Many companies offer more than one distinct brand of products or have separate business entities with different DBAs (Doing Business As) within their structure. This is usually the case when there are multiple legal entities with different trading names grouped together in one assessment, for example, under a parent-subsidiaries structure. However, same-name subsidiaries or single legal entities can also operate several business lines with distinct brands. In order to prevent consumer confusion on what is B Corp-certified, B Lab ensures the B Corp Intellectual Property (IP) is only used by companies and its related brands that meet the B Corp certification requirements independently.
To that end, B Lab has created a pathway – Brand Review – for brands that do not share the certifying entity’s name to use the B Corp IP independently. This allows companies to potentially market their B Corp status through channels such as packaging, websites, and other related communication across their portfolio of brands. The B Corp certification remains a company level certification, and not a product certification. Therefore, the use of the B Corp logo for individual brands is always linked to a company certification and its B Corp profile.
What does a Brand Review entail?
If a certifying company wishes to use the B Corp IP in its portfolio of brands, the company should communicate this to the Verification Analyst at the beginning of the Verification process and provide them with the desired list of brands.
At the end of the verification process, with the company’s final score confirmed, a Brand Review is conducted by the Verification Analyst for the brands requested by the company.
The analyst verifies whether the different-name brands meet the B Corp Certification requirements, which means that each brand should individually score 80 points or more on the B Impact Assessment (BIA).
The Brand Review results are communicated before the company’ certification is closed. It includes each brand’s individual score, including brands that might or might not use the B Corp IP independently and guidance regarding the B Corp IP usage.
When can companies request a Brand Review?
Companies with revenue below $1B are only eligible for brand reviews during the B Corp certification or (re) certification process. B Lab does not offer brand reviews to these companies in between the certification cycle.
$1B+ Companies: If a Certified B Corp with more than $1B in revenue wants to use the B Corp logo for newly launched brands, a new acquisition or a newly created subsidiary (with a different name from the Certified Parent) after certification, B Lab can perform a paid mid-cycle Brand Review to determine whether certification requirements are met independently. Please contact the B Lab Global Partner in your region for further information.
How is a Brand Review conducted?
For the Brand Review, B Lab calculates the company’s base score. This consists of Mission Lock + points from Operations questions + N/A points.
If the company’s base score is above 80 points, all brands and/or entities in the scope of the assessment meet B Lab’s Certification requirements automatically.
If this base score is below 80 points, the Verification Analyst will determine each brand’s BIA score by checking its qualification for each Impact Business Model (IBM) that the certifying company has earned, and calculating its participation in each IBM score. In this case, B Lab will need access to each brand’s financial figures in order to complete the process.
Standard Approach: Companies on the Small, Small-Medium and Medium Enterprise Approach
Companies can have up to 3 brand reviews (the certifying entity's name plus 2 additional different-name brands) completed as a part of their certification process/fee. Additional brand reviews have a fee. Each additional batch of 3 brands costs $500 USD. The fee structure is as follows:
Brands 1-3 is $0
4-6 brands are $500 total
Next 7-9 are an additional $500 total and so on
Large Enterprise & MNC Approach:
Brand review pricing is factored into the company’s verification fee. A company can request as many brand reviews as desired. Mid-cycle brand review pricing is available on request for $1B + revenue companies.
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