Category — Environment

Unilever Logic

keith weed unilever hub

Keith Weed wants Unilever to be the trust mark of sustainable living.

The great thing about marketing, says Unilever marketing chief Keith Weed, is that it is both art and science. “It is creativity and effectiveness; it is magic and logic,” says Keith. “But I do think that there will be more logic in marketing in the future than there has been in the past.” For Unilever, the past is prologue. When William and James Lever founded Lever Brothers in the late 1800s, the logic was to make cleanliness commonplace, which it was not in Victorian-era Europe.

Sensing opportunity, William and James worked with a chemist to develop an innovative bar-soap using glycerin and palm oil instead of tallow. What they created was a brand — a guarantee of consistent quality — and they named it Sunlight. Like magic, the brothers Lever built a huge business that endures to this day as Unilever, where their purposeful legacy is alive and growing.

Indeed, Unilever in 2010 unfurled its ambitious Sustainable Living Plan, pledging to double the company’s growth by 2020 while cutting its carbon footprint in half; sustainably source 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials; and improve the health and well-being of more than one-billion people across the world.

Very much in the spirit of its founding brothers, Unilever plans to make a pile of money by improving the quality of life, while treading more lightly on the planet. Or, as Keith says, “make marketing noble again.” It sounds lofty, but as he explains, it is actually quite basic: “It’s really about getting back to the core of what marketing was: serving people by identifying current and future needs, so you can get to the future first and grow the business accordingly …” read >>

March 1, 2013   1 Comment

Cause & Effect


Is giving back the ultimate return-on-investment? A roundtable discussion featuring Karen Quintos of Dell, Dave Stever of Ben & Jerry’s, Stephanie Gallo of E&J Gallo, Teresa Kroll of Build-A-Bear Workshop and Lisa Klauser of IN Marketing Services.

What does it mean for a brand to be socially responsible?

Karen Quintos: Social responsibility is more than just marketing. It’s really a commitment to do business in local communities, and engage employees to contribute. About a year or so ago, we took a strategic approach across our corporate responsibility at Dell under an umbrella we call the “power to do more.” We talk about our corporate responsibility platform as “power the possible.”

Our strategic priorities are around youth and education, pediatric cancer in the healthcare area, and environmental sustainability efforts including developing bamboo and mushroom packaging. We also have employee volunteer efforts in disaster relief, helping those who are less fortunate, and volunteering with local schools or charities … read >>

March 1, 2013   Comments

Seeing Green

landorFour insights into eco-perceptions. By Alexander Braun and Mindy Romero. If President Obama’s recent inauguration speech is any indication, the issues of sustainability and alternative energy sources remain front and center in the minds of many. The search for solutions is ongoing, and it’s up to big business, not just science, to pursue better options.

Over the past several years, sustainability and corporate efforts to be green have evolved from mere fad to table stakes in many industries. Whether because of regulations or consumer demand, the priorities of many marketers have changed. For some industries, sustainability programs extended only as far as product packaging. But in many companies, development of policies has involved even top management and CEOs. Throughout this time, we’ve had the privilege of observing and measuring consumer reactions, and more important, the resulting changes in purchasing behavior … read >>

March 1, 2013   Comments

Sustainable Shopping

catpult rpmE-commerce is driving the next wave of sustainability. By Brian Cohen and Angela Edwards. For the average packaged-goods shopper, the world has become an increasingly scary place, with global warming, the shrinking clean-water supply, and ozone depletion getting their fair share of the headlines. Caring for the planet has become a shopper expectation of brands and retailers; it has become a corporate “have-to-have,” not a “nice-to-have.”

As a result, packaged-goods marketers and retailers responded with a wave of “green” marketing a few years back. They implemented sustainability programs, and used their efforts as a launching pad for positive public relations. Green products made with recycled materials penetrated the retail shelf, and green promotions overtook our airwaves … read >>

March 1, 2013   Comments

Small Planet Packages

Navigating the sustainability maze of product packages. By Brad Scott. Acting “sustainably” means maintaining a balance and not depleting your available resources. In business, this often translates into balancing costs against a product’s impact on the community in which you operate. Some companies refer to this as “the triple bottom line,” which takes into account profit, people, and planet.

Another term we often hear is “cradle-to-cradle” or “closed-loop” product management, meaning that products have more than a single life or can be reborn in a new form. Nike Grind is a dazzling illustration of this concept: To date, some 25 million pairs of used athletic shoes have been collected, ground up, and turned into surfaces for playing fields …
read >>

January 1, 2011   Comments

The Pepsi Conversation

Jill Beraud, PepsiCo
It’s like the Pepsi Challenge for the digital generation, says CMO Jill Beraud.  An exclusive Q&A interview by Tim Manners.
(pdf) or (text)

May 1, 2010   1 Comment

The New Pop Culture

Dori Molitor, WomanWise
Optimism is the pulse of the next Pepsi generation. By Dori Molitor.  (pdf) or (text)

May 1, 2010   Comments

Beauty in Virtue

Cable Daniel-Dreyfus, Landor
Luxury brands can make us look (and feel) good. By Cable Daniel-Dreyfus. (pdf) or (text)

January 1, 2010   Comments

Key of IKEA

Bill Agee, IKEA

Bill Agee of IKEA says innovation begins with a culture of courtesy and a sense of community. An exclusive Q&A interview by Tim Manners.

(pdf) or (text)


January 1, 2009   Comments

The Obama Challenge

Spencer Hapoineu, Insight out of Chaos

One should never waste a good crisis … and by all accounts this one will be a doozy.  By Spencer L. Hapoienu. 

(pdf) or (text)

January 1, 2009   Comments

Green Pragmatism

Cindy Jolicoeur, Marketing Drive

Eco-savvy consumers should be at the center of your brand strategy.  By Cindy Jolicoeur.

(pdf) or (text)

January 1, 2009   Comments

The Hub 28

The Hub, Issue 28

The entire Jan/Feb ’09 issue of The Hub magazine (52 pages), centered on innovation, including an interview with Bill Agee of IKEA and 17 other articles. (download pdf)

January 1, 2009   Comments

The Perfect Storm

Dori Molitor, WomanWise

A new survey of U.S. women reveals fear, anger … and a rare opportunity to restore their trust. By Dori Molitor.

(pdf) or (text)

November 1, 2008   Comments

Green Fatigue

Green Fatigue

How important are "green" or "organic" claims to purchasing decisions? Which "green" or "organic" brands do you trust the most? An executive summary of a survey.

(pdf) or (text)

July 1, 2008   Comments

The Green Team

Ann Hand, BP

For Ann Hand of BP, brand identity means making the retail experience "a little better."  An exclusive Q&A interview by Tim Manners. (download pdf)

July 1, 2007   Comments

Brands in the Balance

Russ Meyer, Landor Associates

For consumers, being green is not a fad.  It’s a seismic, long-term shift in self-definition and behavior. By Russ Meyer. (download pdf)

July 1, 2007   Comments