Velvet Three Trees: Sustainability sells

Principal authors: Tom Goodwin and Isabelle O'Sullivan, Fallon London
Contributing authors: Sam Veitch and Federico Forti, BrandScience


The rise of environmental awareness has been a clear trend over the last decade. Brands have been quick to react to consumer demands that companies do their bit too; there have been many CSR programs created to ensure that brands are seen as the good guys.

But often these CSR programs are created totally independent of the marketing process and are seen as separate to the serious business of selling stuff. There is often a concern that promoting environmental credentials can damage the quality associations of your brand. The result is that being environmentally friendly is left to the margins of the marketing process (perhaps a single SKU or PR story).

For Velvet not only was doing good to the planet a good thing to do, but putting sustainability at the heart of the brand's communications was able to deliver business value in a really tough market. Velvet's "three trees" advertising more than doubled the effectiveness of its communications to an RROI of £1.841. That is far higher than the equivalent RROI for Andrex (£0.92)2, a brand three times the size of Velvet.