bringing cultural and historical context to uncover the true problem within organizations.

3 Reasons Sustainability Isn’t Seen as a Priority, and a Host of Tools to Overcome Them

The two biggest disrupting forces transforming the market today are technology and sustainability, yet many marketers still don’t see sustainability as a priority. Sustainability has a business problem that needs to be addressed. Research by Ricardo Caceres, former Global Marketing Director of Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company; and Omar Rodriguez-Vila, Professor at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, identified three core reasons:

Aspiration & Advocacy: How Can Lululemon Help Redefine the Good Life?

SB’17 Detroit is bringing thousands of sustainability professionals together this week to ask one question - what is the role of business in fostering and creating the Good Life? On Day 1 of the conference, BBMG and Lululemon explored this question with a group of curious, passionate sustainability professionals. Using BBMG’s methodology, we all became designers for a few short hours to develop programs and promotions that would authentically connect with the brand’s consumers and enable both to live their purpose.

Brand Advocacy vs Aspiration in the New Era

When it seems that corporate America has seized control of our government, of our society, it can be hard to wake up every day excited to go to work. Trust in brands has never been lower. Expectations have never been higher. Yes, corporations may have unprecedented power under the new administration, but like never before, consumers are calling out brands for their values. It seems there’s no middle ground and there’s no place to hide. In a world that’s increasingly volatile and transparent, humans will decide whether brands live or die.

New Report Reveals 86% of US Consumers Expect Companies to Act on Social, Environmental Issues

A new study by Cone Communications adds to the body of work that links consumer shopping decisions to corporate values. The 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study examines consumer attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around corporate social responsibility, as well as if and how companies should stand up for social injustices.

The Opportunity of the 'Reset': How to Go Beyond Social Marketing to Effect Real Cultural Change

Change is hard for all of us. Including those working for change.

Nat Geo, Water Aid India Launch Campaign to Tackle Water Scarcity in India

Lack of access to clean drinking water is the reality for millions of Indian citizens, an issue that National Geographic and Water Aid India are hoping to tackle through the launch of Mission Blue. With support from top Bollywood talent, the initiative aims to raise awareness about water scarcity and demonstrate how small acts of conservation every day can help secure a safe, clean water supply for future generations.

State of Play: Why Organizations Still Rely on Games for Sustainability Education

From Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Arcade,” which helped make recycling fun for kids in Dhaka; to Heineken’s Brewing a Better World Digital Experience, a series of mini-games in which users “are faced with the challenge of balancing their will to compete with taking care of the world,” purpose-driven organizations have long used gaming experiences to engage stakeholders on various sustainability issues.

KIND Foundation Launches Digital Tool to Bridge Social Divides, Develop Greater Empathy

New research by Morning Consult has revealed that only one-in-five adults surround themselves with people who share different perspectives and ideas, underscoring the severity of the “filter bubble” and the extent to which algorithms dictate the information we are exposed to online.

Why There Is No Role for Storytelling in Your Sustainability Report

We recently presented on “The Role of Storytelling in Corporate Reporting” — a subject that many organizations struggle to address properly. Our view on the subject is straightforward: A report is not for storytelling. Very few stakeholders spend time reading dense, formal corporate reports, and those that do want two things:

Colgate Taps Michael Phelps to Inspire Consumers to Turn Off the Faucet

Water scarcity and shortage is a growing problem that affects around three billion people across the globe and climate change is only serving to aggravate the already acute issue. While businesses will play an important role in reducing environmental impacts for water resource depletion, changing consumer attitudes is critical in order to truly address and find solutions for the issue. Yet the many people are unaware of water scarcity issues, as well as their own consumption habits.

'Tomorrow' Documentary Is Changing the Conversation About Climate Change

Originally released at the opening of COP21 in November 2015, environmental documentary Tomorrow is being released in the US on April 21 in celebration of Earth Day (April 22).

Chipotle Spotlights Commitment to Real Ingredients with 'As Real as It Gets' Campaign

Following its announcement that it is the only national restaurant brand that doesn’t use added colors, flavors or preservatives — artificial or natural — in any of the ingredients it uses to prepare its food, Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched a new ‘As Real as It Gets’ campaign celebrating its commitment to using only real ingredients. The ad spots see actress Jillian Bell, actor Sam Richardson and writer, actor and comedian John Mulaney ‘get real’ about their desires, fears and secrets as they kick back inside a burrito-shaped lounge.

Assuring the Assurers: How the NOCLAR Standard Will Tackle Non-Compliance in Corporate Reporting

When it comes down to assessing corporate sustainability performance and impacts, investors, rating agencies and other stakeholders have developed a growing appetite for accurate, relevant, consistent and comparable data. In a globalized world prone to economic volatility, alternative facts and corporate scandals, solid financial and “non-financial” disclosure is expected to serve them as a beacon of trust in a complex planning environment.

Hello Toothpaste Blows Whistle on Oral Care Market With New Transparency Campaign

With a growing number of consumers demanding transparency from brands about the products they use every day, companies are faced with a new world order — come clean or face extinction. Of course, baring it all is a lot easier when the items in question feature ingredients and materials that are responsibly sourced and safe. Such is the case for natural oral care company Hello, the latest personal care brand to get real about what goes into their products.

Climate Change Plays Leading Role in New Season of Discovery's 'Deadliest Catch'

The return of the popular Discovery series, "Deadliest Catch," for a 13th season will see the addition of a new and reoccurring character: climate change.

New Campaign Encourages Canadians to 'Soil Their Undies' for Soil Conservation

In honor of National Soil Conservation Week, which commences on April 16, the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) has launched a new campaign encouraging Canadians to play in the dirt. Initiated by the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, the Soil Your Undies campaign aims to draw attention to the importance of soil health.

Is Activism the New Black … or Black and Blue for Brands?

We’re continuing our discussion (see part one) on the role of activist brands in today’s roiling political and social climate. Our insights come from the Purpose Collaborative – North America’s largest community of purpose, corporate responsibility, and sustainability experts. Tread lightly into this minefield …

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