B Corps: The worthwhile challenges of achieving certification

RH’s co-founder speaks on how attaining certification helps your company by considering all stakeholders

If you’re looking for us to explain why it helps your brand’s image and bottom line to be a Benefit Corporation, or B Corp, you’ll find no shortage of examples.

Becoming a B Corp involves a rigorous standard of ethics and community involvement that will both improve your company inherently and make it easier to market services. Recently, though, RH co-founder Brian Herder took our B Corp evangelism national.

An article in the trade publication PR Week featured Brian speaking at length on the worthwhile challenges of achieving certification. The article introduced Brian’s quote by saying “It is no walk in the park once a company becomes a B Corp, with reassessments required every three years. It requires that everything a company does, from client work to landlord agreements, has to consider all stakeholders, rather than just making or saving money.”

To further explain the B Corp model, Brian paraphrased Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s famous quote that “living an examined life is a pain in the ass,” applying it specifically to B Corp certification. He went on to say that although it could be onerous at times, the B Corp process changed RH drastically for the better, particularly by solidifying its place among the Minneapolis community as an agency with a clear vision, focused on both creative work and the people behind and in front of it.

“We have a commitment to working within the community, so that means partnering with local artists, influencers and other stakeholders, saying, ‘Well, how would you address this issue within your community?’” Brian told the interviewer.

One such example of our B Corp work within Minneapolis is our ongoing support of Wildflyer Coffee, a nonprofit café that hires youth emerging from homelessness and offers a specialized training program to cultivate personal and professional skills. RH provided strategic and design support for the marketing campaign that led up to the grand opening of a new Wildflyer location. You can now visit them at their Minneapolis location or in St. Paul. RH Account Manager Stephanie Batten, our point person in the Wildflyer partnership, says our commitment doesn’t stop there.

“We continue to support Wildflyer with additional marketing materials for their wholesale and subscription services by emphasizing the mission and impact Wildflyer has on the community and youth homelessness,” Stephanie says. “It’s more than just a cute coffee shop!”

At Russell Herder, we know creativity doesn’t exist separately from the community where the creative process takes place. Community informs everything RH makes, so it’s only natural that we feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship toward Minneapolis, and Minnesota as a whole.

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