Marketing and Comms
Branding for Sustainability:
A Manifesto!

I wrote recently about branding for sustainability, rather than the branding of sustainability. The main point is that branding is no longer merely about communication techniques that get tacked on to a business. Instead, branding shapes the entire landscape of engagement, experience and affinity between a company or other entity and its customers and other stakeholders or audiences. So it’s time for a manifesto.

Stori's Ten-Point Branding for Sustainability Manifesto:

  • Sustainability or shared value must be a business driver, not a cost center.
  • A brand without stakeholder-specific values embedded into it is a brand that reduces crucial equity and replaces it with needless risk.
  • Brands are bundles of meaning that drive authentic shared stories, no longer constructed personas that separate businesses from customers and other stakeholders.
  • Brand values must be discovered in the experience and perspectives of brand stakeholders, including customers, employees, partners and more — not imposed by experts.
  • Sustainability and shared value are strategic, not tactical.
  • Every brand can and must have its own unique path and destination to sustainability and shared values — generic solutions merely increase costs and reduce positive impact.
  • The future of brands and values is about participatory storymaking, not elite storytelling.
  • Successful stories are about the listener and the participant, not about the teller.
  • Great stories are forwarded and extended by the people who live within them.
  • Revolutionary and evolutionary change are equally valid, and authentic story-dependent.

Brands, using their power for good ...

As more and more brands are working to steer consumers into more sustainable behaviors and lifestyles, hear from Etienne White, VP of SB's Brands for Good initiative, the latest insights on driving that behavior change and measuring the impacts — at New Metrics '19, November 18-20.

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