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March 15, 2012      
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  Is Your Brand’s Sustainability Really Worth Talking About?
It’s critical to get very clear on what part of achieving your brand’s desired sustainability perceptions is up to Marketing/Corporate Communications and what part is up to product development. And there is one key question to obtaining that clarity: is your sustainability reality weaker than the story you’re telling, or is it actually stronger?
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  ALSO THIS WEEK
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  Listen Local, Act Global
To be successful with a program or initiative, you’d better be really sure about the outcome you want. But what if the decision about outcome isn’t wholly yours to make? Or, put another way, should it be? In that case, it’s good to step outside ‘traditional’ constructs, and first master the art of effective listening.
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Insight Demystified
Since the great recession was first officially acknowledged in late 2007, the marketing world has buzzed with information and updates on what constitutes the “new normal” in shopper behavior. “Frugality” was initially the term used to describe the predominant approach consumers were taking, but that label has since evolved to what is currently coined, “conscientious consumption.” Shoppers are highly aware of the state of the world, and want brands and companies to care about the same things they value, and will loyally, and often quite publically (i.e. via Facebook, Yelp, etc.), support those that do.
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  Sustainability Literacy - Or, Why Today's Marketers Need To Know Everything About Everything.
The Golden Age of Marketing was like the Golden Age of Air Travel - a worry-free world of possibility, where confident captains whisked you away to exotic destinations with drinks served by beautiful people. No one made you take off your shoes at security. Heck, no one even asked you to butt out your Marlboro once the No Smoking sign was off. These days, marketing is more like a round-the-world flight with 50 stopovers under terror threat twelve. Woe to those who don't know what is hiding in their corporate baggage.
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  What Can Sustainability Learn From The Kony Controversy?
48 hours ago, I was blissfully unaware of Joseph Kony. Today, I’m one of the 43 million people who have just discovered he’s a nasty character, that we have to arrest him in 2012, and that the whole world has time to watch a 30 minute video, if it’s really really compelling. Long story short. Social media is an incredibly potent tool for spreading a powerful message, fast. But what did the anti-Kony team do to turn their movement into such a social media tsunami? And how can we harness their experience to accelerate sustainability action?
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  Less is More in Sustainability Reporting
The emergence and (tentative) mainstreaming of sustainability has helped unlock new sources of innovation and opportunity for business – to say nothing of helping to reduce humanity’s footprint on the Earth. That's the good news. The bad news is that in the rush to demonstrate their sustainability credibility, many companies are spending too much time and money on sustainability reports groaning under the weight of too many “metrics” and “indicators”. Less can actually be more when it comes to measuring and communicating sustainability performance.
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