The "technician" responsible brands

The "technician" responsible brands
Author : Claire Bourrasset, CSR Strategic Planner - Pixelis.

The trend is clear: consumers expect brands to be more committed, more responsible. They are prepared to boycott products based on social and environmental criteria and feel that 73% of brands* could disappear today without its affecting them.

It’s a fact: communicating on their commitments is a necessity for brands that want to exist in the future. However, in order to be efficient and create value, this communication must fully integrate their identity, and naturally fit into their overall story and nourish them.

To meet this challenge, Pixelis has designed #TheSustainableBrandTest: a test to discover your responsible brand’s personality and adapt your communication tools accordingly. We propose a close-up on the first category of committed brands we have identified: the technician brand.


Its watchwords: efficiency and performance. For the technician brand, talking about sustainable development means talking concretely; it means talking about quantified benefits here and now. Fancy words just don’t do it for them! When this kind of brand communicates on its CSR policy, it is clear and precise and its customers know it’s on the up-and-up. They trust it.


R&D, data (computer graphics or video), “proof” Web sites, the sustainable development report, integrated report… anything that will help improve its performance and demonstrate its commitment as rationally and instructively as possible.

some examples of COMMUNICATION to INSPIRE “TECHNICIAN” branDS...

 WALMART and the sustainability leaders shop 

Walmart encourages the multiplication of more responsible offers by developing the “Sustainability Leaders shop”. This simple approach involves using an independent agency to draft a list of the most committed products in each of the product categories the retailer offers its consumers. The proud winners’ products are stamped with the “Made by Sustainability Leaders” badge. For Walmart, what counts is showing that, for the same price, it is possible for consumers to opt for products that are better for society and the environment than its competitors and thereby develop more responsible offers!
We love:
• The transparent approach, validated by a recognized outside agency
• An approach that involves the consumer in Walmart’s responsible commitment: offering customers increasingly more responsible products at affordable prices


Air France launches Lab’line for the future: a route between Paris and Toulouse to test the brand’s sustainable innovations before extending them to the rest of their lines. To explain its program, the brand launched a saga of short, educational videos on the different ideas being tested. The idea: to each time show how Air France reduces its impact on the environment and offers its passengers more comfort.
Lab'Line for the future - Episode 1
Lab'Line for the future - Episode 2

We love:
• The lighthearted tone and very educational language used to talk about sometimes complex topics that creates connivance
• The videos that each time show what the program does for travelers to make sustainable development go hand-in-hand with personal benefits
• The saga approach that lets Air France maintain a connection with its consumers and leaves them waiting for the next episode



At Schneider, they have set up a “sustainable performance barometer”. Every 3 years, the company sets the objectives to reach for the next 3 years and allows its site visitors to track its progress using thematic curves. A way of ensuring the credibility of its commitment, especially since the company systematically justifies its failures concerning the basic objective.

 We love:
• Viewing the 3-year objectives and seeing the progress that has been made with a focus on the idea of constant improvement inherent to CSR
• The honesty of a company that “owns” its weaknesses when it fails to meet its goals and justifies them.
• The interaction with the user who can click on the curve points that interest them to get more information  



When we talk about sustainable R&D, no one can overlook Nike’s initiatives. While it has been committed for many years already, today the brand imposes itself as the reference in this field. Its ambition is to incorporate sustainable development from the product design stage throughout all of its product lines. To increase the impact of its action, the brand is open sourcing and sharing its knowledge with designers from around the world. To do this, it created the NIKEMAKERS site and the Making app. This app supports designers in their choices to help them create products that are as responsible as possible.

 We love:
• The open source technique to increase the impact of Nike’s approach
• A dedicated site to from a committed community
• The vison behind the project: in the future, all products should be designed responsibly from the very start 

Also of note is the Nike Responsability Web site that details the brand’s commitment. A very comprehensive educational site combining data viewing, interactivity and examples of innovation to facilitate optimal understanding.

*Etude Meaningful Brands, Havas, 2014