flevyblog

Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP STRATEGY, MARKETING, SALES OPERATIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION & CHANGE IT/MIS Other

Strategic Sustainability, ROI, and Corporate Branding

Previously, I wrote a post about how companies can use social marketing to distribute content and tell their brand story to the target market. I discussed how many companies are using social media to highlight their sustainability programs and the ways they improve communities. However, many remain skeptical of storytelling as a marketing tool, and even sustainability programs themselves. I heard from a few skeptics in the comments. They wondered whether content marketing about a company’s community impact had any real measurable ROI.

Recently, I came across a video on Youtube “Doing Well By Doing Good,” from Coca Cola’s CEO, Muhtar Kent, from their 2014 shareholder meeting regarding the importance of sustainability within their organization. The video is in response to the question of a skeptical shareholder.

“My question is about the business case for all your sustainability programs. Are these just feel good PR efforts or do they create real value for the business? Is there any real return on investment?”

The response he gave was epic. He discusses how their sustainability program has been the driving force behind many of the innovative advancements they have made including water neutrality. Their refined processes use far less water. Plus, they now recycle more of what they do use! The positive impact to society is that Coke’s factories are using exponentially less water in the communities they serve. The benefit to Coke’s bottom line was realized from a 30% reduction in production costs.

Coke’s CEO summarizes their sustainability program and the impact they are aiming for here: woman with laptop typing  at home

Coke is focused on making a positive difference in communities around the world through a three-pronged sustainability agenda focused on empowering women through its 5by20 program and other initiatives; replacing every liter of water used to manufacture its beverages through reduction, recycling and replenishment projects by 2020; and promotingwell-being through four global commitments focused on increasing the availability of low- and no-calorie beverage options, responsible marketing, transparent labeling and supporting active healthy living programs worldwide.

A couple of days ago on Twitter, I did a search under the hashtag #SustainabilityROI. One of the pages I looked at was @SustainBrands. While, there were tons of great links and tweets on the page, the one that stuck out most was this Tweet:

  Presentation: Regenerating Connection: ‘Storydoing’ for Authenticity and Lasting Brand Value: 

The link is to a presentation from Sustainable Brands where they highlight the importance of storytelling within a company’s marketing tactics to project the image of an authentic brand. I am the Founder and CMO at Social Marketing Solutions, LLC(SMS). At SMS, our slogan is: “Marketing is no longer just about pushing a product, rather it is a compelling brand story that makes an organization stand out.”  Good story telling provides emotional attachment for customers to the brand, making them more sticky and increasingly more loyal.

With so many choices in the marketplace of similar quality and price, consumers are looking align themselves with brands that fit their values. They are more likely to do business with companies that they see have a positive impact on their community. Customers want to do business with a transparent brand that engages them with interesting and value based content.

I firmly believe that sustainability practices are in the best interest of all organizations big and small. Incorporating sustainability can improve a company’s operations, impact their communities, improve their reputations, and enhance their branding efforts.

Do you see the synergy between sustainability and branding via story telling or are you a skeptic? Please do engage in discussion below regarding the effectiveness of sustainability programs, storytelling as a branding tool, or anything else that came to mind while reading my post.

About John White

He is a Chief Marketing Officer at Social Marketing Solutions, the LinkedIn group owner of Publishers and Bloggers, MBA candidate, and contributor to Dice Tech News, CareerToolbox, Linked Into Business, and more. You can connect with him on John White

, ,




Complimentary Business Training Guides


Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]   What does it take to achieve Operational Excellence? Read this guide and learn to build an integrated Business Execution System from Six Sigma Master Black Belt Frank Adler, co-founder of Operational Excellence Consulting. [Learn more]
The Fiaccabrino Selection Process (FSP) is a proven methodology for increasing sales and reducing turnover, developed by "Mr. Roche," Charles Fiaccabrino. Mr. Fiaccabrino is a Sales Executive with over 50 years of experience. [Learn more]   Learn this time-tested approach to Change Management authored by Ron Leeman, recipient of the Change Leader award by the World HRD Congress in 2012. Ron Leeman has been Change, Process and Project professional since 1974. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function

  

  

  

  

  


The Flevy Business Blog (http://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most articles have been contributed for management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience. If you would like to contribute an article, please email our editor David Tang at [email protected].

Flevy (http://flevy.com) is the marketplace for premium business documents, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our documents are of the same caliber produced by top tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte. Learn more about Flevy here.


Connect with Flevy:

   
  


About Flevy.com   /   Terms   /   Privacy Policy
© 2015. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.