The Future is Looking Green

A guide to corporate social responsibility

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Alec
by Alec Radzikowski

We had just wrapped up a successful 2022 planning meeting with a relatively new client. Our brand positioning discovery effort was nearly complete, and we'd reached the step of getting buy-in from the global branding team.

It was a great meeting. Our teams were in complete alignment. The agency received major kudos. All players were confident and energized heading further into the process.

There was just one piece of feedback we needed to address: Marketing Sustainability will be a huge part of the brand going forward.

Sustainability had always been in our presentation. It was already a part of their brand platform. But for 2022 and beyond, its more important than ever.

In the wake of COVID-19, sustainability and corporate responsibility are paramount to consumers. In Q4 2020, 70% of US businesses said their customers are DEMANDING more environmentally conscious solutions, and almost half of US consumers are buying natural or eco-friendly household products more often.

Making the promise is the easy part. Proving your commitment in a crowded marketplace? Not so much. So how do you start? Here are the top four recommendations from our sustainability marketing playbook:

  1. Start Small - Even the smallest changes can have a big impact. Find what will work for your business what make changes you can implement immediately, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Focus on those quick wins, create habits everyone can get behind, and build from there.
  2. Embrace Your Role and be Authentic - We’re all in this together, and every company has a part to play. Take pride in what you do and be true to who you are, even if that means doing something difficult. No shortcuts. A lot of companies will try (and have tried) to jump on the bandwagon and failed. Brands like Volkswagen and Huggies made mistakes in this area and second chances aren’t always guaranteed.
  3. Celebrate All, Even Your Competitors - This is a movement that affects all of us, and all progress is important. If another organization is making strides with its sustainability action plan, congratulate them. Use their successes as your inspiration, and reflect on how you can turn your initiatives into buzzworthy, ownable achievements. This is not a competition. This is a collaborative approach to a better future.
  4. Be proud, but don’t gloat - It’s vital to find the delicate balance between owning and sharing your achievements and beating your chest. If you’re too quiet about it, no one will know. If you’re too loud, you may end up creating negative sentiment and blunting the impact of your initiatives. In some cases, actions really do speak louder than words. When you find the sweet spot of paid, owned, and earned media for your initiatives, you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

Interested in learning more how we can help unlock your organization’s sustainability marketing potential? Get in touch here!