December 7 2022
New Year’s resolutions are destined to be broken.
It takes more than a statement of intent to change a behaviour. At least that’s what we know from behavioural science. It requires a change of habit and that’s easier said than done.
When it comes to making a resolution for your brand there are two parts to consider. The easy part is making the resolution. The hard part is getting your brand to live up to it.
Now, for the easy part. In 2023, your brand should resolve to be kinder, safer and fairer. This is the pledge it should make to people and planet. This is what a sustainable brand will be.
Why? Because 88% of people want your brand to change the world for the better.
So, that’s resolution number one – be good for the world.
Right now, the single most important issue for sustainable brands is greenwashing. It is such a challenge that consumer and corporate regulators are punishing companies for misleading claims.
Don’t overstate the positives in your brand’s sustainability story. Don’t make misleading or false claims about your brand’s impact on nature or humanity. Be honest about your brand’s impacts on society and the environment. Ultimately, greenwashing affects the bottom line.
So, the second resolution – start with and stick to the truth.
Now, for the hard part: keeping the resolutions.
Let’s deal with being good for the world first. One way to do this is for a brand owner to seek certification as a B Corporation (BCorp). BCorps are to business what fair trade is to coffee. The first step towards certfication is to complete the B Impact Assessment. Being a BCorp changes the way a company works and in doing so turns its brands into a force for good.
As for the second resolution, at Currie, we say start with the facts and craft a brand’s sustainability story from the truth. This truth can be grounded in third-party certification or verification of the sustainable practices in your brand’s supply chain, such as fair trade for coffee.
If that sounds like too much hard work for your brand refer to voluntary industry codes for claims about the environment or follow guidelines from consumer protection agencies in your jurisdiction.
But whatever your brand’s sustainability resolutions, keep this is mind: although consumers want your brand to change the world for the better, they also want it to benefit them.
For decades we’ve been prioritising the what’s in it for me? It’s no different for sustainability.