In the past 18 months, Social and environmental responsibility has been a key issue for business. Key stakeholders may not call it CSR & Sustainability per se; but it is exactly what they are talking about. It’s the customer who wants to know if the cocoa farmers got a decent wage or just a reassurance that the precious stones are not “blood diamonds”. It is about an NGO which looks at a campaign to boycott because of animal rights abuse. It could also be a major media house highlighting child labour and human right abuse in the supply chain.
Thus at stake is the reputation and profitability. Organizations have paid heavily in terms of record fines and penalties. Sustainability branding is the process of creating and maintaining an identity of a specific product, service, or business that reflects special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits. A brand is only perceived as being sustainable if it can credibly convey sustainability benefits which are noticeable by and relevant to the consumer.
Opposed to the term green brands which mainly focus on environmentally sound business practices, sustainability brands additionally acknowledge the social dimension of providing products and services. This entails, among others, health and safety issues resulting from direct or indirect product use (consumption level) as well as the conditions under which a particular product is produced (production level). The physical protection and well-being of people at work (i.e. employees as well as workers within the supply chains) are important indicators of sustainability brands and sustainability marketing in general which adheres to the triple bottom line of ecological (environmental), social (equity), and financial (economic) sustainability.
A brand is able to evoke positive or negative feelings, especially in the context of sensitive social and ecological issues. The more positive the perceptions and feelings are towards a brand, the higher will be the likelihood of identification and loyalty amongst consumers. It is therefore crucial in sustainability marketing to build up strong brands.
- Employee Engagement is key to Sustainable Success
- Millennials Seek Emotional Brand Connections
- Beyond Cause Marketing: Achieving success via Brand-Led CSR
- Same Brand: Different Business Model
- Waste Not: Striving for Net Positivity
- Innovations in Product and Packaging Design
- Rethinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability
- The new metrics of Sustainable Business Success
- Sustainable Brands are Forward Thinking!
- Building Brand Value Sustainably: How To Embed Sustainability into Your Brand Promise
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