A brand is no longer just an appearance of your identity or management of your status. Brand is everything about your business strategy - from why you exist to what you sell, and crucially, the association you have with your consumer. With this in mind, it is clear why sustainability has become a key feature of brand style. Changing consumer expectations, resource constraints, climate change, rising markets – all of these sustainability challenges have strategic implications for your brand.
The brands we recognise as being pioneers in sustainability have built significant equity around the promise they make to consumers by supporting an intention with clear action. Intellum recently suggested that the reason why companies are not great at sustainability and building trust is "because they are not reliable to begin with". Simply put, brands built on legitimate foundations will find it easier to connect to consumers.
The key to successful application is to ensure there is position across all elements of your brand architecture. The businesses that focus on the "what" at the expense of discovering "why" will resist to fully integrate sustainability strategically, and find it difficult to move sustainability beyond a department within their operations function. And the purpose-led brands that forget to connect their "how" with the values of their customer may continue to be perceived as niche players in the market, campaigning for a reason that sits outside the needs of consumers.