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!


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…



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.


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:


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!


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!


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!



#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!

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

Join Us On November 30: Brand Impact Essentials!

On November 30, we’re hosting our final workshop of the year,  Brand Impact Essentials!  Space is limited, and registration closes on November 16.  Read on for details…hope to see you there!

Brand Impact Essentials Workshop: Wednesday, November 30 from 10-11:15 am             Hatch Lab PDX,  2420 NE Sandy Blvd. For more details, click here.

Is your organization ready for an impactful year of growth ahead? new-sunburst-lite-plus-icon_zyEZ9TLO_LWhether you represent an evolving business,  non-profit, or are an entrepreneur launching a new enterprise ahead, now is a great time to pause and reflect on your goals, and fine-tune your 2017 plan.  In this interactive session, we’ll cover:  Continue reading

Are You Research-Ready? Top Tips & A Special Offer!

At this time of year, many organizations find themselves immersed in achieving their 2016 goals, while also strategizing for shifts in the new year ahead. Our recent project docket reflects this, too: I’ve found myself in a fascinating mix of both the “here and now“– and the “what’s ahead” with clients from a pretty diverse spectrum of business categories. And yet despite the clear, and often pretty significant, differences in their sectors and sizes, they all share a common question: what do our customers and stakeholders want and need most from us, and how are we best positioned to meet, and exceed, their expectations?

research-definitionThis question, and others we probe, is at the heart and soul of what we do.  If you, too, are curious about this one, conducting research can help. Below are some tips and resources to help get you started, and a special offer to help pave the way for a more insightful and impactful 2017! Continue reading

Optimizing Your Online Presence: A Few Takeaways from the Anvil Media Team

With Fall in full swing, we’ve been heads-down lately in client project work, which has included a diverse mix of new product  and service launch planning, research studies, and chat-bubblesbrand coaching. During client crunch periods such as this, our own blog and social media efforts often take a brief pause — which is, of course, not ideal, but the reality of running a business where our clients always come first. Today, we’re peeking out from under it all to share some (overdue!) reflections from a great seminar that BSB team member Kyle Napoli attended over the summer with the Anvil Media team as part of their quarterly Lunch & Learn series.  Thanks for attending and sharing a few tips, Kyle! Continue reading

Our Simple Summer Reading List: 20+ Quick Reads for Better Branding

BooksPictureWith summer in full swing,  our team is gearing up to take a break to re-charge the batteries. As we prep our own travel reading lists, we thought we’d give our readers a break, too, with a curated list of some favorite articles and tips to help you take your marketing efforts to the next level—while still leaving plenty of time for warm weather fun, because, let’s face it, no one should be stuck behind a screen any more than they have to at this time of year. Enjoy! Continue reading