The Importance of Measuring ESG | Ep. 197

Sima is happy to have Tim Clover, the CEO and Founder of Glow, and Sherry Frey, the VP of Wellness at Nielsen IQ, joining her on the show to dive into how consumers think about the planet, sustainability, and societal responsibility.

About Tim

Tim left management consulting almost ten years ago to start Glow, his research technology business. He started Glow to make it easy to get the consumer mindset into the boardroom, remove the layers of complexity using some automation throughout the process, and tie everything together. Tim has had a wonderful journey over the last few years and is very happy to work with Nielsen!

What Sherry is doing at Nielsen IQ

At Nielsen IQ, they refer to total wellness because consumers think about wellness in terms of their personal health and wellness, the health of the environment, and social responsibility. So they built a team at Nielsen that focuses on helping clients better understand the opportunities in the sustainability and social responsibility space, how to think about the business case, and where brands are regarding moving past business as usual toward sustainability. They also look at regeneration, improving the world, and providing a lot of measurement in that space. They are thrilled to have partners like Glow in their network to help them round out their client offering, give them a 360 view of what is happening in the store, and understand consumer perceptions. 

Business people are also consumers

Clients are business people, but they are also consumers. So they are also considering how to better care for themselves, their families, and the planet. 

The pandemic

The pandemic awakened many people to climate change and knowing there is a disparity around health and wellness.

A growing consumer movement

The consumer movement has been growing. More and more consumers are discussing the importance of sustainability and social responsibility. As a result, more brands and retailers are bringing offerings to consumers, which further elevates that awareness.

Taking a leap

As the Founder and CEO of Glow, Tim decided to take a leap and talk about the importance of sustainability and social responsibility. He decided to become an active player in measuring what consumers think about the social responsibility of different brands. As a CEO, he ensures that he builds a sustainable business from the inside out. 

An increase in awareness

There has been more awareness of sustainability and social responsibility from a consumer perspective. Sherry believes that the FMCG space is at the forefront in many cases. Brands are starting to see a business case for sustainability. So they understand they can do good for the planet and people while making a profit. 

How Glow and Nielsen formed a partnership

Several years ago, Glow met with Nielsen in Australia. Nielsen introduced Glow to colleagues in the US who had a technology outfit that could run product and market-related tests that they felt could be useful for Glow’s customers. That ultimately led to Tim meeting with Sherry’s team to pick it up and see if they could take it to market. 

Nielsen was impressed with Glow for many reasons, including their approach. They appreciated getting a full view of whether or not consumers are actually doing what they say and understanding the gap if there is one.

Sustainability has been driving results

There is a secondary value that comes with sustainability that makes a brand more appealing. That has been driving results for many brands and retailers.

Focusing on sustainability

Focusing on sustainability can make businesses more sustainable from a financial standpoint. 

Food and Grocery Report

Glow tracks the measurement of more than 600 brands in various countries. They also take a comparative look at the performance of different industries. The recently-released Food and Grocery report provides context for food and groceries versus other industries. It also looks at some of the macro opinions across various industries. The partnership with Nielsen allowed Glow to overlay sales data for the highest and lowest-performing brands and access more points on the social responsibility score scale. Purpose-driven brands have been standing out in the data.

Challenger brands and large brands

Nielson hypothesized that the challenger brands would drive the growth, and they did. They also found that large brands could drive growth and have been driving outsize growth over the last five years. It is harder for large brands to drive growth, but when a big brand makes a change, they gain a lot of credibility from consumers.

What do consumers want?

Consumers want to understand how brands invest in solving environmental, sustainability, and social responsibility problems and how buying those brands can contribute to solving those problems.


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Tim Clover on LinkedIn

Nielsen IQ

Sherry Frey on LinkedIn