Brand Management and Sustainability


Challenges and Opportunities, Special issue of the Journal of Brand Management; Deadline 1 Mar 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Megan Garry-Evans

Journal of Brand Management

Special Issue

Brand Management and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities


In the last few decades, a shift towards sustainable consumption and production has been seen as an important step towards addressing the pressing climate emergency (Cohen, 2020). Many consumers have sought changes in their lifestyles in order to reduce their environmental impact, for example, rooting for more sustainable shopping choices, showing concern for eco-labels, sustainable food products, recycling and reduction in product packaging, sustainable banking and investing, sustainable travel. Sustainability on the production and supply side has included a focus on finding cleaner, efficient and more responsible processes to produce, package and deliver goods and services. Additionally, developments in online and mobile communications have provided platforms and digital channels for exposure of ‘greenwashing’ and different aspects of ‘CSR-washing’. Against this background, we as a global society continue with our struggle to fully anticipate and understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant number of countries are entering a recession and some sectors have been particularly vulnerable, including sectors that are service based. Many markets and companies have been seeing accelerated changes in buying behaviour, shrinking industries, digital transformation, plus alterations in supply-chains prompting managers to rely on local ingredients and suppliers. While some may seek to revert back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible, others are reflecting on whether the current situation might become a catalyst for further sustainable transition (Cohen, 2020).

The shift in demand for sustainable consumption and production presents both challenges and opportunities for marketing practitioners and brand managers who are faced with the requirements for sustainable innovations and the quest for sustainable brands (Nedergaard and Gyrd-Jones, 2013). This is the case for brands not only in terms of producing sustainable products (goods and services), but also for promoting sustainable lifestyles and behavioural changes, including through critical reflection and transformation of existing norms (Kemper and Ballantine, 2019). Brand management should have much to offer in the quest towards sustainable systemic change and practice. Research considering sustainability-related brand management from different perspectives can offer new insights, plus potentially innovative and creative ways towards encouraging and supporting more sustainable brand and consumption practices.

On that note, the Journal of Brand Management (JBM) invites submission of papers for consideration in a Special Issue focused on brand management and sustainability. The aim is to explore how the sustainability context continues to alter brand management practices and stakeholder attitudes towards brands, as well as to identify associated challenges and opportunities. Papers should have an explicit sustainability and brand management orientation and should outline the theoretical and/or practical implications derived from their research. Papers should also be relevant to the wider global readership of the Journal of Brand Management. The special issue welcomes rigorous, thoughtful and insightful papers covering the above, including those derived from empirical research (qualitative, quantitative and case study research). As such high-quality papers may be suitable which address sustainability and brand management with (but not limited to) the following foci:

  • Brand management, brand purpose and sustainability
  • Sustainability-related brand management challenges and opportunities for specific sub-issues (e.g. sustainable luxury, sustainable clothing, resource scarcity, renewable energy, climate change, local branding, materials use, reuse, recycle, refills)
  • Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic for sustainability and brand management
  • Brand management, sustainability and the circular economy
  • Sustainability and conscientiousness in brand management
  • Sustainability and corporate brand management
  • Sustainability and brand value
  • Sustainability-related changes in consumer or other stakeholder expectations, attitudes, behaviour or practices and their impact for brand management
  • The use of new technology or digital communications in relation to sustainability and brand management
  • Sustainability-induced digital engagement and relevance for brand management
  • Sustainability and brand management strategy
  • Sustainability and innovation or entrepreneurship and brand management
  • SMEs and sustainability from a brand management perspective
  • Sustainability-induced changes for internal brand building

Submission of Manuscripts

Papers submitted for consideration in this JBM Special Issue must conform to the author guidelines for the JBM as outlined via the Journal website and should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length, inclusive of words in tables but excluding references.

They should be submitted via the online submission system, Editorial Manager: ensuring to select the Special Issue on Sustainability option during submission. The papers will be managed by the Journal Editors — Mark Davies, Urša Golob, Joachim Kernstock and Shaun Powell.

The SI submission option will open in the above system on 15th February 2021.

The closing date for submissions: 1st March, 2021.

Submission queries can be referred to the Editorial Office at


Cohen, M.J. 2020. Does the COVID-19 outbreak mark the onset of a sustainable consumption transition? Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 16(1): 1-3.

Kemper, J.A., and P.W. Ballantine. 2019. What do we mean by sustainability marketing?. Journal of Marketing Management 35(3-4): 277-309.

Nedergaard, N., and R. Gyrd-Jones. 2013. Sustainable brand-based innovation: The role of corporate brands in driving sustainable innovation. Journal of Brand Management 20(9): 762-778.