We always keep a close eye on the most spoken-about marketing trends. As a digital marketing agency, we believe in talking about the things that matter. And when the biggest topics up for discussion right now impacts everyone, it’s easy to see why so many brands, as well as us, are talking about ESG.
ESG, or environmental, social and corporate governance, affects almost everything a brand does, says, sells and how it acts in public. So it’s kind of a big deal! Environmental stories like climate change and the Extinction Rebellion protests, injustices and social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, and governance topics like brand transparency and integrity are on everyone’s news streams. Brands have a responsibility to their customers to talk openly about everything that may affect customer loyalty or the way they interact with the brand.
ESG is so important because brands are no longer contained within an advert on the TV or radio. They’re in our homes, in our pockets, and you could say that some brands, like Apple or Amazon are considered part of our lifestyles – especially when you consider how far-reaching their products and services are. These global success stories like Apple, Amazon and even Tesla are expected to have an open and clear dialogue about their actions and how their business impacts on the world. It’s a brand’s job to earn customer trust, loyalty and respect by being honest and transparent about the way the business operates and speaking up about the issues that matter.
Let’s take a look at each topic in detail.
E is for
Only climate change deniers would say there isn’t a problem in the world right now. The world is rapidly changing, and big brands are talking about the impact their business has on the environment and the changes they are making to improve matters.
Sustainability, carbon neutrality, ethical trading and water conservation are just some of the huge environmental conversations taking place. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of their choices, and fast fashion is starting to fall out of favour. Many brands are putting policies in place to encourage sustainable fabrics and clothes, which is an issue we know something about. Check out our work with luxury brand Eco Swim to see how the owners are making a positive difference to our oceans by creating ethical swimwear from salvaged ocean plastics.
S is for
In many ways, 2020 was considered the year of the protest. Between Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter that we’ve already mentioned, there were protests around the world that were political and impossible to ignore. In Beijing, Belarus and Hong Kong, to name just a few, people protested for their rights and against regimes. Gender inequality, LGBT+ rights and the gender pay gap are huge topics for any brand to address and speak up about.
Activism should be celebrated, and brands have the perfect platform to influence their customers and encourage them to take action themselves. As well as the social media blackout which hundreds of brands took part in during the height of the BLM movement, Nike ran a ‘Just Don’t Do It’ campaign protesting against racism. It was a powerful campaign we just couldn’t ignore – from a marketing perspective, it was a really strong example of awesome activism.
G is for
Another way to gain loyalty and trust is for brands to tell the truth about the issues that matter. They owe it to their customers to be transparent. One of our clients, Lucion Services, is doing just that. Based in the UK and focused on environmental services and infrastructure, Lucion Services is paving the way in ESG. From consulting with companies on hazardous materials to making our oceans cleaner, it’s a brand with a simple mission of making the world a safer place to live in. We helped the brand explain its ESG offering through a clear, well-designed website that makes it easy for customers to understand what Lucion Services is all about.
Campaign management is important when it comes to discussing complex topics like ESG. By making sure your customers understand the point of your message, you can earn their trust and gain their help towards a better future. If you have a marketing message you want help handling, get in touch with us today and find out more about Awesome Creative.