“What are the differences between marketing an organization and marketing a campaign to catalyze a movement?”
A man directed this question to Anthea Kelsick during a panel discussion focused on marketing and branding for social impact organizations at SOCAP18. Kelsick was one of several industry experts that appeared on the panel (which was organized and moderated by JB Media Founder Justin Belleme). As one of the leading conferences on social enterprise and impact investment, SOCAP attracts people from around the world who drive the messaging of purpose-driven organizations.
An experienced marketer and CMO of B Lab, the nonprofit organization behind the B Corp Certification, Kelsick has expertise in marketing both organizations and movements. Her goals at B Lab include expanding the reach of the organization and growing the global movement of people using business as a force for good. She also led B Lab’s launch of the Vote Every Day campaign.
Throughout the conversation among the expert panelists at SOCAP, Kelsick had a compelling message to share about the necessity for social impact organizations to build partnerships and support platforms that facilitate the growth of a movement around their area of impact.
Here is Kelsick’s answer to the man’s question along with her valuable insights on how to craft messaging to achieve goals for growth and for movement building.
Collective Voices Amplify Movement Messaging
From a movement building standpoint—how do you partner with all of the other organizations or companies or individuals that are growing that same movement, if you will? How do you create a collective voice, a collective message, and work together to do that?
Movement building, and particularly purpose-driven, mission-oriented movement building brings more credibility when it comes from a collective voice. It’s not always easy to craft a single message that can represent the voices of many, but when you do, the more powerful it is. The reason it worked for Vote Every Day was B Corps, themselves, were at the center of the journey, from conception to implementation.
Even When Singing With a Chorus–Your Own Brand Voice Should Be Unique
I think the tricky part of that is, how do you allow your brand to ideally live within that message?
For the Vote Every Day campaign, we were able to allow brands to have their unique voice represented in the campaign by design. We had a very tight but flexible framework that allows every brand to articulate how they allow their audiences to vote every day. And the simple iconic visual style had a flexibility that can work for any brand.
The power of Vote Every Day is also as a communication platform that allows brands to speak to the conversations and issues that are most important to them through the lens of B Corps. Whether in the context of environmentalism in business, gender equity in the workplace, racial justice, or beyond, there is a way we can frame those conversations with Vote Every Day as a platform to amplify the collective voice through B Corps.
- Vote Every Day website
- Vote Every Day — Empowering a Movement to Take Action, by Anthea Kelsick
- Forbes: Boosting Awareness of B Corps by Linking Them to Voting
- Fast Company article highlighting Vote Every Day
This is one of a series of posts that feature insights from industry experts on the topic of marketing and branding for social impact organizations, taken from the session that JB Media Founder Justin Belleme curated and moderated at SOCAP18. If you lead a purpose-driven company and want to get more expert advice on social impact marketing, please read the other articles in this series:
- Purpose-Driven Marketing For Greater Impact: Tips From Anthea Kelsick, CMO of B Lab
- Discovering Your Brand’s Soul: Thomas Cumberbatch on How to Solve Your Identity Crisis
- Emily Allbritten of Athleta On Telling Your B-Corp Story with Authenticity and Heart
- How Top-Line Revenue Goals Drive Marketing: Advice from Heather Watkins of Better Impact Marketing
Watch the entire session focused on Marketing and Branding for Social Impact Organizations, recorded live at SOCAP18.