The Behavioral Case for B Corporations
In recent years, consumers have started increasingly prioritizing the social and environmental impacts of the brands they support. Quick to notice this trend, companies have taken advantage of it, incorporating green claims, true or not, into their marketing materials. From a consumer perspective, it can be mentally taxing to navigate through these claims to find companies whose values align with their own. The B Corp Certification, which verifies the positive impacts of for-profit companies, has emerged as an objective way for consumers to identify conscious companies. The financial benefit of B Corp Certification has been well established: B Corps enjoy higher-than-average rates of financial success. The behavioral case for B Corps, on the other hand, remains relatively unexplored. Behavioral science, a relatively new field of study that considers the influences of human behavior beyond rationality, offers new insights as to why the B Corp Certification resonates well with modern consumers. The appeal of (1) self-image preservation, (2) social conformity, and (3) trust/transparency draw consumers to the B Corp Certification. These appeals, however, are strongly limited by lack of consumer recognition of the B Corp logo. In today’s economy, B Corps are well poised to create meaningful impact, but increasing consumer awareness is key to these companies achieving their full potential.