About hideous oranges and failed lemons

There is business in sustainability; increasingly consumers are aware of sustainability issues, find these important, and even make it play a part in their purchasing decisions. But apparently, companies do not yet sufficiently know how to tell their sustainability story. That is the topic of Sustainable Business Network’s Fiona Stephenson’s blog post of this week.

According to Stephenson, 90 percent of New Zealand consumers say their purchasing behavior is influenced by sustainability issues, while 62 per cent are prepared to pay more to ensure their purchases are sustainable. However, none of them can name any sustainability leaders, leaving the author to assume that companies do not tell their stories well.

So the question is; how must business tell their story so that their effort for a better environment and working conditions gets known and recognized? Stephenson gives five brand story telling rules: It’s true; it’s human; it’s original; it serves the customer; it tells a bigger story that’s aligned with your long-term business strategy.

IDH Head of Communications Daan de Wit finds the story of IDH partner Nutreco, a company selling animal feed, one of the best he came across lately. “Nutreco is well able to combine communication about their sustainability goals, with communication around their commercial goals,” says De Wit. “And their imagery is very clear.” The Nutreco video  ‘Who we are and what we stand for’ underlines this well, as well as the homepage of their website.

Stephenson also names a few examples, among which Intermarche. Have a look at their ‘Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables’ campaign to start the weekend with a smile. Less emphasis on integrating sustainability communication with other communication, but much effort put in telling a real compelling story with good images and examples. Anyone fancy a hideous orange or a failed lemon?!