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Being sustainable is more than setting ESG goals and seeking to achieve them before planet Earth melts. Sustainability is culture. Engaging teams, customers, shareholders, the market. Before being a concept, it is a movement towards new performance models for companies – and a guarantee of our survival. In a world where the theme has become a basic prerequisite, how does your brand make a difference and convince people that being sustainable matters?

One of the answers lies in emotion. When we talk about sustainability we are used to dealing with numbers. Organizations report on tons of plastic they stopped dumping in the ocean, recycled packaging and reused water. These indicators define positive achievements, or the risks we are exposed to. It is sensitivity, however, the strongest element to initiate dialogues, mobilize people and engage them in transformation.

A study published in 2022 by the American analysis and consulting company Gallup points out that 70% of human decisions are based on feelings and sensations. And that’s where the potential of experiential marketing comes into play in companies’ sustainability strategy.

As a good part of this marketing is built live, its main power lies in enchanting people through the spontaneous and the real. For the experiences they live and for the stories in which they become protagonists.

While products on the shelf or on e-commerce display green labels that attest to the good origin of their raw materials, the main power of experience marketing lies in going beyond the label and the ISO certificate. Its differential is in the interaction, in the invitation it makes to people to strengthen the sustainable culture together, to participate.

By prioritizing the experience, it shows that everyone can engage in sustainability – even after an event or brand experience is over. Building brands through emotion and unforgettable experiences for the consumer transcends moments. Its echo is everlasting.

Even legendary music bands embrace the cause alongside their fans. Pearl Jam has a program to offset carbon emissions from concerts. On the Gigaton tour held last year, the band paid US$ 200 per ton of CO2 to mitigate the effects of the substance in the atmosphere, 10 times more than the previous action. A few years ago, a similar initiative resulted in the planting of over 20,000 trees in the Amazon.

Coldplay publishes on its website what in a corporation would be called a sustainability policy, providing for recycling measures, conscious consumption and support for green technologies. In addition to aiming to cut emissions in half, it entered into a partnership with a multinational logistics company to minimize the negative effects of freight transport related to the shows, from biofuel for air freight to electric vehicles on the roads. The audience feels part of it and when the guitar is silent it carries a piece of that environmental intelligence home.

In the corporate world, you need to make sure that the way a company participates in an event makes sense and fits with your brand’s purpose. At events like Rio Oil & Gas, for example – where participating companies often deal with various environmental demands and lead profound changes in this field – it is necessary to create sustainable (and meaningful) experiences for visitors. Otherwise, your speech is not convincing. The consumer has to see, identify and feel impacted to incorporate the message.

The marketing experience, when strategic and well done, guarantees that all points of consumer experience with the brand in an event will correspond to what the company preaches in its Communication, in a creative, personalized, contagious way. A unique chance to take sustainability from reason to emotion. And enchant.

*Juliana Saab is country lead in GPJ Brazil

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See too

ESG: Brazilian and German industries discuss decarbonization

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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