Episode 68: How to use disruption for good
- 10 November 2022
The inside story of Lucky Saint
This podcast will:
- Explore how Lucky Saint alcohol-free beer turned its brand from zero to hero
- Reveal how to find and define your purpose to foster success
- Unearth the secrets to becoming a B Corp
Sophie Peterson 00:03
Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast. The contents and views expressed by individuals in the CIM Marketing Podcast are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the companies they work for. We hope you enjoy the episode.
Ben Walker 00:17
Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast. You know if you have been to the pub recently, and I have, and you've been a designated driver, and I have, you may have noticed a quiet revolution in Britain's pubs, which is that alcohol free beer has become nice to drink. And one of the brands you may have seen in the pubs that is certainly delicious to drink is Lucky Saint. And Lucky Saint is different to some of the other alcohol free brands in that you can enjoy the full pub experience. It is available in some bars around 400 or so, on tap. And this genius change has made people who are driving or who just do not want to drink that day, enjoy pub life a lot more. And I'm delighted to say that we have with us today Emily Laws, who is head of brand at Lucky Saint and Liz Buchanan, her colleague, who is supply and operations director at the same brand, Emily, Liz, how are you?
Liz Buchanan 01:17
Great, thank you. Thanks for having us on.
Ben Walker 01:20
It's great to have you on, great to have such an innovative brand on the show with us today. And Emily, I'll start with you when you started this idea. First of all, where did the concept come from? What were the tools that you used to get to where you are today? What were the challenges you had when you tried to persuade Brits that an on tap alcohol-free beer would be a good idea?
Emily Laws 01:43
So the brand was started in 2018 by our founder Luke. And at the time, he found the idea of alcohol free beer really attractive, you know, getting the chance to have your favorite drink, but without the alcohol. But actually the reality he found really disappointing. And he couldn't find a brand that he felt proud to have in his fridge or proud to order at the bar. He was always kind of ordering under his breath when he wanted an alcohol free beer, or pubs just didn't have them at all. So he decided to create Lucky Saint, and what followed was two years of research and development until he finally created Lucky Saint with our Bavarian Brewery. It launched in 2018, I've been with the brand for almost three years now so quite close to the beginning. And during that time, obviously COVID hits, which was a really challenging and interesting time for us as a brand, I think to answer your question around how we persuade Brits to drink alcohol free beer. It's been really interesting having been here for three years now, I think the first event that I ever did with Lucky Saint, we went to a craft beer festival, and we literally had people laughing in our face when we were trying to sample them alcohol free beer. Yeah, literally laughing in our face. We were put right at the entrance, it was a Manchester craft beer festival, and we were the first thing people saw as they came in. And obviously they were really excited to get drunk and we were there saying would you like to try our alcohol free beer? But three years on, the last event that I did with Lucky Saint people were really pleased to see us. And I think that shift in people's attitudes has been amazing to see. And is now like really pervasive you know, it's not this niche trend anymore that people don't drink. It's something that I think 55% of UK adults plan to moderate next year. So it's tipped over the edge. It's no longer a minority, it's actually over half of UK adults are planning on moderating. And certainly for us, we target those moderators, you know, teetotallers are really important to us but they're a small amount of people, whereas moderators represent millions and millions of people across the UK. And actually, when it comes to the pub, people are really pleased to see us in there on draft, as you've alluded to. And I think the main thing is that during COVID, you know, the thing that we missed wasn't the alcohol. It was the social connection, and at Lucky's Saint we believe the social connection is the greatest reward of drinking, not the alcohol. The bit that you miss was sitting with your friends in a pub, it wasn't booze, we all had access to plenty of booze during lockdown. And so I think since the on trade has opened again, we've really seen things skyrocket for us in terms of our draft taps, because people want to go to the pub and socialize but they don't always want to drink.
Ben Walker 04:24
Well the meme was that people couldn't wait for the pubs to open after COVID so they could start drinking less.
Emily Laws 04:30
Yeah, well, I think it was really interesting at the beginning of COVID and I include myself in this, you know, everybody started drinking more, and it was lots of zoom quizzes and a glass of wine on a Wednesday, when we all thought that it was going to last a couple of weeks and it felt quite novel. But I think as COVID dragged on, and we realized that actually this was going to go on for a long time. People started to really look after their health, and so the no and low trend really kicked off at home, but we can see that coming in to the on trade now, and we've got a sales team of almost 20 people. And as you say, nearly 400 draft accounts, 1000s of accounts on bottle, and it's really skyrocketed. And I think, in part thanks to the pandemic, and people's attitudes towards drinking and their health changing, I recently was at Big Feastival. And we had so many people who are coming over to us and sharing their stories about how they've really reduced their drinking and now Lucky Saint is part of their repertoire, you know, they still do enjoy a drink. And there was one stat that I found really interesting that people who drink alcohol are more likely to drink alcohol free beer than people who don't drink,
Ben Walker 05:37
Because you get a taste for it, because the great thing about the modern generation of alcohol free beers, we should say are the brands are available, Lucky Saint is one of the best that I've tried, is that the taste is there. And great marketing only works with great fundamentals. And you've really got two great fundamentals, which make up your strategy as far as I can see. One is you have a product that tastes great, whereas the previous generation of alcohol free beers did not taste great. And second, you've managed to encapsulate and grasp the experience of going to the pub and actually ordering a pint. And I think that's the real genius in this particular product.
Emily Laws 06:13
I think what's really important is to be proudly alcohol free, you know, lots of alcohol free beers are alcohol free versions of alcoholic products, which has its place, and that's absolutely fine. But I think what's really special about Lucky Saint is that we're proudly a dedicated alcohol free brand. And when it comes to the way we show up in a pub, we've got these amazing gold and blue fonts that we put proudly on the bar, we have amazing glassware, you know, it's the full draft experience. It's not something that bars are kind of hiding in a fridge somewhere covered in dust, they're really proudly displaying it on their bar. We're also part of the British Beer and Pub Association, which has been going for about 116 years and we were the first alcohol free beer to be welcomed into the association. So it's not that we're kind of fighting a battle against pubs, we're really been welcomed with open arms. And I think that that's been really special and been received really well. But I think part of it is people feeling really proud to go up to a bar and order a Lucky Saint rather than feeling like they have to order under their breath or feel embarrassed that they've got it in their hand, if you've got a pint in your hand, you feel like everybody else, you don't feel like you're compromising.
Ben Walker 07:30
That's right. There's no compromise there and it completely transformed the experience you lent into pub culture, you've become part and parcel of that external pub culture. What about internally, has your company culture led to where you've brought Lucky Saint today?
Emily Laws 07:43
I think I've been really fortunate and Liz as well, we've been here from very close to the beginning. So we've really been able to be part of creating the culture that we see today in the business, which is about 50 strong now, when I started three years ago I think there were five of us so it's really exploded. We have three internal values that we sort of live by as a business. And those are, be generous, stay humble and get lucky. And we really live and breathe these values and we talk about them all the time, they're in our roles and goals and our objectives. We talk about them every Monday in our Monday morning meeting team meeting. Stay humble, I think is one of the most important ones. And to me, that means that in a startup, it's intense, it's hard work, and it's great fun, but it is hard work. And staying humble is really all about if you've done something wrong, being open to feedback. And I think that's one of the most special things about this business is that feedback is encouraged and welcomed in our weekly one to ones with our managers. We have an engagement multiplier survey every quarter where we get feedback anonymously. And an example of of where this has worked is, is not so much in feeding back in things that aren't being done well, it's more feeding back on things that have the best intentions but actually aren't working in a way that the person who implemented might think they are. So for example, we have learning lunches implemented where we had amazing speakers coming in and giving really inspirational talks, but actually, in terms of people's mental health, and especially when we were working from home, lunchtime was the one opportunity they had to go for a walk, stretch their legs, enjoy lunch, and actually that was being taken up by yes, inspirational talks and amazing kind of people, but actually people were really missing out on that time. And that was fed back and it was changed and now those inspirational talks are brunches, not lunches and they're done within our working hours. So I think that's really important. A lot of businesses you know, mental health is such a hot topic, and people mean really well, but you've got to think like what are things that are actually going to improve people's mental health and don't just sound good on LinkedIn. One of our team asked if we could have summer Fridays in August where we finished at 3pm and it was signed off and implemented immediately. So I think that idea of kind of staying humble, being generous, knowing that it is an intense place to work and we have to listen and ask for feedback and not expect everybody to just pat us on the back when we try to implement something that we think is good.
Ben Walker 10:14
I'm just gonna loop back to your case study of the Manchester craft beer festival, where you were actively laughed at, you know, the implication of that is that people thought you were completely mad to try and make a proudly alcohol free beer that was going to go into pubs and restaurants nationwide. Three years later, it's now almost a store to this pub scene. To get from Manchester to today, you've presumably had to engender some real values in your business about a strong feedback culture, because startups are going to make mistakes. And if you haven't got people challenging them on a daily basis, you're not going to be able to get it right, particularly when you're trying something which, as I said, would seem as almost insane for many beer drinkers three years ago.
Emily Laws 10:56
I think you have to have a team of people that are truly excited and passionate about the product and about what you're doing, especially when you're a disruptive category, and you're a disruptive brand within that category. You have to have people that are your evangelists, and are going to go out there and be convincing in what they're telling people and, you know, spreading the good news about your brand, because they truly believe in it. And I think you can't have people who truly believe in a brand or a business unless you treat them really well and treat them like part of the journey. You know, one of the things in our business is that everyone has share options, for example, and I think that's so motivating, and it really feels like we're part of something. And I agree, you know, it isn't easy, your foot sinks- sometimes you feel a bit like, you know, one of those chuggers on the street who is trying to convince people to donate to places at the beginning, it did feel a bit like that. But what's really motivating as well is that we're part of something that we can really see in real time, society's attitudes are changing. And you know, three years isn't really a huge amount of time. But actually, attitudes have changed so much and, and to be able to see that in real time and feel like you're being a part of it, I think is really, really motivating. You see yourselves as a purpose led brand. That's a phrase I've heard you use before, it's a word that's sort of bandied around perhaps a little bit too liberally purpose in business at the moment. But you've got a fairly strong case for that, haven't you? I mean, there's lots of situations I think where a business person might spot an opportunity, and say, okay, there's an alcohol free trend going, I'm going to start an alcohol free brand. But if that's your motivation, I think you're gonna fall at the first hurdle.
I think for us being purpose LED means that we've identified a consumer problem that people love the social occasion of drinking, they love the taste of beer, but they don't always want to drink alcohol. And actually, when you look at other European markets, like somewhere like Germany, alcohol-free beer in Germany, which a lot of people find surprising, is actually really popular and really pervasive. And it's because it's the culture of having a beer with friends that's the important thing it's not the alcohol content. So we've identified this consumer problem and our purpose is to inspire the world to drink better. And when you think like that, instead of thinking of it as a business opportunity, or thinking in terms of numbers, you start to behave completely differently as a brand. So you look at your product, and you make sure you're using the best ingredients, and that it's tasting the best and you don't cut any corners. You think about, you know, the customer service that you offer people and on Liz's team, we've got people who offer amazing customer service. You start to think about the partners that you have, you know, you don't just partner with people, because you think that you know, they're going to cut you a good deal, you partner with people who you feel are really going to get your message across and really share your values. There's a really great quote by a guy called Marc Cox from a book called The Business Case for Love, and it says that if the company focuses on the number, it never gets there, because the number takes over all behavior. But if you focus on what you believe in, and you focus on the right products, and you focus on the employee experience and the customer experience, you get to the number. And I think that's such a brilliant quote, because if you only think about numbers, you might start discounting things, you might start cutting corners, and then your brand reputation fails, and nobody's interested in drinking your product anymore. Whereas if you focus on making sure the employees really believe in what they're doing, making sure the product is fantastic. Making sure like I say, you know, it costs us much more to have an amazing draft on the bar, but it's worth it because it's all about this purpose of inspiring people to drink better. If you focus on number, you're not going to succeed. Whereas if you focus on your purpose, and that goes across, not just your product, but the people in your business as well, and the way that we all behave, you get there.
Ben Walker 14:44
So you've got a collective internal purpose and that has helped you build the brand from zero to hero brand really, really now. But externally there's a there's a larger goal that you're aiming for which is B Corp status. Isn't there Liz Buchanan. And firstly, for some people, some of our audience will know what B Corp status is. And some of them will not. So, broadly, what is that and why are you aiming for it?
Liz Buchanan 15:10
Yeah, so, a B Corp. B Corporation is a company that's been certified by B labs as one that has really high standards across their five impact areas. So there's governance, so that's how you work with your stakeholders, how you do financial reporting and transparency. Workers, so what you offer your workers how fair you are. Environment, which is obviously a big part of my role. Then goes customers, so how you operate with your customers, customer stewardship, equality, that kind of thing. And then community, which is a massive area. So that's all of the stakeholders that you work with. So it's a really robust process to become a B Corp, it's taken Lucky Saint, well, we're in the verification process now, it's taken, I've been working on it for two and a bit years. But what's really great about B Corp is it's not like you, you get the stamp, and then you sit on your laurels. There is a recertification process over three years. So the expectation in that time is that you keep working on your points in the background with the view that you're improving, on each of those areas every three years. So yeah, it's a really robust process.
Ben Walker 16:21
I mean, that's a tough regimen that you've got to go through. And it's an ongoing measurement that you've got to go on through alongside all of the other tough challenges you've had to bring yourself from startup to established brand. Why did you decide to go into this when you didn't necessarily have to do so?
Liz Buchanan 16:36
Our managing director Emma Heal decided that she wanted Lucky Saint to be a B Corp in 2020. And I started in the company in September of that year. So I've been working on it ever since I started. And it's a really aspirational journey to become better in each of those five impact areas. And that's why we wanted to do it. A lot of people say that becoming a B Corp may end up becoming a hygiene factor so it's like a level of expectation. But it's certainly something that we'll still really celebrate, because it is a really robust, rigorous process. It's completely opened my eyes to sustainability. I probably was incredibly naive slash ignorant of sustainability in the past, and the impact that we're having on the world. But I couldn't be more delighted to work on it and talk about it and just be an advocate of it any anytime I can.
Ben Walker 17:30
It's amazing that you've chosen to take on that challenge. And Emily, when you're marketing, when you're thinking about marketing is part of this prism, how does it play into the conversation?
Emily Laws 17:38
One, while Liz was just talking, I was thinking about one of our other kind of mantras that we talked about is doing the right thing well, and I think for us becoming a B Corp is the right thing to do. And when it comes to our marketing, I think we will proudly tell everyone about the fact that we're a B Corp. But actually, it's less about pushing it as a kind of unique selling point for our for our beer, we actually want to encourage all the businesses that we know and are in our network to do the same and kind of be a bit of a leader in that sense, and help anybody who needs help on that journey, because we've had lots of help along the way from from really generous people who've given us their time and their expertise. So I think when it comes to how we're going to communicate this, in our marketing, it's it's not going to be a sort of campaign, because that feels a little disingenuous. I think what it will be is just being really transparent about all the things that we've learned. So rather than just stamping everything with B Corp, we really want to be transparent with our newsletter database on our website, and share all the information that we've we found out about our business in the way that we do things and keep people up to date. So it's really about our kind of Lucky Saint community and showing them what we've learned along the way, rather than just stamping everything with B Corp and you know, putting a smiley face emoji on it and being really proud of ourselves patting ourselves on the back. Because there's always ways that we can improve, there's always more B Corp points that we could get. And it's really about just sharing the journey with people and showing them that no matter how small a business or how big a business you are, you can always be better. It's not a marketing campaign, it's something that we want to share across the board in everything that we do and make that information really easily accessible.
Ben Walker 17:59
It's a great to have and it's a great story to tell even if it is you say it's a sort of a background story rather than a direct overt marketing campaign. But have you had any direct business benefits from going down this path would you say?
Liz Buchanan 19:48
Remember that we are still on the journey so we pressed go live on the B Corp website in the 28th of February. We're just now hopefully just at the end of the verification process, so it's a long process, there was a big gap in the middle when not much was happening and then it's really gathered pace in the last couple of months. So we're not there yet. But I mean, the the benefit that we've seen really has been about the, you know, the journey and the process. So I'd say it's really opened our eyes to the positive impact that we can have. We're still you know, we're still taking small steps, we don't have a massive team that's working on this behind the scenes. But you know, what we've identified is the areas where we can make really positive change. And because we're quite small, we can, you know, we can do them quite quickly. So for example, this is an example that's aligned to our business as it's growing. If somebody on our website had ordered 24 bottles of Lucky Saint, what they would have got was two of the 12 pack, that would have been in another bigger box. And what we've done is, as our business has grown and it's been demonstrated that actually, the right thing to do is to remove the external packaging, what we've done is we've re-engineered a cardboard box to hold 24 bottles. It's robust enough to go through you know, the DHL, Hermes, carrier networks, we've kind of lightweighted it a bit. And, by doing that, as our business has grown, I've got a little stat and this is one of my favorites, about the cardboard packaging weight reduction is 5.6 tonnes, which is 5.6 adult polar bears. So puts into context, you know, just on that one box. That's what we've been able to do.
Ben Walker 21:25
You saved 5.6 tonnes per year on weight?
Liz Buchanan 21:28
On just that one skew, you know, it gives me carte blanche to be a little bit devil's advocate and say, well, do we really need this packaging? Could we do it like this? But that's something that's permeating across the whole of the business.
Emily Laws 21:40
I think also what you're asking about kind of how it feeds into our marketing, we also share these things along the way with our customers. So when we did make this change to the box, we put a bit of extra information in our in our emails to those customers to say, you're going to be seeing this new box, this is why it saves this much to bring attention to the fact that we are making these changes. So the other thing that I would encourage brands who are starting to go on this journey to become a B Corp is that it's not a kind of final destination and as Liz says you have to keep every three years going through the process again. So it shouldn't be seen as something that you get, you put a stamp on it, you put out on LinkedIn, and you pat yourself on the back, it's a process and it's there's nothing wrong with sharing that process along the way. You don't have to wait till you're completely certified to you feel that you're absolutely perfect in every single area before you start talking about it to your customers, you can start talking about it right away. And we have and we've also asked for feedback from them. What is this? How did the box turn up at your house? How, you know, ask them to feel involved in that especially our customers who are our subscribers and are feel like part of the team anyway. So I think that's that's another part of, I suppose how we use it in our in our brand and marketing is that we're not scared to talk about it now.
Ben Walker 22:58
It's a triple benefit you've saved from the weight and the carriage so it's an environmental benefit, your customers are particularly happy because no customers like excess packaging, you know, we spent too much of our time chucking stuff away and recycling things that weren't necessarily necessary. But also it's giving you a little bit of a marketing here, Emily to because you've been able to say to your customers, this is why we're doing it. This is why you've seen a change in your packaging when these things come through your door. There must have been challenges on the way I know you're heading towards certification, but there must have been challenges on your way, Liz that you've had to overcome.
Liz Buchanan 23:32
I think the biggest challenge has been how long it's taken us to get to the point, this point in verification. So as Emily said, we want to do things well, so we've not skimped on any of the work that we've done to get to this point. And that's been a challenge alongside busy day jobs in a startup. So I think the biggest challenge has been working on finding time to work on it consistently. And moving forward. Yeah, alongside a very busy startup where we've had priorities to face into in terms of the business.
Ben Walker 24:06
We've got a large audience here, that many of whom will be interested on becoming a B Corp. Are there any tips you can give them from your experience?
Liz Buchanan 24:18
Yeah, there's a couple of things. So I think go on to the B Corp website and register, get to understand from there, what great sources of information there are on the movement and the process. And it's very inspirational. If you come off that website, without thinking that there's positive impact you can have in your business, I'd be really surprised. Once you've registered, you start completing their business impact assessment across those five particular areas, to customers, communities, workers, environment and governance, and just see where you get to with your points. So for context, when Lucky Saint started that process, we got to 40 points. And if you remember you need 80 to become a B Corp. So we had some work to do and that's what we've been working on over the last couple of years. SO once you start to use the tool and understand you know how you've answered the questions, you can see the positive impact that you've had. And I think, understand how you can prioritize to do it. So for example, Lucky Saint doesn't have its own manufacturing facilities. So that meant that under environment that there was limited leeway for us to get points compared to somebody who does have their own facilities. So therefore, we put more effort into some of the things that we could do for the team under workers. So I think one of the quickest things that we did was to change our articles of association, it was absolutely the right thing to do to to, you know, to tell everybody that we are balancing, you know, people profit and the planet. And then we've been able to be advocates there for the for the Better Business Act. So I think, yeah, just in terms of them working through it, I think, consider your team, consider if you can, getting some external support in terms of just how to prioritize things. We worked with, two great companies, organizations, which I understand not all companies will have the benefit of doing. But I would suggest that in terms of the amount of time it could save you, it'd be really good. And if I can give them a little plug, there are many companies out there that that will be available. Greenheart Business have been really fantastic for us, helping us to understand what's important to us, running some internal workshops, and helping us work through you know, you know, the BIA process. And then Olivia Anderson, we've been working with her, she's got fantastic personal interest in sustainability. And she's actually had a fantastic career working, recruiting sustainability gurus into companies. She's been working with us on things like writing some of our policies and processes. Things like ESG policy, she's been really great with doing some of our carbon accounting and that kind of thing.
Ben Walker 26:54
I mean, it strikes me is you could quite easily put lots of effort in and not get very far if you don't ask the right questions at the right time. And also determine which areas of your business you've got the capacity to, to improve.
Liz Buchanan 27:07
Yeah, absolutely but equally, you know, I think I always reference, there was one company that became a B Corp last year, called Y.O.U Underwear, there's a team of three people who have got 160 points. And they have got that through the way that they are organized, they are essentially set up as like a social enterprise. So everything that they do in terms of their manufacture, their selling, everything is completely aligned to making a positive impact. What we try and struggle with sometimes is the retrofitting of some things. So I think if your business is fundamentally set up for good that's equally, have you leapfrog on some of the points?
Ben Walker 27:48
That's interesting, isn't it, Emily, that actually, you've got to set it up for good, you've got to start from the right place. You've got to start from as you'd like to use this phrase, purpose led. And if businesses are listening today who want to train themselves as a purposeless business, do you have any tips on how you start that process before you get the B Corps and all the rest of it?
Emily Laws 28:07
One of the first steps that we took to defining our purpose and our values was that we sent out a questionnaire to all of our team at the time was probably about 15 people. But we also sent it out to several people that we worked with agencies, investors, and asked them, what do you think our purpose should be? What would make you feel proud to work with or for Lucky Saint? And we asked them a series of questions and we got back some really amazing answers and I think that's where our values have come from. And that's why it's not been difficult to implement them in the team because the team came up with them. And so the team really believe in them, because we wrote them as a collective. And I think that's a really good place to start. Don't feel like you've got to do it locked away in a quiet room just as a founder on your own. Ask the people that work in your business every day, because they might come up with some really surprising and brilliant answers. I think with becoming a B Corp, as Liz said you know, it's a process, it's not a final destination. And what's been really nice about how much that journey has been shared with the team, whether that's through updates on a Monday morning meeting, or through involving different parts of the business, is that people are starting to think it's almost self fulfilling. So now we're all thinking is that the most sustainable way of doing something? So we're making it easier for ourselves when we do have to kind of be reassessed in three years time, because now everyone knows that we're a B Corp, they take it really seriously. So one example is that, you know, we've got our dry January campaign coming up. And we've really asked ourselves like, hey, do we need printed POS that's going to have dry January on it, and therefore will only be relevant for a month. That's not very sustainable. So let's not do that, let's create things that are going to last a long time and that can last a year, or actually, let's not create them at all and think about other ways that we can get our brand out there. So because the team feel involved, they are already factoring that into their decision making. And so hopefully that will make Liz's job far easier in a few years time. But I think if you want to become a purpose led business, you just you probably already are, if you're having that thought you probably already are a purpose led business, you just haven't articulated it yet. So it's just starting to articulate it. Yeah, I think if you're asking the question, how do we become purpose led, you probably have more of a purpose than you think.
Ben Walker 30:28
Start with the questions to help you frame something which is already in there, but you need to articulate it. You've asked the right questions at the right time, you've made good decisions at the right time over the last three years to get where you are today, probably consultants that you've already mentioned, which is Greenheart Business, and Olivia Anderson, what other resources have you drawn upon that others might be able to benefit from if they're going on a similar journey?
Liz Buchanan 30:53
I think what's really so great about the B Corp community, is how generous they are in sharing their personal journeys, and, you know, hints and tips on things that they've fallen foul to failings, rabbit warrens, that they've gone down through their own processes. So all of the B Corps in the UK are listed on the website. And I think really, if you reached out to any of them, they'd be really happy part of being a B Corp being an advocate for the movement. So I think they'd be really happy to talk to you. We've also, you know, we've got a great network of ex colleagues, and people in industry and industry associations and things like that, that they've been able to lean on as well.
Ben Walker 31:36
It can be done, Emily. And it can be done quite quickly as you are proved, if you draw on the right resources and ask the right questions at the right time.
Emily Laws 31:44
Yeah, I think just start somewhere, you know, you can't get there unless you start. So especially if you're a small business, I think there's really no excuse to be honest to not do it, and it's better to do it now than then five years time when you're much bigger, and you've got a lot more ground to cover and questions to ask. So I would just start. And if you're a much bigger business, I think there's no harm in being an advocate. If you're listening to this as an individual, and you do work in a really big business, then be that advocate and go and talk to someone and see if you can influence them and start that journey. I think in the future, to be honest, it as we say won't be unique anymore. And that's the hope people and businesses will know the impact that they're having and make improvements where necessary. So it's going to be something that you're going to have to do in the future so why not do it now and get started and you know, as Liz says it's taken nearly three years for us, but once it's done, you know, we now are much more aware of the questions we need to ask and hopefully the process will be easier next time. And we'll have more points.
Liz Buchanan 32:56
And we wouldn't want to put people off by saying it's taken us three years, this is as we have meandered a little bit on our journey, I think all companies get put on some generalized tracks. So whether you are a service provider or a manufacturer, a certain set of questions will open up to you. So it's really, really relevant to, to what you're doing a service provider who is not involved in so much impacting the environment, for example, could really race through and get certified a lot easier than us. So yeah, don't take three years or something that puts people off.
Emily Laws 33:27
Also, if you put this sort of brand of B Corp to one side, why wouldn't you want to improve in those five areas? I think a lot of people think B Corp is environmental, but it's also as we've said about the people who work in your business, it's about your product, it's about your communication. Why wouldn't you want to review all of those things, and it holds you to account to do that. So I think it's undeniably a good thing to do.
Ben Walker 33:52
Inspiring words, a great call to action. Ladies, thank you very much indeed for your time and insights today. I know that our audience will lap it all up it's some great advice. And I hope to see you again on the CIM Podcast very soon indeed. Thank you very much.
Liz Buchanan 34:06
Thanks for having us.
Sophie Peterson 34:08
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