The power of brands

Brands have the unique opportunity to make sustainability themes relevant in your organization and for your customers. In the end, your brands at their products represent your company. Brands will connect with consumers and create an emotional value, which can contribute to changing consumer behavior.

Relevant and valuable for your brand and organization

Connecting sustainability to your brand will create the following opportunities for your brand

  • reinforces your brand identity and differentiates your brand
  • connects with your consumer with relevant consumer activation
  • triggers new innovations which can result into market growth or cost saving
  • makes sustainability relevant for your organisation and create employee engagement for the program
  • makes your sustainability program visible

Hoe to stay credible? 

Embedding sustainability successfully in your brand requires a strategy that

  • a clear focus on only those social/environmental theme that has a logic connection with your brand and is relevant for your consumer
  • is based on the positive impact a brand can make, given the brand strength
  • is linked to the brand identity.

Some examples

  • A supermarket has an valuable role in our society. Their contribution to a sustainable future would not only focus on reducing their own carbon footprint and sourcing more sustainable products, they can also help en inspire their customers te make the right choices, stimulate recycling and engage consumers in investing in social projects.   It become relevant for your brand when you offer and communicate these initiatives in a tone of voice that fit with your brand.
  • An airliner has a direct impact on the environment by flying with airplanes consuming less fuel and development of cleaner/renewable fuel. At the same time they have a broad reach of consumers, who they can inspire and invite to do their bit for a greener, cleaner world and a better future for everyone.
  • A bank has the power to support the development of sustainable initiatives. Some banks will focus more on local investment, while other banks with a clear focus on the business market can connect to their strength to accelerate the development of small innovations to become impactful.
  • One of the societal issues of beer brands is the alcohol abuse. While each company is cooperating with local authorities to develop alcohol prevention, a brand can play their role to inspire consumers to make moderate consumption cool and aspirational. A message that is more credible and inspiring and will trigger consumers to change behavior.

Do you want to make your sustainability program impactful and create a meaningful brand? Please contact Kirsten Barnhoorn or call 06-46003306. 

Heineken Sustainability manifesto

The HEINEKEN company have developed their program Brewing a better future with focus on water consumption, CO2 reduction, sustainable sourcing and responsible consumption. The question was how the Heineken brand could translate this into their Brand strategy. In what way they could use the strength and characteristics of the brand to create meaningful activation and communication?

Via a systematic process of exploring the perfect connection between relevant societal issues, brand identity and brand strength we have identified the societal role the brand could play in sustainability.

The identified brand role  “Make sustainable behaviour cool and aspirational” perfectly resonates with the

  • societal issues of  material waste and recycling ,
  • consumer insights that consumers don’t act enough on recycling because it feels dull, it’s a hassle to do and they are questioning whether their act makes impact
  • and strength of the brand, to change consumer behaviour and attitude towards social themes like alcohol consumption and waste management. .

We have captured the new Sustainability point of view for the brand into the Heineken Sustainability Manifesto IT (sm)ALL ADDS UP, an inspiring document that gives focus and direction in what way sustainability could be embedded in future consumer activation and communication. Together with a toolkit with activation ideas the brand managers around the world have got a clear direction and inspiration how they could make sustainable behaviour cool and aspirational. It not only serves the environment, but it also helped to strength the brand reputation.

Sustainability last the longest

“Sustainability requires a fresh way of thinking. A sustainability program that is based on the power and identity of the brand and the business will generate focus and customer and employee engagement. As a result you get initiatives with an added value for company, society and environment.  And above all, it generate new energy to innovate and to improve” .

Kirsten Barnhoorn – Founder New Energy Consulting