In a very encouraging research survey sponsored by the American Marketing Association and Fleishman Hillard, nearly 60% of marketing and communications professionals believe their organizations will be placing increased emphasis on sustainability issues over the next 2-3 years than in the past.
It is an exciting time to be involved in sustainable branding because more and more companies are recognizing that sustainability can not only be a profitable business practice, but a powerful competitive differentiator.
But in one of the odd contradictions of the survey, while 73% believe corporate reputation will be a driver of adopting sustainability practices, only 60% believe marketing considerations will drive sustainability. We believe corporate reputation and marketing strategies should be incredibly inter-twined and that communicating and providing ways for people to experience a company’s commitment to sustainability is going to be a brand marketing imperative moving forward.
The truth is that corporate reputation management moving forward requires orchestration of all elements of the organization. It is critical the internal silos be broken down so corporate social responsibility actions, sustainability initiatives, and brand communication (plus promotion, sponsorship, events, CRM etc) all be choreographed as a part of the overall brand experience. The customer doesn’t compartmentalize the impressions they take away from a company or a brand so it is important that the organization does not do it either. Now more than ever when it comes to brand reputation management, the right hand and the left hand not only need to know what each are doing—but both hands should be on the wheel!