A phrase I have been hearing a lot since starting at Traction on Demand a month and a half ago is “drinking from the firehose” – the idea being that a new employee’s introduction to the organization won’t be a trickle of knowledge, it will be a full blown blast (open wide!). So I wasn’t surprised when after asking “What is being a B Corp all about?” the answer was being sent to the B Corp Leadership Development (BLD) conference to represent Traction on Demand later that week.
I had a vague idea of what to expect – keynotes, roundtables and swag – but I didn’t really know what to expect. I had just learned that Traction on Demand became a B Corp in 2013, officially pledging to put people and the environment on par with profit, but I didn’t yet have a clear understanding of what this meant for us in the big picture. Sitting with a hundred other B Corp representatives for the conference was the start of realizing this was all about building community.
First up, our very own Traction team took to the stage to deliver the keynote. Usually it’s one person up on the stage, but being the collaborative people we are, four Tractionites spoke about how we came to be accredited and how being a B Corp ties into Traction’s philanthropic arm, Traction for Good. Then, it was on to the panel sessions.
As a marketer, I was most interested in the panel discussing storytelling. Representatives from Ethical Bean Coffee, Persephone Brewing and Luna Pads discussed how they are using stories to build their brands, engage employees and drive sales. Lauren Archibald from Ethical Bean Coffee talked about the importance of transparency in storytelling, sharing with us they’re getting ahead of their coffee bag “story” by being upfront about their non-compostable bags and telling consumers it’s a work in progress. In this age of consumer awareness, people are demanding companies to cut the BS and be real with them.
A highlight was the afternoon keynote by Johanna Israel-Duprey, the kickass Director of Marketing at Left Coast Naturals, who reminded us about our role as ambassadors, reaching out to businesses that want to be a part of this movement.
Beyond being inspiring, which I usually expect from these types of keynotes, Johanna really instilled in us the idea of community – the day’s ongoing theme. With this being the first BLD Vancouver event, it was a chance for us to look around and take note of the companies that were there: PR, tech, consumer goods, food and beverage and even a law corporation! With all these different types of companies coming together, it’s clear that B Corp is not just a trend – it’s the future of doing business.