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EL CORTE INGLÉS AND FSC® SPAIN

El Corte Ingles and FSC Spain built up a 360° marketing campaign to promote stationery products made from responsibly-sourced materials. Discover the story behind this close partnership.

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WHO ARE EL CORTE INGLÉS?

Founded in 1940 in Madrid, Spain, El Corte Inglés is now one of the world’s largest department store chains, with many outlets in Spain and Portugal. Its stores offer a wide range of products, from food and beverages to household goods and ‘Do it yourself’ equipment, and from fashion and cultural products to electrical equipment, alongside services such as insurance and opticians. As well as stocking commonly known brands, the company offers its own branded goods across all product lines. Among these is a vast assortment of forest-based products.

WHO ARE EL CORTE INGLÉS?

Founded in 1940 in Madrid, Spain, El Corte Inglés is now one of the world’s largest department store chains, with many outlets in Spain and Portugal. Its stores offer a wide range of products, from food and beverages to household goods and ‘Do it yourself’ equipment, and from fashion and cultural products to electrical equipment, alongside services such as insurance and opticians. As well as stocking commonly known brands, the company offers its own branded goods across all product lines. Among these is a vast assortment of forest-based products.

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El Corte Inglés couples its reputation for quality at the international level with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. As Delia García Gómez, the company’s Value Chain Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager, explains:

“We are working to achieve the commitment of zero net deforestation by 2020 through the guaranteed purchase and distribution of products that come from sustainably managed forests. The fight against illegal logging, the proper management of forests and the protection of biodiversity are key elements of our sustainability policy.”

This commitment makes El Corte Inglés an ideal propagator for FSC’s vision of ‘Forests for All Forever’.

Delia García Gómez
Value Chain CSR Manager, El Corte Inglés

Photo: © El Corte Inglés




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WHAT WAS DONE AND HOW?

Together, El Corte Inglés and FSC came up with an agreed way to support this vision: raising consumers’ awareness of FSC through the company’s stores. After considering different ideas, they developed a roadmap to achieve this.

As a first step, the retailer offered theatre tickets printed on FSC-certified paper, launched a line of FSC-certified wrapping paper, and printed the product catalogues that are delivered to residential homes in Portugal and Spain on FSC-certified paper. All of these items were co-branded with the logos of both El Corte Inglés and FSC Spain, along with references to further information about sustainably managed forest products.

Following this, all the relevant departments at both organizations were invited to participate in a creative brainstorming session about how to take the process further. At this time, FSC also launched its Marketing Toolkit website platform containing guidance on how to effectively communicate sustainability at a level that resonates with the end consumer – driving sustainable consumption in a motivating manner. The toolkit platform includes various creative assets (e.g. design templates, flyers, merchandising, web banners, point of sale materials, etc.) for multiple brand ‘touchpoints’ and acted as an inspiration, enabling both partners to unleash the full potential of their collaboration. The agreed next step was the launch of a ‘Back to school’ promotional campaign in 2015.

A CAMPAIGN WITH A PURPOSE

El Corte Inglés launched the ‘Back to school’ campaign across Spain and Portugal, focusing on the ‘Frost’ brand of paper products and stationery items. As well as the stationery being produced with FSC-certified paper, the company’s notebooks included a one-page inlay that explained the benefits of responsibly sourced products. The notebooks also helped to raise funds, with €0.10 of each unit sold donated to forest preservation in Segovia, Spain.

The campaign was tailored towards professionals, schools, universities, and households. The company used FSC to tell its sustainability story through various brand touchpoints, such as in-store promotions and the company’s annual catalogue. Another feature was digital storytelling, for example sharing an emotionally appealing video about ‘Forests For All Forever’ on the company’s website and social media platforms.

THE VISUAL CAMPAIGN

The official video of 'Forests For All Forever'.


El Corte Inglés’ product catalogue


‘Back to School’ campaign: ‘Take care of our forests with Frost’



Notebooks included a one-page inlay that explained the benefits of responsibly sourced products.



Another campaign feature was digital storytelling through the company’s website and social media platforms.



More than 90 different types of notebook were made from FSC-certified paper.



More than 90 different types of notebook were made from FSC-certified paper and included information about FSC.



El Corte Inglés launched the ‘Back to school’ campaign across Spain and Portugal, focusing on the ‘Frost’ brand of paper products and stationery items.


FSC AND EL CORTE INGLÉS – A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP

The ‘sweet spots’ in the collaboration between El Corte Inglés and FSC Spain included trust in the FSC brand, social responsibility, a strong sense of partnership and knowledge sharing. The combination of these led to a hugely successful campaign. As Delia García Gómez says:

“As part of this commitment, we launched our ‘Back to School’ campaign: ‘Take care of our forests with Frost’. From July to September 2015, more than 90 different types of notebook were made from FSC-certified paper and included information about FSC, bringing issues around forests and diversity to children and their families. The result of the campaign was excellent, with sales soon outstripping the leading brand in the same sector. But this success is no coincidence: our team designed an attractive and high-quality product at a competitive price, thanks to teamwork between buyers, suppliers, and sustainability experts.”


TRUST IN THE FSC BRAND



SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


A STRONG SENSE OF PARTNERSHIP


KNOWLEDGE SHARING


THE PILLARS OF SUCCESS

From the very beginning, all parties agreed on the elements that were essential for bringing the campaign’s messages to the target audiences, including:

• strong core values e.g. we only sell products from responsibly managed sources
• an innovative and creative visibility that appeals to customers
• not just providing customers with background information, but also giving them a sense of purpose in supporting the cause
and its values.

The end result was a success for all parties involved. The combination of an innovative design and an attractive price soon led to improved sales of the campaign’s Frost products, which increased 45.7 per cent in seven weeks.

 

TESTIMONIES

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“We are truly aware of our chance in the fight against deforestation. By promoting the sales of products that comply with the FSC certification, our clients have the opportunity to support sustainable consumption and protect the environment.”

Francisco Núñez García

Head of Environment, El Corte Inglés

Photo: © El Corte Inglés

“We celebrate the fact that a company like El Corte Inglés can understand the FSC project and make important commitments related to our mission.El Corte Inglés is an example for many other companies, and both its campaign and corporate actions help us to further promote our certification system among many other companies – their suppliers – which were previously unaware of it. We express our gratitude and desire to have more successes like this in the future.”

Gonzalo Anguita Alegret

Executive director, FSC Spain

Photo: © FSC Spain

WHAT'S NEXT ?

Across Spain and Portugal, El Corte Inglés set a benchmark for how to successfully promote FSC’s vision of ‘Forests For All Forever’.

Both FSC and El Corte Inglés are keen to deepen their collaboration in advocating for change – presenting better alternatives, informing, educating, and inspiring consumers worldwide.

Another ‘Back to school’ campaign is planned for 2016, including various other activities, including social media and joint events, to communicate El Corte Inglés’ purpose – of ensuring forests for future generations – to both staff and customers.

For further information visit: www.marketingtoolkit.fsc.org

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Campaign creation: El Corte Inglés + FSC Spain

Photo credits and Copyright: © El Corte Inglés / Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) International

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Best case development: Marketing FSC International

Contact us: marketing@fsc.org

 

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