Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Good Companies -vs- Good Marketing:
Protecting Corporate Culture

--Feature: "Consumption Junction w/John Rooks"--

Clearly, there is a halo for sale when it comes to buying authentically green products. Like old-skool branding, we take on the values of the product we consume ("I wanna be like Mike, like Tiger, Cool as Pepsi, Fast like Dale, etc....). The same goes for larger corporation consuming smaller "green" businesses.

If corporate culture has value, then we assume that culture-acquisition is a large part of the purchase. The culture has value and is sometimes even factored into purchase price. Indeed with some of the recent roll-ups of "green" companies by very not "green" new parents (Burt Bees by Clorox, Toms of Maine by Colgate, Act Now! by Saatchi and Saatchi S) we assume that those cultures represent THE asset. How is a small, authentic company supposed to protect itself and its culture in the face of likely acquisition?

Enter B Corporation (www.bcorporation.net) by B Lab - a non-profit who helps maintain corporate culture through the only means necessary - Articles of Incorporation They say it best:
"As a B Corporation™, you differentiate your business from the growing barrage of green- and cause-marketing campaigns and stand out as a leader in the market, creating a clear path for others to follow. You also embed your values into your corporate governing documents so they can survive new investors, new management and even new ownership."

Very cool idea to protect the culture that we strive to create.

*Consumption Junction is a feature column focusing on culture, advertising and the ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative, a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25 agencies by LOHAS Journal.

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