By now, most people have heard of the shoe brand TOMS, a company founded by Blake Mycoskie, an American traveler and early veteran of the reality show, The Amazing Race. Inspired during a trip to a village in Argentina, where children were playing barefoot, Mycoskie left wanting to provide this community and others like it with an everyday necessity – shoes. His concept for TOMS is simple – for every pair of shoes purchased, a pair will be donated to a child in need.
TOMS is not the only brand whose business model focuses on the good of the community. Benefit, or b-corporations are types of for-profit companies that take society and environmental impacts, in addition to company profit into its decision-making process. Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Warby Parker and even New Belgium Brewing Company are all certified b-corporations.
And while these companies are good at giving back, they are also really good at their marketing efforts. Here’s why b-corporations are doing good with utilizing good inbound marketing:
They Know Their Buyers
While the target audience for major b-corporations vary from industry to industry, it may come at no surprise that these companies get a good deal of their business from the millennial generation. A study released by Edelman revealed the following about millennial buyers:
- 53% of millennials said that, with quality and price equal, “social purpose” is the most important factor for making purchasing decisions
- 76% said they would be more likely to buy products from a company that actively supports a good cause
- 75% of them also said they would recommend the products of these socially active companies
With valuable information about their buyers, these corporations have began building lasting relationships with their target audiences with meaningful content distributed in the most relevant channels.
They’ve Built Reputable Brands
Building a trustworthy brand begins from the bottom, starting with the product sold. With b-corporations you’ll find a sense of transparency about the production of their products that you may not see with other for-profit companies. They are open about their business practices – from their carbon footprint and materials sourcing to their community support. You can find the transparency right on b-corporations’ websites:
- Interested in where New Belgium Brewing Company gets their ingredients from?
- Curious on how your purchase of Warby Parker glasses has been invested into the global community? Read here.
- Maybe you have an invested interest in the environment and want brands to become more sustainable.
If one thing is certain, these companies make their initiatives clear – posted through videos and labeled graphics on their website – providing consumers exactly the reassurance that their brand is one to be trusted.
They Keep Content Relevant
In an age where consumers are becoming more used to the personalized digital experience (think Amazon e-mailing you recommendations based on products purchased), brands are refining their process on what content best suits their buyers. Whether it is a blog, infographic, an e-mail newsletter or a giveaway contest – b-corporations are at the top of their game when it comes to new and relevant content being offered.
TOMS connects their buyers to give back efforts through stories and profiles of individuals who benefited from TOMS. In their latest venture, TOMS added a loyalty program, as a way to encourage future purchases all while collecting points to trade in for rewards that include anything from a free pair of shoes to joining a TOMS mission trip.
It’s also that these companies go beyond promoting the social good they do. They feed their buyers with content to educate. It’s the healthy recipes from Seventh Generation, the beer pairing tips from New Belgium and the outdoor adventures shared by Patagonia that take content to the next level.
With the number of b-corporations on the rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the social good aspect they provide. They are redefining the way consumers research before making a buying decision with an added element of transparency. It may only be a matter of time before this becomes the norm and not the exception.
What other companies are doing good with good inbound marketing? Open a bottle of Fat Tire and share your thoughts!