Consumer Reports recently released their third annual “Naughty and Nice List.” The 10 companies in each category were based on nominations from Consumer Reports staff and Facebook friends. It should be noted that the lists only reflect a specific policy or practice, and not the company as a whole. The “naughty” list consists mostly of companies’ weak return policies, and the details hidden in the fine print. On the other hand, the “nice” list highlights companies with extraordinary policies and exceptional guarantees that place them ahead of the pack.
This brings to mind the relationship between brand value, one of the less tangible values involved in sustainability, and the impact of social media. Social media is everywhere we turn – it seems that you can follow nearly every company on Twitter and Facebook, and pin your favorite products on your Pinterest board. With constant updates available on our cell phones, company websites have almost become passé.
This raises the question; are you using social media to share your sustainability efforts? If not, why? Social media can help companies instantly and transparently communicate their programs to customers, employees, and supply chains. Some of the companies that show up on the “naughty” list aren’t bad companies – they just need to be better communicators of their policies. Customers and employees want to know that a company will do the “right thing” but they also want to hear and see them doing the “right thing.” So if you are unjustly on the “naughty” list, or want to be on the “nice” list, think about how social media can benefit your company.