Study Shows Consumers Will Pay a Price Premium for Brands that Take a Stand

Although recent studies show that trust in the government and public institutions is declining, the same is not true for brands. In fact, new research from global marketing and communications firm Edelman suggests consumers may trust brands more than the government.   The 2017 Edelman Earned Brand study, released last month, reports that 51 percent of those surveyed said that brands could do more to solve social ills than the government. Consumers want more from brands today; they want to know if brands will step up to the plate environmentally and socially in ways the government has failed.   Around half of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a brand that speaks out on social and environmental issues versus one that doesn’t and stay loyal to it. Further, they say they would defend these brands on social media sites. This is a particularly valuable benefit to companies today, since attacking brands on social spaces like Facebook and Twitter is on the rise (think #DeleteUber).   Paying a Price Premium The study hints at the possibility of consumer commitment well beyond the traditional purchase funnel. When consumers agree with a stance taken by a brand, they will “reward it greatly,” Edelman says. According to the study, nearly a quarter of consumers will pay a price premium of 25 percent to buy on shared beliefs.   In short: What your brand believes in and the causes it commits to may well be a predictor of your business growth.   Providing environmentally safe promotional products is an essential component of doing business in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Fortune 1000 clients expect safe and environmentally compliant products and even smaller businesses are beginning to require the same assurances.   Industry Game Changer Until Quality Certification Alliance came into existence, the promotional products industry didn’t have an industry-wide sustainability standard, as architecture has with its LEED certification. But QCA has taken on the painstaking process of standardizing sustainability standards for the promotional products industry.   QCA Accreditation increases buying confidence because it protects brand equity throughout the entire supply chain: from the promotional products supplier, through the distributor, to the end buyer and ultimately to the end user.   Companies with QCA Accreditation can be confident they have a proactive and comprehensive compliance program in place. These standards not only address environmental impact and product safety issues but also supply chain security, social compliance and...

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New Nike App Helps Designers See (And Pick) Green

New Nike App Helps Designers See (And Pick) Green

Nike isn’t a stranger to corporate sustainability, but a new app will take the company’s eco-friendly efforts to the next level. The Nike Making iOS app gives designers a tool to select greener, more sustainable materials, resulting in products that are better for the environment. Sourcing and using sustainable materials has been on Nike’s radar for nearly a decade, yet the Nike Making app makes this initiative much easier for product designers. The app draws from Nike’s in-house sustainability index, an eye-opening amount of data that ranks products based on scientific research and the analysis of product life cycles. Let’s say, for example, you have a product design idea. You can browse the Making app to see how different materials rank in a variety of criteria like chemistry, base material score, water/land use intensity, physical waste and more. If using organic materials is a priority, the app shows you that down is your best choice, followed by silk, cotton and polylactic acid fabric. The app is viewed as a big step forward in giving more visibility (and access) not just to corporate sustainability initiatives, but the environmental impact and sustainability of the products themselves, which isn’t something that most people are used to thinking about. As Margaret Rhodes writes for Co.Design, “The need is acute. Despite the emphasis typically placed on the environmental harm of shipping (heard prominently within movements for local farming), materials account for 60% of the environmental impact incurred from a pair of Nike shoes.” We’ve already spent some time surfing through the Making app and are big fans. After all, mitigating environmental impact is one of the key factors to overall safety and compliance—and if your company makes products that aren’t sustainable and eco-friendly, larger corporate sustainability goals won’t go far. And, as more consumers respond to actively sustainable companies, you also risk harming your bottom line. What’s your take on Nike’s latest sustainability move? Would you like to see similar apps produced by other companies? Lead image via...

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Boost Environmental Stewardship With Tips For Small Biz

Sure, there are easy ways to be green. Turning off lights when rooms are unoccupied and unplugging electronics when not in use are simple things that can be done to reduce power consumption. But small-business owners who want to improve their environmental stewardship need more sophisticated advice than the suggestion to switch out their incandescent light bulbs for fluorescents and lower the thermostat, according to this post in the Pocono Record. “If you want to incorporate values and behaviors in your corporate culture to support protecting the environment,” says author Roseanne Bottone, “you’ll need a more comprehensive approach.” Her tips: develop integrated systems, design for environment, buy recycled, save energy and get creative help. Check out the complete post to get details—and links to additional resources to help your biz be more...

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Challenge: A Billion Acts Of Green 2.0

In 2012, the Earth Day Network reached its goal of completing A Billion Acts of Green®. For two years, the campaign steadily built commitments by individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to protect the planet, inspiring and rewarding both simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that reduce carbon emissions and support sustainability. While these acts may seem small, the sum total adds up to big dividends for the planet. And A Billion Acts of Green® has become the largest environmental service campaign in the world. What’s next for 2013? A billion more. The organization has revamped the campaign to take aim at specific environmental problems through the introduction of sub-campaigns for voting for environmentally friendly candidates, planting trees in high-poverty areas of the world and recycling electronic waste. But green acts are limited to these sub-categories. People and organizations can still register all the other actions they’re taking to protect the environment through an improved online registration tool. Learn how you can take action at http://www.earthday.org/takeaction/. What will you do? Share your ideas in the comments...

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Six Trends Emerge In Corporate Sustainability, Survey Says

There are profound shifts happening in corporate sustainability. While not mandated by laws or regulations, sustainability programs are moving from purely voluntary programs to expected initiatives in the eyes of customers, employees, shareholders and stakeholders. With expectations surrounding corporate sustainability on the rise, Ernst & Young in cooperation with GreenBiz Group took a closer look at these programs in the survey “Six Growing Trends In Corporate Sustainability” and found six growing trends: Sustainability reporting is growing, but the tools are still developing The CFO’s role in sustainability is on the rise. Employees emerge as a key stakeholder group for sustainability programs and reporting. Despite regulatory uncertainty, greenhouse gas reporting remains strong, along with growing interest in water. Awareness is on the rise regarding the scarcity of business resources. Rankings and ratings matter to company executives. The report indicates that “these trends suggest that sustainability efforts are now well-integrated into the corporate fabric of a growing number of large and mid-sized companies. But the effectiveness of such efforts may be limited by internal systems that don’t allow companies to effectively measure, track and optimize their sustainability impacts, or to understand and manage the risks of insufficient action. To do so will require new levels of engagement by the C-suite, and more sophisticated methods of sustainability reporting and assurance.” To read the download the complete report, click...

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Changing Horizons: FTC’s Updated Green Guides Alter The Eco-Marketing Landscape

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there’s been much talk in the media about “reducing your carbon footprint” and “making sustainable choices.” Most agree that being environmentally conscious is the right thing to do, but finding products that are truly “green” is difficult because of the nebulous language describing them. To help marketers communicate appropriately about their eco-friendly products, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed Green Guides—and the latest update was released last month. In this installment of Compliance Chat, D E Fenton, QCA’s executive director – compliance, discusses what “green” means, what’s different in the update, what’s new in the update and what can be expected on the horizon. At 36 pages in length, the Guides For The Use Of Environmental Marketing Claims is certainly detailed, but its overall direction makes it clear that while there are shades of “green,” unsubstantiated claims must stop and there financial penalties for those who don’t comply. To read the post published by Promo Marketing on November 16 in its entirety, click...

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