Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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The strategy firm founded by best friends Raphael Bemporad and Mitch Baranowski is on a mission to create more disruptive and delightful brands
Submitted by: BBMG
Posted: Oct 10, 2013 – 03:17 PM EST
NEW YORK, Oct. 10 /CSRwire/ - A decade ago—as Iraq, Darfur and SARS dominated headlines and a hobbit and a pirate dominated the box office—there were only a handful of sustainability officers at Fortune 500 companies. Corporate social responsibility was siloed as a reporting activity. “Greenwashing” had yet to enter boardroom conversations. Trustmarks had yet to explode in number and import, and we knew much less about what drives consumers to buy products that are better for themselves and the planet.
My, how things have changed. As BBMG celebrates its tenth anniversary, the independent firm started in 2003 by two friends who met teaching utopian literature at the University of Texas at Austin announced a rebrand and focus on sustainable brand innovation using its pioneering framework dubbed “Disrupt & Delight.”
“We’ve been privileged to be part of a profound shift in the way that brands embody their true purpose and drive positive social impact,” said Raphael Bemporad, the firm’s chief strategy officer. “Sustainability is no longer a buzz word. It’s an innovation imperative, and perhaps the greatest economic opportunity of our time.
“Now is the perfect time to push our business to anticipate the future needs of our client partners and the marketplace. With our deep expertise in sustainability as a differentiator, we’re now squarely positioned between traditional branding firms on one hand and traditional innovation firms on the other. Our mission is to create disruptive business solutions and delightful brand experiences that drive shared value.”
Last week BBMG introduced the Aspirational Consumer Index, based on interviews conducted with 21,500 consumers in 21 countries, and revealed that approximately 2.5 billion consumers globally are looking to unite style, social status and sustainability values with their purchases.
“For years sustainable brands have been targeting the wrong audience, hoping to make a market by growing the number of highly committed advocates who define themselves by being green,” said Bemporad. “But our research shows we have a tremendous opportunity to scale sustainable consumption by reaching Aspirational consumers with innovative brands that are every bit as beautiful, accessible, sustainable and delightful.”
The firm’s expertise includes helping companies embed sustainability and social purpose into the core of their business strategy and brand portfolios, unleashing opportunities for forward-looking positioning, product development, packaging design, partnerships and consumer engagement platforms that can drive growth, delight consumers and create positive impact for society and the planet.
A comprehensive rebranding accompanies the shift in BBMG’s business focus. Gone is the old “bug” or logomark made from reversing two abstracted B’s, replaced by a compact framing and stacking of the acronym using bold black letters.
“We’re a bit like shoe cobbler’s children, so it was past time we had new shoes,” said Mitch Baranowski, chief creative officer. “This new identity is designed to help underscore our unique perspective on the opportunity that sustainable innovation affords. It’s more modern, more flexible, more legible and our color palette uses a pop of lime green to connect us to our deep roots in sustainability.”
Adding to the momentum, BBMG announced at SXSW Eco this week a new collaboration with actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier and his team at SHFT to create original branded content for clients including Sprint, The Weather Channel and Recyclebank.
And on Nov. 7 BBMG will launch its inaugural innovation strategy workshop for social entrepreneurs called “5x5” (five by five) in partnership with the Center for Social Innovation.
“As we grow and embrace new challenges and opportunities, our values remain the same,” said Bemporad, reflecting on the firm’s first decade. “Honor our individual and collective creativity. Work with people we love. Work with brands we admire. Stretch and grow every day. Do good and live well. As our professor John Rodden taught us, it’s about making a life, not just a living.”
BBMG At-A-Glance / Fun Facts
Founded in 2003, New York-based BBMG is a globally recognized brand innovation firm dedicated to creating disruptive business solutions and delightful brand experiences that help clients drive revenue and positive social impact. By integrating branding with sustainability expertise and innovation strategies, BBMG helps organizations identify growth opportunities, forge new markets, create new brands and drive real culture change. Recent clients include adidas, Earthbound Farm, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal Paris, MillerCoors, NBCUniversal, Ocean Conservancy, Samsung, Seventh Generation and Target. For more background and a copy of the firm’s latest research report, Rethinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability, please visit www.bbmg.com.
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