Tag Archives: sustainability

Don’t Throw That Packaging Away!

What does your recycling bin look like? If it’s like ours, it is probably filled to the brim with boxes and packaging materials that are a result of online shopping. Too many times, a small product is encased in a large box and the result is a lot of unnecessary waste that goes into the trash. Is there a better way to reduce waste and have more sustainable packaging? Yes, and it’s called RePack.

RePack (based in Helsinki, Finland) currently operates in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Helsinki and uses a simple concept that brands selling products online can offer shoppers a returnable and reusable packaging option. Not only can consumers do the right thing for the environment, but they also receive incentives and coupons for using the innovative packaging.

The way it works is simple. A customer places an order with select retailers and selects the RePack option for packaging. Once the item is received, the packaging is simply dropping into the nearest post box for return to RePack. It’s free to return the package, no matter where in the world the shipment is delivered. When RePack receives the returned packaging, the customer automatically receives a reward, usually a voucher for money off the next purchase.

The packaging is designed to last at least 20 shipping cycles and was designed specifically for clothing. The packaging is made from recycled polypropene and folds to letter-size when empty. Retailers also benefit as the average order value has been shown to increase by up to 30%, and it builds good will and sustainability practices among a brand’s best customers.

Go ahead, keep shopping online and you can still do the right thing for the environment.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How much do they order online? What do they think about the average packaging they receive?
  2. Show RePack’s Web site and video: https://www.originalrepack.com/
  3. Discuss the consumer buying process. At which step does packaging become important?
  4. How could RePack be utilized by U.S. retailers?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a retailer and develop a promotional campaign around using the RePack packaging.

Source:  Hellgren, J. (2017, Oct. 30). Looking for circular packaging? Meet RePack. www.SustainableBrands.com.

 

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10 Healthiest Brands in the U.S.

What makes a healthy brand? According to YouGov Brand Index, overall brand health takes into account “consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation, and willingness to recommend the brand to others.”

Which brands are ranked the healthiest? There are few surprises in this year’s list. Here are the top brands across all categories:

      1. Band-Aid
      2. Amazon
      3. Google
      4. Craftsman
      5. Dawn
      6. YouTube
      7. Clorox
      8. M&M’s
      9. Lowe’s
      10. Quaker

The index also included ranks for various industries. For example, in airlines, Southwest ranked number one. Toyota topped the car category, and Dove topped the hair and skin care category.

Top brands with the best advertising awareness were also included. Leaders in this year’s list include Geico, McDonald’s, Verizon, AT&T, and Walmart. Brands that made the biggest awareness gains since 2016 include Uber, Blue Apron, Trivago, Dollar Shave Club, Lyft, Hulu, and Nintendo. Consumers value innovation and usefulness when evaluating brands. Each company on the list works hard to be the top in its category.

Which brands do you value and recommend to others?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Class discussion: What makes for a strong brand?
  2. What are favorite brands in the different industries such as automotive, appliances, cars, hotels, food, etc. (see the industry list on YouGov).
  3. Show the YouGov brand index: http://www.brandindex.com/ranking/us/2017-index
  4. Compare the students’ list with the rankings and discuss the findings.
  5. Now have students list brands that are weak or for which they have negative feelings.
  6. What could those brands do to improve their overall rankings?

Source:  YouGov Brand Index, Brandchannel.com

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‘Bank in a Can’ in Rural Africa

bank

It can tough to get to the bank, especially when customers are located in rural areas that are remote from urban financial centers. Many rural areas lack access to quality banking and important financial services that the population needs. This is the case in rural South Africa where people face challenges in getting to banks and getting sound financial advice.

“Bank in a can” is an innovative solution that is now being used in South Africa. A product of a joint venture between South African FNB Bank and design firm Architecture for a Change, the pre-manufactured units are made from shipping containers and can be located in any rural (or urban) community. The nature of the pop-up units allow organizations to become operational quickly in less than three months. The new pop-up bank branches include teller windows, offices for opening accounts and applying for loans, along with separate ATM areas.

FNB is not the only bank to try pop-up locations. Canadian Tangerine Bank also has opened pop-up locations in shipping containers across Canada as a way to introduce customers to direct banking.

Reusing shipping containers are a clever way for companies to expand their reach into new area.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of distribution for products and services.
  2. What are creative ways in which companies can expand their reach?
  3. Show photos of the pop-up banks:

Architecture for Change site (South Africa): http://www.a4ac.net/

Tangerine Bank (Canada): https://www.tangerine.ca/en/landing-page/mobilepopups/toronto/index.html

  1. Have students discuss how these solutions can expand a service’s reach and market access.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select another service and work out how a pop-up site might benefit the service.

Source: Branchannel.com

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