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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, March 20 2014 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

    People around the world are changing their attitudes, behavior and consumption patterns to support products and services that shift toward a sustainable global economy that promises better health and dignity for all. Brands that embrace this shift are seeing positive results across multiple levels of their businesses. With CSR at the heart of everything they do, a willingness to experiment with new models, and a commitment to redesigning every aspect of their business, its no wonder that, as Triple Pundit points out, Corporate Citizenship enhances performance, recruitment, and sales growth.

    From sharing food and gratitude with FEED at SXSW to surveying the powerful ripples of the “CVS Effect,” Interbrand’s March newsletter supplies the information and inspiration you need to help you accelerate change. Highlighting the link between CSR and financial performance, the encouraging impact of CVS’s decision to end tobacco sales, and TOM’s decision to expand its “one for one” model into the coffee business, our Corporate Citizenship outlook focuses on the stories that are moving the needle and companies that are making a difference.

    To find out more about how to align personal and corporate values, how to take CSR initiatives to the next level, and learn more about the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory in action, check out this month’s installment of Closing the Gap!

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  • Posted by: Sharmilee Rau on Monday, March 10 2014 09:56 AM | Comments (0)
    Victoria Beckham

    What do The Remington Arms Company and Victoria Beckham have in common?

    First impressions would suggest very little… but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that both are reportedly entering "‘lifestyle" brand territory.

    The Remington Arms Co. started to leverage its 200 year history last year, as one of the USA’s oldest gun manufacturers, capitalising on its heritage, expertise and legacy in the gun market by developing a line of clothing and accessories - the 1816™ Collection. According to Ross Saldarini, Senior Vice President for accessories and lifestyle, the new range has been designed to “celebrate the Remington lifestyle… for the field and beyond."

    Driving deeper emotional engagement with firearm enthusiasts, this new venture taps into an associated lifestyle. While there is significant controversy in America regarding gun policies, the brand's strategy recognizes an emotional connection intrinsic to the lifestyle of its consumers.

    On the seemingly other end of the spectrum, after achieving success as a global fashion brand and, perhaps more significantly, acceptance from the famously closed set of the fashion elite – being recently named one of The Top 20 British Fashion Players by The Guardian – rumours have emerged that the artist, formerly known as Posh Spice, has set her sights on launching a more affordable "lifestyle" brand to be sold in department stores.

    Anticipated as a brand for the masses, it will give consumers the opportunity to own a slice of VB’s lifestyle. Numerous other celebrities have adopted similar approaches in different guises (Goop anyone?). The general approach is based on packaging up the celebrity lifestyle and selling a curated version of it to the general public who are aspiring to live like their idols.



    These two examples illustrate how "lifestyle brand" has become a catch-all phrase to encompass anything associated with lifestyle. On the one hand, it can be taken as a brand that extends beyond functional product features to display an emotional characteristic (attitude, value or passion) that people identify with as part of their own lives. While on the other hand, it can be understood as a more clearly defined way of life that encompasses the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of a specific group of people.

    What’s clear is that lifestyle brands operate in much the same way as other strong, powerful brands – they are authentic, based on a clearly defined philosophy that’s underpinned by a clear set of values. They represent and celebrate ideals, creating deep emotional connections based on shared interests, attitudes and beliefs and they become a symbol of personal identity that consumers use to reinforce their own personal identity.

    So far, so good…but what makes them different? A true lifestyle brand is so relevant and specific that it becomes incorporated into the natural rhythms and patterns of a life for a clearly defined group or subculture. Brands achieve this status by exhibiting a clear attitude that reflects a philosophy that influences consumer behaviour and choices. In this way they can become essential to that culture, often show-casing an idealised representation of a lifestyle and becoming a symbol for the lifestyle.

    Sharmilee Rau is a Consultant, Strategy, at Interbrand London.


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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, February 25 2014 12:59 PM | Comments (0)
    Thinking Ahead in the Auto Industry

    Environmental groups like Greenpeace are turning up the heat for brands, calling on them to remove pollutants from their products. As cities play host to their fashion weeks, advocates are drawing attention to the issue. And many brands are responding with commitments to detox their products.

    As brandchannel has reported, Valentino committed to eliminating toxins and zero deforestation and Burberry committed to detox its clothing by Jan. 1, 2020. Other brands that have also responded to Greenpeace with commitments to detox include Uniqlo, Zara, Levi’s, H&M, Nike, adidas, Puma and Mango.

    What’s the value in integrating a Corporate Citizenship strategy for brands? Last month Clark University researchers revealed in their latest study that there is a definitive positive connection between sustainable, social and environmental supply chain management and corporate financial performance, measured by return on assets and return on equity. Not only is a boost detected, but a decrease in revenue is found when Corporate Citizenship is not integrated in supply chains.

    Taking a healthier approach can benefit brands not only in positioning themselves in terms of sustainability, but in connecting their brand values and identity with healthier living. As InterbrandHealth reported, CVS’s move to snuff out cigarettes by October 1 is a bold move. “By marrying business strategy with brand strategy, InterbrandHealth believes CVS is well on its way to being both an industry trailblazer and company to watch in the new world of health.”

    This month’s Closing the Gap, Interbrand's Corporate Citizenship newsletter, explores these topics and how brands like Coca-Cola, Ikea and Bacardi are taking action to future-proof against the environmental challenges of the coming years. As it becomes increasingly clear that climate change is an economically disruptive force, brands are putting a growing focus on Corporate Citizenship.

    The Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship’s report finds a 74% increase in the number of companies reporting having a CSR executive over what was reported in 2010. More than 25% report that their CEOs are taking active roles in Corporate Citizenship program evaluation.

    This newsletter also features video of a conversation with Roel de Vries, Corporate Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, Communications and Brand Strategy for Nissan Motor Company and Jez Frampton, Global CEO, Interbrand. Frampton and de Vries discuss the importance of forward-thinking and investing in the future.

    How is your brand integrating Corporate Citizenship into its strategies and communicating its efforts to consumers? Share your take on the value of Corporate Citizenship and its role in branding with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    To subscribe to Closing the Gap and to learn more about Corporate Citizenship at Interbrand, please contact Tom Zara, Global Practice Leader of Corporate Citizenship.

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  • Posted by: InterbrandHealth on Wednesday, February 5 2014 06:28 PM | Comments (0)
    CVS

    In a dramatic move today, CVS/Caremark announced that by October 1, its stores will no longer sell cigarettes or tobacco products. (The company has not made formal decision regarding e-cigarettes, but does not currently carry them.) CVS noted that the change could cost them $2 billion in sales, but that it is well worth it to avoid aligning their brand with the chronic illnesses that are a result of smoking and second-hand inhalation. The decision is sure to delight anti-smoking advocates, parents and health practitioners, but will it alienate customers who smoke?

    Maybe. But CVS has made the tough call that it can no longer supply a product that is demonstratively damaging to people's health. Embracing "health" as a crucial element of its identity, may help CVS position itself for the future and pave the way for other brands. It will be interesting to see if other "healthy" retailers follow suit. This change may also help CVS grow with the changing healthcare marketplace.


    Post by CVS.

    With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the US this year, healthcare providers anticipate a huge influx of patients, many of whom may not have had insurance in the past. Small walk-in facilities expect to accommodate many of these new patients. CVS currently hosts 800 MinuteClinics that cater to this very dynamic.

    And the company plans to add 700 more by 2017. The New York Times reported that CVS Chief Executive Larry J. Merlo wanted to correct the cognitive dissonance between selling cigarettes and providing health, but that the decision also allows them to position the company for future expansion and growth.

    It's a strong demonstration by CVS of the authenticity that we think should go into business goals and then be adapted strategically for brand development. Despite the $2 billion hit, CVS may find its revenues increase based on this decision, which reflects not only CVS's core values, but our culture's own changing behaviors. The decline of smoking overall, ubiquitous government bans and growing popularity of e-cigarettes, all point to a shift in our own thinking about smoking and its role in our lives. 

    By marrying business strategy with brand strategy, InterbrandHealth believes CVS is well on its way to being both an industry trailblazer and company to watch in the new world of health.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, January 16 2014 03:08 PM | Comments (0)
    Sustainability and Technology

    This has been a big week of innovation and exploration. Some of the biggest global brands gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) and are now in Detroit for the annual auto show (The North American International Auto Show). 

    At CES, brands talked product development and unveiled gadgets that demonstrate a maturing of technology introduced last year. They further explored the possibilities for the connected ecosystem, bringing together everything from our ovens to our watches to make our lives easier. 

    One thing brands didn't talk up much, as Interbrand's Lucas Piazza noted in his recent blog post, It's Time for World-Changing Tech Brands to Talk Corporate Citizenship, was the connection between their innovations and what they mean for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The latest issue of Interbrand's Closing the Gap: The Value of Corporate Citizenship looks at this conversation and the big picture of what's happening now in branding and Corporate Citizenship news.

    With research indicating 88 percent of Generation Y, aka Millennials, state they make employment choices based on a company's CSR values and 86 percent say they would consider leaving a company if its Corporate Citizenship values no longer met expectations, it's clear that to attract new talent businesses must have strong voices when it comes to their values and initiatives. Recent studies also find 42 percent of consumers base their feelings about a company on its Corporate Citizenship. The impact of CSR on brand perception is clear.

    The ROI of investing in world-changing initiatives for brands is clear in many of the stories curated in this issue from how one hospital is saving money thanks to its investment in sustainability to how companies are reducing financial risks when their actions clearly have a positive impact on society. We truly believe that brands have the power to change the world. Share your take on the value of Corporate Citizenship and its role in branding with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    To subscribe to Closing the Gap and to learn more about Corporate Citizenship at Interbrand, please contact Tom Zara, Global Practice Leader of Corporate Citizenship.

    To see more about past issues, please visit:

    Interbrand Launches "Closing the Gap"

    Closing the Gap: From a Skill Sharing Economy to Sustainability Marketing

    Closing the Gap: The Value of Corporate Citizenship

    • Closing the Gap: Fom Building a Brighter Future to Inspiring Participation

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