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â€œWe are already finding that tackling sustainability challenges provides new opportunities for sustainable growth: it creates preference for our brands, builds business with our retail customers, drives our innovation, grows our markets and, in many cases, generates cost savings.â€? _PAUL POLMAN CEO, Unilever
Contents 03_Welcome 04_What's making us go WOW! 06_Communicating and connecting: the new rules for sustainability 08_The 4iâ€™s of Sustainable Brands 10_Emerging sustainability concepts 12_Q&A: Ask the experts 14_Q&A: David Brunt, Director, Dulux 15_Brand Manager in 2015 16_5 things to do now
Welcome to this special edition of Dragonfly, dedicated to brands and sustainability. The world’s great environmental and social challenges – climate change, water shortages, biodiversity, health, poverty and equality are moving to the top of almost every corporate agenda, despite the global recession. And there is increasing evidence that leading companies are beginning to embed sustainability into their strategies, operations and products. We think this makes it an ideal time to explore how sustainability can be integrated into brands. We don’t see sustainability as a separate thing or set of issues done alongside normal brand development or innovation processes. Sustainability needs to be in these activities, and in the best cases driving these activities. Dragon Rouge believes that brands have an important role in helping to change behaviour and attitudes towards more sustainable consumption and production. And equally, that sustainability provides a powerful platform through which brands can deepen their connections, engage their stakeholders and deliver against increasing expectations. Our ‘Sustainability Inside’ process weaves the material, social and environmental impacts of the brand with its positioning, proposition and history to help focus activities and communications, where they will have most relevance and potential for opportunity creation and brand building. So perhaps a separate Dragonfly on sustainability integration is really something of a contradiction in terms, as we would rather see sustainability covered in every issue of Dragonfly (which it is!). However, it’s a subject that is on the agenda for so many people at the moment that we felt it would be justified to devote a whole issue to it.
WOW WHAT'S MAKING US GO WOW! The last year has been a year of really bright ideas and innovation in the area of sustainability. We’ve been watching closely and picked out 10 that we see as being particularly interesting; either for their behaviour change potential, technology application or just downright cool and smart. Have a read through and see what you think. We hope it inspires you to think beyond for your brand to consider what might just be possible.
eBay – Box
Nike – Better World
T his one just makes sense. In 2010 eBay launched their own box-packaging programme that enabled sellers to package sold products appropriately. With shipping and packaging being a major environmental issue for the global e-tailer, this is a bold move. The boxes are made from 100% recycled content and contain water-based inks. Each has its own tracking chip so buyers can see the whereabouts of their goods in transit. Good on you eBay.
From refurbishing basketball courts in New York state to using sport to halt civil war in the Ivory Coast. Nike Better World gives a full account of Nike’s behind the scenes efforts to make a difference to our planet and communicating. What strikes us here is the tone of voice and sheer breadth of activities. All packaged up in a tone that we’ve come to expect and admire from this brand.
Ecosia – The green search engine Search the web and save the planet at the same time. Ecosia have teamed up with Bing and Yahoo, to deliver a really neat way to contribute to the environment. Every time a visitor clicks on one of the sponsored links money goes to Bing or Yahoo. They then give it to Ecosia and they invest it in the conservation of rainforests around the world. Smart and simple stuff.
Kickstarter – Creative funding
Gazelle – Waste management How many old mobiles have you got sat in a drawer? Four? Five? Gazelle’s the answer to your plight. Give them the make of the phone and the age and they’ll give you a price. There and then they’ll even pay for postage and packaging. Gazelle has become a go-to resource for millions of people looking to sell and recycle used electronics. It’s changing the way we manage our waste and rewarding us for our actions.
H eard of them? They’re now the largest provider of creative projects in the world. They’re turning dreams into reality by connecting people and groups around shared interests. Kickstarter launched in 2010 and has grown in profile and prominence ever since. It’s a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors, powered by a unique 'all or nothing' funding method where projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. So if everyone does have a book in them, here’s your chance to shine.
Barcoo – Mobile phone app Launched in April 2010, Barcoo is a mobile phone app that could create a new generation of ethical shoppers by allowing them to check a company's social responsibility rating and environmental credentials. The app also provides shoppers with price comparison data available by other apps. But it’s the ethical angle that has caught the eye of consumers and watchdogs alike. A great innovation to change our everyday shopping habits for the future.
WWF – Open Planet Ideas
rowd-sourcing is flavour of the month C and last year Sony teamed up with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) to harness the collective power of communities. Open Planet Ideas challenged the creative audience to come up with ideas on how to repurpose existing technology for environmental and social good. Receiving over 300 inspirations and 400 concepts, the winning 'Green Book' entry proposed an innovative app to encourage more localised volunteering. Nine months on, Sony has just announced a partnership with YouthNet to bring the idea to market.
Unilever – Sustainable Living Plan Two billion times a day, somebody, some statistic, somewhere uses a Unilever brand. The latest piece of inspiration from this global superbrand is the Sustainable Living Plan. Part mantra, part business plan, this site sets out their manifesto for improving health and well being, reducing environmental impact and enhancing livelihoods. And they’ve measured and recorded the environmental impact of over 1,600 of their products too. Impressed yet? Unilever continue to set the benchmark when it comes to integrating sustainability into their brands. Time to observe if you haven’t already.
Ikea – Reuse and resale initiatives
Credit: eBay, Ecosia, Puma, Kickstarter, Barcoo, WWF
Often challenged for its commitment to sustainable development Ikea has come out fighting in 2010. They launched their own second hand furniture market for customers to buy and sell goods through the brand's website. They’ve also teamed up with the Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) and its 300 UK members to encourage people to donate used furniture to local charities through take-back programmes.
Puma – Bag Box Puma will roll out its new packaging in the second half of this year. It will sell its shoes in cardboard frames wrapped in reusable shoe bags – called the 'Clever Little Bag’. In doing so the company aims to use 65% less paper, and save 20m megajoules of electricity, 1m litres of water and 500,000 litres of diesel and 8,500 tonnes of paper a year. It looks quite cool too. How long before this new innovation becomes the standard stock on the high street?
Sustainability has given a spur to innovation in many companies. New thinking into how to do more, better, with less impact and how to put back, not just take out, have changed operating models and sparked streams of new product ideas. That vibrancy of thinking needs to flow through into sustainability communications, too. Getting it right can transform brand relationships. But what are the new rules?
Communicating and connecting: the new rules for sustainability
Rule No. 1: The old rules still apply. When it comes to covering off the basics of what people need to know about a company’s track record, good practice standards of reporting are essential. Set out meaningful targets and track the brand or company’s performance against them. Never let the glitz of cutting edge channels overwhelm the importance of core content. People still need to know what you aim to do and what you have done. Rule No. 2: Make it human scale. Don’t just confine yourself to broad policies and objectives, let people know exactly what these mean for what they buy. SC Johnson have taken a lead with their website ‘What we’re made of’ which gives a complete run down of their products’ ingredients. Clothes brand, Icebreaker, allows their customers to track where each of their products have been sourced and made through individual ‘baa codes’ that get right down into where the lamb was reared and the wool sheared. Rule No. 3: Open yourself up to scrutiny and stir up debate. There is genuine potential in technology. It allows people not just to dig deep into your record and tell you what they think, but to debate with each other. You can learn a lot from those conversations. Sustainability communications can’t be just one way, they don’t even need to be just two way. The technology exists in Web 2.0 to create multi-lateral discussions and ideas exchanges. SAP’s interactive sustainability map is a pioneering example of what can be achieved. Browsers can interact with the data and each other and comment on SAP’s performance. Everyone can have a stake in making progress. Rule No. 4: Call for ideas. Open sourcing is part of the zeitgeist in product development so make it part of your approach to sustainability communications too. Tell your customers the story of your sustainable brand record so far and encourage them to help you write the next chapter and improve sustainability performance when the product leaves you and reaches them. Levi’s worked out that the biggest impact their products have on the environment comes from drying. So they teamed up with Myoo Create and launched the ‘Care to air’ campaign to find ‘the most innovative, covetable and sustainable air drying solution’ for clothes.
Corona ‘Save the Beach’ campaign
Icebreaker ‘baa’ campaign
Rule No. 6: Put some joy into it. Involving consumers is a critical part of sustainability communications. You want them to do their bit to help you do yours and make products sustainable throughout their lifecycle. But don’t guilt trip them with critique or turn them off with too worthy a tone of voice. You want them to enjoy the collaboration. Mexican beer brand Corona is a great example of getting it right. With their ‘Save the Beach’ campaign, they picked a relevant issue (the preservation of beaches) and had their youthful target audience always in mind. The campaign was rooted in social media and by tapping effectively into the perception of Corona as a summer brand, their campaign was true to their brand and achieved real traction. Now that’s a sustainable communications campaign that we can all raise a glass to!
Credit: Levi's, Icebreaker, Corona
Rule No. 5: Never forget your friends. Plenty of involvement and interaction is great and social media a perfect tool. But you need to keep the dialogue going. Launching a Facebook page in support of an initiative and then neglecting it is worse than never creating it in the first place. It reeks of tokenism. Keep active and alive.
Levi's ‘Care to Air’ campaign
“The ‘Corona Save The Beach Hotel’ is an example of the power communication and PR have to make good things happen and change mentalities.” Fernando Godoy Sánez de Heredia General Creative manager of El Señor Goldwind
WHERE ARE YOU? _The 4i’s of Sustainable Brands
Sustainability works for your brand when it’s less about a brand claim, and more about a commitment or way of working. See it as a journey for your brand. Getting going on sustainability can be challenging, as it can feel like you need to be perfect or whiter than white in everything you do. And if you’re already active, even leading on sustainability, you can’t stand still or you’ll get left behind as the debate moves on around you. We think about sustainability as a spectrum or continuum of brand performance and commitments – the 4i’s of sustainability integration - from laggard to leader, from beginner to trailblazer.
~ Minimum standards
~ Compliance culture
~ Denial or defuse
~ Monitoring and reporting
~ Reducing risks at best
~ Management issue
~ By the book
Drivers and benefits
What they do on strategy?
~ Risk mitigation
~ Enhances reputation
~ Licence to operate
~ Cost savings
~ Philanthropy, charity, community programmes
~ Stakeholder engagement
~ Build internal business case
~ Sustainability programme with targets
~ Developing policy and strategy
~ Efficiency programmes
~ Supplier auditing ~ Customer auditing
What they do on activation?
~ Communicate what they do
~ Defend themselves
~ Innovate, communicate on a single issue i.e. improve packaging
~ Attack competition
~ Single sustainability or CSR campaign
Where are you and the competition?
Innovate ~ Opportunity ~ Differentiation ~ Innovation ~ Creativity
~ Consumer recruitment ~ Revenue ~ Existing customer loyalty ~ Access to new markets and customers
Inspire ~W ork to a social, environmental and economic bottom line ~ Holistic, systems-based ~E thics in DNA, values-led
~L eadership - beyond the business case ~C reate new sustainable markets ~S ocial business models
~ Employee engagement
~C hange, shape, lead categories
~ Supplier partnerships and strategic relationships
~ Divesting unsustainable products
~ Carbon and water
~ Industry leadership/ co-operation
~ Footprinting ~ Sustainability in staff rewards ~ Focus on differentiation
~C hampion causes
~ Sustained programme that is brand relevant
~S ustainability advocates
~ Connect messaging across the marketing mix
~R ealign business models
~P ilot new technology ~C hoice edit or influence for customers
Set a task: 1. Which brands do you think would fit along the four stages of the sustainability continuum? Name three at each stage. Where would you position your brand? 2. What strategy would you adopt to move along stages of the continuum? Or how would continue to stay ahead?
EMERGING SUSTAINABILITY CONCEPTS
of CEO’s stated that ‘sustainability issues are now fully embedded into the strategy and operations of their company (compared to just 50% in 2007)’ Source: UN Global Impact-Accenture CEO study 2010
Sustainability is a dynamic process with constantly evolving targets. Yesterday’s pioneering practice becomes today’s hygiene factors for a business. Whether a sustainability leader or laggard, knowing what is on the horizon is critical to staying one step ahead and anticipating potential issues. _What new themes, concepts and trends are emerging?
Sustainable business goes mainstream The Accenture/UN Global Impact CEO survey from late 2010 heralded a ‘New Era of Sustainability’. A staggering 81% of CEO’s stated that ‘sustainability issues are now fully embedded into the strategy and operations of their company (compared to just 50% in 2007)’. It is on the radar of almost every business leader with 93% of them ‘believing that sustainability issues will be critical to the future success of their business’. Does sustainability feel so embedded and mainstream to you? If yes, don’t rest on your laurels, as sustainability is a journey that will need ongoing commitments. If not, time to get going or you may be left behind.
Beyond reputation – towards growth and innovation Wind back just five years to an age when companies’ sustainability targets revolved around saving CO2, water, waste or increasing charitable donations. At best the benefits were reputational coupled with cost savings. Today brands see sustainability as a path to growth and revenue and set their goals and targets accordingly. Forward-thinking brands focus on making money and creating markets; P&G, DuPont and Philips all have sales or revenue targets from sustainable products. GE CEO Jeff Immelt notes “sustainability is the business strategy. It’s our roadmap for how we operate and how we innovate”. P&G doesn’t target sustainability as niche, but at mainstream consumers. No longer confined to small segments, sustainability now finds traction across the marketplace offering major opportunities for brands.
Building sustainability through brands Sustainability must function not as an adjunct, but as an integrated component of your brand. We see this as sustainability and brand integration. Sustainability leaders have found that the brand is a great place to ‘anchor’ sustainability plus it delivers the most business benefits too. 72% of CEO’s in the above-mentioned survey cited “brand, trust and reputation” as one of the top three factors driving them to take action on sustainability issues. Some companies are delivering their corporate sustainability commitments to customers and consumers through their product brands – Unilever’s Brand Imprint model is a tool to help do this. Others are bundling up activities to fashion a convincing, cogent and cohesive sustainability story that is faithful to their brand positioning. IBM’s Smarter Planet springs to mind. On the flip-side, brands can help sustainability. They are great at introducing new sustainability concepts and behaviours, and making them feel normal.
New concepts emerge
Disruptive cleantech brands Revolutions have protagonists, antagonists, heroes and villains; the sustainability revolution will be no different. New brands will emerge, new technologies will evolve and different categories will develop. Despite the recession, the clean-tech revolution (companies built around new green and clean technology) continues apace. Expect this to rival the digital revolution at the turn of the millennium. This gave rise to a new generation of global power brands: Google, eBay, Amazon and Facebook to name but a few. In the near future we can expect a cleantech power brand to emerge in a similar fashion. Who will be the Google of the cleantech world? Most likely a current start-up or high growth cleantech company that not only has superior technology and a winning business model, but smart communication and customer connection. If Dragonfly were a betting type, then our money would be on Shai Agassi’s Better Place. Who is yours on?
Old thinking around the sustainability lexicon centred around terms like reduce, minimise, optimise, and motivations like cost savings, and risk reduction. New models of sustainability shift beyond correcting existing mistakes towards zero impact objectives, restoring, and giving back to nature and society. Timberland aims ‘to leverage [their] corporate influence to make a positive contribution to the world’, whilst InterfaceFlor has its Mission Zero to be a zero impact business by 2020, thereafter being environmentally restorative. Similar concepts such as ‘cradle-to-cradle design’, championed by Aveda and Puma, Biomimicry (aped by Nike and Arup) and closed loop material cycles and business models (M&S and Philips) will influence the next generation of smart designers and managers to design brands for zero waste, that respect nature and use its processes or principles.
Sustainability: a fresh look at creating value Moving towards sustainability will be a challenge for many brands. It can require big changes to technology, materials and even customer behaviours. But sometimes even that will not be enough as brands will need to look at the sustainability of their business model – where increased profit is dependent on increased resource use, product obsolescence or waste. Happily new models of enterprise are being devised and implemented.
Credit: InterfaceFlor, M&S, IBM
The January edition of the Harvard Business Review saw management guru Michael Porter coin the term ‘Creating Shared Value’ for just this challenge. This “involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.” Blurring the traditional boundaries between business, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy and social enterprise, this concept is already taking shape through brand pioneers such as Grameen Danone. Danone has partnered with Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank to launch a joint venture as a social business providing a low-cost, highly nutritious, low ecoimpact dairy product for the Bangladeshi market produced locally. It is distributed using local channels and all the profits are ploughed back into the business. Rumour has it; these are the hottest, most sought-after jobs in Danone. This is a win-win for business and society, but it’s also a real stretch for ‘brand-as-usual’. It’s here that you really get the sense of how transformational sustainability can actually be.
Q&A: ASK THE EXPERTS
What are the big dilemmas and opportunities for brands and sustainability â€“ and what should you do about them? We talk to people all the time about sustainability and brands. Surprisingly the same difficulties, dilemmas and questions come through again and again, showing people are facing similar challenges. We put five of the most regular questions we get asked to two experts: Andrew Jenkins, Sustainability Manager at Boots UK and Sally Uren, Deputy CEO of sustainability thought leaders Forum for the Future.
01. “I’m a new brand manager with sustainability in my job description. I’ve been tasked with implementing it into my brand, but I don’t know where to start”
AJ: Sustainability is complex but we found the best way to start is by thinking of a few key impacts that can be addressed relatively effectively. These could include packaging design, product waste prevention, sourcing raw materials from accredited sources, fairly traded products, energy and water saving. SU: The first step is to understand the environmental and social impacts of your brand throughout its entire life cycle. If your brand includes products from different categories, then map the key sustainability impacts according to product or service category. Where you can, adapt an existing brand insight tool to give you this impact data. Then, be clear what you are trying to achieve. Decide where you want to be on a continuum from a brand that understands its environmental and social impacts, and is quietly reducing these (the get-on-with-it brand), to a brand that wants to effect wider change with its consumers (the sustainability-champion brand). CS adds: “We’d add two further things. Your brand model and current positioning must be the reference point, to ensure that you focus on issues that are relevant to and support the core purpose behind your brand. Find a way of doing things that reflects the brand’s values and personality. Make friends with your internal sustainability experts – they will be valuable sources of information and inspiration.
02. “I’m the corporate sustainability
director. I need to find a way to get a complex, global portfolio of differently positioned brands aligned in a way that works for the brands but also tells a coherent corporate story” AJ: Carry out a quick assessment of where each of the brands sit. Then evaluate how consumers think about sustainability with each brand. Does the consumer perception match reality? If not, consider what improvements could be made and how the overall portfolio could be made more sustainable. Using a consistent evaluation technique will help to develop a coherent story across your brand portfolio. SU: Step 1 – identify the most material sustainability issue for each brand. Step 2 – take your consumer insight data for each brand and understand how your main consumer groups view sustainability – are they mostly dark greens – or, more likely, are they the passive onlookers – the mainstream majority who will ‘do’ sustainability if it is made easy. Step 3 – tailor the sustainability message according to key impact areas and where the consumer is. Step 4 – check the different messages with the corporate sustainability message and adjust the language accordingly.
CS adds: Your brands may position themselves differently on sustainability because of the different markets they operate in or their different customer profiles, but it makes sense to use the same approach to integrating sustainability within the brand. Should sustainability be embedded within the brand model or vision? Should each brand have a clear sustainability strategy and plan, integrated within the overall brand strategy?
03. “I’m an internal sustainability
champion but nobody seems to own the issue internally. CSR, brand, communications, they all know a bit but aren’t sure enough to lead. How can I take the initiative?” AJ: Ultimately senior management will need to take the lead so that the process is top down with everyone understanding they have a role to play. In the interim, building a network of sustainability champions will help share ideas and learnings. This can be put forward for adoption by senior managers. SU: Think of yourself as the sustainability enabler. Think through what each function needs to do to make sustainability work, and then identify the benefits to that department. For example, communicating sustainability can create new ways of reaching customers and can build existing relationships. Armed with the mini-business case for each function, sell in the benefits of them doing their bit. And recognise that change doesn’t happen overnight – as a sustainability enabler, your key role is change management. CS adds: Think of this like an internal brand engagement project. A multi-disciplinary team working on this is critical as sustainability needs to cross functional boundaries. The brand is a great anchor, ensuring that sustainability is seen as central to the future of the business.
04. “I’m the marketing director
reporting on sustainability to the board. The problem is that I can’t prove to my superiors that this is something that would create tangible gains for our brand” AJ: Buy-in can be achieved by demonstrating the value sustainability can bring. Try linking sustainability to brand trust or emphasising that sustainability delivers value through waste reduction and greater efficiency. Sustainable innovation can also be a source of new product concepts and new directions for the organisation. SU: Use hard facts. It’s no accident that the über-brands – Unilever, P&G, PepsiCo – are busily putting sustainability at the heart of their growth strategies. They understand that sustainability is critical to delivering long-term value for the business.
CS adds: Sustainability improvements can provide opportunities for brand differentiation and innovation that can attract users and lead to sales increases, but mostly sustainability acts as a support to other brand features and benefits, helping to strengthen the brand’s position with customers in the long-term. Ultimately you should try to track this through traditional brand metrics like how it reinforces existing brand attributes or builds your reputation, loyalty and trust.
05. “I lead a sustainability
pioneering brand. What do you think are the three big sustainability issues/ challenges brands need to think about over the next three years? AJ: I'm sure climate change will still be on the agenda but resource scarcity (including water stress and biodiversity loss) is rising quickly. In turn these two will start to make people think about over consumption in an overpopulated world, which is a big and tricky issue for brands. SU: One issue – water – until recently the poor relation to carbon. Embedded water (how much water it takes to make a product), will soon become a defining metric. One impact – product use in the home. Brands will have to get much better at influencing consumer behaviour as this is where the big impacts lie. CS adds: A product can be given the ultimate sustainability makeover, but how it is used in the home can dwarf any manufacturing impacts. And one inconvenient truth – our current patterns of consumption are completely unsustainable. Brands need to understand that in a resource constrained world, more is less. We explore this further in Trendwatch on page 10.
Andrew Jenkins Andrew is Sustainable Development Manager – Products at Boots UK Plc. As a member of the Quality and CSR Support team he develops Boots strategy on product sustainability and advises product marketing and development groups on sustainable development issues.
Sally Uren Sally is Deputy Chief Executive at the leading sustainability advisory group/charity Forum for the Future. She leads the partnership work and engagement with business a well as Forum’s work in the retail and food sectors.
Chris Sherwin Chris leads the sustainability consultancy team at Dragon Rouge and has fifteen years experience taking strategy into implementation through innovation, design and branding.
Q&A: DAVID BRUNT
Dragonfly asks David Brunt of global decorative brand Dulux what life is like at the helm of a global sustainability programme. 01.
Why did your company choose to set up the position of Global Marketing & Products Sustainability Director?
As a company we had taken the decision to take a leadership position in sustainability and part of this was to build sustainability into the DNA of our brands. This is a marketing task primarily so hence the need for the role in the organisation.
I think they see that as a business they have wider responsibilities beyond just making money – having a place in the wider society, which in turn maintains their relevance as a business.
What exactly does your role cover? Always a difficult question! My role is split broadly into two. The first is to help define the sustainability strategy for our products/brands and facilitate the implementation of it through our business units around the world. What does this cover? From brand communication all the way through to environmental metrics of our products. The second is around global innovation – building and leading the product innovation portfolio specifically focused on sustainability.
In your experience what do those businesses that have embraced the sustainability agenda have in common?
They also realise that sustainability is fundamentally good business and ensures the longevity of their own company. Finally they also understand that they are selling to real people like you and me, and relevant sustainability initiatives are a good way of getting emotional engagement between brands and consumers and to build a greater depth of brand trust. For example if you were buying a car from a salesman – I suspect that you would prefer to buy from a salesman that demonstrates honesty and integrity and shows interest in more than his commission he will get from selling you a car. That’s the role sustainability can play for a brand.
I think more and more companies are creating roles like this to get things moving in the marketing area. And I believe the role will change as time goes on. The focus of the role is different when starting from a blank sheet compared to a couple of years down the line once programmes have been kicked off and sustainability naturally becomes integrated into marketing teams worldwide.
I think the big question is how to reach ‘sustainable consumption’ in a world with massive population growth in the some continents coupled with growing expectations for standard of living. How can sustainable consumption exist in this context alongside business objectives of growth and profitability?
Do you think sustainability is a term or trend in need of greater definition?
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing businesses in the area of sustainability?
How do you see sustainability impacting your industry and market this year? I think sustainability will continue to become more mainstream, though I suspect we will still see launches of more niche ‘eco’ products. There will be evolving legislation in Europe – France is pushing for certain sustainability legislation and this has to come together with an EU view.
In your view what are the benefits of integrating sustainability through the brand, rather than supply chain. I believe we have to do both – one without the other lacks integrity. As I see it integrating sustainability into the brand (in a unique way) means that you add greater value with the possibility of deepening, even further, the relationship with your consumer. It also can give you greater differentiation at a time when differentiation is hard to carve out. However there are aspects of sustainability that are not so relevant to communicate – like reducing water usage by installing waterless urinals! – however these things still need to be done and that is why it needs to be integrated into the supply chain and the whole business.
What will sustainability mean for the brand manager and marketing director of the future? Sustainability will not be the preserve of one person’s role but will be on the agenda of every marketer in the future. I am already seeing some shift in the way people are talking and thinking and this will accelerate. The consequences are that marketers will need to be prepared to learn about sustainability and how it applies to their brands and products – because making the right decision does require some depth of knowledge in what can be a complex area.
BRAND MANAGER IN 2015
As sustainability becomes mainstream, the job of the brand manager will evolve too. Here are 10 things you may find in every marketer's job description in the future:
Must be able to have a relevant and meaningful conversation with their sustainability or CSR manager – which both understand.
be familiar with things like lifecycle analysis, carbon or water footprinting, or eco-impact assessment. seek insights from stakeholders – NGO’s, opinion formers, thought leaders – as well as consumers or customers.
know how to track consumers' views on sustainability through appropriate market research and consumer insight.
the environmental and societal value, as well as the brand equity value, of their recent campaign, innovation or activation.
have read – and can reference – their companies Sustainability or CSR report. Will also know their corporate sustainability targets. follow trends from sources like treehugger.com, Business for Social Responsibility, Ethical Corporation, The Ecologist, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Green Futures.
take the lead on ensuring that sustainability is a core consideration in any new product or innovation programme within the business. know how to engage peers and especially brand and marketing teams in the importance and relevance of sustainability in everyday brand management. be prepared and able to build the business case on sustainability for any cynical or unenlightened board member. Remember it's about opportunity and reward. Not risk mitigation.
THINGS TO DO NOW
_How you can make a difference tomorrow? 01. S ign up to Sustainable Life Media’s Sustainable Brand Newsletter... visit sustainablelifemedia.com/newsletters.
ABOUT DRAGON ROUGE Dragon Rouge is an international consulting business. We believe a brand’s real job is to change how people think, feel and act. We know this requires a deep understanding of where the world is heading, how people operate within it and the imagination to influence it. We use these insights and creativity to give brands the power to create change. The Dragon Rouge Group founded in 1984. We are independent in ownership and outlook and this gives us the freedom to look at things differently and to challenge standard expectations. We do this from seven locations across the world, working as a team of 350 individuals to maximise client opportunities using insight, innovation, strategy, design and communication.
CONTRIBUTORS DOROTHY MACKENZIE Chairman & Sustainability Champion _
02. Download the 4P’s for 3P’s: CSR Europe’s guide to sustainable marketing and share it across your teams internally.
Dorothy is Chairman of Dragon Rouge London and is a pioneer in thinking on sustainable brands. She firmly believes in and champions the full integration of sustainable thinking into every aspect of the brand. Dorothy sits on the M&S Plan A Advisory board and last year was the only European speaker at the Sustainable Brands Conference in California.
03. Buy a copy of ‘Green Marketing’ by John Grant (and ask your boss to read it).
CHRIS SHERWIN Sustainability Expert and Consultant _
04. Follow the Co-op’s annual Ethical Consumerism report tracking sales of sustainable goods.
Chris is Dragon Rouge's Senior Sustainability Consultant. He joined us from Forum for the Future where he was Head of Innovation. Armed with a PhD in Sustainable Design, Chris previously worked in-house for Philips in the Netherlands as their lead consultant on sustainability in CSR and Ecodesign.
05. Ask yourself and your brand team what your target consumer or customers think about this issue and list three things you would like to improve.
JOE HALE Client Director & Man of Ideas _ Our resident expert in social and digital media, Joe is the pivot for many of our sustainability projects. Joe brings clear-sight, smart thinking and inexhaustible energy to complex projects and helps clients focus on the most effective route to achieve their goals. As a media buff, Joe provides our work with communications insight and strategy.
ROBERT SOAR Creative Director & Idea Catalyst _ Robert believes in the power of collaboration to spark ideas that influence how people feel about and act towards brands. He works closely with strategists, trend forecasters, writers and the design team to create the compelling brand platforms and creative expression that connect brands to people through many different channels.
GET IN TOUCH As you can see we have some interesting thoughts on brands; what works, what doesn’t and what should never have been tried in the first place. If you do have a branding challenge that you’d like to discuss or if you’d like us to explore a new issue altogether, give us a call or send us an email, we’ll give you a fresh perspective, challenge your thinking and probably make you laugh as well. DRAGON ROUGE 1 Craven Hill, London, W2 3EN T +44 (0)20 7262 4488 F +44 (0)20 7262 6406 E email@example.com W dragonrouge.com Dubai Hamburg Hong Kong London New York Paris Warsaw
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Credit: Editorial Designer Mark Teisler-Goldsmith, Illustrations Jamie Porch (YCN)
The Sustainability issue of Dragonfly.