MapChange Study: The Gap Between Green Reality & Perception in Today’s Brands

Sustainable life media logo2 Sustainable Life Media shares a study by Change that illustrates the failure of brands in communicating their green initiatives to consumers. The study measured the tangible climate change mitigation actions being taken by 90 top brands as well as those actions and their benefits as perceived by consumers. Across the board, consumers are giving undue credit to certain brands for their involvement in sustainability initiatives.

Posted Jan. 21, 2010
By Sustainable Life Media

A new study by Change, a green branding innovation firm in
Vancouver, shows that North American brands are missing the mark when
it comes to communicating their sustainability activities, and that
there is a large gap between real and perceived sustainability behavior
of these top brands among consumers.

The study takes into account two major variables: the actual
measurements on climate change action being carried out by 90 of the
largest brands in North America, and how consumers perceive the effects
and benefits of these actions. The study randomly surveyed 2,000
America adults and included companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Gap,
Amazon and Microsoft.

The results of the research were grouped into 10 sectors, all of
which are illustrated on a "perception/reality" map. Across every
sector in the study, there was a discrepancy between the actual sustainability behavior
of brands and the consumer perception of that behavior. It is in the
food and beverage category where the results are most surprising.
Generally, customers perceived many of the brands who have the lowest
amount of sustainability activity as being the most involved in
sustainability. The top 3 companies (and their scores) which consumers
perceive are performing the best are: General Mills (82), Kellogg (81)
and Kraft (79). Those scores do not come close to reflecting the
brands' true sustainable activity, which is: General Mills (49),
Kellogg (42) and Kraft (58).

The study will be released in 3 parts, the first of which contains
4 of the 10 industry groups, including the food and beverage group
mentioned above. It also includes a thorough explanation of
methodology, including information on partners and the data which was
utilized. The first part is available for download now at

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