As March (AKA Certified B-Corp Month!) draws to a close, all of us at Makeena want to encourage you to celebrate and support #BetterBusiness all year long. The B Corp movement, powered by B Labs, is more than just a movement. It’s a revolution, a nonprofit network working to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.
The Certified B Corporation Movement was brought to life by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Cassoy in 1991. The powerful team were the co-founders of AND1, a basketball footwear and clothing company, and, at the time, AND1 and its founders paved the way for socially-responsible businesses. 16 years later, the first 82 B-Corps were certified — and the movement has only grown from there. In order to become certified, a company must demonstrate high social and environmental performance, make a legal commitment to change its corporate structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, and exhibit transparency for all consumers.
Did you know that as of February 2022, Makeena is one of 4,673 certified B Corporations across 155 industries in 78 countries? We’re proud to stand alongside a larger than ever cohort of better businesses, who are committed to equity, empowerment, and growth in their respective industries and beyond. Below we’re sharing our 4 building blocks of better business that guide us at Makeena, in hopes that they’ll inspire you and your business to also carry the torch.
Find Your Business Purpose
Start with purpose, move with purpose, end with purpose, excel with purpose. Find out what makes your team excited, happy, sad, or angry. Ask yourself and your team: What can we change and what what does the world need? Where do we fit into that equation? A purpose-driven business starts and ends with purpose, and clarity in the mission will drive decisions, and strategies circle back to your goal, vision, and — one more time — purpose. As Richard Brown once said, “The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit.”
Our CEO and Founder, Karen Frame, grew up on a lake in central Illinois, right across the street from a cornfield that was sprayed with pesticides every year. As a result, nearly all of Karen’s family members, including herself, became sick. Karen and all of us at Makeena know that, if better-for-you products were less expensive and more accessible, we’d live in a cleaner, greener, healthier world. And Makeena works to do just that. With each decision we face and each stop along the way, we’re transported back to Illinois — where it all started.
“Walk the Talk, Talk the Walk” in Business
Leadership is no longer notable, nor is it extraordinary or outstanding. It’s simply the expectation. For purpose-driven businesses, thought leadership is the answer to elevating your business with your mission in mind. Now that you’ve highlighted your purpose, it’s time to “walk the talk” and “talk the walk.” The non-headache version? You must live out your purpose, and share those experiences to share with your team, stakeholders, and consumers.
A thought leader catalyzes, inspires, and empowers. Thought leaders study, ask questions, study some more, experience rejection, and leverage those experiences for good. Heidi Thorne said it best: “Leaders get things done. Thought leaders get minds won.”
So, start that podcast. Write that book. Draft that long-form LinkedIn post. And relate it back to your mission and purpose. Call others to action, and create your very own brand in the process. Lead by example. Think about the show, “Fit to Fat to Fit,” where trainers purposefully and rapidly gain weight, only to experience the journey of losing the weight alongside their clients. That is the type of leader that your purpose-driven business needs!
And don’t forget that this leadership isn’t reserved solely for the CEO. By cultivating the right, supportive workplace environment, you can empower your colleagues to grow within their own leadership roles, thus bringing your company to new heights. We’re talking purpose AND profit!
(Brand!) Consistency is Key
We mentioned briefly the importance of creating your own brand in the process of growing as a thought leader. Let’s circle back to that. Every purpose-driven business needs a brand that encapsulates its mission, from the logo to the name. Your goal? To say a thousand words and share your story, without saying a word at all.
What’s in a name? At Makeena, we say, “Well, a lot!” Our name communicates our story, where we are, and where we hope to go. “Makeena” means “happiness” in Swahili and “abundance” in Hawaiian. With our goal to make the world happier and healthier by increasing accessibility to betterproducts, our name does the work for us. For us, Makeena also means empowerment because it puts the power of shopping for good directly into the hands of big-hearted consumers like you. Our bright orange and teal hues are simple, but exciting, and, if you look closely, our little “M” resembles a welcoming smile, inviting you to the party.
Our brand communicates our message, and who we are. Who are you?
Start and End with the Consumer
Purpose-driven businesses have consumer-minded goals, placing an emphasis on the common good. As you grow, don’t lose sight of that — continue to live and breathe your purpose.
Though it is important to evaluate strategy from the perspective of the stakeholders, the employee, and the industry at-large, don’t forget about the little guy. At Makeena, we make each and every decision with the consumer in mind. Behind our latest move was the single mom who worries about providing her children with nutritious meals. At our next meeting, we’ll discuss how our next strategy impacts the college student who feels that she needs to choose between affording tuition and eating healthy. Our constant consumer-focus embeds our purpose into our daily tasks, affording us the intimate opportunity to relate to the consumer, and walk alongside them. Remember this idea, use it as your North Star, and you’ll never go wrong.
Our 4 building blocks of better business keep us at Makeena moving forward, toward positive change, accessibility, equity, and impact for people and the planet. Thank you for letting us take you behind the “B,” as we work closely together to “B the Change!”