In today’s world, it seems like everyone is talking about sustainability in business. What does sustainability mean? And why should you care about Sustainable Branding & Identity?
We’ll start by defining the term “Sustainable Branding” for those unfamiliar with the concept. Sustainable Branding & Identity is a strategy that integrates social and environmental responsibility to create an ethical approach to doing business. We incorporate these principles as the triple bottom line strategy or 3 pillars of sustainability: People, Planet & Prosperity (profit).
The benefits of incorporating Sustainable Branding & Identity in Brand campaigns include increased customer loyalty, confidence in spending extra money on products, employee attraction & engagement, or building a devoted community around products associated with social and environmental movements.
People, planet, purpose & passion tend to go together in today’s world where consumers and employees are demanding the involvement of corporations to create a positive impact.
Sustainable Branding impacts the future generation giving them hope and the opportunity to build the world they want to see. Opening the eyes of current leaders on the poor state of affairs in the corporate world. Leading to a shift for the future through thoughtful business today.
Why the shift in demand for Sustainable Branding & Identity?
It’s the great awakening to our dissatisfaction with the way business has been run. Most of my colleges in the sustainability and social impact space have a similar story.
These stories often begin with how miserable a person felt at work. Feeling bad about a negative impact on the community or environment. Having to use talents to sell products that are damaging to people and the earth. Typically followed by a realization of being part of the bigger problem. Leading to an awareness that inspires a new path. A way to become part of the solution to shift the business ecosystem.
It’s prevalent for people to walk away from these unfulfilling jobs or have a severe ailment/accident happen that pushes them to realize they want more out of their lives and that work is a GIANT part of life.
Finding what you’re passionate about and aligned with can be challenging. After you find that alignment with purpose the path of sustainability unfolds as a life mission. The desire to live and work towards the task of creating a positive ripple effect!
Some would say we breathe, eat, sleep and work with a sustainable angle on life. In business, I have committed to pursuing Sustainable Branding & Identity, and in my personal life, to reducing and purchasing clothing with B Corporation or Fairtrade certifications.
Why do some companies have a better reputation and do a superior job of Sustainable Branding & Identity?
The sustainable brand movement is about becoming more human and understanding emotional branding. It is not enough to create high-quality products or services anymore. We want more. We want brands to do better business on purpose. Aligning with a cause or movement the brand believes in and embodies. In Sustainable Branding & Identity, this cause can be social, environmental, economic, or an amalgamation of all three.
The key indicators of successful sustainable brands are:
- Creating authentic, enduring, long-term values encompassing the well-being of all people and the environment.
- Awareness and transparency of the impact its products or processes may be having on the planet; creating solutions that work towards eliminating, reducing, or restoring that impact.
- Human-centric, crafting products and services that genuinely resolve problems with the care that new issues aren’t created.
- Cultivating community participation in crafting sustainable brand values.
- Leading with corporate citizenship using its platform to drive conversations and amplify movements that bring positive social change.
- Maintaining the balance of environmental advocacy, social impact, and economic prosperity to grow a healthy, Sustainable Brand Identity, prosperous business, fulfilled society, and healthy planet.
Is there any way to prove how sustainable your brand is?
Sustainability is the current coveted marketing buzzword, encouraging questionable transparency issues. Some labels advertise “natural ingredients” and “recycled packaging,” without more information or clarity. It’s impossible to decipher whether a brand is truly sustainable without certifications. In addition, we’ve seen a rise in “greenwashing” — the practice of corporations promoting themselves as more environmentally friendly than in reality.
It’s the marketing “Wild West” in Sustainable Branding & Identity land as there are no rules for vague sustainability and ethics claims. Brands can put all kinds of eco jargon on a label with no real substantiation. Creating a desire by consumers for solid third-party certifications. Let’s take a look at the top players in the world of Sustainable Branding:
Certified B Corporation
The B Corp certification is the only one of its kind to measure a company’s entire social and environmental performance. To become a certified B Corp, brands must apply for and receive a voluntary certification from the B Lab, a nonprofit ensuring companies meet the highest verified, social, and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified™ certification is solely for personal care, cleaning products, and baby care. The mark ensures a company’s products meet the nonprofit organization’s strict standards for transparency with ingredients and production practices.
A global multi-stakeholder nonprofit that promotes fair wages and working conditions in various industries, including coffee and textile production. Eligible companies must meet Fairtrade standards or source products from a Fairtrade-certified supply chain.
Forest Stewardship Council®
The FSC Certification “ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.” Independent accreditation bodies “verify that all FSC-certified forests conform to the requirements contained within an FSC forest management standard.”
Creating a dent in the world with Sustainable Branding & Identity?
I was introduced to B Corporations along my business journey; I’ve committed to working in one and for other businesses that understand we as a sustainable community can create a massive dent in the world from inside the corporate world. Corporations are the biggest drivers of our current society and have the most significant impact on the environment and people. We all live, work, and play with corporations. Ultimately, we have the power to co-create a shift in the world through sustainable business!
If you’re ready to start exploring your sustainable brand identity with us, get in touch today. Creative Chi is here for you every step of the way-from brainstorming about what makes your company stand out or how best to communicate its sustainability mission, vision, or values to crafting an effective and aligned logo and visual brand identity.