For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
Holidays 2012 - Conservation vs. Consumerism
Each holiday season brings renewed debate about commercialism vs. the value of family time and managing finances. But 2012 is also bringing growing awareness of the environmental toll of consumerism.
Only 1% of the things we buy are still in use after six months, says Annie Leonard, producer of "The Story of Stuff." Each year, four million tons of gift wrap are sent to the dump.
A new survey, "Rethinking Consumption," reports two-thirds of consumers in six countries believe society needs to consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations.
While consumers are increasingly buying sustainable products, the concept of simply buying less is still an emerging trend, said Raphael Bemporad, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer of brand studio BBMG, co-author of the survey with SustainAbility and GlobeScan.
Retailer Patagonia led the anti-consumerism effort last year with an attention-grabbing Black Friday ad that said, "Don't Buy This Jacket." Instead, the company asked customers to reduce consumption, repair, reuse, and recycle products.
The ad campaign actually increased Patagonia's sales by reinforcing its branding of durable products that don't need frequent replacement (and sell for higher prices).
In 2012, retailer H&M followed suit, announcing a worldwide program starting in 2013 to let customers trade used clothes from any retailer for a discount on a future H&M purchase.
Recycling promises to give consumers more value from purchases, and companies can build long-term relationships with shoppers. "Our clients said they don't want a one-night stand," Bemporad said. "They want a long-term love affair with their customers."