Cross-Posted from Behavior Change.
WRI’s Better Buying Lab works with food companies to research and test science-based approaches that encourage consumers to choose more sustainable, plant-based foods.
As we wrap up work for the year and prepare for 2019, we reflected back on all that occurred this year within our niche realm of sustainability communications — and when looking back, it was apparent that 2018 was the year of brands taking stands.
JUST Capital and Forbes today released the 2018 list of America’s Most JUST Companies, an annual ranking of the 1,000 largest publicly traded US corporations on the issues Americans care about most, including fair pay and good benefits, customer treatment and privacy, beneficial products, environmental impact, job creation, and community support in the US and abroad, as well as ethical leadership and long-term financial growth.
What Gen Z want from brands is the new Holy Grail for marketers — you only have to look at the myriad surveys and reports published recently that seek to analyze their preferences and intentions.
This obsession with Gen Z is understandable — after all, this new generation of consumers already are two billion strong and have a combined $44 billion in purchasing power.
WWF Germany recently published a report, Boom in Raw Materials: Between Profits and Losses, which offers one of the first concrete rebuttals from a major environmental group against the notion that industry actions alone are enough to move the global industrial mining sector towards greater responsibility.
National Geographic has kept pace as the country’s demographics rapidly shift and the cultural definition of immigrants, identity and families continues to evolve, having recently launched a year-long series dedicated to exploring “Diversity in America.” With national conversations on race, immigration and diversity front and center, Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director at National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Partners, spoke with MediaVillage about why it was time to take stock of these issues and how that might be done.
The news last week that the Christmas advert from Iceland — a UK supermarket chain specializing in frozen food — has been banned is a bad decision.
Iceland’s advert — a repackaging of a short, animated film by Greenpeace released earlier this year with a powerful, consumer-friendly sustainability message — shows a brand that is trying to do good work by improving its impact on the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.