• Sustainability And The CMO
    As Gardiner Morse wrote in a recent "Harvard Business Review" article, "a marketing revolution is under way and nowhere is that more visible than in the CMO's transforming role." Morse was specifically referring to Unilever's CMO, Keith Weed, who notably now oversees both marketing and communications and sustainable business. It is a shift from the model that exists at the majority of companies, namely that sustainability exists in a separate division.
  • Can The Apple Watch Save The Planet?
    Since about 10:30 am on Sept. 9, all the world can seem to talk about is the shiny new blockbuster-hopeful from Apple, which you dare not call the iWatch anymore. Critics have gushed over its sleek design, the "digital crown" navigation system, even the custom typeface that Apple has designed. But the central aspect of the device, while mentioned in every single report, has not generated all that much chatter. It's the data. More specifically, it's the potential impact of the data.
  • Governments Regulating Responsible Consumption - Don't Hold your Breath
    A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research, confirmed that, despite efforts by various groups, we'll be holding our breath for a long time if we expect government to regulate responsible consumption on a large-scale basis. In the meantime, growing a green business, by marketing to mainstream consumers, means selling the personal benefits of going green.
  • What Sells In U.S.: Products That Are Simply Better (And Happen To Be Greener, Too)
    In a recent survey of American consumer attitudes, "green" came in dead last on the list of valuable brand attributes. Of countries surveyed, the U.S. continues to rank as the least sustainable on the Greendex. The simple truth is this: if you want to sell sustainability in America, don't lead with sustainability.
  • Capping California
    Much has been said about the liberal, progressive mindset of the state of California. Well, the state that has set the environmental standards for the rest of the country, and the world, is now about to face a real test of its beliefs, right where it hurts: in the wallet. The initial results don't bode well.
  • Forget Innovation - Green Products Drive 70% of New Product Growth
    A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) research report showed responsible products accounted for two-thirds of grocery product growth in 2013. That's a pretty incredible number considering how grocery brands have been struggling.
  • Food Waste Is A Communications Problem
    While my mom always told me to "clean my plate" and not waste food - including the Brussels sprouts I attempted to hide under my napkin - we Americans throw out 40% of our total food supply. That's a staggering amount of food, when you think about it. Picture the typical 18-wheel truck hauling food from state to state, and nearly half of each truck going straight to a landfill. Now think about how much clean water it took to grow the vegetables, or feed the cows and chickens (at a time when water in our best farming regions is ...
  • Consumer Sustainability Study Says Moms Matter, Businesses Disappoint
    Nearly three-quarters of consumers believe that the private sector is failing to take care of the earth and society, according to the recently released UN Global Compact and Accenture study, "From Marketing to Mattering." Surveying 30,000 consumers across 20 countries, the report reveals valuable insights for marketers regarding the impact of sustainability on a brand's reputation, optimism and expectations on both government and the private sector.
  • Candify The Vegetable
    The path to changing attitudes and behavior is never unilateral, as much as advertising gurus might clamor. Last month, I wrote about the power of passive aggression and shaming, as strategies to counter our inherent lack of concern about the effects of climate change. Now, it's time for the carrot.
  • When We Don't Say What We Mean
    Let's face it, we all lie. Various studies have concluded that the average person lies 1.58 times per day, but frankly, there is some concern that the participants in those surveys were, well, lying. I know a number of people who might politely be called outliers ... on the high side.
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