Tag Archive “Responsible”

Supermarket key appointments signal responsibility 'is the new battleground'


So ran one of the headlines in Marketing Week this week as it carried news of the announcements by both Morrison’s and Tesco to appoint senior executives with direct responsibility for sustainability.
The team at Responsible research sat up and took particular notice as the words seemed to strike a particular chord. Why? Well largely, because our own Reality Bites project developed the theme of ‘responsibility’ as the emergent territory during 2009 as the consumer recession began to recede and retailers had to focus on something other than the torrent of price promotional led offers which so dominated their marketing.
We also suggested that there is an inevitable friction between marketing and CSR within large organisations with CSR seen as the people responsible for making sure all relevant legislation and guidelines are met; targets are clearly communicated and the organisation is ‘seen’ to be doing something positive. By contrast marketing focus on management of the brand and are guardians of the customer’s relationship with the brand. Our contention was that unless marketing understand the importance of their brands credentials in terms of responsibility then CSR will never make it to the frontline of customer communication.
Board level changes at Tesco potentially reflect a shift in focus throughout the sector as sustainability and environmental issues assume greater importance among consumers. The senior role changes provide a hint to Tesco’s brand direction. One key appointment, for example, is Tim Mason, president and CEO of the company’s Fresh & Easy business in the US. He becomes deputy CEO with the additional group responsibility for branding, company values and climate change.
Nielsen senior manager for retailer services Mike Watkins sees the link between branding and climate change as a big clue to the future of Tesco - and the retail sector more widely.
“Sustainability will be back on the agenda next year, and the success of the supermarkets will depend on who can communicate the issues best and who can show shoppers they understand the issue best. This may not only be the next phase for Tesco, but UK grocery more widely.”
Morrison’s has made a similar move by appointing group trading director Martyn Jones to the new role of group corporate services director with a focus on corporate responsibility, PR and food safety.
"While supermarkets remain the most popular places to shop in terms of sales, there remains a job to be done on “being liked” says marketing expert Stuart Roper from the University of Manchester’s business school. “One way they can do that is to be [openly] more responsible."
“The supermarket brands are so big now that they are the ones that can change shopping culture.”

We could not agree more. We have seen that companies who are more successful in communicating their CSR achievements do so through simple and direct communication with customers and particularly on issues which have a direct relevance to those customers. At Responsible research we welcome these moves and the additional commentary from the ‘analysts’ who are aligning themselves with the key findings and interpretation from our study last year. We would hope that such senior appointments will deliver the impetus needed within organisations to start to influence real change amongst their customers.

Tags: responsible, Morrisons, Tesco, Stuart Roper, CSR, battleground, Reality Bites,

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How many labels can we put on food?


Posted by James Wheatley

Tesco are to start printing the carbon footprint of their milk on the label, calling it an awareness raising measure. Since carbon footprint has traditionally been one of the least well-understood responsible issues among consumers, it’s tempting to uncritically accept ideas like this as a good thing.

On the other hand, perhaps we should consider how consumers actually react to responsible cues on food labels. Our research indicates that even consumers who are responsibly motivated fail to act responsibly when they make food purchases. Consumers are already confronted with an array of responsible cues on food labels; organic, Marine Stewardship, Fairtrade, Freedom Food, recycled packaging, and so on, and so on. In most cases, these responsible cues do not form a conscious part of purchase deliberation. We know this, because our research specifically compared what people say they do with what they actually do.

Tags:  responsible labelling sustainability tesco carbon-footprint

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How many labels can we put on food?

Pic credit- Bayat

Eating responsibly and saving £10 billion


Posted by James Wheatley

A survey by the action on waste group WRAP last year reckons the average family household throws away more than a quarter of the food they buy and that 60 per cent of the dumped food was untouched.

As well as adding 3.6 million tonnes to UK landfill the wasted food had cost UK households around £10 billion. Most of the wasted food could have been eaten if better stored, better managed in terms of usage or not left uneaten on the plate.

More recently, the Change4Life campaign has been encouraging parents not to overload their children’s plates with supersize portions in an effort to combat obesity.

Tags:  Responsible Food Waste Packaging

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Eating responsibly and saving £10 billion

Pic credit- Roboppy

Will today's children grow up to adopt Great Grandma's values of thrift, respect for institutions and sensitive conformity?


Posted by Alan Bowman

Consumer reactions to the current economic crisis have reawakened interest in the jointly authored books of writer and historian William Strauss and economist and demographer Neil Howe.

If Strauss and Howe's theory of generational attitudes is correct, the young shoppers of the future could adopt Responsible Consumerism and Responsible Consumption in ways more widespread and more effective than anything their parents or grandparents could ever imagine.

The first signs are already out there - the days of easy credit and 100 per cent mortgages are over.

Tags:  Strauss and HoweValuesGenerationsThriftResponsibleConsumerismConsumption

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Will today's children grow up to adopt Great Grandma's values of thrift, respect for institutions and sensitive conformity?

Pic credit- David Boyle

Jumping the Green Generation Gap


Posted by Alan Bowman

Responsible. Smart. And Cool. These are the three words 13-29 year-olds (the generation known as Millennials) most associate with the Green movement according to a recent survey by New York youth media and youth trends company Generate.

Yet while younger consumers (and particularly the generation currently at school) are better informed and more strident about green issues than any other age group, their knowledge and attitudes often have little bearing on their actions.

The most startling statistic from the Generate report is that given a choice between a brand that has green credentials and a similar one at a lower price, 71 per cent of 13-17 year-olds say they’d go for the cheaper option. The balance swings in entirely the opposite direction for 22-29 year-olds with 63 per cent saying they’d be willing to fork out for a more expensive brand if it supports an environmental cause.

Tags:  ConsumersGreenwashGreenPackagingRecyclingBrandsSustainableResponsible

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What will it take for “responsible” consumerism to gain traction?


Posted by Alan Bowman

Concerns for the environment, issues of sustainability and an uneasy sense that the “gimme more” growth bubble had to burst, have been with us for some time.

Everything from increasing purchases of organic food to lead–free petrol, corporate commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, healthy eating campaigns, the rise of the reusable shopping bag and a new interest in urban allotments stem from an underlying unease with the past direction of travel.

All of these activities tap into our innate desire to “do good” and, more importantly for consumers, to get positive emotional payback for their purchases, “to feel good” about the decision as well as product value.

Tags:  ResponsibleConsumerLifestyleRecessionGovernment

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Morrisons March on with Fresh Roll Out

Our original work back in 2009 highlighted the impact Morrisons had made from doing good things in a... read more


British farmers wilting as supermarkets pile on the promotions

The team at Responsible research have been keeping an eye on the issues raised by dairy farmers recently... read more

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