February 17, 2023

The Benefits of Taking a Stand as a B2B Brand 

by Melissa Caffrey

Taking a stand on important issues can be a defining moment for a brand, one that not only sets it apart from its competitors but also has a positive impact on the world. ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives have become an increasingly important aspect of modern business, with employees, customers, and prospects alike placing greater emphasis on companies that are socially responsible and environmentally conscious. 

Whether you’re looking to make a positive impact on the world, or simply looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace, taking a stand on ESG initiatives can be a smart strategic move. Read on to explore the many benefits of taking a stand as a B2B brand. 

  1. Increased brand reputation: ESG initiatives help to demonstrate your company’s commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices, which can enhance your reputation and increase trust among customers, investors, and other stakeholders.
  2. Attraction and retention of top talent: Employees, especially younger generations, are increasingly seeking out companies that align with their values and have a positive impact on society. Incorporating ESG initiatives can help to attract and retain top talent and foster a positive company culture.
  3. Improved employee culture: By taking a stand on D&I, B2B companies can create a positive work environment that appeals to employees who value inclusivity, thusly improving employee engagement, retention, and productivity.
  4. Better financial performance: Research has shown that companies that prioritize ESG initiatives tend to outperform their peers over the long term. Investors and stakeholders are increasingly taking ESG factors into consideration when making investment decisions, which can have a positive impact on a company’s financial performance.
  5. Improved risk management: ESG initiatives can help to mitigate business risks and improve resilience in the face of challenges such as natural disasters, social unrest, or regulatory changes.
  6. Positive impact on society: ESG initiatives can have a positive impact on the environment and communities, helping to create a better future for all by ensuring long-term sustainability and ethical business practices.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Here are three Renegade Marketers Unite episodes you might find helpful as you consider taking a stand (quotable quotes included): 

  • Episode 326: Taking a Stand as a B2B Brand
    • Joe Cohen: “There’s never not a reason to have an engaged and excited workforce. But as it relates to really bringing your brand to life and advocating your brand? Table stakes.”
  • Episode 302 B2B World… Meet Purpose-Driven Marketing
    • Julia Goebel: Studies suggest that when employees feel connected to the work, there is more satisfaction, and that can help employee retention. It’s important to connect individuals to the greater purpose, but also on a day-to-day basis to make sure that the what-I-did-today has a greater meaning.”
    • Peter Neiman: “Purpose isn’t going to be optional down the road. It’s the way that all brands are going to differentiate themselves now, especially those that don’t have a highly differentiated product. […] When you take a stance, there will be people who disagree with you, and when you go public with your points of view, they will vote by taking away their dollars from you. I probably can’t quantify what we haven’t taken in, but I think what we would say is that we have made more money bringing people in than we have lost.”
  • Episode 273 Honing Your Decision-Making Chops for 2022
    • Jennifer Davis: “It’s very important to be authentic and to choose the things that are very durable and related very closely to what your company does. […] If every company, every individual, swept their front porch or thought about the things that they were uniquely positioned to do, that’s how the world becomes a better place.”

    • Kimberly Whitler: “Understand what your core positioning is, and as you’re engaging in these issues, try to do it in a way that aligns with your purpose and your positioning. You don’t want to inadvertently reposition your business.”

For more insights into taking a stand, especially when it comes to ESG, be sure to check out our robust guide. And to meet like-minded peers or talk to a CMO who has successfully run ESG initiatives at their companies, check out the CMO Huddles community—a place for B2B marketing executives to share, care, and dare each other to greatness.