“Brown” delivers green message – to its competitive advantage

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“Brown” delivers green message – to its competitive advantage

Study shows big differences in actual vs. perceived sustainability of many top brands.
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MapChange 2010 Study reveals that "Brown" (UPS) delivers a greener message to consumers than DHL. http://3bl.me/sg685t
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) CHICAGO, IL - February 3, 2010 – Commercial shippers UPS and DHL score about equally well in how green their actions are, according to a new study of actual vs. perceived corporate sustainability. But when it comes to consumer perception of the two brands, UPS leaves DHL in the dust – scoring almost five times higher. This is just one of the eye-opening findings of MapChange 2010, a brand investigation of nearly 100 top companies across North America, spanning 10 product and service sectors.

The MapChange 2010 research is a collaboration between Change, a Vancouver consultancy focusing on green brand innovation (that is being acquired by Maddock Douglas, a Chicago innovation agency), Angus Reid Public Opinion and the nonprofit Climate Counts. It has been released in three reports, with this, the final release, covering the consumer shipping, food service and bank sectors.
While UPS and DHL show the large discrepancies that are possible – and common – between a brand’s sustainable performance and consumer perception of it, Starbucks shows that alignment of performance and perception does happen. The coffee giant’s MapChange 2010 perceived and actual scores are nearly identical.
“To compete, brands must innovate – and the best new innovations tend to be sustainable,” said Marc Stoiber, founder of Change, which led the study. “But even that’s not enough in today’s marketplace. Brands need to generate sustainable innovation quickly and communicate it effectively. When they don’t – and when their green innovation isn’t consumer-facing – they sacrifice some of the competitive advantage of being a green leader.”
The study incorporates actual measurements of climate change action that was undertaken by companies including category leaders, such as Coca-Cola, Groupe Danone, Nike, Gap, P&G, L’Oreal, Microsoft and Amazon.com, in 2009. The scoring on climate action was provided by the Climate Counts as part of its annual climate change study of well-known consumer companies. The perception measurements included more than 2,000 American adults in a random sample and were measured by Angus Reid.
The companies were grouped by sector, with their scores illustrated in ‘perception / reality’ maps.
Across every sector, MapChange 2010 shows a disparity between actual sustainability activity of brands and consumer perception of the sustainable activity of those brands. In the banking sector, Wells Fargo got the top score in consumer perception (66 out of 100). Its actual sustainability score was less than half of that (27). Deutsche Bank, which consumers viewed as the least green (37), was among the top three in actual performance (66).
Across all sectors, the overall trend is toward higher perceived sustainability by consumers as compared to 2008, which is when the inaugural MapChange study was conducted (not in collaboration with Angus Reid Public Opinion and Climate Counts).
"The MapChange study adds a provocative dimension to the company climate scoring our group has been doing for over three years," said Climate Counts Executive Director Wood Turner. "To move the marketplace forward on climate change, we need both the real corporate action and the heightened consumer awareness that will bridge the disconnect the study reveals."
“This study is a wake-up call for companies that don’t yet see green as a potent opportunity for new profits,” said Rafael Viton, president and partner of Maddock Douglas. “The real leaders are using green as a platform for developing products, services and business models that drive both their bottom line and positive global change.”
“These are the relatively early days,” adds Stoiber. “There’s still plenty of room for breakthrough innovation.”
The MapChange 2010 reports are available at www.getmapchange.com. Media contact: Jenna Kennedy, jenna.k@maddockdouglas.com, 630-563-6443.
About Change and Maddock Douglas
Change is a consultancy that focuses on green brand innovation. Since 2005, the experts at Change have helped companies use sustainability to achieve a competitive advantage by creating and branding products that are good for the world and good for the bottom line. Maddock Douglas, which is poised to acquire Change, exists to bring industry-changing ideas to market. MD uses its Agency of Innovation® services to invent relevant new products, services and business models, and then brand and launch the best ideas. It helps clients bring innovation from mind to market.
About Climate Counts
Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annu­ally on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard—launched in June 2007—helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that put pressure on the world’s most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously.
About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion is the public affairs practice of Vision Critical – a global research and technology company specializing in custom online panels, private communities, and innovative online methods. VisionCritical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients. Dr. Angus Reid and the Angus Reid Strategies team are pioneers in online research methodologies, and have been conducting online surveys since 1995.