When B Corp companies focus on fellow B Corporations as their target market–it’s evident that something amazing is happening.
No longer are B Corporations far and few between. There is still a ways to go, but speaking with the folks over at RoundPeg really got me thinking about the B Corp network in a new way.
Not only are B Corporations willing and enthused to help one another–but they’re proactively doing business with each other.
RoundPeg provides marketing expertise to their B Corporation peers (as well as other purpose-driven companies), crafting effective strategies to market their missions and strengthen their brands.
I’ve cleverly coined a term for this business interaction: B2B (B Corp business to B Corp business).
RoundPeg is on a mission to help purpose-driven enterprises (many of which operate as business-to-consumer companies) increase their profits. We know that when B Corp businesses earn more money, they have the capacity to do more good. When RoundPeg provides expertise to their B Corp clients–and other socially responsible businesses–they’re helping them retain loyal customers and build communities of influence.
On my journey to learn more and inspire others to pursue effective corporate good, I spoke with Anne and Alison from RoundPeg.
Anne is partner and director of strategy at RoundPeg where she spends most of her time figuring out how to use marketing to help people make good choices. Alison is RoundPeg’s content marketing specialist, seeking inspiration, writing content and encouraging the world to believe in their clients’ missions.
I asked them, “Why do you strategically and proactively work with other B Corps?”
Anne and Alison paid tribute to the fact that B Corporations possess the unique ability and potential to create scalable impact. This sets them apart from traditional businesses.
In addition to this, they emphasized the need to fill the current void in the marketplace.
“B Corps are faced with unique challenges and are developing at a rapid pace.”
B Corporations seek and demand marketing professionals who are as open-minded as they are. They’re in need of professionals who understand B Corp at its core.
“We understand the entrepreneurial spirit and we’re also willing to play and take risks. At the end of the day, the marketplace is changing and those traditional methods of doing business don’t work the same anymore.”
RoundPeg’s shift towards a more focused B2B (B Corp business to B Corp business) model began back in 2011. One of their clients was a B Corp and was in search of some top-notch marketing to help illustrate and share the importance of their new certification.
As RoundPeg dug deeper into their research and built a brand around their client’s mission and business model, they realized that the B Corp movement aligned strongly with their values and the way they were already doing things. This is when Anne and the team took their business a step further.
“At the beginning, we thought we were too small of a company to begin the process but the folks over at B Lab (the nonprofit that certifies B Corporations) advised us otherwise and really helped motivate us to start the process early. And we’re so happy that we did.”
“Becoming a B Corp early on is a great decision.”
“It’s much easier when you’re small to put in place sustainable and mission-based policies and processes. B Lab guidance and resources from the B Corp community have helped us do that, and allow us to grow with the proper focus on the triple bottom line rather than later retrofitting and doing it retroactively.”
Alison and Anne could not say enough about the B Corp network of individuals and businesses.
“Being connected to people and companies who believe in the same things we do is inspiring. It’s not uncommon anymore to network with other businesses who are against the grain. We don’t have to think business as usual.”
They poked fun at the “old days”–not so far back in history–when a lot of us viewed corporations as big and bad. It’s incredible how quickly this stereotype is shifting as more businesses (small and large) move towards providing more to society by expanding their definition of the bottom line.
Beyond having a network of like-minded companies to be inspired by, Alison and Anne explained that the B Corp network wants you to do well.
“There’s no hesitation when you ask a favour–everyone is so receptive. When we reached out for help planning a local B Corp networking event, we were met with yesses and support.”
They reflected on those moments in time when they had reached out to the B Corp network and were reminded by that fact that this community is about more than everyone just saying ‘we’re connected around the same belief.’ Everyone actually helps each other.
I think Anne sums it up best.
“I can’t think of one person in the B Corp community who’s shady.”
We wrapped up our conversation on a high note, resolving that we all have a lot of belief in the B Corp movement and that we want to prove to the world that it works.
“That’s our motivation every day. At our core, we’re doing business differently and we’re excited to use our talents to help others doing just that, to succeed and grow.”
If you’ve enjoyed this installment of The B Series, be sure to follow the blog and follow me on Twitter @CSRtist for more inspiration on effective corporate good.
Categories: The B Series