The New Brand Spirit

How Communicating Sustainability Builds Brands, Reputations and Profits

The New Brand Spirit LOOK INSIDE
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  • Christian Conrad and Marjorie Ellis Thompson
  • Effective sustainability communication can deliver business value. Get it wrong, however, and the reputational damage will be costly. Stakeholders, and the general public as well as activists, are unforgiving of companies whose products, services, business practices or culture fall short of their socially responsible rhetoric.

    Based on close to one hundred in-depth interviews with leading experts, Christian Conrad and Marjorie Thompson's The New Brand Spirit helps corporate communications and marketing professionals tackle this conundrum by providing a first-hand view of eight distinct and relevant stakeholder perspectives. Nineteen comprehensive and well-researched best practice cases from sustainability leaders like IBM, Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Puma will inspire all those tasked with communicating sustainability with practical and applicable tools and lessons learned.

    The result is a book that will enable senior executives, corporate communication professionals and brand managers to decide when, to whom and how to communicate sustainability related messages - and when not to.
  • Contents: Foreword, Hamish Pringle; Introduction; Part I The Interviews: The Questionnaire: Communicating sustainability - the civil society perspective; Communicating sustainability - the public sector perspective; Communicating sustainability - the supplier perspective; Communicating sustainability - the employee perspective; Communicating sustainability to customers and consumers; Sustainable consumption and the social responsibility of marketers and advertisers; Communicating sustainability - the shareholder perspective; Communicating sustainability - the media perspective; Communicating sustainability - the academic and expert perspective. Part II The Cases: The civil society perspective - best practice cases: Lifebuoy’s global handwashing behaviour change programmes; Fairtrade comes of age; The public sector perspective - best practice cases: German Bio-label; The French environmental labelling experiment; The supplier perspective - best practice cases: The Tchibo and GIZ worldwide enhancement of social equality (WE) project; ROMP - fully traceable organic high fashion; The employee perspective - best practice cases: SKF BeyondZero; IBM's world community grid - technology solving problems; The customer perspective - best practice cases: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk goes Fairtrade; The Innocent big knit campaign; Max burgers, climate on (the) menu; Sustainable consumption and the social responsibility of marketers and advertisers - best practice cases: Coop Switzerland sustainability brand communications; Puma's clever little bag; The shareholder perspective - best practice case: Novo Nordisk integrated reporting; The media perspective - best practice case: SAP community network; The academic and expert perspective - best practice cases: Research by Professor C.B. Bhattacharya on effectiveness of CSR communication; The natural step framework; Best practice - two benchmark cases for communicating corporate sustainability: Marks and Spencer’s Plan A; Interface sustainability communication ‘Let’s be clear’. Part III Summary and Outlook; Index.
  • About the Author: Christian Conrad is Managing Partner of Sustainability Consultancy brands & values, which he co-founded in 2004 and supports clients in developing sustainability strategies, implementing them into the business and communicating them to stakeholders. In a consumer marketing career of more than 10 years, he worked for blue chip brands such as Kellogg´s, where he was Marketing Director, and Unilever. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

    Marjorie E. Thompson is Managing director of C-3i, a communications consultancy she founded in 2002.. She has previously worked for some of Britain´s most famous brands including Saatchi and Saatchi, the Commission for Racial Equality, The Royal College of Nursing and The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. With Hamish Pringle she is the author of Brand Spirit, a bestselling Amazon Business Book of the Year.
  • Reviews: ‘There isn't a business person on the planet that isn't concerned about sustainability practices across the stakeholder spectrum. Conrad and Thompson offer not only big strategic insights here but they have also curated the most comprehensive set of case stories I know of. This is important work and will be referenced time and time and time again.’
    Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy & Creative Excellence, Coca-Cola

    ‘The stream of global communications is ever flowing. A current of social responsibility cuts through it, while an undertow of misunderstanding preys on our perceptions. Marjorie EllisThompson and Christian Conrad help pilot us through with clear thinking and inspiring case histories of successful corporate responsibility.’
    Tim Love, Vice Chairman Omnicom Group and CEO Omnicom Asia Pacific India Middle East Africa

    ‘Marjorie EllisThompson pioneered Corporate Social Responsibility twenty years ago when she established a specialist unit within Saatchi & Saatchi. At that time Marketing Directors shied away, disbelieving they could find mutual benefit between their brands and not-for-profit causes. Well those same Marketing Directors can now read the error of their ways in this definitive compendium of success stories. Choose to ignore Conrad and Thompson at your peril.’
    Marcus Brown, Executive Vice President, Young & Rubicam, EMEA

    ‘The role of business is to make the world a better place. The New Brand Spirit is an indispensable companion on this often complex and challenging journey. It’s everything you expect from Marjorie Ellis Thompson and Christian Conrad: direct, candid, inspirational, uncompromising, wise, and crystal clear about what to do.’
    Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

    ‘With the most fundamental debate globally being around responsible capitalism and resource constrained growth this book arrives at an important time. The development of new sustainable business models is integrating corporate social responsibility as a mainstream business practise rather than a fringe pursuit.’
    Laura Sandys, Member of Parliament for South Thanet

    ‘A new approach to CSR is necessary in the light of the changing global economy and the current perception of sustainability. The New Brand Spirit gives an unprecedented 360° view of CSR, providing clear guiding principles for the implementation of CSR policies and initiatives, offering invaluable advice based on first-hand experience of some of the foremost players in this field.’
    Annette Ettorre, President, “Paolo Ettorre - Socially Correct” Association (

    ‘Finally, the book we have all been waiting for. All the best sustainability and CSR practices compiled in one book conveyed in a compelling manner. Conrad and Thompson sure know what they are talking about. If there is one book companies should read to get it right before entering the African market, this would be it!’
    Charlotte Obidairo, Managing Director for Africa, Coxswain Social Investment Plus

    ‘The collected findings of the interviews and case studies lead to ten commandments for effective and credible CSR communication.’
    CSR News, February 2014

    ‘The New Brand Spirit will give confidence to and challenge everyone engaged in brand marketing and communication. Its breadth and depth will provide the inspiration and guidance needed to take further the responsibility for sustaining the planet on which we live and breathe and have our being.’
    The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, UK