Published on June 4th, 2014 | by Susanna Schick0
Sustainable Brands 2014 | Day One
June 4th, 2014 by Susanna Schick
We’re covering the San Diego leg of the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference, what is growing into the largest and most important sustainability conference in the world. They now have events in Istanbul, Rio, Buenos Aires, Boston, Kuala Lumpur, and London. This conference draws some of the largest brands in the world to discuss the latest innovations in sustainability as it pertains to their companies. Read about last year’s news here and here.
The first day of the Sustainable Brands conference is mainly comprised of workshops. In the morning, we started the day in the Business Model Innovation workshop. Lindsay Clinton of SustainAbility, a leading consultancy, highlighted the information from their latest report on the subject, available here.
They gave some very inspiring examples of business model changes such as:
SABMiller uses an inclusive sourcing model to work directly with farmers in Mozambique to create a new type of beer only sold in Mozambique using Cassava. This improves farmers lives, but also saves SABMiller money in VAT import fees.
Solar City recognizes that many customers are missing the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency, so gives away Energy Explorer software free with the solar panels they sell. This is a brilliant way to get people to do energy conservation, even though it could very well show some customers that a new fridge and better window insulation will actually give them more bang for the buck than the panels they just bought.
GlaxoSmithKline has stopped paying doctors to promote its drugs and that it will no longer link the compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions that doctors write, setting a precedent to end a very corrupt industry-wide practice.
The afternoon workshop we covered was the Brand Hackathon, hosted by BBMG’s Raphael Bemporad and author Margaret Hartwell. Workshop attendees were presented with a refresher course in archetypes, particularly as they relate to branding, beautifully illustrated in Margaret’s book, Archetypes in Branding. Then we were asked to select an archetype and build a revolutionary business model for the brand to help them compete in a changing market.
In the evening, the Activation hub opened, and we enjoyed dinner while perusing the vendor’s booths. It was very exciting to see Target present, promoting their store brand Simply Balanced. After dinner, the party moved to the connect suites, where I was the first to blend my (virgin) margarita with the bicycle blender.
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