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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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.

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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 …

Why You Should Align Your Brand’s Sustainability Efforts with the SDGs

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (aka Global Goals) are viewed by most in the sustainability community as the biggest opportunity yet for the world to shape a new and better way of doing business while shaping a new and better world.

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Shinola Celebrates the American Worker with ‘Let’s Roll Up Our Sleeves’ Campaign

Luxury goods maker Shinola has unveiled a new national campaign — Let’s Roll Up Our Sleeves — that celebrates the American worker and work ethic, and encourages Americans to band together for the greater good.

We’re Lousy at Describing Sustainable Food, But It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

As Georgetown University linguistics professor Deborah Tannen says, “We tend to look through language and not realize how much power language has.” We rarely realize it, but language is the lens through which we form perceptions about people, places and products. From my involvement in corporate marketing, I know that companies and advertisers are keenly aware of language’s power for consumers. Marketing specialists pore over focus group data and behavior studies to understand what makes consumers tick, carefully selecting words to evoke emotions, motivate us and shape our tastes. The right phrasing can make a world of difference.

Report Reveals Gap Between Marketers and C-Suite in Driving the Sustainability Agenda

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword these days — it’s insurance against reputational risk, the key to new market opportunities, a safeguard against climate change and a critical element for staying competitive. And companies that are resistant to adopting a defined sustainability standards will feel the effects.

A New Era for Movement Brands: 6 Lessons from the Women’s March

January’s Women’s March was one of the biggest global movements of recent years. An estimated 5 million people marched in 17 different countries to show their support for basic human rights — freedom, equality, justice and personal security - which are increasingly under threat across different areas of people’s lives.

Doc from Stella Artois, Nat Geo Shines Light on Global Water Crisis

In celebration of World Water Day, brewer Stella Artois and National Geographic have joined forces to create Our Dream of Water, a documentary by Crystal Moselle spotlighting the effects of the global water crisis. The film, which was commissioned by Stella Artois, will premiere on National Geographic on March 22nd at 6:00 p.m. EST/PST. Our Dream of Water is an extension of the brewer’s Buy a Lady a Drink campaign, an ongoing partnership with Water.org.

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Everything Is Political: Brand Communications in the New Era

When a U.S. President can impact stock valuation and sway public dialogue in just 140 characters, what’s a brand to do?

P&G Pushes for Gender Equality in New #WeSeeEqual Campaign

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Proctor & Gamble has launched a new campaign dubbed We See Equal along with an ad spot highlighting its latest gender equality initiative.

Should Businesses Be Hiring Anthropologists Instead of MBAs?

The language of business can be combative (launch, target, strategize), or very often it is about profits, sales, shared value - the language of money. We are either warriors or accountants when it comes to business. However, both warring and counting money are inherently non-productive. In themselves, as actions, they are incapable of producing growth.

Bosch and WWF Team Up to Make Sustainable Seafood Consumption Mainstream

Growing demand for seafood and a global population growing at a rate of 75 million people every year has put ocean resources under significant strain. Approximately 90 percent of global fishing grounds are now over-fished or fully-exploited. Sustainable consumption of seafood is therefore imperative, and one of the only ways to reverse the decline and collapse of fish stocks within our lifetime.

How Audi Lost the Brand Activist Race: 6 Lessons for Brands That Aspire to a Social POV

The year has hardly begun and we’ve already witnessed radical shifts throughout society - growing anti-establishment contingencies, women’s rights marches, and the new US administration are some of the major talking points of 2017. Many have called this the ushering of a new era, one where institutions are met with anxiety rather than trust; in such a climate, brands and businesses can play an important role through establishing a distinct POV and by supporting actions that address critical societal issues of the day.

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