ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -
Americans are choosing to spend their money on goods and services that align with their values, and companies are responding to customers’ demands to be socially responsible.
Animal crackers were set free. No more caged boxes. McDonald's turned its golden arches upside down for International Women's Day. Nike's advertisement about risking it all to stand for something featuring Colin Kapernick.
These are a few of the many recent examples of how companies align with social issues.
Alex Rodriquez is the President of YMMY Marketing and Advertising, and the author of “Digital Bacon.”
"Now it's about features and benefits and values so do your values connect with mine? You see that in millennials and generation Z even more,” Rodriquez explained.
Jared Meyers of Salt Palm Development noticed the trend and co-founded Saint Pete for Good, a group committed to the highest moral, social, and legal standards.
“We're the only company in St. Pete that's a Certified B Corporation, but hopefully that will change soon. That's part of our goal,” Meyers said.
Certified B sends a financial signal to consumers about a business.
"They know they're supporting a business that puts at least half of their profits back into St. Pete," Meyers says.
Saint Pete for Good shares success stories, helps businesses network, and supports community improvement. When a company joins St. Pete for Good, they pledge to balance profits with community pride.
“We want them to make that commitment that, ‘I believe in this,’” Meyers says.
Mike Cromwell of Sabal Smart Homes showed us a neighborhood beautification project downtown.
He says Sabal is working to build environmentally-friendly homes.
"We're doing our best to become carbon neutral," Cormwell said.
Nearby, Three Daughters Brewery is working toward Certified B status. Jessica Bodkin, the brewery's community relations manager explained how Three Daughters works to be more sustainable.
They donate used grain to feed livestock and help fight hunger.
“Typically, once it's used you dump it out, so now we can recycle thru and use it again,” Bodkin explained.
They also grow locally-sourced hops, take steps to conserve water, and give to Bay Area charities.
“We decided to make a goal that we give back and strive to give more - so for 2018 were going to give away $150,000 in product donations,” Bodkin said.
As Certified B companies continue to strive, the message seems clear. When it comes to connecting with consumers – What a company stands for is just as important as the product they're selling.
To register your business with St. Pete for Good or shop at Certified B businesses, visit stpeteforgood.com.