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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'Earth Day Every Day': 4 Tips for Successful Corporate Activism

Companies have long run sustainability initiatives that exclude customers. To be fair, these companies have donated a percentage of profits to charities, volunteered employee time, reduced emissions, cleaned up supply chains, and much more. However, their customers have been on the sideline, sometimes aware but not personally engaged. Through corporate activism, brands can change this dynamic and make customers partners in their most meaningful sustainability initiatives. Here are some tips based on brands that have used it successfully.

How to Communicate Diversity and Inclusion When You Aren't Quite There Yet

While sustainability and citizenship mean different things to different people, these terms are most commonly associated with a company’s impact on the external world, focusing heavily on social and environmental initiatives. However, businesses can do a lot of good (for the world and their bottom line) by equally focusing internally, on such things as their diversity and inclusion practices.

To Market Sustainability, Focus on What Consumers Love, Not What They Hate

Early marketing for products promising sustainability was all about what they “weren’t.” Tofurky wasn’t meat. Soy milk wasn’t dairy. Solar wasn’t coal. Positioning against the negative helped companies attract consumers who were revolting against the polluting impacts of standard manufacturing practices and products. But doing so ignored what potential customers still wanted, whether a product was sustainable or not: delicious taste, high performance, reliable quality and comfort, and overall satisfaction. Consider the ominous ads for the first Prius, which started running in 2001. The only virtue they extolled was fuel efficiency, and portrayed oil drills as monsters.

Urban Brand Utility: Impact Branding for the Urbanising Century

The brand communications crisis is not an urban legend, albeit just as scary Between 2001 and 2002, Brazil went through its largest energy crisis. The lack of infrastructure planning combined with economic growth forced the Government to ration the energy supply from its main urban centres, for intermittent periods of time. Back then, as a student living in São Paulo, I remember streets darkening as the sun went down. In one of those evenings, walking back home from university, two men driving a motorcycle stopped right in front of me. One of them jumped off the bike and before I knew it, he hit me on the head with the back of his gun and stole my backpack.

Study Sees Progress Towards More Robust Reporting on Global Issues

Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and British creative consultancy Radley Yeldar released the sixth edition of Reporting matters — WBCSD’s annual review of member companies’ sustainability and integrated reports.

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Activating Community: How Box Inspired Real-Time Digital Social Impact

How do you get a community to take immediate social action when you have just a handful of minutes onstage? This question doesn’t get asked often — or sound plausible — because most organizations have created an imaginary line between things that happen in ‘real life’ and things that happen in ‘digital life.’ At conferences, keynote speakers make their pitch for social action and hope, against the odds, that attendees will remember to donate to causes or email their lawmakers later.

140 US Companies Band Together to Rally More People to the Polls

Companies across the US have banded together to support the Time to Vote campaign, a nonpartisan effort led by CEOs aimed at increasing voter participation.

Your 2020 Sustainability Goals: How's That Going, By the Way?

As of the writing of this article, the year 2020 is a mere 450 days away. Can you believe that? 450 days! For the sustainability community, 2020 is a particularly important date: 2020 Sustainability Goals have become highly fashionable; unless you have been living under a rock, you are familiar with phrases such as “20 percent reduction [insert carbon, energy, waste, water, etc] by 2020.”

Carrefour, J&J Among Top Honorees at 3rd Annual D&AD Impact Awards

Leading figures from the worlds of business, advertising, design and philanthropy gathered in New York City this week to honor the best in creative work creating a real social impact at the third annual D&AD Impact Awards. D&AD Impact celebrates creative campaigns that contribute towards a better and more sustainable future. In total, 76 D&AD Impact Pencils were awarded to campaigns, projects and products addressing some of the most pressing issues in the world today.

While McDonald's Burgers Get More Real, Chipotle Reminds Us It's Been 'Real' All Along

McDonald’s USA has announced that its seven classic burgers are now free from artificial preservatives, artificial flavors and added colors from artificial sources. The ingredient changes affect all 14,000 U.S. restaurants, marking this the next major milestone in McDonald’s food journey and another way the fast food giant aims to help customers feel good about its food.

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The Swoosh Heard 'Round the World

Taking a knee made Nike stand up. As brand activism becomes commonplace — even expected — it’s an optimal moment to unpack the factors that spur companies to stand up for something that matters.

More Americans Staying Informed; Increasing Scrutiny of Business, Government

More and more Americans are seeking information about corporate social and environmental responsibility, particularly from news coverage, according to the ninth annual Sense & Sustainability® Study, released Wednesday by G&S Business Communications. The opinion poll was conducted online by YouGov for G&S in August 2018 among 2,659 U.S. adults.

On 30th Anniversary of 'Just Do It,' Nike Puts Kaepernick Where Its Mouth Is

Nike’s 30th anniversary edition of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign, released this week, features embattled football star Colin Kaepernick, in a move practically designed to stir up controversy — but which ultimately aligns perfectly with Nike’s ethos of living courageously.

Your Key to Positive Impact: The 4 Generations Principle

Why are light switches in design hotels impossible to find? Why are our oceans drowning in plastic? How to find more satisfaction in your work? How to make your business a force of good? And how do we connect these seemingly unconnected questions? Let's see how a “4 generations principle” can contribute.

UK Public Supports Urgent Action, Litigation on Climate Change

According to a new survey from UK-based environmental law charity ClientEarth, the British public wants urgent action on climate change and strongly supports holding fossil fuel companies and the UK government accountable for the negative effects of climate change. After a record heatwave in the UK and northern Europe, the majority of Brits surveyed think fossil fuel companies, whose products contribute directly to climate change, should be made to pay damages for their role in contributing to global warming (71 percent), and that the UK government must do more to help prepare for and adapt to climate change (62 percent).

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GlobeScan, Sustainable Apparel Coalition Partner on Consumer Engagement Initiative

Sustainability research consultancy GlobeScan and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) have partnered on a study to develop communication guidelines and materials for engaging consumers on the Higg Index — a holistic suite of tools for measuring sustainability performance across the textile industry value chain.

Your Stakeholders Are Listening, So What Are You Saying?

Understanding who your business affects and how they affect your business is key to long-term success. If you only focus on customers, you are falling way short. To truly take your business from local to national and on to global levels, you have to consider all the ways your company interacts with the world around it and, most importantly, what stories you are telling.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) have released “A Practical Guide” to enable companies to better measure and report on their impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new publication, Integrating the SDGs Into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide, helps companies of all sizes to prioritize SDG targets to act and report on, set related business objectives, and measure and report on progress.

Ad Industry's Top Creatives Have United to Fight Climate Change

In the true spirit of coopetition, 17 of New York’s top marketing, advertising and communications agencies have partnered with leading climate scientists and non-profits to harness consumer insights and creativity to motivate urgent and collective action to address climate change, starting with Gen Z — an estimated 17 million soon-to-be-voters citing a deep passion for climate change and other societal issues.

Swarovski, UCLA Shine Light on Water Protection, Education in New Documentary

A new film, WATERSCHOOL, takes viewers on a journey with several young female students who live along six of the world’s major rivers — the Amazon, Mississippi, Danube, Nile, Ganges and Yangtze — to shine a light on the importance of safeguarding the continued supply of fresh water and the work of the Swarovski Waterschool education and community investment progra

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