By Sofia Serrano
The Marketing Society hosted the webinar ‘Brand Conversations on Sustainability’ in partnership with LANDOR & FITCH on November 10. The panel of experts was comprised of Antony Lawrence, Executive Director of Marketing, Dubai Holding; Sue Hubner, Regional Category Director, Arla Foods; and Luc Speisser, LANDOR & FITCH’s Global Chief Innovation Officer. The webinar will be followed by a session in London on Tuesday 17 November.
As society reaches an inflexion point, consumers, investors and regulators are demanding change and action. To invest in sustainability has become more important than ever.
Increasingly, companies respond to this demand by making significant business-wide changes and investments. The webinar addressed a number of recommendations for best sustainable practices as well as examples from global and local brands.
Antony Lawrence talked on Dubai Holding’s different sustainability initiatives, including the eradication of plastic in its restaurants. Lawrence also commented on how sustainability has become a universal agenda instead of a separate sphere, and Covid has accelerated this transition. Many of his recommendations included sustainability initiatives base on the ‘circular economy’. Lawrence also addressed how education is fundamental for change, from schools to companies. He also explained the different initiatives taking place in the UAE from solar power to waste management, wildlife conservation and awareness. Lawrence’s final advice was: “Get up early” and use the extra time to discover more. Be a better person and let that rub off on others.”
Sue Hubner talked about the different initiatives taking place in Sweden, including the preference for organic food. Hubner explained how Covid-19 has transformed people’s choices as they become more health-conscious in their eating choices. In the corporate sphere, she highlighted the importance of how sustainability should come from the employees for it to work, so there is a need for awareness and education first. Similarly, there should be an awareness process with the consumers as they are the ones who in the end make the choices. Hubner’s final advice was: “As marketeers our job is to have a point of view of the future… [have] belief and purpose, be driven on the inside for the change that needs to happen”.
Luc Speisser presented the challenges on the different Arab countries. Speisser focused heavily on brand engagement and shared statistics, including how 93 per cent of citizens think brands should be more active on sustainability. He also gave a comprehensive strategy on how ‘good brands’ are good business and presented the ‘four ways to develop a good brand’.
On the ‘transform’ stage, Speisser gave the example of Good Net, that takes fishing nets and transforms them into volleyball nets.
For the ‘enhance’ stage the example was how Coty launched a campaign in Sweden that focus on sustainable products.
For the ‘accelerate’ stage the strategy consisted of supporting and funding startups with a sustainable business model or with aligning purpose.
On the ‘reverse stage,’ the case of an organic wine made at an accessible price portrayed the marketing strategy based on sustainability.
Speisser’s main concept consists of how sustainability is at the core of creating good brands.
Speisser’s final advice was: “Don’t care too much about your neighbours. Focus on your own thing… Don’t be afraid of sustainability, and stay focused.”
The webinar concluded with the announcement of the ‘Marketing Society Awards’. They will be announced on December 9.