The world needs a lever

Client: Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund is tackling serious environmental challenges with a truly effective – but also complex – approach: partner with powerful businesses to clean up corporate supply chains. EDF had joined forces with a global retailer to develop and test this approach, which shifted the weight off of consumers and onto retailers and manufacturers to demand more sustainable products from their suppliers.

Now they wanted to share it with other businesses, donors and influencers. Enter Shelton Group. We were tasked to communicate both the goals and the scientific validity of the approach so that more companies would embrace the idea – and be inspired to take action.

Client Challenge

Translate this complex process into a clear and powerful narrative that business decision makers could easily wrap their heads around.

Shelton Strategy

Boil it down to the perfect metaphor: a lever. It’s an easy-to-grasp yet surprising way to describe the role EDF could help large retailers and manufacturers take – the role of leading their entire supply chains to greater sustainability and baking sustainability into every product on their shelves.

Based on this metaphor, we wrote and illustrated an online video that reeled in viewers with an evocative, emotionally compelling story – the why behind EDF’s approach. The video served as the centerpiece of a series of Web pages we created, where copy and interactive infographics fleshed out how EDF’s approach works – and how to get involved.

The simple but sophisticated look and feel was designed to help the viewer open up to the complex idea rather than turn away right off the bat because it looked too complicated, while also emphasizing EDF’s expertise. The end result was an engaging story that allowed our target audiences to understand the genius of the strategy … and to start leading the way toward real change.

Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.