Don’t forget BSR in 2009 – guest blogger, Anne Charbonneau

[Guest blog from Anne Charbonneau, Managing Partner for France and Benelux, and head of our Brand Social Responsibility]

As Kermit the frog used to say, " Its hard being green'. This is especially true in tough times, when the temptation is to leave green marketing initiatives on the back burner.

Here are a few reason why you shouldn't, as a marketeer, forget about what "brand social responsibility" (BSR) can do for your brand in 09:

1. It won't actually go away: a big chunk of the sustainability agenda is driven by international regulations that will keep coming. Whether in actual product content or packaging, R&D department are challenged to innovate and reduce, fat, salt, plastic, metal etc…

2. You're still looking for something interesting to say to promote your products and brand, right? new stories about how, where your product are being made, or how they are recycled, could well be turned 
into interesting brand stories, providing you use a bit of creativity.

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3. Sustainability = savings:
eco features  that help people manage their consumption and save money will be especially popular, suach as Fiat' new Eco:drive program and software. You download the software from the site and onto a USB stick, plug it into the car  entertainment system of your Fiat car to track and manage your fuel consumption, and learn to improve it on the site afterwards.

4. Social and environmental leadership make staff happy!  60 % of BT employees say that their company's CSR activity makes them feel proud to work at BT. Everyone likes a job with meaning, in marketing too….

Here again, we find that our classic brandgym principles apply to make brand social leadership happen:
– Engage with the relevant people internally to see what CSR  initiative you could activate at brand level
– Pilot and test drive lots brand idea with CSR embedded along your other strategic thrusts for 09, making sure you're make your ideas are tangible and specific enough ( consumers are either confused or 
cynical on these issues)