A CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy is essential for businesses that want to grow and develop in today’s competitive world. Not only will sustainable and eco marketing enhance your brand image in the eye of the consumer, but you can also improve your brand reputation and open doors with suppliers, partners and investors.
Some businesses will now favour sustainable suppliers over others, meaning that the more earth-friendly and ethical you are as a company, the more opportunities you will have in trade. When looking for business partnerships, it’s the same process. Many companies will only sign contracts with brands that hold the same values as their brand. The ending of the 50 years long Lego and Shell partnership is the perfect example of this (see below).
Petitions Against Unethical Practices
Lego teamed up with Greenpeace to make a protest video against Shell and its plans to expand oil drilling to the Arctic. Something which went against Lego’s CSR policies, and when Shell would not agree to back down, the partnership came to an end.
The video was the most viewed Greenpeace video in history, urging people to sign the petition against Shell’s actions.
This is not the first time that petitions for social, ethical or environmental reasons have caused disruptions in the business world. With Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign going up against the ‘Big 10’ food companies to push for fair trade and to put an end to harmful food production practices. As well as parent-led campaign that targeted retailers worldwide on their gender stereotypes with children’s books, games and toys. Resulting in companies such as Dorling Kindersley, Ladybird and Miles Kelly Books agreeing to never publish future books labelled for girls and boys.
It’s clear from the activity in recent years that unsustainable practices will only lead to negative PR for any brand or business. So it’s important to have a strategy for CSR in place.
Sustainable Campaigns & Giving Back
There’s no denying that big businesses leave big footprints. But one way to tackle this problem as a brand is to give back in any way you can. This campaign from Yoox is a great example of eco marketing at its finest. Utilising a number of different tactics to reach a big audience, raising awareness about global warming and rising sea levels, and encouraging people to donate to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Collaborating with Australian swimwear brand, We Are Handsome, Yoox launched a limited edition collection to help save the Great Barrier Reef. With a percentage of the proceeds going to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation for future conservation projects.
The campaign also used the power of social media and online influencers to help reach thousands of people in the fashion community.
This social media post by instagram star Mary Leest gathered almost 50,000 likes for a single image. Showing the true power of social platforms and influencer / celebrity endorsement.