Tom Denford
By Tom Denford
Aug 31, 2012 2:46:41 PM

Doing "Good Stuff" Not Just "Green Stuff"


Susy recently joined the inaugural ID Comms intern program. Here she explains why she jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with the team at ID Comms and what she's been up to during her time here over the Summer.

Before jumping straight into the depths of next year’s A levels, I have been interning here at ID Comms. My time here has been invaluable in helping me formulate my thoughts about ‘the great unknown’ that is the future.  Hearing about my passion for sustainability, Tom and David kindly introduced me to their contacts in this field of marketing; global pioneers and new thinkers. This gave me the brilliant opportunity to discuss how marketing and sustainability should be closely tied together, with the experts.

Marketing and sustainability is surely a contradiction of terms. Marketing is about selling more, and sustainability is about consuming less. However, this is merely a common misconception, which only makes sense when considering the two concepts in micro scale.

On the larger scale, marketing and the sustainability of a brand are completely interlinked and should never stray too far from one another.

Having met with David Hawksworth from Given London, we discussed how the first major challenge in developing good ‘brand substance’ is improving communications between CSR departments and marketing departments. By educating the rest of the company about the brands purpose and sustainability aims, this enables them to get involved in making a positive difference on the three levels; in their own lives, in their community and for the world.

Sustainability is all too often simply disregarded as ‘green stuff’, a far more accurate term would be ‘good stuff’.  It is a concept, which does not just revolve around the environment, but it is about creating a positive change for the future, whether this is for people, for communities or for the earth. The global brands of the future will be the ones who succeed in doing these ‘good things’ to create value.  Given London refer to this as ‘brand substance.’

Moving towards sustainability is a social challenge aiming to achieve ethical and more thoughtful consumerism. It is inspiring to see this beginning to really take off, more and more brands are reassessing their image and embracing the sustainability concept and using it as a selling point. Even the most criticised brands such as McDonald’s and Nike have reworked their marketing and brand image to show consumers their sustainability efforts, supporting communities and ethically sourcing products.

Although the term ‘sustainability’ is thrown around easily; in the world of marketing this is a value that will impact brands and companies globally, in both the way they act and the way they image themselves.

Susy Pfizer-Knapp