Sainsbury’s to crowdsource sustainability marketing

Sainsbury’s is asking other companies including its direct rivals for advice on how to better market its sustainability initiatives as CEO Justin King admits it is a “challenge” to inspire customers about the value of sustainability.

SainsSusPic
Sainsbury’s is asking its peers and direct competitors for advice on how to improve its sustainability credentials with consumers.

The supermarket says the move will lead to a raft of new sustainability campaigns similar to its ‘Love Your Leftover’ and ‘Million Meals’ initiatives launching in the coming months.

It is sourcing the marketing ideas from a pool of 155 companies including rivals such as Tesco and Marks and Spencer that have shared their suggestions via a survey on where Sainsbury’s is performing well on green initiatives and where it can improve.

The survey was conducted last month and covered areas such as how the business is engaging its customers on sustainability, how it is held in the corporate structure and the management of its own operations.

Alex Cole, director of corporate affairs at Sainsbury’s, says the move aims to highlight the ways the company can make its sustainability communications more relevant and added that the business would accelerate how it links its greener credentials to its ‘Live Well for Less’ strapline.

The sentiment was echoed by the supermarket’s chief executive Justin King who adds that the FMCG industry has found it challenging to “inspire” customers about the values of sustainability, which has lead to brands not talking about it “loudly” enough.

Earlier this year, Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed admitted that the company’s main marketing challenge was trying to persuade consumers to change to more sustainable behaviours. The company has announced plans to crowdsource sustainability ideas from NGOs to boost its bid to change consumer behaviour through marketing

King adds that the early results from the survey revealed that the company could do more to talk to its customers around sustainability issues and says that by acting on this views it hopes to spark greater competition around being environmentally and socially responsible.

“Consumers are now demanding value for their values”, he says. “They are looking for businesses they trust to do the right thing at the right price. If our competitors generally come to believe that this on our customers agenda then they will compete in this subject and this competition can fuel growth.”

The strategy is part of Sainsbury’s wider sustainability ‘20 by 20’ to hit 20 corporate responsibility targets by 2020.

The initiative was put together in partnership with sustainability organisation Green Mondays and communications agency Fishburn Hedges.

Jim Woods, director of Green Mondays, says it hopes to expand the format to other brands in the future and build a pool of business and sustainability experts that can “mainstream sustainability.”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here