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Fors Marsh Group (FMG), a Certified B Corporation (B Corp), worked with B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corps, to design and conduct a robust online survey capturing the public’s awareness and perceptions of the B Corp Certification. With over 3,500 B Corps using business as a force for good in 70 countries worldwide, this movement is transforming the global economy to become more inclusive and sustainable. Working closely with B Lab, FMG’s research team analyzed the data to identify areas of opportunity for the B Corp movement to grow. FMG also uncovered ways to maximize these consumer insights and bolster B Lab’s mission to expand the B Corp movement.

FMG’s findings indicate that people today care about issues of food security, ethical business practices, equality, and sustainability. B Corps are well-positioned to speak to each of these values. The organizations that make up the global B Corp community are engaged locally, nationally, and globally on issues of food security, ethical business practices, equality, and sustainability. When asked about these issues, most individuals across both the United States and Canada felt they were important.

Social Issues

Encouragingly, after being exposed to some straightforward information about the B Corp Certification—what it is and its reporting and transparency requirements—respondents were far more likely to view B Corps as engaged on these important issues than the businesses they shop at most.

Businesses

This introductory information about the B Corp Certification was also incredibly effective at motivating action. After learning about the B Corp Certification, most people reported being interested in purchasing from B Corp Certified companies (62%).

Behavioral

Maximizing the impact of B Corps depends on our ability to get the B Corp name out there. Although B Corps are engaged in issues that people find important, collective action of the B Corp community can help increase the public’s awareness of the B Corp brand. Although nearly half (43%) of individuals in the United States and 32% of those in Canada recalled one or more elements of B Corp branding, only about one in 10 (9%) recalled the name specifically. B Corps care about issues that people find important, and when people get to know what being a B Corp entails, they see how important these issues are to B Corps, too. From there, people look to take actions to support one.

There is tremendous opportunity to increase the collective impact of the B Corp movement by building awareness and understanding of the B Corp Certification. FMG continues to work with B Lab, using data that maximize the reach and impact of the B Corp movement to inform their strategies.

Awareness

About Fors Marsh Group. Fors Marsh Group is a company that uses business as a force for good. Since 2002, it has focused on applying science and strategy to create positive behavior change in people and program and policy improvements in large organizations and government. This work is conducted within seven core U.S. markets: health, defense, technology, finance, homeland security, policy, and consumer. As a B Corporation, FMG governs from a unique set of values and policies that compound the positive impact achieved for employees, clients, and partners. www.forsmarshgroup.com

Methodology Note. Results from the above study were drawn from a web-based survey. Participants (2,000; 85% from the United States and 15% from Canada) were drawn from a non-probability-based panel of U.S. and Canadian individuals ages 17 and older. Data from U.S. individuals were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population in terms of race/ethnicity, age, and gender; data from Canadian respondents were weighted to be representative of the Canadian population in terms of age and gender. Data from U.S. and Canadian respondents were analyzed separately.

About the author

Michael Karim, Ph.D.

Michael Karim, Ph.D.

As the director of Military Recruiting Research, Dr. Michael Karim helps the Department of Defense (DOD) understand the individual, social, and environmental factors that drive interest in military service. Through combining insights gained from survey, geographic, qualitative, and behavioral data, Michael has helped FMG provide DOD with a better understanding of the recruiting landscape.

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