Sustainability Sucks And Needs New Strategies

I for one love the word Sustainability. Some people want to do away with it and replace it with something 'cool' and 'sexy'. I completely disagree. It's not the word's fault the majority of this term's users are Caucasian, and are above average wage earners. The problem is Sustainability sucks when it's stuck and lacks new strategies developed by Strategists for the movements decision makers and Brand managers (or lack of interest in new strategies) to increase adoption. Either way, I will present a variety of new strategies whether anyone listens to me or not.

1. Change The Messengers: Hiring Black, Latino, Asian, and others of mixed races (and better yet, women of color) specifically to staff "face-time" roles and duties in the Communication department will be the biggest, most noticeable change in the industry. Even a Spokesperson for commercials would be a game changer! Image Method Home hiring Majora Carter (@majoracarter) to be the National Spokesperson for their new line of Ocean plastic products. Both of there missions with align and her face, her words would penetrate barriers to adoption. Today, Method's website (the majority of Sustainability) lacks this strategy. Now, can anyone name three Communication rep for any of your favorite Green, Sustainability Brands off the top of your head who are not Caucasian? Good luck. Even Sustainable Brands, the leading "strategy and ideas" conference in the industry has an all-Caucasian Communication staff (kudos to SB for staffing a large number of woman in general). My goal is not to fire Caucasians or call out names? My goal is to rock the boat, shake things up, and advocate for new strategies that will #MoveTheNeedle. I credit Triple Pundit for publishing the telling blog post in 2011 titled "Sustainability Movement is in Dire Need of Minority Outreach". Trust me, not much has changed. Read more here:

*Note: Ford just did Strategy 1. Change The Messenger: http://t.co/glrgfKW6gJ

2. Shift To Digital-First: It's time to take a deep breath and let go of the past. Moble won! Digital is it! Nike is perceived as the absolute pinnicle of Corporate Giants going green, adopting clean technology, implementing a sustainable supply chain, and investing in Biomimicry! It's also the perceived leader in shifting to Digital-first, especially digital marketing. What else is there? Digital walls in corporate lobbies, digital displays at retail, the Internet of Things such a Wearables, and mobile advertising! Now, this digital-first strategy is not an easy strategy, but who says winning is easy?! Spotify is one of the hottest mobile advertising opportunities in the Country lead by one of Nation's most formidable Agents of Disruption, Sean Parker, and the potential for a Green Brand's reach is staggering. Flipboard is also a dominating digital force for all major Green Brands that struggle with content distribution and readership. 

Have I ever pushed for these changes instead of just criticize? Yes, I have.
I will probably get in trouble for posting this but last year, I requested to pitch some marketing ideas to Sustainable Life Media for their up-coming Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego. I supplied some ideas for free over a conference call, but I requested a pitch to offer services because I questioned features, benefits, and reasons to believe vs the price of admission. I think they were expecting me to pitch a really big street team or flyer drop strategy. They were surprised that a pitched a rebrand of the Expo, from the Sustainable Brands Solutions Expo to SBDX (Sustainable Brands Digital Experience). The idea of providing digital walls and interactive displays for Brands to do next-level digital storytelling (replacing cloth backdrops and black table clothes) as part of the exhibitor fee was too disruptive. I doubt it will happen. Hopefully someone from GreenBuild is reading. GBDX! 

Where's my supporting data you ask? Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts that the U.S. mobile ad market will grow from $3.6 billion in 2011 to a whopping $18.3 billion in 2015. Tablets will only continue to propel ad spending. Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/phenomenal-growth-mobile-advertising-infographic-0826220#g2Vo6ECQtYzoz4BB.99

3. Make Loss Leader Products - Poor people need Sustainbility, too. And I don't mean get cheap and make crap that falls apart. That's not Sustainable. I mean strategically take a loss, a really big loss, at the chance of gaining a profit in the future. For some brands they're already in trouble, but good solid strategy attacts investors, especially if the strategy dramatically improves what investors like: Cash Flow!

No, supporting data there. Just common sense.

4. Edit The Marketing Plan. I just finished writing a new e-book titled "#BeSuperSocial - A CMO's Guide To Leveraging Social As A High-Level Marketing Strategy" (coming in April) and in the book I advocate for Brands to go Super Social. Now some in Sustainability might be upset that I didn't target and classy this book for Green Brands ONLY but the support facts for my idea are staggering. IBM recently reports that only 20% of CMO's leverage social channels to engage with customers! In my book, I advocate for CMO's to take social from a low on the totem pole, small piece of candy in the mixed bag of marketing tricks, and elevate social to the highest strategic level possible. This would lead to employee advocacy, social selling, social customer service, and Executives using social media. My ditigal ad agency also just launched a new ground-breaking service, Twitter Chat for Brands (#TwitterChats4Brands), to improve engagement, increase brand exposure, and generate leads with sophisticated Twitter ads and lead generation cards. 

I point out in the book two companies who are close to reaching this new social stratosphere and whether you believe me or not, some brand will go Super Social. My question is will someone listen to me and will it be a brand representing Sustainabilility? 

Study: Only 20% Of CMOs Use Social Media For Customer Engagement 


If major strategy changes aren't made soon, Sustainablitity will really suck.

Visit my agency's website to learn more: http://www.bigbikegroup.com/#!About/c1t53


1 comment:

  1. OK, finally sat down and read this through... really thoughtful ideas, Yeves!