B Lab wants Canadians to ‘vote’ for B Corporations

The non-profit's first national awareness campaign attempts to show how easy it is to support values-driven organizations.

B Lab-Main

With support from several Canadian organizations, the non-profit B Lab has launched its first national campaign aimed at educating consumers of the benefits of supporting Certified B Corporations, a group of more than 2,600 purpose-driven companies worldwide committed to various social and environmental causes.

Launching ahead of B Corp Month in March, the “Vote Every Day” campaign highlights the work of for-profit businesses focused on overcoming social, environmental and economic challenges that have earned the B Lab’s third-party B Corp certification. In Canada, there are more than 240 such organizations spanning many different sectors, including food and beverage, financial services and CPG.

The main digital spot explains that “our choices have power” and that supporting B Corps is akin to “voting” for businesses that aim to make a difference and treat their employees and communities fairly. In essence, the message is that the certification and logo can help consumers more easily “vote” for the companies they wish to support.

The digital strategy is built around an ad buy on Facebook and Instagram and includes 6-second videos with issue-specific messaging around the environment, workers and local business. B Lab is retargeting users who interact with the content.

Rachel Berdan, marketing communications lead at B Lab Canada, says it’s the first national public awareness campaign that attempts to elucidate the meaning behind the B Corp logo. The campaign “speaks directly to the statement we make with our daily choices, and helps people acknowledge that there is a way to live up to those values every day.”

Creative was led by Fortnight Collective, an agency with offices in the U.S. and the U.K., with Canada’s own Republik adapting the campaign and providing strategic insight. The Montreal-based agency, which itself is B Corp certified, contributed to the full-length video and shorter spots, while assisting with French translation and production.

B Lab-1A total of ten Canadian B Corps were part of a steering committee that helped guide overall strategy of the campaign, including the consumer-facing dairy giant Danone Canada and Vancouver-based sustainable feminine hygiene products brand Lunapads International. B Lab Canada is targeting local audiences through its media buy strategy (with support from Danone’s AOR, Wavemaker) and a PR strategy led by National PR.

Strategically, the campaign was informed by multiple studies showing that the campaign’s broad target demo – Canadians aged 25 to 65 years old – care deeply about various social issues, such as access to education, fair wages and supporting their local communities and businesses.

For example, a report from the U.K. and Canada-based Kin & Co., which tracks perspectives on values-driven businesses, found that 87% of people would pay more for products and services from a company with social purpose; meanwhile, 97% indicated believing that the private sector has “an important role to play in tackling social and environmental issues.”

B Lab-2Additional consumer insights came from a study by the Business Development Bank of Canada showing that 97% of Canadians make an effort to buy local, that 60% consider themselves “ethical consumers” and that 33% take time to research a company’s businesses practices.

Berdan says B Lab has previously celebrated B Corp Month by asking organizations to raise awareness of their own work and the reasons they became B Corps.

Jane Hope, marketing and communications manager at Lunapads, says she hopes the campaign will educate consumers about how “easy to vote with their dollars for companies that energize their communities.” Until now, B Corp has had a “well-constructed visual brand, but lacked significant customer awareness.”

Lunapads has developed its own assets, including a custom graphic for Instagram Stories and a card included in packages sent to new customers. It also collaborated with other Vancouver B Corps on a booth at the Canadian Health Food Association West show for natural health products in February.

Meanwhile, Danone spokeswoman Natacha Gouveia says the campaign aligns with the company’s global “One Planet. One Health” commitments.