Marketing in the Age of Social Impact & Sustainability

by James Riley
Happy kid girl smile and think something isolated on pink background, asian

For over twenty years the world has noticed that the way we do business has an impact on the planet. Today we know that the state of the planet affects the way we are doing business.

With climate change comes risks and opportunities. We all know the risks. With today’s sustainability and climate realities, with social changes arising from the transparency and information revolution that is the Internet, the brand itself is being redefined.

Sustainability means many things. Words like supply chain, GHG reduction, environmental risk, insurance risk, technology innovation and cost-savings all come to mind. At the heart of it, being sustainable is really about building a better world, and doing things in a better and more innovative way than we have in the past.

The opportunity for brands starts with leadership on sustainability, and the reward is an improved brand and reputation. Those businesses that move towards sustainability are the thought leaders that will create positive change and not only bring a whole new set of customers their way, but potentially innovate with new products that create a whole new marketplace.

Leadership on sustainability and climate change starts with values. It begins at the top as a vision arising from those values, but it becomes real at the employee level, at the community level, at the shareholder level and at the place where the “why customers buy your brand” lives.

In order for companies to have sustainability as part of their true brand, they have to embrace sustainability in a holistic manner. Why? Because customers ultimately see across all channels and interactions, and they see the difference between intentions and actions.

According to Nielsen, 55% of global online consumers across 50 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

“This behaviour”, says Amy Fenton, Global Leader of Public Development and Sustainability, at Nielsen, “is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”

About Kumu Agency

Our approach meets at the intersection of business strategy, social & sustainable impact and design thinking. We create strategies, platforms and campaigns for leading brands to help them communicate better, deliver positive outcomes and perform with more resiliency in the digital age.

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