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B-CORP CERTIFICATION:
A MARKETING RESEARCH STUDY
(Busboys & Poets, Washington, D.C.)
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
BY,	
  LAUREN	
  ZAHRINGER	
  
	
  
SUBMITED	
  SPRING	
  2011	
  
MARYMOUNT	
  MANHATTAN	
  COLLEGE	
  
	
  
1
Table of Contents
1. Managerial Summary…………………………………………………................................... Pg. 2
2. Statement of Research Purpose and Objective………………………………………….. Pg. 2
3. Research Design and Methodology………………………………………………………... Pg. 2
3.1 Questionnaire Design………………………………………………………………………...... Pg. 2
3.2 Sampling Plan………………………………………………………………………………….. Pg. 3
3.3 Data Collection and Data Entry……………………………………………………………… Pg. 3
4. Analysis Results………………………………………………………………………………. Pg.3
5. Recommendations……………………………………………………………………………. Pg.3-4
6. Tables and Figures…………………………………………………………………………… Pg. 5-6
7. Appendices…………………………………………………………………………………….. Pg. 6-9
7.1 Questionnaire............................................................................................................................... Pg.6-7
7.2 Codebook……………………………………………………………………………………….. *Attached
7.3 Hypotheses and Operational Definitions …………………………………………………… Pg. 8
7.4 Detailed Secondary Research………………………………………………………………… Pg. 9
2
1. Managerial Summary
The main topic of this research is the affect of a businesses marketing mix on customer
loyalty. For a business a successful marketing mix creates customer interest in goods or services,
builds strong customer relationships, and creates value for their customers and for themselves. This
project will explore whether being a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) adds value to a
business’s marketing mix, specifically researching the B Corp certification’s impact for a local
coffee shop, addressing whether it creates value, satisfaction, or loyalty for the coffee shop’s
customers.
B Corps are less a legal entity (Archibald, 2007), such as a C Corporation or an S
Corporation, but more so a certification of particular business practices and activities that are
socially and environmentally beneficial. In a sense a B Corp certification is for sustainable
businesses what LEED is for green buildings. According to the B Corp website, a B Corp
certification enhances and adds value to a business by the business being recognized as a leader,
and by differentiating the business’s commitments via a third party certification. But at the
consumer level, just how powerful is a B Corp certification?
Does having a B Corp certification enhance a business’s marketing mix by solidifying a
commitment to social causes and in turn increase customer loyalty? If a business enhances a
community and is committed to sustainable practices without a B Corp certification, will customer
loyalty and brand value increase upon gaining a B Corp certification? This research study will
examine Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant and coffee shop in Washington, DC that is a
certified B Corp. Specifically the question driving this research is: Does the B Corp certification
increase Busboys and Poets’ customer loyalty, and perception of brand value?
An analysis of the data collected is unable to provide statistical significance for observed
results regarding the aforementioned objective. Most likely the error in the data collection is a
result of a too small sample size. Nevertheless, this research was able to bring to the attention of
respondents information they were unaware of, such as Busboys and Poets’ B Corp certification
and what it means, as well as thinking about business’ role in addressing climate change, and being
accountable to all stakeholders. As a place for ideas, and conversations, inspiring interaction
regarding these ideas was beneficial, and potentially increased customer awareness.
2. Statement of Research Purpose and Objective
There are two main objectives for this study. The first is to find out if Busboys and Poet’s
tangible B Corp features, fair-trade market, space for community events, and independent
bookshop within restaurant, are a factor in customers’ decision to come to restaurant. The second
objective is to learn about Busboys and Poet’s actual market, on the terms of demographics, and
opinions relevant to themes of sustainable development. A survey will be administered to a random
sample of one hundred customers in order to collect data for analysis and fulfill research objectives.
Objective 1 Measure the factors in customers’ choice to go to Busboys and Poets.
Objective 2 Measure customers’ opinions regarding Business’ relationship to
society.
3. Research Design and Methodology
3.1 Questionnaire Design
The questionnaire was designed to ensure accuracy, and effectiveness in collecting the
necessary data to test the research hypotheses. Questions were created on the basis of operational
definitions of hypotheses. Data for this descriptive research was collected with closed response
questions in the form of likert scales, and multiple-choice questions.
3
3.2 Sampling Plan
To ensure that the sample is random, all customers of busboys and poet’s will have equal
opportunity to participate in survey. A sample of 100 customers will be taken. The data collection
will occur onsite at the Busboys and Poets 14th
Street location in Washington, DC.
3.2 Data Collection and Entry
The researcher will distribute surveys to customers at the restaurant who will complete the
survey on the spot. The researcher will ask respondents if they are interested in filling out the
survey. If respondents are interested and wish to participate on their own will, they will be given
the survey. At this point the researcher will leave the immediate area, so as to ensure for the survey
taker’s relaxed and natural state of mind that is free from pressure. The researcher will return after
a few minutes to collect the completed surveys.
4. Analysis Results
4.1 Research Question 1
Question 1 Do customers of Busboys and Poets go to Busboys because of the tangible
features of its fulfillment to its B Corporation Status?
Operational
Definition
Customers come to Busboys and Poets because of factors attributable to B-corp
certification. When asked to respond to the prompt “I come to busboys and poets
because I like…” a 60% majority of respondents will indicate one or more of the
three B Corp factors included in the answer options. It is expected that a majority
will indicate one or more of the factors as a reason for why they go to Busboys and
Poets on the basis of its popularity, and owner opinion.
Hypotheses H0: Q7E + Q7G + Q7H ≥ 1
HA: Q7E + Q7G + Q7H < 1
Result 66% of respondents indicated that one or more B Corp factors were a reason
for why they come to Busboys and Poets.
Statistical
Significance
Are the above results indicative of Busboys and Poets customer population,
or did observed results occur as a result of chance? a chi-square test was used
to test for statistical significance. The results of the chi-square test were
Test Statistics
BCORP
Chi-square 14.448a
df 2
Asymp. Sig. .001
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected
cell frequency is 22.3.
4
With 2 degrees of freedom at the .01 significance level the chi-square table
value is 9.21034. Since the calculated chi-square is greater than the value
in the table, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that the
predictions made were incorrect, and this observed result is not
statistically significant to make any conclusions for the population.
4.2 Research Question 2
Question 2 Do customers of Busboys and Poets wants Businesses to be socially and
environmentally responsible?
Operational
Definition
The expected response is that customers do want businesses to be environmentally and
socially responsible. Customers are already present at a business that is such, and
therefore, it is expected that they have considered this idea before. When asked to
indicate agreement with the statement “I want businesses to be socially and
environmentally responsible” on a scale of 1-5, a 60% majority will respond 4 or
higher.
Hypotheses
Test
H0 : Q11 > 3
HA : Q11≤ 3
Result 97% of respondents indicated agreement on scale of 1-5, of 4 or higher.
Statistical
Significance
Since this is a hypothesis of frequencies, a chi-square test is used to test for
statistical significance of the observation.
Test Statistics
	

 want businesses to be socially and
environmentally responsible at a local level
Chi-square 17.330a
df 1
Asymp. Sig. .000
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum
expected cell frequency is 48.5.
With 1 degree of freedom at the .01 significance level the chi-square table
value is 6.63. Since the calculated chi-square is greater than the value in the
table, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that the predictions
made were incorrect, and this observed result is not statistically significant to
make any conclusions for the population.
5
5. Recommendations
Most likely do to insufficient sample size, it is not possible to confirm that Busboys
and Poets have seen a return on their investment in their certified Benefit Corporation
status at the consumer level regarding customer loyalty. However, factors to be considered
are the newness of the Benefit Corporation status, general lack of customer awareness, and
the relatively recent growth in societal awareness, regarding climate change, and
consumers’ awareness of knowing their ability to influence and address climate change
through their customer choices. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the objectives of this
research be considered again in the future, with a larger sample, of 200 customers.
6. Tables and Figures
31%	
  
21%	
  
48%	
  
Percentage	
  of	
  Customers	
  who	
  Indicated	
  each	
  of	
  the	
  
following	
  three	
  b	
  corp	
  attributable	
  factors	
  as	
  a	
  reason	
  
for	
  why	
  they	
  go	
  to	
  busboys	
  	
  
Community	
  Event	
   Fairtrade	
  Market	
   Bookstore	
  
6
Sample Demographics
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10
DETAILED SECONDARY RESEARCH
11
References
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B-CORP CERTIFICATION: A Marketing Research Study

  • 1.   B-CORP CERTIFICATION: A MARKETING RESEARCH STUDY (Busboys & Poets, Washington, D.C.)           BY,  LAUREN  ZAHRINGER     SUBMITED  SPRING  2011   MARYMOUNT  MANHATTAN  COLLEGE    
  • 2. 1 Table of Contents 1. Managerial Summary…………………………………………………................................... Pg. 2 2. Statement of Research Purpose and Objective………………………………………….. Pg. 2 3. Research Design and Methodology………………………………………………………... Pg. 2 3.1 Questionnaire Design………………………………………………………………………...... Pg. 2 3.2 Sampling Plan………………………………………………………………………………….. Pg. 3 3.3 Data Collection and Data Entry……………………………………………………………… Pg. 3 4. Analysis Results………………………………………………………………………………. Pg.3 5. Recommendations……………………………………………………………………………. Pg.3-4 6. Tables and Figures…………………………………………………………………………… Pg. 5-6 7. Appendices…………………………………………………………………………………….. Pg. 6-9 7.1 Questionnaire............................................................................................................................... Pg.6-7 7.2 Codebook……………………………………………………………………………………….. *Attached 7.3 Hypotheses and Operational Definitions …………………………………………………… Pg. 8 7.4 Detailed Secondary Research………………………………………………………………… Pg. 9
  • 3. 2 1. Managerial Summary The main topic of this research is the affect of a businesses marketing mix on customer loyalty. For a business a successful marketing mix creates customer interest in goods or services, builds strong customer relationships, and creates value for their customers and for themselves. This project will explore whether being a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) adds value to a business’s marketing mix, specifically researching the B Corp certification’s impact for a local coffee shop, addressing whether it creates value, satisfaction, or loyalty for the coffee shop’s customers. B Corps are less a legal entity (Archibald, 2007), such as a C Corporation or an S Corporation, but more so a certification of particular business practices and activities that are socially and environmentally beneficial. In a sense a B Corp certification is for sustainable businesses what LEED is for green buildings. According to the B Corp website, a B Corp certification enhances and adds value to a business by the business being recognized as a leader, and by differentiating the business’s commitments via a third party certification. But at the consumer level, just how powerful is a B Corp certification? Does having a B Corp certification enhance a business’s marketing mix by solidifying a commitment to social causes and in turn increase customer loyalty? If a business enhances a community and is committed to sustainable practices without a B Corp certification, will customer loyalty and brand value increase upon gaining a B Corp certification? This research study will examine Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant and coffee shop in Washington, DC that is a certified B Corp. Specifically the question driving this research is: Does the B Corp certification increase Busboys and Poets’ customer loyalty, and perception of brand value? An analysis of the data collected is unable to provide statistical significance for observed results regarding the aforementioned objective. Most likely the error in the data collection is a result of a too small sample size. Nevertheless, this research was able to bring to the attention of respondents information they were unaware of, such as Busboys and Poets’ B Corp certification and what it means, as well as thinking about business’ role in addressing climate change, and being accountable to all stakeholders. As a place for ideas, and conversations, inspiring interaction regarding these ideas was beneficial, and potentially increased customer awareness. 2. Statement of Research Purpose and Objective There are two main objectives for this study. The first is to find out if Busboys and Poet’s tangible B Corp features, fair-trade market, space for community events, and independent bookshop within restaurant, are a factor in customers’ decision to come to restaurant. The second objective is to learn about Busboys and Poet’s actual market, on the terms of demographics, and opinions relevant to themes of sustainable development. A survey will be administered to a random sample of one hundred customers in order to collect data for analysis and fulfill research objectives. Objective 1 Measure the factors in customers’ choice to go to Busboys and Poets. Objective 2 Measure customers’ opinions regarding Business’ relationship to society. 3. Research Design and Methodology 3.1 Questionnaire Design The questionnaire was designed to ensure accuracy, and effectiveness in collecting the necessary data to test the research hypotheses. Questions were created on the basis of operational definitions of hypotheses. Data for this descriptive research was collected with closed response questions in the form of likert scales, and multiple-choice questions.
  • 4. 3 3.2 Sampling Plan To ensure that the sample is random, all customers of busboys and poet’s will have equal opportunity to participate in survey. A sample of 100 customers will be taken. The data collection will occur onsite at the Busboys and Poets 14th Street location in Washington, DC. 3.2 Data Collection and Entry The researcher will distribute surveys to customers at the restaurant who will complete the survey on the spot. The researcher will ask respondents if they are interested in filling out the survey. If respondents are interested and wish to participate on their own will, they will be given the survey. At this point the researcher will leave the immediate area, so as to ensure for the survey taker’s relaxed and natural state of mind that is free from pressure. The researcher will return after a few minutes to collect the completed surveys. 4. Analysis Results 4.1 Research Question 1 Question 1 Do customers of Busboys and Poets go to Busboys because of the tangible features of its fulfillment to its B Corporation Status? Operational Definition Customers come to Busboys and Poets because of factors attributable to B-corp certification. When asked to respond to the prompt “I come to busboys and poets because I like…” a 60% majority of respondents will indicate one or more of the three B Corp factors included in the answer options. It is expected that a majority will indicate one or more of the factors as a reason for why they go to Busboys and Poets on the basis of its popularity, and owner opinion. Hypotheses H0: Q7E + Q7G + Q7H ≥ 1 HA: Q7E + Q7G + Q7H < 1 Result 66% of respondents indicated that one or more B Corp factors were a reason for why they come to Busboys and Poets. Statistical Significance Are the above results indicative of Busboys and Poets customer population, or did observed results occur as a result of chance? a chi-square test was used to test for statistical significance. The results of the chi-square test were Test Statistics BCORP Chi-square 14.448a df 2 Asymp. Sig. .001 a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 22.3.
  • 5. 4 With 2 degrees of freedom at the .01 significance level the chi-square table value is 9.21034. Since the calculated chi-square is greater than the value in the table, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that the predictions made were incorrect, and this observed result is not statistically significant to make any conclusions for the population. 4.2 Research Question 2 Question 2 Do customers of Busboys and Poets wants Businesses to be socially and environmentally responsible? Operational Definition The expected response is that customers do want businesses to be environmentally and socially responsible. Customers are already present at a business that is such, and therefore, it is expected that they have considered this idea before. When asked to indicate agreement with the statement “I want businesses to be socially and environmentally responsible” on a scale of 1-5, a 60% majority will respond 4 or higher. Hypotheses Test H0 : Q11 > 3 HA : Q11≤ 3 Result 97% of respondents indicated agreement on scale of 1-5, of 4 or higher. Statistical Significance Since this is a hypothesis of frequencies, a chi-square test is used to test for statistical significance of the observation. Test Statistics want businesses to be socially and environmentally responsible at a local level Chi-square 17.330a df 1 Asymp. Sig. .000 a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 48.5. With 1 degree of freedom at the .01 significance level the chi-square table value is 6.63. Since the calculated chi-square is greater than the value in the table, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that the predictions made were incorrect, and this observed result is not statistically significant to make any conclusions for the population.
  • 6. 5 5. Recommendations Most likely do to insufficient sample size, it is not possible to confirm that Busboys and Poets have seen a return on their investment in their certified Benefit Corporation status at the consumer level regarding customer loyalty. However, factors to be considered are the newness of the Benefit Corporation status, general lack of customer awareness, and the relatively recent growth in societal awareness, regarding climate change, and consumers’ awareness of knowing their ability to influence and address climate change through their customer choices. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the objectives of this research be considered again in the future, with a larger sample, of 200 customers. 6. Tables and Figures 31%   21%   48%   Percentage  of  Customers  who  Indicated  each  of  the   following  three  b  corp  attributable  factors  as  a  reason   for  why  they  go  to  busboys     Community  Event   Fairtrade  Market   Bookstore  
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