Wsj Eco Conference

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  • 1. Mutual Social Responsibility – Where is green going?
  • 2. An evolving social business landscape
    • Consumers move from viewers to collaborators
    • Consumer citizens & citizen brands emerge – only some will survive the downturn
    • Interest in social purpose works across all demographics, women especially
    • Social purpose is a new “benefit” to build employee engagement and loyalty
    We see consumers [willing to pay] up to a 10% premium for ethical brands. The issue is that organic, fair trade, etc. were charging an average of 45% or more... we still see growth.
  • 3. The evolution of green
    • DEFENSE & RESPONSE
    • 1992 - 2000
    BUSINESS STRATEGY 2006 - Today TACTICAL OFFENSE 2001 - 2005
  • 4. From bi-lateral partnerships with business and NGOs… TECHNICAL MARKETING SOURCING
  • 5. … to consumers now in the game Brand Personalization Civil Society Company Consumer Consumer Empowerment Company’s New Social Role
  • 6. Key questions Q: Is green a new minimum standard or a premium offer? Q: What is the role of NGO partnerships, today? Q: How best to market?
  • 7. Consumer behavior: Aspiration vs. Reality
    • ASPIRATION
    • 58% of Americans intent to purchase is positively impacted by information about a brand’s support of social causes , versus 47% by information regarding new product features
    • Nearly seven in 10 globally ( 69% ) say they would be prepared to pay more for eco-friendly products
    2 nd Annual goodpurpose Global Consumer Study, 2009
    • REALITY
    • When times are good, people are eco-conscience. When times are difficult, final decisions are made on bottom-line cost.
          • - Professor John Gourville, Harvard Business School
    • We do not think [environmental sustainability] is optional… we’re not sure how much of a premium consumers will pay for it, but consumers will punish ‘bad actors’.
          • - Mike White, PepsiCo
  • 8. Light Green vs. Dark Green: The right mix for the right constituency OPERATIONAL REALITY CONSUMER PERCEPTION Credible - not easy - engagement about your brand Mirror, mirror : Am I sustainable? Green product + green brand halo = Ever-higher expectations Can technical excellence translate to consumer consideration?
  • 9. Q: Is green a new minimum standard or a premium offer?
    • A: It depends.
      • Bright green brands can capture premium, but must work harder to maintain trust
      • Light green brands must operate responsibly, but benefits will largely be operational
    OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE & TECHNICAL INNOVATION CONSUMER-FACING & PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS COMBINATION
  • 10. Q: What is the role of NGO partnerships, today? A: Partnerships still provide technical expertise and social license fixes for business . Now the expectation is for business to fix society’s problem .
    • “ … Come together—government, NGOs and business—in new approach to solving big problems facing our country. … This can work.”
    • Lee Scott, Wal-mart
    • Lipton Tea consumers perceive ethical sourcing  [Rainforest Alliance certification] to positively impact the quality of the tea, therefore they are willing to pay more.
    • - Unilever
    TRADITIONAL PARTNERSHIPS WHAT’S NEXT?
  • 11.
    • A: • Ask permission, to empower and engage your consumers
    • No greenwashing
    • One global voice does not fit all
    Q: How best to market? COLLECTIVE POWER OF INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS
      • CREATE A MOVEMENT TO MOVE PRODUCT
    • CSR claims when couched in local context have the greatest impact. There is little value to “global” claims or calls-to-action.
          • - John Quelch, Harvard Business School
    Energy Efficiency for Ireland
  • 12. And the media…
    • A general trend from “stenographers” to “participants” in the debate
      • Word-for-word, MSM reporters generating as much on-line content as print
      • Investigative staff & budgets cut
    • Climate change story was a watershed for media
      • MSM covered “both sides” of the debate, far after there was clearly one side
    • Reporters have permission to serve as referee
      • Mainstream media (68.1%) is a more trusted source of a company’s sustainability activities followed by corporate websites (57.3%) and NGOs (54.6%) *
      • A need to keep score, throw flags when a team plays fast and loose with facts (Shorenstein Center)
    • Brands must:
      • Provide more technical depth and issue content + brand essence
      • Use the media to communicate about their consumers, not just to them
      • Become a smaller part of larger stories about society’s important and vexing issues
    *Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Communications: Who’s Listening? Who’s Leading? What Matters Most, 2007
  • 13. The era of Mutual Social Responsibility Combine corporate reputation & brand marketing
    • Operate Differently
      • Continual improvement;
      • like quality
      • Today’s bright green is tomorrow’s light green
    • Partner Differently
      • Go beyond the technical
      • Share consumer relationships and trust
    • Market Differently
      • Give up control
      • Co-create brands; share values