Cone’s dedicated Research & Insights team continuously monitors new and developing trends to provide you with cutting-edge innovations, need-to-know best practices and compelling insights in the marketplace.
Most brands today have figured out that consumers are craving a deeper value proposition when deciding what products to buy. Millennials, especially, are redefining exactly what that means as they strive to be socially and environmentally responsible and balance what is important to them personally, and for the planet at large. So where does cause marketing fit into this equation, and how has it evolved as companies race toward purpose-oriented messages, campaigns and frameworks?
As supply chains become more complex, consumers are in turn becoming more curious about the origins of the products they buy. This is especially true when it comes to the food we put in our bodies. Increasingly, consumers are demanding further transparency from companies – wanting to know where their products come from and what's in them.
In the last 10 years, the number of forcibly displaced people in the world has increased by more than 30 percent -- from 21 million in 2005 to 65.3 million in 2015. In 2015 alone, an estimated 1.8 million individuals became refugees. As the crisis continues to expand, it's all hands on deck as government, coalitions and nonprofits work toward solutions. Recently, we've seen more companies step in to offer desperately needed products, aid and assistance. Here's a roundup of companies involved in the space
As Election Day draws near, the conversation around the upcoming U.S. Presidential election has reached a fever pitch. And although many companies are steering clear of public partisan support, all can agree that encouraging consumers to get out to vote is paramount. Here's a roundup of company efforts to "rock the vote:”
Between Hurricane Hermine tearing up the East Coast earlier this month and the major flooding in Louisiana, disaster preparedness and response has been on the minds of many recently. And with months to go in hurricane season, companies and consumers alike must stay alert. To provide solutions in the moment of disaster and ensure individuals keep safety top of mind throughout the year, companies are launching National Preparedness Month campaigns.
When people think about conserving water at home, they probably first think of turning off the faucet when brushing their teeth or perhaps taking a "navy shower" to reduce personal water usage, but it's not likely that what's for dinner would be top of mind. Yet, the impact of what is on our plates is dramatic. In fact, 92 percent of consumers' water footprint is a result of the water used to produce the food they eat.
In Louisiana, a farmer continues her father’s legacy of growing quality rice, making a living by producing a key ingredient for breakfast cereals enjoyed around the world. Meanwhile, in Sierra Leone, 5,000 smallholder farmers have been trained as beekeepers – which will help families pay school tuition for their children.
Your employees, consumers, shareholders and others are demanding more corporate responsibility (CR) information from companies, but they probably aren’t reading your CR report. As expectations continue to increase around transparency and responsibility, there remains a disconnect. Although 88 percent of global consumers say they want companies to tell them what they’re doing to operate more responsibly, only 25 percent report they’ve read a CR report in 2015. Want your report to get noticed and read? Here are three tips to increase engagement, accessibility and relevancy of your next report.
Today, many consumers are looking to shop small, eat slow food and fundraise for people in their own neighborhood. And this focus on local also applies to where consumers think companies should address important issues, as 43 percent of Americans say they want companies to prioritize quality of life in their local communities (vs. 38% nationally or 20% globally).
Parents, teachers and communities are going to great lengths to increase attendance and create a vibrant learning environment for kids heading back to the classroom, from a 4th-grade teacher's viral "welcome back" rap video, to an Arizona mayor going door-to-door to urge high school dropouts to re-enroll. And companies are joining in as well, lending their unique tools and assets to help kids grow and learn both in and outside of school.
From Dawn Dish Soap's powerful wildlife rescue campaign to Vaseline's "Healing Project," sometimes problems that have plagued communities or our environment can be solved with everyday products. But it's up to companies to think outside the box to envision how their products or services can appropriately lend a helping hand. In the most recent example, one appliance company got out of the home and into the classroom to address a unique issue.
In one day, the world takes more than one million selfies, the average Millennial spends one full hour of their week dedicated to taking selfies and a young adult will take more than 25,000 pictures of themselves in a lifetime. There's no doubt selfies have taken over the newsfeeds and lives of many young adults – but now, marketers are tapping this enthusiasm to educate, inspire and motivate young people on important issues.
Although in the past the Olympics presented an opportunity for companies to share their commitments to society and the environment with a global audience, so far, many have commented on the surprising dearth of campaigns this year.
As we move firmly into the digital age, one of the tenets of marketing has become "meet consumers where they are," whether that's a phone, tablet, computer or smartwatch. And as marketers in the cause space get increasingly savvy, we're seeing innovative ways to integrate a company's social impact messages into consumers' everyday experiences, including a smart appliance that triggers a donation, harnessing emojis for fundraising and a fitness tracker just for kids with a cause tie.
It has long been the goal of any cause campaign to create that emotional connection between a consumer and a cause. Tapping an emotional cord helps consumers spring to action in support of important issues, but is oftentimes easier said than done. Now, as technology continues to change how we interact with the world around us, more cause marketers are harnessing the power of virtual reality (VR) to create entirely new, shocking, eye-opening and honest immersive experiences – bringing consumers along on the cause journey like never before.
Companies have come up with all sorts of amazing innovations to reduce environmental impacts -- from dissolvable labels and bricks in toilets to packaging mimicking an armadillo. Yet sometimes, the solution is much simpler. Companies are learning that oftentimes the best way to reduce environmental impacts is to just ask employees to play a part.
The world of corporate responsibility (CR) reporting has changed dramatically in recent years. Governments, stock exchanges, regulators, customers and consumers are demanding more information from companies about their environmental and social impacts, and companies are responding in huge numbers.
Company-wide days of service are a staple of engaging employees in volunteerism. Companies around the world like PwC*, Samsung, JetBlue and Timberland* kicked off the summer season by hosting volunteer service events to rally employees around a common cause, even setting records. And employees are embracing it.
Sustainability in the fashion industry has been a major topic of conversation over the years. To do their part, many brands have taken major steps to create a more responsible shopping experience, whether that's through incorporating recycled materials into clothing, creating robust takeback programs or thinking more holistically about sustainability, human rights and social impact overall.
A once rich agricultural community, the country of Haiti has faced environmental devastation for decades. As a result, the country had become one of the most severely deforested areas in the world, with only 1.5 percent tree cover remaining.
This week, the Cone Communications team headed out to Sustainable Brands for four days of conversation around "Activating Purpose." We heard from executives, startups, thought leaders and change makers on how they are activating social and environmental initiatives within their organizations – and how their messages are being amplified to key stakeholders.
Although giving and volunteerism remain a priority in effective employee engagement, today's employees expect much more. We are pleased to share our newly released 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, surveying American employees to determine the attitudes, expectations and behaviors of today's workforce.
Earlier this month, Nike revealed that 71 percent of its footwear and apparel now contains waste from products in its own manufacturing process. The announcement ladders up to Nike's goal to have zero waste from footwear manufacturing sent to landfill or incineration without energy recovery by 2020.
The growth in organic products over the years has been exponential. What was once just a few shelves at the supermarket now amounts to more than $39 billion in annual sales*. Yet even as the demand increases, still only about one percent of all farmland in the U.S. is used to grow organics.
Showing consumers the true impact of their purchases that support social and environmental initiatives can be difficult for brands. In fact, less than a quarter of Americans (24%) believe their purchases make a significant positive impact. And although it may be impossible to take every single consumer to the areas impacted by CSR efforts, technology is making it possible to bring consumers along on that journey, creating life changing experiences right from a computer or mobile device.
Bees may be small, but they are one of the hottest topics in sustainability today. And rightly so, as pollinators are necessary for about 80 percent of all crops used for food worldwide. Realizing the impact of disappearing bees on their bottom line, dozens of companies have joined the fight to educate and activate consumers on the plight of the bee, including Häagen-Dazs, Whole Foods and Burt's Bees. Now a new company initiative seeks to move beyond consumer engagement, going straight to the source to help bees.
"Something surprising is happening today in the boardroom: CEOs are stepping out as vocal advocates for social and environmental justice."
Adults with autism oftentimes have difficulty finding work. In fact, young adults with autism are significantly less likely to work for pay outside the home as compared to others with learning disabilities or speech and language impairments (58% vs. 90%), according to The Guardian. But advocates stress that with proper training, a person with autism can successfully enter the workforce and has unique strengths that lend to succeeding in certain industries. Now, a few major companies are offering their support, helping individuals with autism thrive in technology jobs.
This week will mark three years since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, an event known as the deadliest in the history of the garment industry. The tragedy took the lives of more than 1,100 garment workers, brought the consequences of fast fashion to a global audience and put the fashion industry's fundamental supply chain issues under the microscope and into the public conversation.