For B Corps, as well as marketing your business message and branding, you will often find yourself dedicating some of your marketing efforts to communicating the very concept of a B Corp certification. Unlike more common certifications, like “Fair-Trade” or “Organic”, B Corps haven’t quite made themselves a household name. Despite this fact, there are over 2000 of them in 42 countries, across 120 industries. As it happens, Colibri Digital Marketing is San Francisco’s first and only full-service B Corp-certified digital marketing agency, a distinction we’re proud to have held for more than a year. We got our certification in September of 2016.
What Does a B Corp Certification Announce?
A B Corp certification announces that a business has agreed to conduct itself in an environmentally and socially conscious way. This generally involves inclusive hiring practices, eco-friendly business practices, and so on. In order to become certified, a business must score at least 80 points (of a possible 200) in a variety of metrics all relating to progressive, responsible, forward-thinking business practices.
No matter how progressive the conduct of your business is, the B Corp certification is a clear and incontestable way of announcing those practices to clients, customers, investors, and prospective employees.
What Makes Marketing for B Corps Different from Other Businesses?
B Corps have a unique challenge. While traditional marketing strives to imprint an awareness of a brand or a product or a service, explaining the benefits, and ideally generating some kind of conversion, the marketing process for B Corps is a little different. A B Corp needs to cast a wider net. The aim isn’t to reach just potential conversions, consumers, or subscribers, but to reach those who share a particular mindset (be they customers, business connections, or other allies).
A recent Neilsen study demonstrated that close to two-thirds of customers would go out of their way, or be willing to pay more, to support a company that shared their values or ideology. By announcing the impact your business makes as a B Corp, a business may find that conversions follow almost unbidden.
How Should You Market Your B Corp-Certified Business
Your main goal is to make your business visible in places where like-minded investors and clients will see it. If your digital marketing agency. Don’t ignore the special avenues you have at your disposal. As a B Corp-certified business, you can join the B Hive, a social network exclusive to B Corps. B Corp-certified businesses stick together and help each other out, no matter what industry they’re in. They share business leads or networking avenues amongst themselves.
B Corps put their goals ahead of their shareholder interests. B Corp businesses put progress for everyone first. By helping a fellow business in need, they advance their cause.
Because of this co-operation, B Corps tend to do better in times of economic downturn or financial hardship. With robust support networks, B Corps tend to thrive even when other businesses in the same industry might be struggling. This is the sort of thing your business will want to market to potential investors. Marketing for B Corps does often mean attracting investors, so the double-whammy of progressivism and safe investment will be hard to resist.
B Corp status has a tendency to attract young, enthusiastic, loyal talent. This also makes your business especially attractive to clients and investors. Marketing your B Corp status will make it clear what people can expect from your business.
Why Colibri Digital Marketing is B Corp-Certified
Despite the challenges that result from being a B Corp, which include a rigorous certification process and constant accountability, becoming a B Corp was a non-negotiable for Colibri Digital Marketing founder and CEO, Anna Colibri. As a former social worker and yoga teacher, Anna’s focus has always been on helping people. Anna had this to say about becoming a B Corp: “In terms of career, nothing is more important to me than making a positive impact on the triple bottom line. As digital marketers, we are on the forefront of where technology meets communication. It’s up to us to create and communicate the best practices that inspire everyone to “do good while doing well.”
What Does the Future Look like?
“Triple bottom line” marketing, focusing on people, planet, and profit, in that order, isn’t going anywhere. It’s the future of responsible business, and it won’t be long before that philosophy has overtaken the dangerously out-dated, industrial-revolution-era, exploitation for maximal profit approach that is so common in today’s corporate culture.
So, for today, marketing for B Corps means sticking together, and remembering to put the higher goals, environmental and social progress, above the raw need to profit. Conducting business this way makes your enterprise part of a like-minded support network, and to participate in that network is to take on the responsibility of helping other businesses toward shared goals.