Blog

By: Colleen Vien, Sustainability Director of Timberland and NHBSR Board Member

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Did you know that voter turnout in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the developed world?  Shocking!!!  Voting is the lifeblood of a democracy. It’s a hard-won right, a weighty responsibility and an incredible privilege that too often goes unclaimed in America. The more people who feel empowered to use their voice, the stronger this country will be.  One of the most common reasons people give for not voting is that they’re too busy with the demands of work and life.   Workers shouldn’t have to choose between earning a paycheck and voting. 

  • To address this barrier and increase voter participation, a diverse coalition of companies came together in the summer of 2018 to launch Time to Vote.  Timberland was one of those companies.  The companies signing on made a commitment to ensure their employees had a work schedule that allowed them time to vote in that year's midterm elections.  In 2018, more than half of U.S. eligible voters cast a ballot, the highest turnout rate for a midterm election in four decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Today, we are reigniting the efforts of Time to Vote, building on our past results and working to engage even more employers in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.

Time to Vote is a nonpartisan effort that demonstrates the power of what the business community can achieve when it works to address one of the most significant issues of our time. Together, we can have an even greater impact.

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Time to Vote Charter Statement:

Time to Vote is a business-led initiative that ensures employees across America don't have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck. It is:

  • Not consumer facing (this is a business-to-business initiative)
  • Nonpartisan 
  • Unaffiliated with any one specific NGO or other independent party
  • Non-prescriptive (no “one approach fits all”)
  • Not policy driven, but meant to shift the culture
  • Business-led
  • Non-issue specific

The only commitment asked is for CEO’s to commit that they will make the time for employees to vote – how you do that is up to your organization.  This can include providing voting information to employees; access to early voting or vote-by-mail options; declaring voting days as “no-meetings days”; and/or offering paid time off on Election Day – from a full day to a few hours, or a flex day.  There is no “one approach fits all” here.  We recognize that employers have their own restrictions and company guidelines that may dictate how they implement Time to Vote. Participants have the flexibility to implement the initiative as they best see fit for their employees – the key is making the time for employees, communicating it broadly, and encouraging them to take the Time to Vote!  

Time to Vote is for companies that want to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in our country’s elections.   I call on all NHBSR member companies to consider joining this important movement.  Currently there are 400+ companies that have signed on to this commitment.  Our goal is to have more than 1,000 companies commit to Time to Vote. To learn more and sign up, visit www.maketimetovote.org.

You can also join the Time to Vote Webinar on February 6 to learn more and find out how to get involved.

Innovative students and community members are front and center at University of New Hampshire's Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC), which asks participants to imagine creative new business solutions to our most pressing environmental and social challenges. Since 2013, the SVIC has equipped UNH students and community members alike with a wealth of knowledge, resources and mentorship to make their business ideas a reality.

NHBSR supports these emerging leaders by providing a one year membership allowing them to connect with our programming and you!

 

Please welcome 2019’s SVIC Winners to the NHBSR network...

-click pictures to play linked videos-

 

Community Track   Student Track    

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First Place: V’ice Haiti empowers Haitians to make and sell affordable vitaminized products as self-employed micro-franchisees. This model addresses two critical social issues in Haiti: unemployment and vitamin deficiency. V’ice, in its first year, has provided over 80,000 vitamin enriched V’ice shaved ice cones. Furthermore, the social venture has employed 10 manufacturing employees, 3 micro-franchisee managers and 2 micro-franchisees. V’ice is now looking to scale up to 40 hubs throughout Haiti, which is estimated to provide jobs to over 50 Haitian youth and mothers.

 

“It is crucial that we continue to build, grow and foster a community of people who are all working towards a greater cause! So much of our ability to help and empower others comes from having a strong support group of socially minded businesses and organizations. We are leading the change that we want to see in the world, and the best ideas always come from the synergy of many people's creativity coming together!” – Haley Burns, Social Ventures Investment Administrator, V’ice Haiti at Social Ventures Foundation

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First Place: Kikori is an easy-to-use app that helps educators improve their students' social, emotional and academic outcomes. The app offers teachers an experiential activity platform that is aligned with curriculum, training and impact measurement tools. With Kikori as a tool at their fingertips, teachers can transform their classrooms to help ensure student succeed across the board.

 

“Within every asset of Kikori, we believe that we are stronger together.  As this is the approach we live by, we can only dream of what types of opportunities there are if we are able to connect with a network of New Hampshire socially minded businesses and organizations through NHBSR.”Kendra Bostick and Bryn Lottig, Co-Founders, Kikori

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Second Place: Community Toy Chest offers toy rental membership, community play spaces and enriching STEAM activities. This alternative model to traditional toy consumption decreases resource use and landfill waste, while creating kid-friendly spaces for families to connect in and enjoy. Community Toy Chest ultimately encourages the growth of ecologically-minded children who recognize the importance of sharing and caring for the earth.

 

“We are excited to join NHBSR so we can learn what other New Hampshire businesses are doing in the area of sustainability, as well as share our own knowledge.  We are excited to be part of a motivated and like-minded group with similar sustainability goals.” – Jessica Forrest and Hannah MacBride, Co-Founders, Community Toy Chest

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Second Place: Ambrosia Fabrics is developing nontoxic performance fabric made from some of the most sustainable fibers on the planet: hemp and bamboo. These fibers both come from carbon-absorbing plants that do not need chemically-intensive treatments to be suitable for upholstery. Use of these natural materials helps combat poor indoor air quality in homes and uses less resources with significantly lower carbon emmissions than traditional textile production.

 

“I look forward to joining NHBSR and connecting with like-minded individuals and businesses who are focused on sustainability and improving the environment we live in; I look forward to connecting and helping out in any way I can!"Chris Hollis, Founder, Ambrosia Fabrics

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Third Place: Wildcats Willing addresses food security in New Hampshire. This social venture was designed with UNH Dining to repurpose edible and unused food. Currently, food unused from UNH Dining is composted. Wildcats Willing, however, would be able to safely deliver this food to a local non-profit organization that serves the hungry. By implementing Wildcats Unwilling, this local nonprofit could serve an estimated 400 extra meals a day. Moreover, Wildcats Willing would provide a successful food system model for all types of institutions that serve high quantities of food throughout the day.

 

“NHBSR provides us the opportunity to expand our own interests concerning social change via business models and initiatives. We hope to find connections and potentially collaborate on our existing idea or work with organizations on new projects and ideas. A community of socially minded businesses and organizations will support our goals and ambitions of implementing Wildcats Willing. Connecting with the network at NHBSR will hopefully provide the both of us with professional connections to work with for years to come.”John DeAngelis and Brennan Williams, Co-Founders, Wildcats Willing: A UNH Food Re-Purposing Initiative

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Third Place: New Hampshire Toy Library Network increases equity, decreases waste, fosters fun and provides opportunities for recent graduates within the state. The spark for this social venture came from UNH students noticing the steep costs of adapted toys for children and how even conventional toys could be cost prohibitive. Student-run NH Toy Libraries would provide greater access to toys and helpful services to both libraries and families, while giving college students a chance to network in the Granite State by running and managing the Toy Libraries.

 

It would be amazing to learn from NHBSR members and see so much of the inspiring work people in the Granite State are doing. We are honored to have been given this opportunity.” – Marisa Rafal, Founder, New Hampshire Toy Library Network

 

 

 

 

FEATURING:  Anne Richardson, Principal + Media Director at Richardson Media Group

(Photo Credits: Raya on Assignment)

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Richardson Media Group is a strategic media planning and buying agency with expertise in content development, lead fulfillment, and search engine optimization (SEO). Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the agency works with a wide variety of clients, particularly those in the education, technology, and professional services sectors. 

 Anne Richardson founded Richardson Media Group in 2014 after planning and buying media at full-service advertising agencies from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts. Over the past five years, her firm has expanded its list of service offerings and added to its marketing staff to match the growing needs of a diverse client roster. 

Today, Anne is joined at Richardson Media Group by three colleagues. Erica Holthausen oversees business operations along with content development, lead fulfillment, and SEO. Brenda Brooks deftly handles project management and Marco Mottola serves as the agency’s digital media buying specialist.

Together, the team has a proven track record of developing, executing, and optimizing multi-layered paid media campaigns that are shaped by client goals, informed by user engagement, and driven by campaign data and website analytics. Client objectives are met with targeted lead fulfillment, smart content development, and robust SEO. 

And they don’t do it alone.

Richardson Media Group is by nature a collaborative agency. “We’re energized by and benefit from partnering with creative agencies, including graphic designers, branding companies and web developers,” says Anne. “Managing an effective advertising campaign requires strong communication skills and reciprocal sharing of ideas. The very best projects allow us to create long-lasting partnerships with others in our industry.”

Anne sees NHBSR as fitting right into her agency’s values and is excited to connect with other companies committed to raising their consciousness around social responsibility and sustainability. “As a small firm, we are aware of the little things we can do on a daily basis to be more socially responsible,” says Anne. “It’s one of the reasons we choose to operate within a community, like Portsmouth, one that is walkable, near the ocean and offers an easy commute. It’s also why we have sought to house our business in historic buildings that have been adapted for reuse.”

Anne recognizes that there will always be more work to do and hopes to share her personal journey towards sustainability and social responsibility with NHBSR in a future blog post. 

Stay tuned!

Learn more about Richardson Media Group at www.richardsonmediagroup.com. You can also email Anne at anne@richardsonmediagroup.com or call (603) 373-8866.

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(Photo Credits: Stacy Milbouer)

By: Tom Long, Fiddlehead Magazine Contributing Editor

Our commitment to buy local doesn’t have to end at the farm stand or farmers’ market, there are other options like Hannaford Supermarkets. The grocery chain provides produce and other products from more than 800 local farms and companies, including White Mountain Kettle Corn in Henniker, Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, Broadview Farm in Sanbornton, Brookdale Farm in Hollis, Contoocook Creamery and North Country Smokehouse in Claremont.

“I think it’s fabulous,” said Lisa Guidi of Nashua, who recently picked up some locally grown onions and corn at the Hannaford in Hudson. “It’s one-stop shopping. It means I don’t have to make a second trip to a farm stand, but I’m still getting locally grown vegetables.”

The supermarket chain is committed to buying local.

“Hannaford places a high priority on carrying locally made and locally grown products in all of our stores, because we know that it’s important to our customers, and it’s good for our communities,” said Hannaford spokesperson Ericka Dodge. “Giving customers the opportunity to buy a variety of local products in our stores helps to preserve local farmland, local traditions and local jobs. We’re aware of the positive impact that we can have on local businesses and we celebrate the opportunity to share in their success,”

In fact, each year Hannaford adds more locally sourced food and other items. Her remark echoes those on the company’s website: “We love local, and we know you do, too. Our local farmers and producers make life better for our communities and help preserve thousands of acres of farmland.” Each Hannaford store handpicks local items from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. They also encourage customers to talk to the store manager if they have a favorite local product they’d like to see in the store.

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It should not be a surprise. The company was founded in 1883 by Arthur Hannaford, who sold fresh produce from a cart in Portland, Maine. The chain now has more than 180 stores, but it has not forgotten its local roots.

“Hannaford has been doing local since 1883 when it started, and we continue our strong focus on our local communities, businesses, and schools today,” Dodge said. “Throughout the Northeast, Hannaford works with over 900 local producers and growers representing over 7,000 varieties. That’s equivalent to 4 percent of our overall sales. In New Hampshire, that is 118 local farmers and producers, with just under 900 products.”

The supermarket is also a good neighbor in a number of other ways. One hundred percent of its seafood comes from sustainable sources; 78 percent of the chain’s waste is recycled; and its store brand coffee is certified fair trade. The company has donated more than 23 million pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank and other hunger-relief organizations.

Hannaford has donated thousands of dollars to local groups, including $40,000 to the New Hampshire Farm Bureau (NHFB) Young Farmers Committee Harvest for All program and $30,000 to the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS). That donation will help ORIS expand the production and distribution of food from its farm in Dunbarton to low-income families and allow 15 low-income young people from Manchester and Concord to learn about farming.

“ORIS epitomizes the ways in which food brings people and communities together — and we are so fortunate to have them as a part of our community,” said John Fifield, director of operations for Hannaford. “Their commitment for getting more locally grown produce onto the dinner table is a value that Hannaford shares. And because of that, we are proud to support the farmers and staff at ORIS.”

“We are all linked by a shared concern for our earth and a desire to care for the diverse bounty it provides,” according to the Hannaford website.

That works for Guidi, who said the more her local Hannaford offers local produce the more she’ll buy.

 

Originally published in Fiddlehead Magazine.

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(Photo Credits: Raya Al-Hashmi)

By: Anne Richardson, Principal + Media Director at Richardson Media Group

Richardson Media Group has embarked upon a journey to become a more sustainable, socially responsible business. We recently joined New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. Our team has regular conversations about how to apply what we are learning about social responsibility to our professional services business. Now that we are shining a brighter light onto our collective purpose, we realize that our sustainability story began years ago.  

As a strategic media planning and buying agency, we deliver targeted media campaigns, smart content, and SEO services to clients across a wide range of industries. Like many small businesses, we couldn’t afford to be too restrictive when we were starting. We always sought customers and partners who mirrored our values-based approach and modeled social responsibility. However, it wasn’t a deal-breaker if they didn’t adhere to those tenants. A few years ago, we began to see our selection criteria becoming more defined.

The loss of a dear friend leads to a new symbol and meaningful action.

In October 2017, three years after launching Richardson Media Group, my closest childhood friend lost her battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. She had been someone I relied on during the most pivotal moments in my life. Over 35 years of friendship, we navigated the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood, built our careers, and shared our dreams.

A few weeks before she passed, my friend challenged me to pick a symbol that would remind me of her when she was gone. I remembered when we were kids we used to laugh about how little we knew about the birds and bees. So, for me, the answer was easy. Our symbol would be the bee.

Since then, I can’t tell you how much more aware I am of bees and their environmental impact. I seek out all types of bee images and enjoy exploring a newfound interest in beekeeping. But the greatest surprise is how much I’ve learned from the bees and how directly my interest in bees ties into our desire to build a sustainable and socially responsible business. 

A bee colony is an aspirational model for our business.

Within a hive, bees hold a myriad of roles and carry out a range of tasks to keep the nest safe, sound, and well-provisioned to ensure the future of new offspring colonies. Scientists have discovered that worker bees of all ages can perform any of these tasks, from scouting for new forage sources to protecting the hive from invaders. Productivity mainly depends on the amount of nutritional sustenance available to the colony. Communication takes the form of dancing, especially when it comes to foraging operations. Bees swarm when their nest gets too dense to support more than one queen. Swarming is a natural progression that allows the hive to stay healthy.

Looking at the bee colony as an organizational and functional model, we can easily detect a metaphor for healthy and productive human societies, including businesses. 

To use the advertising industry as an example, agencies like ours rely on the work of coordinated teams performing tasks in tandem with one another every day. Successful projects result when individuals on these teams complete their assignments according to agency expectations and preset protocol. Fortunately, inter-agency communication doesn’t have to happen through interpretive dance. Rest assured, however, that there’s no shortage of creative expression around the office. Finally, as is true of the bees, we won’t hesitate to move to a new space in order to meet the needs of our team.

Implementing the lessons we've learned from the bees.

Our team continues to grow, and our business continues to mature. Today, we regularly meet to share ideas about how we can become more sustainable and socially responsible — both as a business and in our personal lives. We’ve brought bee symbolism into the office to remind us of our goals. We’ve redoubled our efforts to become more sustainable and socially responsible while partnering with clients and creative agencies that also embrace a socially-responsible business model. We especially enjoy working with independent schools, colleges, and universities and feel gratified when we learn how they, too, are on the path to sustainability.  

Long-term change is hard, and adapting a socially-responsible business model designed for large companies to our smaller agency can be overwhelming. But if we acknowledge that even small steps have a significant impact in the aggregate, the effort we are putting into this initiative becomes more manageable and fulfilling. 

Donating to bee conservation organizations, reducing waste, recycling, and printing on both sides of the paper sometimes feel like small, inconsequential actions. But taken together with the efforts of like-minded businesses, these simple steps make a tangible difference

As we continue our journey, my team and I will map out our progress as we pivot towards sustainability. We’ll share stories about what we learn on social media and our blog. We hope this conversation will give us the opportunity to forge new agency partnerships and work with more clients who share our conscientious view of the world. We’re also determined to do our part to use our voice to impact how the marketing industry communicates about critical environmental issues.  

What started with love for a dear friend has expanded into a deep respect for one of nature’s most beautiful organisms. In turn, it has opened the door to changing how we do business, hopefully leading all of us towards a more sustainable future.


Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year MegaFood won NHBSR's 2018 Sustainability Slam for its innovative workplace initiatives.


MegaFood is a wholefood supplement company that was founded in New Hampshire in 1973. MegaFood's motto of Nutrition with Ambition™ is especially apt for a company that leads with world changing models, creating healthy wholefood supplements through processes that regenerate both the land and our local communities. As a certified B Corp, MegaFood is considered a world leader in sustainable business practices. Moreover, the company strives to amplify their positive impact year after year.1922283611.jpg

B Corp certification is granted to companies that uphold the highest standards for social and environmental impact and accountability and was always a very natural fit for MegaFood. As part of the process of completing the B Corp Business Impact Assessment, MegaFood evaluated its employee payment structure through a living wage lens. Calculated based on geography, living wage is a standard metric published each year by research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It incorporates the cost of living in an area with the wage an employee would need to make to cover basic needs. MegaFood's Just One Thing story at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam last fall shared how the company raised wages for employees to ensure all were making a good living wage.

Through reviewing its employee compensation structure, MegaFood initially discovered that, compared to other similarly sized manufacturers, they ranked highly in the percentage of employees paid a single living wage. But the wholefood supplement manufacturer didn't stop there. Wanting to do even better for their employees, MegaFood made a commitment to pay all of its employees an even better living wage, a model they continue to evaluate and strive to improve. Just recently, the wholefood supplement manufacturer committed to paying all employees at least 25% above the single living wage to a thriving wage.

Such a sweeping, company-wide effort might sound daunting and complicated, but Ashley LaRochelle, MegaFood’s Director of Vision Activation, says, “Our amazing People team crunched the numbers, explained the shared value, and made final recommendations to our Executive team. We were able to implement changes within a year! The jump to living wage and then to thriving wage was only a bit of a challenge the first year. After that, these people processes for assessing employee compensation and making sure it continues to be the best that we can do each year just became standard.” 

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The impact on the lives of employees was immense. MegaFood employees themselves proudly took to the stage at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam, and spoke about not only being better able to afford things like childcare, continued education, healthcare, and home ownership, but also be able to build up a savings and for retirement. Paying employees well is characteristic of MegaFood's broader compensation package, which includes 12 weeks of primary and 6 weeks of secondary caregiver leave, paid medical family leave, extensive healthcare coverage, and paid volunteer hours. Raising wages for employees had the indirect benefit of helping MegaFood with recruitment and retention in a highly competitive manufacturing field, a win-win all around that shows just how much a company thrives when its people do.

Connect with Ashley and learn more about MegaFood at the NHBSR Sustainability Slam on November 7, 2019. You can register now at nhbsr.org/JOT.

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Watch Megafood's winning Just One Thing story video here.

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Register for the Sustainabilty Slam here.

Photo Credits: John Benford Photography

11129824_612070798928897_770629826918712800_n.jpgBy: Dee Fitzgerald, Marketing and PR Manager at W.S. Badger

The global youth movement is sounding the alarm on the climate crisis. Ever since Swedish student Greta Thunberg went on strike in August 2018, students around the world have organized school strikes demanding bold climate action. This September, youth are calling on all of us (individuals, business leaders, change makers, public officials and everyone in between) to join them in catalyzing action in our communities. As a sustainably driven business and a member of NHBSR, we’re answering the call by joining and amplifying the #ClimateStrike. Will you join us?

September 20th kicks off a week of action. Millions will walk out of their workplaces and homes to demand immediate, just and equitable climate solutions on scale with the crisis before us.

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Here’s how you can get involved

Join a Climate Strike - Find a rally near you at globalclimatestrike.net

Donate to the Youth Climate Action Fund - Consider donating money to help support the movement. The Youth Climate Action Fund provides financial support to local youth strike groups who apply for funding.

Spread the Word - Help mobilize, amplify, and encourage participation. Talk to neighbors, family, friends, teachers and administrators at your local schools. Empower and support young people in joining a strike.
Sign the Joint Business Statement on Global Climate Strike - Join us and other businesses like Seventh Generation, Patagonia, Lush Cosmetics, Ben & Jerry’s and countless others in supporting the strike. Add your business here.

 

Here’s what Badger is doing

Closing our office - The building will be shut on September 20th to allow employees to volunteer at local regenerative farms, and participate in local climate strikes. 
Amplifying #ClimateStrike - We’ll use all our communication channels to get the word out.
“Green Out” badgerbalm.com - On September 24th, for 24 hours, our website will be closed for business. Visitors to our website will instead find #ClimateStrike messaging and a call to action.
Donating 5% of all sales to climate action non-profits - From Sept 16-27, five percent of all sales generated on badgerbalm.com will go to organizations supporting climate action. 

Are you ready to join us? Share what you plan on doing to support #ClimateStrike this September.  

Contact Dee at deef@badgerbalm.com to learn more about W.S. Badger's Climate Efforts!

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(Photo Credits: Taylor O'Neil)

FEATURING:  Carrie Mayo, Founder and Owner of MAYO Designs

Carrie Mayo started MAYO Designs, a web design and marketing agency, 19 years ago. A self-starter with big ideas and an abundant skill set, she was able to launch her own company and cover everything from client relations and design through to bookkeeping and coding. As Carrie's client base and projects grew, she had to bring on more designers and project managers. As technology advanced, MAYO Designs was perfectly poised in its strong command and understanding of traditional marketing and media strategies as well as its expertise in new and expanding social media and web platforms. Covering such a diverse range of communications and design services, the company flourished. Now MAYO Designs is a team of eight highly motivated and talented creative minds.

With such a high demand for MAYO's services, Carrie realized that her team could choose to serve the clients they were most passionate about. Today, MAYO’s focus is on companies and organizations committed to making our world and communities better. They have also encouraged their existing valued clients to be more sustainable. Carrie recalls, "We really wanted to bring an additional sense of purpose to our work and focus efforts to where our hearts were, to make sure on a daily basis that what we do aligns with our values."

Following this mindset of leading with the heart, Carrie describes how MAYO Designs encourages clients to focus on their own values and what's most important to them. This personal approach to storytelling is key to MAYO's highly successful marketing strategies and is facilitated by the company's approach of working alongside their clients as a team. Carrie says, "This may sound strange, but we want to understand what our clients’ dreams are. They started their business for a reason. Also, joy comes in many forms. We find joy in the work that we do and work to bring our clients to that place of joy, to cherish their dreams and stories."

Carrie is NHBSR's newest PR & Marketing committee member and is excited about connecting with like-minded individuals. She says, "When you find people who think like you, you're talking the same language and you're on the same wavelength. Being able to contribute in this way builds up great energy and possibilities." As a new NHBSR member, she hopes to align her efforts with the inspiring and impactful work of others in the sustainable business community.

Connect with Carrie to learn more about MAYO Designs at carrie@mayodesigns.com or by phone at (603) 817-1575.

By: Jeff Baker, Presdient and Creative Director at Image 4

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At Image 4, we work with our clients not only to present their Brand, but also to help them discover, align and refine their Brand. The reason is that an Authentic Brand is a powerful Brand.

Recently, a perfect example presented itself when Bank of America took the decision to cease funding private prison companies.

B of A senior management toured the detention centers at the US/Mexico border. The management team decided that the conditions in those centers did not reflect the values that B of A lives by. By extension, B of A management realized that their support of the for-profit penal industry was going to reflect badly on their Brand.

In today’s on-line, all-the-time world, we all can discover who you and your Brand truly are in a matter of moments. Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – all are capable of revealing how your staff and company really operate. Brand management is no longer a press release, it’s a day-to-day, all-encompassing mission that must begin with your company’s core values, flow through staffing and training and operations, and make its way authentically to the end-user consumer.

Let’s contrast Bank of America with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo had a culture that allowed and even encouraged managers and front line employees to manipulate, take advantage of, and even falsify customer interaction with the bank, all in the pursuit of dollars. Very clearly, senior management failed to set and manage to a set of values that aligned with their customer interests.

The result was predictable – Wells’ behavior was discovered, the Brand – built so carefully over 100 years – is deeply tarnished, management has been replaced, staff has been fired, fines have been levied, and tens of thousands of customers have fled to another banking relationship. Wells Fargo will survive and may grow and return to their once-prominent Brand position, but at a terrible cost.

When we take on a Brand project at Image 4, whether it’s a completely new Brand or a Brand Refresh, the very first thing we seek to learn is the true, root Values of the organization. And if those Values and the desired Brand presentation are out of alignment, we work with our clients to think through that, to align the real Brand with the desired Brand position and, above all, to align with the company’s constituents – customers, shareholders/members, the community, etc.

We do this because there is nothing more powerful today than an aligned, authentic Brand. When your management, staff, community and clients are in alignment, you have a powerful business machine. Over and over we’ve seen well-aligned Brands outperform in revenue generation and operational efficiency. From Patagonia, Timberland and Ben & Jerry’s to Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, and Starbucks, Brands that have foundational values and execute in an aligned fashion deliver a customer and employee experience that not only creates customers, but creates Brand Advocates. What more can a business ask for? Because today, your success is About the Experience.

To learn more about Image 4 and connect with Jeff reach out to him through email at j.baker@image4.com.

 

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By: Deb LeClair, Psy. D at Sojourn Partners

Conscious companies that are making a positive difference in the world understand how to shift the dynamics of fear into trust for all their stakeholders, giving them the financial advantage.  Recent studies indicate that organizations committed to business being a force for good decisively outperform the S&P 500. That makes sense given that a company who understands itself as an interconnected system to enrich lives is one that attracts and keeps talent, promotes customer loyalty and is primed to be in the know on the future needs of the marketplace.

On the world stage, New Hampshire leaders have been recognized for pioneering ways to place people and the planet on par with making profits.  This marks an evolution that going forward has to be supported with time and space.  Time to explore the values and perspectives that are emerging and space to expand into intentional action to bring it all into fruition.

Whenever we facilitate conscious leadership development, the practices of self and system-awareness are cultivated within the group mindfully and with an eye to real life application.  The atmosphere is one of respect for each other as you the participant move into:

  • identifying your beliefs 
  • discovering what holds you back 
  • trying out ways to empower plans stemming from liberated mindsets

These three considerations are what fuels conscious business building toward better attunement with your customers, co-workers and communities.

As facilitators, it is our imperative to work on our own leadership.  In any self-development forum I have taken part in, it works best when you feel safe to explore what is stirring in your heart to shift in your world and to open a line to the wisdom that will get you there.  So often, that wisdom comes from the collective of the group itself, especially one that is coming together with an intention of expanding awareness.

On September 26th, we kick off the 6-month NHBSR Conscious Business Leadership Program. At this writing we have a diversity of organizations participating which we have found to spark more energy and fun as we walk the path of conscious creation.  Check out www.nhbsr.org/lead for more information and to register.

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