Pinpoint the case evidence you need – search by industry, objective, media and more.
Creative TV and video executions from the most innovative and market-leading brands.
Browse campaigns from the world's leading advertising and marketing effectiveness awards.
The latest from our annual case study competitions.
Our ranking of the world's best marketing campaigns and companies.
Browse Warc by subject.
Brands & branding
Consumer research & insight
Media channels & touchpoints
Key Warc papers on marketing best practice.
In-depth analysis of 200 global brand owners.
Develop your skills as a marketing strategist.
Compare your ROI with the Warc database.
Get the edge you need in new business.
Latest reports from Warc and trusted partners offering unique insights into current trends.
The driving forces behind consumer behaviour.
New developments for industries and sectors.
Strategic insight for the marketing of brands.
Media & Tech
Latest innovations in media and technology.
Insight and intelligence for countries and regions.
Daily coverage of key developments for marketers worldwide.
The Warc Blog
Insights, opinions and fresh new thinking from our team of bloggers around the world.
Overview of databases, forecasts and reports.
Annual ad expenditure data for 96 markets.
Media Costs Database
Compare costs by media and target audience.
International and Consensus ad forecasts.
Trends by primary media and second screen.
Global Marketing Index
A monthly indicator of the state of the industry.
Key briefings from major conferences and events in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Plan your schedule of must-attend events with our global calendar of conferences.
Learn how to tackle key marketing challenges from leading experts in our series of in-depth webinars.
Content & Partners
What Our Clients Say
Request a Trial
For our market-leading publications and events
Contact us on +1 202 778 0680
Do I Subscribe?
The Warc Blog
The Warc Blog
Feedback / Complaints
Other Blogs We Like
Account Planning Group UK
Account Planning Methods
ANA: Marketing Musings
Brand Keys: The Keyhole
Garfield at Large
Harvard Business Review
Joe la pompe
Market Research Society
One Size Fits One
Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis
The Warc Blog
In Search of the Corporate Soul
, Knowledge Manager, Synovate Laboratories
“When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln
“We live in fractured and distrustful times and if institutions are failing us, company leaders need not do the same. Control over the products, services and behaviour of companies is in the hands of individuals and it is possible and profitable to do the right thing.” These words, written by Judie Lannon in the editorial of
this quarter’s Market Leader
, echo a growing sentiment.
shares this view
: “We need to use our marketing skills to develop new sustainable businesses. There will be new forms of renewable energy and also practices to reduce our usage. Marketers will need to persuade people to live and work in new ways… What I am calling for is a revolution of business practice and consumer behaviour. I have lived through several revolutions and am confident that there will be at least one more.”
trust has been broken
and brands need to search for their souls (even though thinking of them as humans has
complications of its own
) so it can be restored. But why are we suddenly so pedantic about imbuing brands with personality and considering them as our friends? A few years ago, nobody really cared. It didn’t matter that your bank was a big unfriendly giant ruled by
highly paid higher-ups
when they were giving out loans to anything that moved. So is trust (much like
) only important when times are tough? Does it matter what goes on behind closed doors as long as we’re getting what we want?
In any case, companies are responding. If they’re lucky, these processes coincide with their original goal to maximise shareholder value so there’s no need to “sacrifice”. That’s because doing good is seen as a differentiator that
positively affects the bottom line
. An example I noticed at a mall nearby was a month of trade-ins. Customers came away satisfied from bringing in their old merchandise to qualify for discounts on computer equipment or designer jeans (and the companies got to enjoy the tax deductions when these were donated, which unsurprisingly happened right at the end of the fiscal year).
For Goodness Sake!
What about the other side? How likely is it that we as consumers will do the “right” thing when money is tight and we need to
think of ourselves
? All this talk about green being the new black (we’ve been through so many colours already, you’d think black would be the new black by now) seems a little much. Much of it is based on surveys to determine purchase intention and willingness to pay premiums, even though this only correlates to actual behaviour 30% of the time (see reference below). It’s as though we’ll say whatever we think sounds right in an interview and then do something else entirely when the time comes.
Dr Anne Sharp and Kate Newstead capture it well in
Green Brand Fatigue
: “Many studies do show that most people value ‘buy local’ and ‘go green’ sentiments. But these attitudes correlate poorly with actual in-store behaviour. This isn’t to say that consumers don’t care about green benefits at all. It’s just that the average shopper is a cognitive miser who purchases quickly and automatically. And despite the best of intentions to prioritise green products, what ends up in the shopping trolley is usually based on habit and unconscious processing, rather than on rational decisions.”
Like with brands, the ideal situation is when what benefits the environment happens to benefits the individual (e.g. installing efficient lighting to save on your electric bill) or doesn’t cost the individual anything (e.g. having a company make a donation if you tweet their message). The ideal situation is to have products from good companies that deliver sustainable benefits at fair prices. But would consumers really choose to save the planet over saving what little money they have if it came to making a choice?
For example, if two laundry detergents cost the same, would you opt for the eco-friendly one if the other works better? What if they worked equally well but the regular one cost substantially less? This is similar to the principle in finance of choosing the stock with the higher return (performance) if both have the same risk (cost) and choosing the stock with the lower risk if both have the same return.
As the article continues: “Stamping ‘green’ on the side of the box is no get-out-of-jail-free card. Who wants to buy an Apple computer just because it’s shipped in a smaller box? But, if it still delivers on speed, software and aesthetics, and is shipped in a smaller box, then this can be the added value for the consumer that encourages them to choose that brand.” That’s where the gold lies.
(For more, see ‘
Do Intentions Really Predict Behaviour?
’, Journal of Marketing, 2005)
20 April 2010 13:29
comments on this blog
Add your comment here:
Posting your comment.... please wait
TV Trends: The Missing NFL Viewers
From AR to VR to MR
Four data lessons from history
Life in Flow – Tap Science for Better Creative
Are social media and gaming good for us?
Point of view: The social media detox
Time to synchronise
Beats by Dre: R/GA - Old school marketing to a new generation
Limber Up: Strategy & Planning – The Agile Way
Hover cars, branded content and guanxi at Cannes' China Day
Get daily news
Do I subscribe?
Request a trial