‘B’ The Change You Want to See in The Business World
When I went to primary school we had to wear collared shirts as part of the uniform. The shirt labels were always sewn into the back of the collar and would invariably irritate the skin on the back of my neck. This would fuel my compulsive need to fidget during classes. The happy solution for these pesky scratchy labels was a simple routine of regularly ‘snipping the labels off all my new shirts.’
Teenage boys believe that life is composed of the labels you wear
One day a friend gave me my first expensive designer-brand tee shirt (with the matching designer label vouching for its stylish authenticity). I was so proud. I was certain that my new fashion choice would boost my popularity and success with the ladies, because now I was a designer label kinda guy.
That night, that terrible night, I recall coming home from school only to find my new shirt had undergone the invasive snip routine without my consent. Oh the pain. Listening to the shouting that soon followed, you would have thought we were arguing about castration, rather than de-labelling. But for this teenage boy, they felt like one and the same thing.
Labels aren’t just appendages for clothes
For many people our favourite brand names and logos are more than just fashion. Our choice to wear and display them to the world is often our own public statement about who we are, what we support and sometimes, what we want to be known for or become.
Labels help us make better purchasing decisions
Today we read product labels to help us better understand the choices we make. The government’s truth in labelling laws require that ‘labels do not misinform through false, misleading or deceptive representations’. In layman’s terms it’s about making sure that ‘you know what you’re buying and what you can expect’ for your money.
Supermarkets are required to disclose a product’s country of origin and in financial services we say a financial product is true to label when it can be relied upon to perform exactly as advertised.
Customers want more transparency
In today’s world of multiple choice, consumers are demanding to know more about the people and practices behind a brand – and if you don’t tell them they’ll go find out themselves. Many customers don’t want to be known for buying a new smartphone from a brand whose manufacturing site routinely mistreats its workers resulting in headlines like, ‘1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame?’
Good businesses want more transparency too
Good people and good businesses have always existed. The challenge was finding them and helping amplify their efforts to give back to their community in meaningful and organised ways.
How the conscious consumer can connect with a purposeful business
Welcome to the new world of for-profit business – the world of Certified B Corporations – leading a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good. The B Corp. movement is built on the simple belief that business impacts and serves more than just its shareholders — it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.
Formal certification and acceptance into this movement is through a stringent but publicly available assessment of a business’s impact in 5 keys areas.
B Corp. Certified businesses are recognised by a black and white certification logo that as the New York Times stated, “B Corp provides what is lacking elsewhere: proof” that the company using it is a recognised business leader.
These driven and purposeful for-profit companies are now competing, not to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and pursue what Inc. Magazine called ‘the highest standard for socially responsible business.”
Is purpose the future of business?
When international brand leaders the likes of Unilever and Danone now agree that ‘purpose driven business is the future of successful business’, the writing’s on the wall. The age of the purposeful business has come and we all need to be found on the right side of history.
If you resonate with the ideals of using business as a force for good, you can complete your own online assessment and benchmark your business at here.
Mahatma Gandhi, who peacefully led India to independence in 1947 challenged us all when he said. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE