Skip to content

Brand Footprint part 1

  • by

Giles Shepherd, Chief Executive of Brand Alive, appeared recently on CNBC Africa to talk about Brand Footprint – our proprietary model for managing the impact of a brand on its environments, societies and economies. This is in two parts – part 1

Thank you very much for joining us today on media and money i’d like to start with you mindy i mean sustainable development we always hear this term do you think it’s truly understood could you break it down what is your perception of truly being sustainable i don’t think that it is truly understood i think there is a language barrier when you’re talking about

Terms like sustainability green development part of the challenge is everywhere you go there’s a different definition so one of the challenges the communications industry is going to have is to redefine what that language is and to come up with a common language so that we can all talk about it from from the same sheet i think that sustainable development in

Terms of where it is today is really dependent on the market you’re in certainly coming from the states you know i think for us we are seeing brands that are moving into the sustainability space much quicker than developing nations but you know bhogle the earth is a global practice and we’re watching that happen in europe and asia and we are launching here in south

Africa and you know slowly that we will see other markets come into that space well you get you into that in a minute but mike i just want to touch on what mindy was saying about can we make this communication simpler when it comes sustainability absolutely i mean in our world that’s our job as creatives ideas are about taking that complexity and simplifying it and

They’re all these noble words that are used and we have to break down to real words what’s real sustainable is just being bandied around what does it actually mean that’s the word that’s being green washed as for long comes and then what is the answer guy well just you’ve got it firstly understand what’s going on on the ground and as i say that’s where i think you

Can bring creativity in because what we need to do is communicate to people we need to touch people we need to inspire people and if we can use simple language and talk in their in their language and their way and project it in a non boring non-green way because that’s one of the things we keep fighting against that’s these greens become very gray remind the new

Black and and you could talk about creativity when it two messages about sustainability there’s ubuntu awards from the lewis and take us through that yes and i think jackie also the thing is a lot of people get sort of overwhelmed by the sustainability idea and it’s too complicated so there’s so huge and carbon footprint and it’s complex and i don’t know it’s our

And almost get pushed into non action and i think one of the things is to start to do little things so it’s not about even being completely sustainable it’s about saying are you a positive influence are you a negative influence and what we specifically looked at with your bunch of water saying as a brand if you’re going to be a brand in our environment are you

A positive contributor to our social and physical environment and it’s little thing so for example kfc was one of the bronze winners and they put an ad hope button on all their tools and on the menu and so when you order food and you can order with ad hope and you add 20 and 50 and through that process they collected millions of rand which they put into a hunger

Fund and it’s one little thing do you agree with that charles when you say it’s one little thing or do you think you talk about the brand footprint right or are you saying you need to address more than just one issue well that’s exactly it i mean i thought what mike said about the green has become grey is absolutely it it’s it’s been so easy to say everybody said

It greenwashing has become the big phenomenon and yeah your brand footprint as we refer to it is much more than just your environmental impact we look at it in in three three pillars if you like we said there’s environmental there’s societal and is economic because all brands impact across those three pillars and a lot of them intersect with one another so when

You’re talking about kfc and the you know the push a button and 0 and 50 you’re having an economic and a societal impact i through that and it’s important for brands to look at their footprint across all of them and how they can make up of impact in more than just environmental it’s not just about your carbon facts it’s about your entire brand footprint and as

We’ve spoken about the you know ab sirf finding their unique way to have a custom one that because there’s also tackling two issues at one point you want to take us to what access do well i mean they led the way it’s been picked up now bye-bye nedbank and i think and in a lot of ways in a better way they’ve gone further with the idea because that’s it introduced

The idea do you want to print a receipt now they’re they’re finding the uniqueness of their brand because of atms and printing receipt can have a positive environmental impact don’t don’t you know waste this paper create the literature and all the rest of it but you can take that idea further you know by using the atm environment to explain what you mean if you

Don’t print a receipt well then you are going to have a positive impact through these things but how about making an economic impact out of that at the same time which is to say if you don’t print your receipt will take the money that would have been spent on that and make a contribution to upliftment of a community or something like that so community and economic

Impact look for the ways to broaden that’s quite an innovative way isn’t it and is that the answer petrol price we look at innovative ways but mindy do you think as in south africa are influenced with what’s happening on the global stage are we taking notes from what’s happening overseas i think they from what i heard at the conference i definitely think that that

Is true i think there’s still a lot that can be brought into south africa and the thing that i found really eye-opening is that you guys are really at the beginning of the journey and so there is an opportunity to sort of nip greenwashing in the butt before it gets to the point of where it is certainly in the states which is just an atrocious place it’s really

Difficult at this point consumers have lost their belief in brands and so it’s it’s challenging to win that back so i think you know if it’s south africa can take some of the learnings that they’ve seen in the states and in europe and apply that to business models here and into marketing that that will be immensely valuable there are some examples and specifically

From the us where you from where you’ve seen that customers have lost the interest in brands and because of because of what reason well i think where we’re seeing problems is when you use the terms that have no definition like green or sustainability at consumers don’t know what that means and so there are at a loss so but you know what we advisors is that brands

Need to go to something more specific so it i talked about a coca cola’s brand that we work with and they have an innovation called plant bottle and rather than say that this is our green innovation that is not what they do they talk about in the specifics which is that it’s a thirty thirty percent plant-based and one hundred percent recyclable and that is something

That consumers can understand and that that’s a signal that yes this is a product that is good for the environment and that you should purchase it but we haven’t had to put any of those sort of weak terms in there and so they’re not sure what they’re like how do we get consumers how would consumers know that this brand is even one hundred percent honest on brands

Just go out there and claim to be green how do we know yeah well i think that’s why you need to add some creative activist element to it i mean a good example is something we did for nedbank where they want to talk about the power they have in marginalized communities they would see maybe as a more liters bank which a lot of the banks have a problem but now you

Could talk about it or you could do something about it so we combined it we did an ad that actually works while it talks it says what if a bank really don’t give power to the people it’s a solar billboard at powers of school in alexandria the power goes through to the kitchen feeds hundred kids so there’s a whole full circle then they’re doing the advertising is a

Big billboard up there but it’s got solar panels and that solar panels feeds part to the school so instead of just saying hey we’re going to make things happen they literally are making things happen as we speak at it’s working so as you said it it’s about it’s about being honest and about being real finding the truth of what you can say not just saying it because

It sounds good and i think that’s going to be the next proving ground of brands in the territory of how brands behave themselves and will regardless of whether its environmental societal of economic it’s got to be real and it comes back to morality and i think customers or consumers are taking the power back and i not just you know whatever we read we accepting so

I think that it’s got a big influence on brands what would you say andrew absolutely i think it’s one of the areas where social media has a very positive influence that that everything is under the spotlight now you can’t sweep something under the carpet and you can’t make a claim and then behave very differently and once something negative comes into the social

Communication environment that can there there that can become larger than your own brand activities so i think as you are discussing with mike earlier you you have to have a brand value system and your brand has to behave in that way you can’t have an ad you can’t say here’s a tv ad and we’re great and we’re green yeah and then going funny names behaving another

End one of the main things about the ax bunch of award is saying we looking at the not saying oh did you do a nice project we’re saying how does that integrate with your brand and does it ultimately the actions you do should bring those values back into the brand so

Transcribed from video
Brand Footprint part 1 By C Rode