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Map Change 2010 Data: Sustainability of Brands – Perception vs. Reality

Data: Sustainability of Brands – Perception vs. Reality
The sustainability of a brand is playing an increasing role in consumer decisions, but based on a recent report from Change, most consumer perceptions don’t match the reality. Change, an innovative brand agency, compared brand sustainability numbers from Climate Counts (the reality) to survey data gathered from a survey of 2,032 American adults (the perception).
The result was a collection of very impressive brand maps that showed some pretty big misconceptions. You can read more to view the Food & Beverage Sector Map as well as some insights gained from the research.
Change looked at ten sectors: Food & Beverage, Apparel, Household, Internet/Software/Media, Electronics, Airlines, Hotels, Food Services, Consumer Shipping, and Banks. I’ve pulled the Food & Beverage sector map because it was the one with the most misconceptions in the initial release that I saw.
With the chart in front of you it becomes quickly obvious that brands like Kellogg’s (public perception rating of 81, but an actual rating of 42) has done a much better job marketing itself in this area than Unilever (public perception 32, actual rating 79). Smart brands need to consider this as an important area of branding and can’t neglect this as more and more consumers factor “sustainability” into their purchase decision.
There are a number of other interesting data points within the report so I encourage you to download the full documents at www.getmapchange.com.
I thought it was great to see that consumers think a brand is very sustainable, just because of other goodwill it’s built up. Case in point is Amazon.com which enjoys a hearty public perception of 60 but an abysmal actual score of 14. All those servers aren’t great for the planet, but without thinking about it most consumers assume the company is green. “I love Amazon, how could they be an unsustainable brand?” You saw that in a number of brands.
Based on the data Change was able to offer a number of insights:
Across every sector, MapChange shows a disparity exists between the actual sustainable activity of brands, and consumers’ percep¬tion of sustainable activity of those brands.
Some sectors emerged as sustainability leaders and others, as laggards. For example, the Consumer Shipping brands all scored above 55, whereas the Airline brands all scored below 50.
This year, most of the brands had much higher ‘perceived sustainability’ ratings than they did last year.
This increase in ‘perceived’ sustainability could be due to:
o Improved/increased brand communications about sustainability initiatives
o Increased consumer-facing sustainable products
o Heightened consumer and media interest in sustainable brands
To compete, brands need to generate sustainable innovation quickly and communicate it effectively.
In some sectors, brands with high perception scores actually had average actual scores. This suggests that the overall positive perception of these popular brands has a positive ‘halo’ effect on their perceived sustainability. In some cases it could be linked to the trend of large master brands buying smaller brands known for their emphasis on sustainability. The smaller brands imbue the larger master brand with a halo of sustainability.
On the other hand, brands with the highest actual scores some¬times had relatively low perception scores. This suggests that the corporation’s sustainability activity might not be consumer-facing, or that the activity might be focused in areas outside of the prod¬ucts / services being produced.
This represents an opportunity to improve perception through increased consumer-facing sustainable product innovations and improved communications.
On the flip side, brands already benefiting from a positive consumer perception have an opportunity to strengthen this position through increased sustainability efforts and continuing to innovate new, consumer-facing sustainable products.
Change is an innovation brand agency specializing in green innovation and a recent acquisition by Chicago based MaddockDouglas. You can get the full results of the research, including a full PDF download at www.getmapchange.com.The sustainability of a brand is playing an increasing role in consumer decisions, but based on a recent report from Change, most consumer perceptions don’t match the reality. Change, an innovative brand agency, compared brand sustainability numbers from Climate Counts (the reality) to survey data gathered from a survey of 2,032 American adults (the perception).

Map Change Food and Beverage(small)The sustainability of a brand is playing an increasing role in consumer decisions, but based on a recent report from Change, most consumer perceptions don’t match the reality. Change, an innovative brand agency, compared brand sustainability numbers from Climate Counts (the reality) to survey data gathered from a survey of 2,032 American adults (the perception).

The result was a collection of very impressive brand maps that showed some pretty big misconceptions. You can read more to view the Food & Beverage Sector Map as well as some insights gained from the Map Change 2010 research.

Change looked at ten sectors: Food & Beverage, Apparel, Household, Internet/Software/Media, Electronics, Airlines, Hotels, Food Services, Consumer Shipping, and Banks. I’ve pulled the Food & Beverage sector map because it was the one with the most misconceptions in the initial release that I saw.

Map Change Food and Beverage

With the chart in front of you it becomes quickly obvious that brands like Kellogg’s (public perception rating of 81, but an actual rating of 42) has done a much better job marketing itself in this area than Unilever (public perception 32, actual rating 79). Smart brands need to consider this as an important area of branding and can’t neglect this as more and more consumers factor “sustainability” into their purchase decision.

There are a number of other interesting data points within the report so I encourage you to download the full documents at www.getmapchange.com.

I thought it was great to see that consumers think a brand is very sustainable, just because of other goodwill it’s built up. Case in point is Amazon.com which enjoys a hearty public perception of 60 but an abysmal actual score of 14. All those servers aren’t great for the planet, but without thinking about it most consumers assume the company is green. “I love Amazon, how could they be an unsustainable brand?” You saw that in a number of brands.

Based on the data Change was able to offer a number of insights:

  • Across every sector, MapChange shows a disparity exists between the actual sustainable activity of brands, and consumers’ percep¬tion of sustainable activity of those brands.
  • Some sectors emerged as sustainability leaders and others, as laggards. For example, the Consumer Shipping brands all scored above 55, whereas the Airline brands all scored below 50.
  • This year, most of the brands had much higher ‘perceived sustainability’ ratings than they did last year.
  • This increase in ‘perceived’ sustainability could be due to:
    • Improved/increased brand communications about sustainability initiatives
    • Increased consumer-facing sustainable products
    • Heightened consumer and media interest in sustainable brands
  • To compete, brands need to generate sustainable innovation quickly and communicate it effectively.
  • In some sectors, brands with high perception scores actually had average actual scores. This suggests that the overall positive perception of these popular brands has a positive ‘halo’ effect on their perceived sustainability. In some cases it could be linked to the trend of large master brands buying smaller brands known for their emphasis on sustainability. The smaller brands imbue the larger master brand with a halo of sustainability.
  • On the other hand, brands with the highest actual scores some¬times had relatively low perception scores. This suggests that the corporation’s sustainability activity might not be consumer-facing, or that the activity might be focused in areas outside of the prod¬ucts / services being produced.
  • This represents an opportunity to improve perception through increased consumer-facing sustainable product innovations and improved communications.
  • On the flip side, brands already benefiting from a positive consumer perception have an opportunity to strengthen this position through increased sustainability efforts and continuing to innovate new, consumer-facing sustainable products.

Change is an innovation brand agency specializing in green innovation and a recent acquisition by Chicago based MaddockDouglas. You can get the full results of the research, including a full PDF download at www.getmapchange.com.