Sustainable Branding
eBook - ePub

Sustainable Branding

Ethical, Social, and Environmental Cases and Perspectives

Pantea Foroudi, Maria Palazzo, Pantea Foroudi, Maria Palazzo

  1. 362 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Sustainable Branding

Ethical, Social, and Environmental Cases and Perspectives

Pantea Foroudi, Maria Palazzo, Pantea Foroudi, Maria Palazzo

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About This Book

A sustainable brand should integrate environmental, social, economic and issues into its business operations. Sustainable Branding considers how broader perspectives on sustainability and corporate social responsibility can be applied to the practicalities of brand management.

By addressing a range of perspectives and their application to branding, the authors go beyond sustainable branding to question the role brands play in a wider sustainable society. Structured around three core parts – People, Planet and Prosperity - contributions from experts in the field consider the human dimensions of environmental change, identity and reputation, technology and innovation, waste management, public and brand engagement, environmental ecosystems and the circular economy. Combining theoretical insight and empirical research with practical application, each chapter includes real-life international cases and reflective questions to allow discussion, best-practice examples and actionable suggestions on how to implement sustainable branding activities.

This book is perfect for academics, postgraduate and final-year undergraduate students in sustainable branding, sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, brand management and communications. It provides a comprehensive treatment of the nature of relationships between environmental, economic, social, companies, brands, and stakeholders in different areas and regions of the world.

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Place heritage and CSR
Synergies between cultural tourism and corporate branding

Angela Bargenda


The place heritage perspective provides new avenues for brands to promote issues of genuine sustainability and community involvement. The chapter shows that corporate engagement with the urban surroundings privileges not only aesthetic value (Brady, 2003) but also cultural value. Places are imbued with collective narratives that are extraneous to brands and therefore remain vastly underused in marketing and communication initiatives. And yet, heritage-rich places offer significant opportunities of societal and environmental value, which can be transferred to commercial brands by specific marketing initiatives. For example, regional identifiers, such as historic monuments, places and personalities, enhance the attractiveness of the place both as a tourist venue and a commercial environment. In a fiercely competitive retail market, the physical attractiveness of stores, as much as the external local environment in which they operate, provides competitive advantage. Heritage-imbued sites offer brand experiences that extend beyond commercial transactions. Connecting financial with social and environmental objectives enables brands to accrue their sustainability quotient. By committing to the triple bottom line (TBL), brands embrace larger ecosystems (Schaltegger, Beckmann, & Hansen, 2013), even though they might not be equally achievable (Milne & Gray, 2013). Frequently faced with consumer scepticism as to the authenticity of their CSR commitment, brands need to implement clear and meaningful strategies to deflect the suspicion of hypocrisy (Norman & MacDonald, 2004). Orlitzky, Siegel and Waldman (2011) discuss how market and non-market strategies can be integrated to promote social and environmental objectives.
To genuinely satisfy ecological, social and economic standards (Montiel & Delgado-Ceballos, 2014; Montiel, 2008), brands can draw on the heritage value of places by engaging a dialogue with their environments. Even though these environments are locally defined, the mere fact that brands consider their external environment as a communicational resource is a process of global reach. Bowen and Aragon-Correa (2014, p. 111) argue that “paying more attention to the social benefits and costs of the symbolic components of environmental initiatives could help develop much clearer boundary conditions around when corporate environmental initiatives can make a positive material difference”.
Potentially, these environmental initiatives concern cultural landscapes, which include natural and cultural places. Cultural landscapes act as “communicational resource, a system of signs and symbols” (Foote, 1998, p. 33). These signs are in constant mutation, as they evolve with political, historic, demographic and societal conditions. New opportunities emerge conjointly for cultural tourism and corporate brands through sustainable practices towards cultural landscapes, such as monuments, museums, cultural attractions and landscapes (Warren, 2013). Common initiatives of tourism and corporate branding based on place heritage offer synergies by transforming places of the past into places of heritage, as the past is made relevant for contemporary and future audiences (Lowenthal, 1998).
The shared relevance of place heritage for tourist and commercial purposes builds sustainable relationships between urban environments and brands, as these places are vested with collectivised memory, where identity and heritage are shared (Grosby, 2005). If “sustainability seeks to balance social concerns with environmental concerns” (Shrivastava & Kennelly, 2013, p. 86), the integration of place heritage into corporate branding initiatives adopts “a long-term focus and a more inclusive set of responsibilities” that benefit “ecosystems, societies, and environments of the future” (Ameer & Othman, 2012, p. 61). Husted argues that “historical material provides important resources for several current CSR issues and debates” (2015, p. 135). Thus, revitalising CSR thinking offers new synergies between tourism and corporate branding.

Place heritage as a communication tool

Place heritage and tourism

The emergence of heritage tourism in the 1980s marks a shift from Fordist to post-Fordist forms of production (Meethan, 1998; Ioannides & Debbage, 1997; Uriely, 1997; Fayos-Sola, 1996). Whilst in the 1960s and 1970s, the mass production and consumption processes of Fordism resulted in standardised tourism packages for the mainstream market, post-Fordist forms of consumption have established new paradigms of tourism experiences, catering to “increasingly complex and diverse needs of demand” (Fayos-Sola, 1996, p. 406). The evolution from product-centred to customer-centred approaches, from production-orientation to relationship-orientation, involves a shift in the consumption of tourist products and their attributes. Visitors connect with a tourist site through a unique experiential relationship, forming specific expectations and motivations through personalised and culturalised forms of mediation (Silberberg, 1995).
Given that a tourist product is not consumed per se, but for the satisfaction, or characteristics it delivers (Reekie & Crook, 1995, p. 167), the site-specific characteristics are experienced through subjectively constructed interpretations and motivations. The experiential linkage results from a host of intrinsic feelings, including social distinction (Bourdieu, 1986) and the need for an “authentic” experience (Cohen, 1988, p. 374). The latter assumes a pivotal role in Apostolakis’ “lateral relationship model” (2003, p. 797), propounding that “demand and supply side approaches converge through the operations of authenticity” (Apostolakis, 2003, p. 797). Expanding on Richards’ (1996) model of heritage tourism, centred on the concept of authenticity with regard to tourism products and processes, Apostolakis (2003, pp. 802–803) has developed his Two Chain Model of Heritage Tourism. He supplements the push factor of personal motivation and the pull factor of attractiveness to the model, recognising that authenticity is the core concept that connects demand (consumption) and supply (providers) of heritage tourism activity. Teo and Yeoh (1997, p. 193) hold that as “more and more tourists are attracted to a place, its authenticity will be put at stake”. Most tourists, according to Teo and Yeoh, select a destination for their expectations of the destination rather than for its intrinsic values of authenticity. In short, the perceived authenticity matters more than the genuine authenticity of the site.
Thus, Apostolakis (2003, p. 801) calls for a subjective framework of tourist experiences, as “authenticity’s nature evolves from a static into a flow concept”. As a subjective construct, authenticity is an elastic concept that can be adapted to various tourist and corporate needs, given that consumers hold volatile attitudes towards heritage sites (Teisdall, Oc, & Heath, 1996). The polysemic interpretation of authenticity generates various layers of meaning, depending on the targeted consumer segments and personal cognitive and emotional motives.
The experiential definition of heritage tourism incorporates an interpersonal element, as the linkages between the site, the motives and perceptions of tourists conceptually designate an interactive process. Heritage tourism is therefore defined as a form of tourism referring to “historic sites and buildings and the experiences people seek to have in them” (Christou, 2005, p. 5). Nuryanti (1996, p. 257) points out that heritage tourism “is characterized by two seemingly contradictory phenomena: the unique and the universal”. Each heritage site has unique attributes, and heritage is reinterpreted and recreated on an individual basis. When visitors embark on heritage tourism, they are mostly motivated by intrinsic feelings, such as nostalgia (Pretes, 1995, p. 13; Hewison, 1987, p. 45). In a similar vein, Zeppel and Hall (1992, p. 78) consider that heritage tourism is “based on nostalgia for the past and the desire to experience diverse cultural landscapes and forms”.

Places of nostalgia

The concept of nostalgia plays a key role in heritage branding, in both cultural tourism and heritage branding. With emerging conceptualisations in marketing, such as tradition, custom, nostalgia, melancholia, iconic branding, retro branding, heritage marketing and heritage tourism (Balmer, 2011), brands have adopted new expressive repertoires. They benefit from the inherent latent value of place heritage when drawing on the territorial, cultural and/or ancestral past, as Balmer (2013) has demonstrated in a multidisciplinary perspective.
Phillips, Schrempf-Stirling and Stutz (2020) posit that nostalgia can be a constitutive element of a collective identity, while Gabriel (1993) argues that it juxtaposes an idealised interpretation of the past with a present that is found impoverished and lacking. This is the case, for example, when employees nostalgically recall the golden days of the foundation of their organisation the founder, or the past physical buildings. In heritage-rich cities, heritage can be integrated ...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. List of contributors
  7. Introduction to contemporary issues in sustainable branding: ethical, social, and environmental perspectives
  8. Part I People
  9. Part II Planet
  10. Part III Prosperity
  11. Index