Sustainability brands are products and services that are branded to signify a special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits to the customer and thus enable the differentiation from competitors.
Sustainability branding is the process of creating and maintaining an identity of a specific product, service, or business that reflects special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits. A brand is only perceived as being sustainable if it can credibly convey sustainability benefits which are noticeable by and relevant to the consumer. A sustainability brand must have an integrated culture for success. The key to a sustainable brand is trust between the consumer and the brand, only when this is achieved can a sustainable brand truly generate a USP and reap the benefits of it.
Opposed to the term green brands which mainly focuses on environmentally sound business practices, sustainability brands additionally acknowledge the social dimension of providing products and services. This entails, among others, health and safety issues resulting from direct or indirect product use (consumption level) as well as the conditions under which a particular product is produced (production level). The physical protection and well-being of people at work (i.e. employees as well as workers within the supply chains) are important indicators of sustainability brands and sustainability marketing in general which adheres to the triple bottom line of ecological (environmental), social (equity), and financial (economic) sustainability.
A brand is able to evoke positive or negative feelings, especially in the context of sensitive social and ecological issues. The more positive the perceptions and feelings are towards a brand, the higher will be the likelihood of identification and loyalty amongst consumers. It is therefore crucial in sustainability marketing to build up strong brands. In doing so, companies face far-reaching decisions in the areas of brand positioning (1), sustainability brand name selection (2), and sustainability brand development (3), in order to create and build sustainability brands that consumers associate with social and environmental added value.
Environmental marketing claims on products and packages need to be made (and read) with caution. Ambiguous greenwashing titles such as green product, green packaging and environmentally friendly can be confusing without specific definition. Some regulators, such as the US Federal Trade Commission, are providing guidance
Since the adjective “sustainable” might convey the notion of brands that have long-lasting success, implicating durable competitive advantage without any particular reference to a sustainability agenda, the term “sustainability brand” should be used to prevent ambiguity. Albeit subtle difference, the latter explicitly emphasizes the notion of brands which have built their brand image upon sustainable business practices that consumers value. Sustainability brands are commonly referred to in the field of sustainability marketing.
Sustainability Brand Positioning and positioning in general is part of the brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience and can be described as an iterative process, consisting of deliberate and proactive actions aimed at the definition of distinct consumer perceptions. Sustainable brand positioning is the brand positioning of Sustainable products and services. Sustainable products and services should offer an improved social and ecological performance during the whole product lifecycle and at the same time they have to satisfy consumer needs and wants. Many of the first generation sustainability brands failed in the market because companies overemphasized the positive socio-ecological product attributes, while they neglected to focus on other product attributes such as performance, functionality or design, too. As a result, many products could not compete against conventional products.
To build up and position strong sustainability brands, there are some guidelines to follow. Marc Stoiber  summed them up in The five Cs of Sustainability Branding: Consumer Facing, Competitive, Core, Conversational and credible. Perrine Bouhana added to that concept “a sixth C”: Consistency. Martin Belz complemented and revised this concept to “8 C’s” of sustainability branding and describes them as followed:
In the course of choosing the right name, Sustainability brands must first –just like brand names in the conventional sense- follow well-established rules. In general, a good brand name should consider three areas: memorability (distinctive short name, evoking emotions…), strategic fit (they should relate to the actual product; ability to expand to other brands) and legal (legal protection under trade mark law etc.) 
Sustainability Brands, however, go one step further and incorporate something that conveys the notion of social and/or ecological awareness.
A popular example is “Better Place”, a global provider of electric vehicle networks and services that works in a joint venture with Renault Nissan Alliance Motor Company to promote the use of electric cars. The founder, Shai Agassi, was intrigued by a question posed at the World Economic Forum in 2005 "How do you make the world a better place by 2020?". Thus the name Better Place. It is not related to the product (electric vehicle) but to much wider social and ecological issues (depletion of natural resources, CO2 emissions…), which the company addresses or rather offers the solution for.
Sustainability brand names can be part of a new product launch, an extension to an existing (conventional) brand or be so new to the market that they create a product category themselves. Each of these approaches has specific strategic implications.
Entering a saturated market such as the one for conventional household detergents with a sustainability brand might prove extremely difficult. However, there are companies that have successfully entered the market and positioned their brand as sustainability leaders. Seventh Generation, for instance, is the US market leader in four product categories (Household, Laundry, Personal and Baby Care) with products that –in the words of the company- “protect human health and the environment.” 
Established brands can leverage their existing brand recognition to extend their name to new products, which are then marketed as socially and ecologically friendly. Tide, a popular detergent brand in the US, expanded its brand to meet the demands of the ecological conscious consumer by launching Tide Cold Water Detergent in 2005. The product requires only cold water and thus saves energy. In 2010, it was given the Green GH seal, which is only awarded after a “cradle to grave” examination of the product.
Sustainability brand names can also succeed if they achieve to create a product category for themselves where there is virtually no competition yet. When the car-sharing concept was fairly new, companies such as Mobility CarSharing in Switzerland did neither compete with car companies nor public transportation providers.
Sustainability brands are subject to constant change. A sustainability brand that is well established on the market, can be further developed into different directions. According to Belz and Peattie  four main options for development are possible:
To create a sustainability brand it is furthermore important to adopt the right channels for marketing according to Lauterborns five Cs. Advertising in this case can help to create awareness of the brand and thus form the new brand experience. Furthermore, it is obligatory for Sustainability brands to obtain one ore more ecolabels, leading to a higher influence on consumer behaviour and the perception of the brand.