June 2015

Sustainability Branding and Marketing

Posted in Implementation and Integration

Coro Strandberg, in collaboration with leading sustainability consultant Francisca Quinn of Quinn and Partners Inc., conducted global research into the ways and means by which companies develop and execute sustainability branding and marketing strategies. Together they produced, Integrating Sustainability into Brand Strategy: A comparative study of global consumer-facing industry leaders.

The research profiles six corporate leaders in sustainability branding and marketing:

  • Adidas
  • Unilever
  • BMO
  • Samsung
  • Ebay
  • Tim Hortons

The research analyzes how global consumer-facing industries pursue sustainability branding and marketing strategies. The analysis reveals that progressive companies apply 4 principle strategies in incorporating sustainability into their brands, including stakeholder interaction, corporate identity, visualization, and corporate communications. Together, they create a comprehensive sustainability branding and marketing approach.

The research found that industry leaders incorporate values and concepts into their core business and brand identity, including:

  • Mission, vision, values and principles
  • Company descriptions
  • Company tagline
  • Company history
  • Sustainability journey
  • Branding of the sustainability plan
  • Sustainability thought leadership

The assessment of sustainability branding and marketing strategies also found that sustainability messaging is integrated across all types of corporate communications, such as:

  • Sustainability tabs from main website
  • Sustainability micro-site
  • Integrated annual report
  • Investor relations
  • Social media and videos
  • Media kits

Leaders also use sustainability as a strategy to engage employees and collaborate with customers and community organizations as part of their branding and marketing approach. Effective leaders embed sustainability into all their customer and stakeholder-facing touch-points, to demonstrate how sustainability is embedding in everything they do.

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