Disruptive innovation driving branding for good

Posted: January 14, 2015

Ecological and social innovations, exciting brand initiatives and purpose-driven marketing that works is driving the trend towards branding for good, particularly in the growing field of impact investment where there is an encouraging show of disruptive innovation. Here are six examples to inspire local marketers and brand custodians.

When Money Packs a Positive Punch

The confluence of three M’s is morphing the frontiers between investment and charity: Muhammad Yunus (founder of the Grameen Bank), Microfinance (the vehicle he offered to provide funds to people at the bottom of the pyramid), and Millenials (a new generation of more socially conscious investors). What started as a grass roots movement has now spread to large financial institutions who are clamoring to fill the space between philanthropy and social investment. What happens when disruptive innovation takes place at an accelerated pace?

Nespresso’s Positive Cup

In the run up to 2020, brands are setting ambitious targets and Nespresso is out in front with a three pronged plan it is calling “The Positive Cup”. Often criticized for over-packaging coffee with its pods, Nespresso aims to offer pod collections in every location where they sell their products. In addition, 100% of its permanent range will be sourced sustainably with the aim to become carbon neutral by 2020.

Denim with Conscience from H&M

Just last week H&M launched a fashion forward and eco-friendly range called the “Conscious Denim Collection”. Not only is the denim used in the designs sourced sustainably, but it also reduces impacts in the washing process. The collection is part of H&M’s wider “Conscious” collection launched in April this year, focusing on style, sustainable materials, manufacturing processes that use less water and energy, and labels with environmentally friendly cleaning instructions.

Bottleless shampoo pays off for Lush

It’s hard to imagine a world without shampoo packaging, but the folks at Lush did just that back in 2007 when they created the first ever solid shampoo bar that doesn’t need any packaging. Even better, one bar contains the equivalent of three bottles of shampoo. Now it’s seven years on and the results are impressive: annual water savings are nearly 120,000 gallons globally, and since 2013, Lush avoided the production of 6 million plastic bottles in the process.

Clean, affordable eats from CVS

Hot on the heels of halting cigarette sales (at an estimated cost of $2 billion), CVS has developed a “Better for You” snack range that is free of artificial flavors and preservatives. This aligns with their strategy of trying to authentically improve the health of consumers, and the lower price point of these healthy alternatives will give access to all.

Social Media logos get tweeked for breast cancer

On behalf of the Breast Cancer Foundation, DDB Singapore has taken Facebook, Twitter and Instagram logos and edited them slightly to communicate the important message of breast self-examination. Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness month, the logos are intended to remind women to perform their own breast exams accompanied by a phrase shrewdly playing off of the incessant use of social networking sites: “If only you checked your breasts as often.