“Environmental Consciousness” A New Pillar of Consumer Branding

According to Annie Longsworth, Global Sustainability Practice Leader for Cohn & Wolfe, the three traditional pillars of consumer branding are:

  1. Trustworthiness
  2. Caring About The Customer
  3. Product Quality

In this exclusive two part video, Annie introduces us to a new 4th Pillar – “Environmental Consciousness”. This is a sea change in branding that has occurred rapidly with environmental consciousness moving up from a ninth place ranking of importance among surveyed consumers to number four in just two years. Enjoy…

(click continue for part 2)

Longsworth further explains how consumers are expanding their green expectations beyond just the product, pointing to the growing consumer expectation that sustainability should also be “innate to the company.” She identifies as a key marketing issue the growing consumer perception of misalignment between a green product’s marketing claims and the producing company’s environmental behavior.

The second video explores consumer research on the marketing of sustainability.

Longsworth notes that half of the top ten “green brands” identified through Cohn & Wolfe’s survey are offering their potential customers a service to enable sustainable choices. It is of critical importance, according to Longsworth, that the marketing of sustainability focus on creating an “emotional resonance” with the individual consumer. Example companies and services include: Microsoft’s HOHM software that enables energy conservation management and Aveeno’s Aveeno’s beauty tool that helps a consumer find cosmetics that are made from natural ingredients.

The latest study also examined differing viewpoints on sustainability in developing nations. The study found much higher enthusiasm for green products and innovation among consumers in the developing world. She brands them “eager consumers” for green products and services. She identifies Brazil as a top market for selling to eager consumers seeking brands that address issues like water and deforestation.

The research is conducted annually by Cohn & Wolfe in partnership with Landor Associates, Esty Environmental Partners and Penn Schoen Berland.

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Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce.

First Green Business Coach for Entrepreneur.com. Founder of EARTH 2017, a website posting economic analysis on disruptive trends impacting communities and businesses. President of NCCT, a consulting company that coaches CEOs and business owners on pricing and marketing best practices proven to win the millennial generation, and their moms, as customers.