With more states officially recognizing B Corps – aka, a benefit corporation, which shares elements of both for- and non-profit taxable entities – companies are leveraging their status for branding purposes. In other words, conscious capitalism, the idea that businesses can exist for more than just maximum short-term profit, can resonate with customers who want to spend their dollars in a sustainable and ethical way.
That said, employing conscious capitalism into one’s branding strategy is only half the battle; firms cannot live on the tagline alone. At the end of the day, the rules of commerce nonetheless apply, and this forward-looking, sustainable approach must be paired with a traditional branding strategy that customers will find distinctive.
The classic rule of thumb is that customers should identify a company when given just three adjectives. For example: “low-cost,” “airline,” and “fun.” Most people would respond, “Southwest Airlines,” and when they do, somewhere a marketing executive in their corporate headquarters is smiling.
From a branding perspective, start-ups are inherently well-equipped to capitalize on the adjectives that describe such companies: cool, urbane, hip, fun. But don’t take it for granted. Get the sharpest minds in your firm together and have branding brainstorming sessions to not only maximize the conscious capitalism angle, but also build in differentiating elements that will distinguish you from the competition.