In my recent report, “Embrace The Green Business Opportunity,” I demonstrated how new entrants and innovative brands, especially in Europe, are disrupting the status quo and becoming profitable sustainable businesses. This is not just about the iconic Patagonia, but also about Allbirds, Arcadia Power, Backmarket, BlaBlaCar, C’est qui le Patron?!, Ecotone, Enfuce, Frosch, Imperfect Foods, Oatly, Too Good To Go, and Vinted. You may argue these are new players and startups that do not face the same issues as traditional brands do. Fair enough. But large, established firms like IKEA, Lidl, Schneider Electric, Orsted, Neste, Unilever, and Zalando have embarked on this journey too.

CMOs at greener brands execute authentic sustainability efforts to move from storytelling to storymaking. They truly understand their customers’ emotions, demonstrate empathy, innovate new product experiences, and authentically engage their communities. They master the traditional marketing 4Ps to deliver total experiences through R&D orchestration and service design, to justify a premium price, or to rethink value chains to stay competitive. They embrace new distribution channels and concepts, and they find a unique tone that authentically and transparently engages their community.

CMOs At Sustainable Brands Span Beyond Traditional Marketing

After identifying firms that were growing overall revenue and profit while engaging in serious environmental sustainability efforts, we analyzed their marketing approaches to identify potential common patterns and best practices. The result? These businesses embark on companywide transformations and have broad approaches to sustainability that aren’t limited to environmental sustainability. Their approaches go beyond common marketing practices to include sourcing and supply chain management. Plus, CMOs at these pioneering sustainable brands play a key role in their businesses’ transformations: They reestablish the marketing function well beyond advertising and promotion, and they boldly innovate and cocreate products and embrace the disciplines of customer and employee experience.

  • Champion the customer and demonstrate empathy.
  • Innovate with new experiences to embrace robust business models.
  • Close the gap between brand experience (BX), CX, and EX.
  • Move from storytelling to storymaking.

Interested in going deeper? Check out my latest report, “The CMO’s Guide To Green Marketing.”