The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that improving human lives and taking care of the environment are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.

At Blyde we believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In our weekly Wake Up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and businesses speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ today: changemaker Jeroen van IJzendoorn, brand strategist of Factor Tachtig

What was your wakeup call for contributing to a better world?  

I think it was a rather long consistent call. I can’t say there was one specific moment where I thought ‘now is the time we need to start the change’. I’ve always felt that things need to be different than they are currently. A lot different. Not just in terms of the environment but, also how we do ‘marketing’ in a better way, for example. 

Can you share an example of how your company has taken a stand and inspired positive change in your industry or community, and what impact did it have?  

We have been in the branding/marketing world for over 16 years, and we always chased the long-term investment over the short-term campaign or win. That’s where it starts and this is how you build your brand. And you see now that customers have been with us for a really long time – some even for 15 years! We try to make a difference with the team, like other organizations, where everyone is equal. And we try to challenge the status quo from a business perspective, including how we advise our customers. This may even lead to saying ‘no’ to a client or project, at times. 

Talking about radical honesty, what still needs to be changed within your company to be truly good ancestors?  

It’s not just within my company, but in general we, as marketeers, are in the business to sell more. And yes, that is one of the purposes of a healthy company – to earn and invest in growth to stay healthy. But I want to make sure that marketing is not turning into the next ‘smoking’ or ‘sugary beverage’. And that is what needs to change. On a global level. We work for a lot of B2B companies where consumerism is not as prominent. But if change has to start somewhere, and this is where we are, then why not start here? And I hope we can do it in a way that we stay healthy, but without the excessive profits driven by excessive consumerism. Without buying things just for the sake of buying. But buying them because you make the world a better place by doing so. Fostering reciprocity. This might be a hole in my own business plan, but you wanted an honest response. 

What are the most important lessons you learned in the past in making positive impact and how will you apply them today? 

The most important? That sometimes it’s not easy to be in the forefront. Because other entrepreneurs, colleagues or customers don’t share the same point of view (yet). This gave me a better understanding. I know now that change takes time. So, I’m less frustrated when change does not happen right away (a little impatience at my end is known to many). 











If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why? 

That is a tough one. My first thought was Shell, they are in dying need of making actual change. I was tentative about calling the Dutch Government out, but they are not a company, so had to skip that. Then I ended up with the Postcode Loterij – I absolutely dislike gambling and lotteries, so there’s that aspect to deal with. Besides that, they disburse a lot of money to other organizations so their influence is really huge, and they can coax all those organizations towards the ‘positive impact’ club! 

Hungry for more wake-up calls? Read the other interviews here!