Society is changing faster than its institutions, and people feel the urge to take matters in their hands: speak up, raise unaddressed matters, join efforts to drive change. Isn’t this what happened when over 7.6 mil people rallied the streets in 185 countries during the Global Climate Strike this September 2019? The reality of the past years has proven repeatedly – the gap between institutions and people is only getting bigger. From the B Corp Summit in September in Amsterdam, I left with this feeling, that more than ever, people are demanding change. And they want it to be exponential change.
Institutions, law, technology can have a strong impact when they fit with people’s demands. And brands are NO different. We are long passed the time when companies succeed by chasing the sole purpose of profit. But we are still a long way from having businesses build themselves around the needs of people and communities. Instead, the tendency is to focus on structures and its managers. I want to share two examples of businesses that stepped up.
Loop is an example of how a brand can become a force for change and social impact. The company is reinventing the milkman by offering reusable containers that they deliver, pick up, replenish and return to people’s homes. To do so, they engage leading manufacturers, retailers, all with the same goal: to develop supply chains that are more ‘circular’ from design through to consumer use. By redefining groceries shopping through a lens of durability in a context where people are voicing a strong desire for a more conscious consumption, Loop succeeds not only to tap into people’s aspirations, but also to create support systems for an exponential change.
A second example I would like to give is Dopper, a company that goes far beyond the bottles, and is all about clean water. They transformed the brand into a platform that mobilizes, inspires and supports people to step up in the challenge of crystal clear waters in every ocean and from every tap. Entrepreneurs, pupils, young researchers, companies and individuals, can all join efforts for a common mission in an easy way. And this makes Dopper transition from serving consumers to empowering community and its activists.
In times when people demand bigger changes, companies ought to step up in the game and drive this change. One way to do it, is by creating value around people and communities. As such, companies will become relevant in the lives of the people it serves and ultimately unlock more meaningful growth. B-Corp is a live expression of companies that already took the lead. Because, as individuals, nowadays, we no longer need to work in tech or law making to be at the core of driving exponential change. We can build brands that are platforms for change. We can do so by humanizing our businesses.
By: Aurelia Petrov | cultural decoder & business humanizer