The Grass is Always Greener – with Sustainable Brands

19Jun10

High-five to Dustin Pons at Aloft Group (an E3 Network member agency) for sending us a heads-up about the recent four-day Sustainable Brands 2010 Conference he attended in Monterey, CA last week. The conference was a cutting-edge look at how brand and marketing professionals can come to grips with the changing economic, environmental and social context surrounding their brands today.

The sustainability curve is evident:  More and more businesses are putting professionals in charge of sustainability initiatives and creating Corporate Social Responsibility platforms within their businesses.

Ikea Singapore, Sustainability Report

IKEA is one brand known for its ongoing sustainability policy.

One clear message the conference presented is that “Eco-friendly isn’t a fad.” It’s a business trend. “As people tie their sustainability initiatives to the core of their businesses, ecofriendly practices become cutting-edge and then standard,” Trevor Wade wrote on his blog.
Other keys points of the conference included:
Green isn’t a brand differentiator. Green is becoming a brand necessity…it’s not something that will set your brand apart, but it’s still something you need to communicate. How can brands differentiate themselves in the future?
It’s about re-use not invention. Invention is becoming less important that “reinvention” (reusing what’s already there). Brands need to think innovation with everything they do – from their packaging to their marketing campaigns.
Make change a desire. If you’re asking people to change their behaviors, don’t use pressure. Make it desirable instead. Remember that “correcting” a behavior is less effective than inviting a new behavior.
“The conference showed me that many great global brands are looking for assistance in integrating their CSR and sustainability initiatives into their overarching brand communication platforms. They need to share, via effective communication, the innovative business practices they are engaged in so that others can benefit and find ways to join the cause, “ Pons wrote.
“If you are responsible for sustainability endeavors at your company, I would highly recommend participating next year – cheers!”
Read more
(Image Credit: The IKEA Store in Queenstown, Singapore, resembling a large blue box.  Image by Calvin Teo, June 2006)
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One Response to “The Grass is Always Greener – with Sustainable Brands”

  1. Great synopsis. As an incentive, I might add that exploring new mental constructs is also a way to work your way out of the recession. The most recent HBR article in the March Leadership magazine refers to it as the “internalization of externalities” that go beyond simply “taking interest” to “taking action”. Why? Because they are not simply CSR amorphous issues but rather the direct “side effects of [your] business”. Consumers expect a company to take responsibility for them and, in the age of transparency, it shows.


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