brand trust Pillars™

Connecting Values to Value® results
in stronger RELATIONSHIPS and deeper TRUST.

In business, there is nothing more valuable than trust. Our trust pillars are an invitation to interrogate the trust between your brand, its ecosystems, and the stakeholders within.

Traditionally, we've thought of trust building via linear customer journeys that travel through imaginary sales funnels.

New research shows that our business relationships travel along two or more non-linear journeys based on the brand relationship (values) and the opportunity for purchase (value).

The companies that understand the relationship between these two non-linear journeys (ecosystem journeys) are what we call Stakeholder Brands™.

They seek value exchange enhanced via values alignment,
using Stakeholder Marketing.

value
great PRODUCTS
Value
Centered
Companies
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Market
Focused
Product
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Transaction
Based
Marketing
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Built for purchase Journeys
Self
Centered
Companies
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Market
Focused
Product
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Message
based
Marketing
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Built for Capitalism
values
great culture + BRANDS
Purpose
Centered
Companies
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Value
Focused
Product
+
Messaging
‍‍Based
Marketing
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Built for brand Journeys
Self
Centered
Companies
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Market
Focused
Product
+
Message
based
Marketing
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Built for the Digital Age
value(s) via ecosystems
GREAT PRODUCTS, culture and BRAND
Value(s)
aligned
Companies
+
Value(s)
Focused
Product
+
Ecosystem
Based
Marketing
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Built for ECOSYSTEM JOURNEYS
Self
Centered
Companies
+
Market
Focused
Product
+
Message
based
Marketing
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Built for Stakeholder Economies

PEOPLE DON't FALL THROUGH IMAGINARY funnels, they ThrivE in real-lifeecosystems.

Stakeholder Brands™ operate with intention from values that are built on practical application rather than aspirational thinking. They seek value exchange enhanced via values alignment.

Below we go deeper and share examples of companies who are getting it right. We also identify a few of the communities that help brands connect with their ecosystems.

Come with us on this journey to connect with the world of Stakeholder Brands™.

Compass Centered

Description
Focus on company growth that fuels the good they do in the world. 

Values
Brand/Product/Values alignment
Scaling impact
Ecosystem alignment
Values expression 

Tagline
Your values are your value

Brand example: Patagonia

Their core mission—“Patagonia is in business to save our home planet”—has influenced their decision in manufacturing high-quality outdoor apparel with a minimum footprint on the environment, building model global supply chains that include worker fairness and environmental improvement as uncompromising standards.

Ecosystem Example: B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Our international network of organizations leads economic systems change to support our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. There's no Planet B.

Competency Centered

Description
Product and services teams that are dedicated to continuous improvement.

Values
Roadmapping Innovation
Building Aligned Teams
Shared vision
Design Thinking

Tagline
Better, not bigger

Brand Example: DYSON

Dyson focused on solving the problems that others have ignored; solving them first using our technology and ingenuity. In order to achieve this we need to pioneer technologies that are different and authentic. This is the core of what we do and who we are.

Ecosystem Example: G2

G2 is the largest and most trusted software marketplace. More than 90 million people annually—including employees at all Fortune 500 companies—use G2 to make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews.

Culture Centered

Description
Improving companies by Improving people.

Values
People as innovation
Creativity is competency
The arts 
Emotional IQ

Tagline
By Design, not default

Brand example: Better Up

BetterUp coaching offers support for in-the-moment specific needs, a personal 1:1 Coach for attaining goals both personal and professional, and a network of specialists that help individuals overcome challenges unique to their experiences.

Ecosystem Example: freelancers u

Freelancers Union is a non-profit organization serving as a support system for independents through advocacy, education, and services. So, whether you’re a creative, a solopreneur, or a founder, we’re working to secure a better future for you.

Degrowth Centered

Description
Teams of experts generally focused on execution with little extraction or waste of any kind.

Values
Degrowth models
Freedom
Human Scale
Circular Economies

Tagline
Big Impact, Small Footprint

Brand example: Early majority

The VEJA Project. Since 2005, VEJA has been creating sneakers in a different way, mixing social projects, economic justice, and ecological materials. Fair-Trade, Ecology, Social Enterprise, Fashion, Footwear, Sportswear, Accessories, CSR, Supply Chain, Ethical Trade, and Transparency

Ecosystem Example: SMALL GIANTS

The Small Giants Community is a business community for purpose-driven leaders who want to share stories of incredible businesses and learn new practices and systems to implement in their own organizations.

Location Centered

Description
Sustainable Geographic economies, not “markets”

Values
Localization
Glocalization
Community regeneration

Tagline
Stakeholder Holder Economies, not Markets.

Marcus Books

The Marcus Samuelsson Group was founded by award-winning chef, international restaurateur, and media personality Marcus Samuelsson and is led by longtime partner/ CEO Derek Evans. The Harlem-based minority-owned company is committed to creating outstanding culinary experiences, community support and thought-provoking storytelling that celebrates food, music, culture and art.

Ecosystem Example: AMIBA

A nonprofit membership organization of local business alliances, affiliates and supporters. AMIBA has been at the forefront of a national grassroots campaign to “Buy Local” and value their community’s uniqueness. Over the last two decades, nearly 100 Independent Business Organizations (IBAs) opened in cities and rural regions, large and small, nationwide.

Sustainability Centered

Description
Treat the environment as the ultimate stakeholder

Values
Indigenous practices
Environmental Policies
Eliminating Extraction
Supply Chain Transparency

Tagline
Protecting Practices that Protect the Environment

Brand Example: Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation are committed to providing effective, safe, bio-based products that are good for the planet and for your family. They believe that business can and should be a force for good. And are on a mission to create a more healthy, sustainable and equitable world for the next seven generations.

Ecosystem Example: Institute for local self-reliance

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this vision, we build local power to fight corporate control. We are a national research and advocacy organization that partners with allies across the country to build an American economy driven by local priorities and accountable to people and the planet.

Equity Centered

Description
Center Equity first, in all that they do.

Values
Exponential societal change
Lived Experience / Ancestral knowledge
Targeted Universalism
Eliminating Harm

Tagline
Be The Change You Want To See

Brand example: Black Wealth Data Center

The Black Wealth Data Center is building a comprehensive repository for Black wealth data. Our Racial Wealth Equity Database aims to empower decision-makers with reliable data and raise the national standard for data collection and accessibility.

Ecosystem Example: Othering & Belonging Institute

The Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley advances groundbreaking research, policy, and ideas that examine and remediate the processes of exclusion, marginalization, and structural inequality—what we call othering—in order to build a world based on inclusion, fairness, justice, and care for the earth—what we call belonging.

Systems Centered

Description
Systems focused execution, innovation and impact.

Values
Mutualism / Partners
Systems Thinking
Investment
Technology and Tools

Tagline
Empowering Other Businesses To Thrive and Grow

Brand Example: Loop

LOOP is different. We’re building fair, equitable, and affordable insurance based on how and where you drive. We put people first, treating our members with respect and dignity—making sure they can chat with an understanding person, not a frustrating bot.

ECOSYSTEM EXAMPLE: IDEO U

IDEO is a design and consulting firm with offices in the U.S., England, and China. It was founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. The company's 500 staff uses a design thinking approach to design products, services, environments, brands, and digital experiences.