Kudos to Oregon’s Latest B Corps!

Earlier this month,  I attended a terrific discussion hosted by OEN (Oregon Entrepreneur’s Association)  Why B a B Corp? How To Use Business  as a Force For Good. It was a  great dialogue moderated by Jacen Green, Director of PSU’s Impact Entrepreneurs , with noun_624290_FF8700perspectives shared by 3 local certified B Corp brands, Hopworks Urban Brewery,  New Seasons Market and Beneficial State Foundation. Fabiana Pedroso De Araujo,  a Senior Global Standards Analyst for B Lab, the nonprofit organization who leads the  B Corp certification process, shared some great insights, too. Themes they covered included the powerful self-reflection that many teams experienced during the application process, the new lenses they are using to frame decision-making as a result of their B Corp status, and the new connections and collaborations they are beginning to experience through conversations with fellow B Corp members. As one panelist noted, “working with like-minded people who are doing the right thing is pretty great!”

Ever since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about this growing movement. So, it was great timing to see the Portland Business Journal’s piece, Meet Oregon’s 39 Newest B Corps for some great local inspiration. Kudos to everyone who is part of this growing movement of business leaders!

WHAT’S A B CORP, YOU ASK?

If the B Corp concept isn’t on your radar yet, it should be. A B Corp is a for-profit company certified by B Lab,  a nonprofit organization serving a global movement of people using business as a force for goodTM by meeting “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”  Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. A few ways to learn more…

Fellow Portlanders can also check out BLocal PDX for local events and happenings. They are also hosting a B Corp Leadership Development conference on June 22 for local B Corp Members.

Thank you, again, to the growing movement of B Corp members who are leading efforts locally and across the globe.  It’s great to see friends and partners and I hope to see even more of our clients, partners and friends on this list in the year ahead!

BSB’s Simple Summer Reading Roundup

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, Summer adventures are right around the corner. And whether you’re planning some travels or sticking close to home, chances are you want to make the most of the season in all of its sunshine-y glory  while it’s here.  noun_132879_50B4FFAfter a jam-packed start to the year with client projects and partner collaborations,  I’m looking forward to taking some time off to recharge the batteries this summer, and also to catchup on some overdue reading, too.  So, we’re sharing a roundup of some reads to help you consider, fine-tune, and optimize your brand touchpoints ahead…

CONTENT MARKETING

BRAND STORYTELLING

Brand storytelling is a topic we tackle often with our clients, in workshops we lead, and in previous blog posts. A few others to check out are  the Problogger Podcast, 14 Types of Stories You Can Tell On Your Blog, Quick Sprout’s Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing: Tell Your Brand’s Story, and Skyword’s Storytelling in Business: Lessons for Brands of All Sizes.

COMMUNICATING FOR SOCIAL GOOD

It’s no secret we’re passionate about helping brands and businesses drive positive social change whenever we can. A few good reads to inspire you on this front include:

RESEARCH

Looking to take your insights to the next level? Our recent post, Research, Demystified is a good place to start. We’ve been knee-deep this year in a few really fun research projects exploring differences among different generations and other audience segments. If you’re curious about this, too,  the Pew Research Center is a good go-to source. One of the many related reads on this topic I’ve bookmarked is this Infographic, 50% of Gen Z Can’t Live Without YouTube, and other Stats That Will Make You Feel Old from Adweek.

Anything you’d add here?  I plan to update this post next month, so let me know if you have a great resource to add to the list!

NEED MORE HELP? BOOK A BSB SUMMER TRAINING OR COACHING SESSION!

Summer is also a great time to audit and refine previous marketing plans, brush up on branding basics, or take a deeper dive into marketing topics you may not have yet mastered. I love helping growing businesses, organizations and teams accelerate their growth in these areas through workshops, training, and coaching. If you’re curious, drop me a line to learn more before Fall and Winter are upon us once again.

In the meantime, here’s to a great Summer ahead!

 

An Unexpected #DaughtersAndSonsToWork Day Lesson: Listen Up!

Happy Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, all!  As a mostly solo-preneur who splits my time  between on-site client projects, a home office, and  noun_624290_50B4FFHatch Innovation,  the notion of bringing my daughters” “to work” with me doesn’t quite have the power it once did in my full-time office days.  But,  it does inspire me to  reflect on the many lessons  I’m learning with, and from, my own daughters, who recently turned 10, including one from earlier this week, which was a powerful reminder for me not only as a parent, but for the work we do each day with our clients. The lesson is a simple one– but one that’s all too easy to forget.

It all began last week, when one of my daughters came to me for help with an ongoing issue she’s been facing with some friends at school.  While we typically  have pretty  open noun_132879_50B4FFcommunication, this conversation was tougher than most.  Despite our many attempts to talk about it, I felt like every question I asked made it harder for her to explain it, and harder for me to help. As luck would have it, I ran into a friend and her daughter, who is 12, the next day, and asked her advice on how I might approach the subject differently. The advice she gave me was simple, but powerful: “Just stop talking, and don’t ask any more questions. You just need to start listening more.”

And so, I did. I made a commitment to de-clutter our next conversation, and make more space for silence. Boom! The very next day, as I drove home from soccer practice, I kept my mouth shut and simply listened. From the back seat,  a conversation unfolded that helped me learn more about my daughter, and the struggle she’d been trying to explain, than I ever would have by asking her more questions.  Of course, she knew I was there, but in noun_565395_colorthat moment I’m not even sure it mattered. She talked it out, without the distraction of being questioned or having to find the exact words for the ‘right’ response.. And, I finally heard what was on her mind. Later on, we talked about it more together. And, most importantly, we figured out a way to work through the problem together. I’m forever grateful for this unexpected lesson.

As a research-rooted marketer, I’m lucky that I get to flex my listening muscles during my work day; this was a powerful reminder to continue doing so in other areas of my life as well. I encourage you all to look for these lessons today, and well beyond. They are around us, for sure!

KEEP THE CONVERSATIONS GOING….

Whether you have plans to officially celebrate the holiday today or not, I hope it inspires you to consider what lessons you, too, can learn from the kids in your lives– and, how you can engage them in the learning process about the work you do each day. There are some great resources available too, including tips for Parents, office Activity Guides, and Planning Tips for Kids before they visit a workplace or meet with a professional mentor, and more. You can learn more from the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation and by reading the history here.  And, check out some other tips in articles such as How to Rock Taking Our Kids to Work and The Do’s and Don’ts of Taking Your Kids to Work. I’d love to hear from your experiences, too; drop me a line anytime!

And, if you need a boost in the business-listening arena, check out Research, Demystified: 4 Simple Steps for Better Insights Ahead and 6 Simple Steps to Understanding Your Audience Through Research for a good place to start.

To a lot more listening ahead…on all fronts!

 

 

Research, Demystified: 4 Simple Steps For Better Insights Ahead

Happy Spring, everyone!  With the first quarter of the year officially behind us and the promise of summer just around the corner,  April is a great time to step back and consider your 2017 goals. Are you on track for growth? Are there areas worth re-considering due to recent shifts or changes? And,  perhaps most importantly, do you know everything you need to know about the audiences you serve, or are hoping to engage, in the coming year?

If you aren’t sure, consider doing some research to deepen your insights ahead. Below is a quick roundup of some tips and resources to help get you started:

  • Get Comfortable with the Basics. Our guest post for our friends at Prichard Communications team on 6 Simple Steps To Understanding Your Audience Through Research is a good place to start for a basic introduction to the research process. We outline the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research, the importance of goal-setting and screening, tips on avoiding bias, and more, to ensure you get the most mileage from your research efforts.
  • pencilKnow Before You Go: If You’re Considering a Survey? Start Here. We also weighed some pros and cons for free vs. low-cost survey tools in the guest post 7 Survey Tools for Impactful Insights Ahead for the Starfish Impact team. This read is ideal for smaller organizations and nonprofits with limited staff and budget resources to ensure you maximize the impact of your survey efforts.
  • Stay Curious and Keep Learning. Researchers, by nature, are driven by curiosity and ongoing learning—it’s why I really love this work. We’ve written before about the awesome Office Hours program run by Women in Research (WIRe); be sure to check out their education, mentoring, events, and more. For fellow Portlanders, MercyCorps NW is a great resource for early-stage and emerging brands; check out their April 26 class on Deeply Defining Your Ideal Customer if you want to dig in further here. On May 8, the PRSA 2017 Communicators Conference includes a relevant session, Power to the People, that will explore how to incorporate stakeholder Light Bulbresearch into the strategic planning process.

If your organizations needs some additional support in this area, we’d love to help. Learn more about our research work, or get in touch today! I hope to hear from you!

#BeBoldForChange: Today, Tomorrow, & Well Beyond!

LegacyHappy International Women’s Day, all! Big Small Brands is unable to take today off due to previous client commitments, but it is a great reason to reflect on other ways we can honor the meaning and message of the day.

Here in our hometown of Portland, the variety of scheduled gatherings and conversations all around town have been so inspiring to see. If we could play hooky today, our day would include  attending The Women’s Foundation of Oregon’s Eight That Can’t Wait  talk, checking out the re-naming of the County Elections Building to honor female suffragists, stocking up on female author reads at Broadway Books, and watching the screening of  She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry at Holocene (see the Facebook event page for details), making time in between to snack and sip at the many women owned eateries and bars around town. We would also read every story in the Portland Mercury today, since they’ve dedicated the issue to all female and non-binary writers. More of this, please!

Red pencil and questionnaireSince we can’t do all that, we’ll take inspiration from great roundups like Upworthy’s 21 Ways to Participate If You Can’t Take Off Work and Cool Mom Pick’s 11 Ways to Celebrate Long After March 8.   Plus, many of the resources noted for today can have evergreen impact, regardless of your schedule and personal circumstances:

  • noun_132879_50B4FFTake Time to Recognize, and Move Forward, the Women in Your World. Today we’re also reflecting on the many visionary, innovative, and envelope-pushing  women who we’re proud to call clients, partners, mentors, and friends. Thank you to each and every one of you for the many ways you inspire and encourage us! Why not make a list today of a few women you know (or want to know better) who you can help get where they want to go. If you do nothing else today but reach out to pledge your support to advancing another woman’s path—and encourage others to do the same—it will certainly be a day well spent, in our book!

To the many who commit to  #BeBoldForChange today… and every day!

Simple Seasonal Marketing Calendar, Spring Edition

calendarioHappy March, folks! While the weather in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, is far from predictable this time of year, signs of spring (between a few snowflakes here and there) are all around us, so we thought we’d share a snapshot of some upcoming seasonal happenings to help inspire social media sharing, creative promotions, or community outreach efforts.

Do you have a favorite holiday we’ve missed? Get in touch to let us know! Continue reading

Hello 2017: Trends, Tips & Tools for What’s Ahead

Orange Info ButtonWhenever January comes to a close, I always feel a huge sense of relief.  The month that famously begins with a pop of champagne and a list of well-intended (but, let’s face it, mostly unattainable) resolutions often ends in a state of exhaustion, with many well-intended  tasks we still haven’t completed, and a mounting to-do  list for the month ahead. Suddenly the New Year is no longer new, and the first quarter is nearly half-way done. Whoa! So, I thought I’d take a moment to step away from my own to-dos to share a simple list of some predictions, trends, and other expert perspectives to help reignite (or jump-start) your brand and marketing planning efforts ahead. Hope you enjoy! Continue reading

Brand Impact Essentials Workshop Roundup: Key Tips for Brilliant Branders-to-Be

On November 30, we held our final workshop of the year, Brand Impact Essentials. at Hatch.  What an honor to be joined by local entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders to think about goals and strategies for the year ahead. I always come away from these sessions inspired by the diverse talents and voices in our community, and love seeing the connections they make with one another, too.  Continue reading

Holiday Giving Roundup, Part 2: More Great Causes to Champion!

December greetings, all! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season, Today we bring you part 2 of heart doodleour holiday giving series {If you missed the first post in our series, check it out here]. As you consider causes to support this month, and throughout the year ahead, we hope you will get to know the work of these great organizations, and get behind the important work they are doing in our local community. Continue reading

Happy #Giving Tuesday! 4 Local Causes To Champion

Happy  #Giving Tuesday, everyone!  Today officially kicks off the giving season for many non-GT_icon_education-150x150profits in our community, so we’re sharing some suggestions on where to consider donating funds, in-kind items, and volunteering your time this month, and in the coming year.  [Not familiar with Giving Tuesday? You can learn more here , and visit OregoniansGive for efforts underway across Oregon.  Pass it on!]

Below are a few suggestions; we’ll be sharing others in our next post. if you have suggestions for organizations we should include, get in touch by next Tuesday, December 6! Continue reading