How to Differentiate Your Brand by Taking a Stand


If your business isn’t taking a stand, the results are clear: you’re not going to be relevant to target markets. This is the reality of today’s consumer as revealed in a fresh new study from Edelman.

What’s particularly enlightening is that:

  • 1 in 2 people are belief-driven buyers. That is, they choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues. And of belief-driven buyers,

  • 67% bought a brand for the first time because of its position on a controversial issue, and

  • 65% will not buy a brand because it stayed silent on an issue it had an obligation to address

As the study’s authors say, “A brand’s stand drives both purchase intent and advocacy.”

Which brings us back to our favorite business model: the benefit corporation.

In our own workshops on the “why” and the “how” for the benefit corporation the audience gets a strong sense of why a business that declares itself as a benefit corporation _is forward-thinking and a practitioner of the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit.

But what we don’t spend enough time discussing in these discussions is how becoming and certifying as a benefit corporation differentiates that business from competitors. After all, you as a business are trumpeting to the world that your business is about more than growing your bottom line. You’re interested in making an impact with social and environmental matters.

In effect, you are taking a stand by being a benefit corporation. And you are differentiating yourself from the crowd. 

And that is no small feat when you consider today’s over-communicated society. According to research by Microsoft, consumers can be exposed to more than 600 messages a day from brands hunting ears, eyeballs and, ultimately, wallets and purses.

As former marketing professionals, we came of age in our careers influenced by the voice of  golden age ad man Bill Bernbach of Volkswagen fame who stated,

“In advertising, not to be different is virtually suicidal.”

We think the same holds true today.

Learn more about why you should become a benefit corporation in this two-minute video.