I Am a Force4Good
Blame it on the Millenials. We're all hearing a lot about corporate social responsibility these days. People don't just want to buy products made in ethically responsible ways…they also want to work for companies that do good in the world. It's happening at the biggest corporations and trickling down to small home businesses as well.
I am a Force4Good™ spans both, as it's a pretty well established company that's been featured on Wetv and NBC, but it's really a businesses for people who want to work for themselves out of their homes.
Just how socially responsible is this company, and just how good are their products and the businesses opportunity? I investigated and here's what I was able to put together.
They call themselves a “human-interest company.” That's sort of hinting at their corporate social responsibility (CSR) without really saying much. However, here are some facts about I am a Force4Good:
- they sell organic and natural skin care products
- their jewelry is handcrafted, not machine-produced
- they deal in Fair Trade Goods
- their goods come from social enterprise programs, sustainable organizations in the U.S., and small businesses (not huge corporations)
- they run a non-profit organization called “BEsSOLE”, which raises money (most recently) for Hurricane Sandy domestic violence shelters
Finally, something to bite into! OK, we're convinced, there's some CSR going on here. Some of the products are made by women in shelters, so they're providing jobs, too. The soaps are all made by women who have survived domestic violence. Plus, sometimes the founder, Brenda Schubach Kichnau, donates the soaps to kids in homeless shelters.
There are hints of “zen” and tribal bangles sprinkled throughout the product offerings, with the occasional lavender-scented beauty products, recycled fabric products, and vegan soaps. Get your Maine blueberries soap, your recycled silk elephant hand bags, and your eco friendly notebooks.
Are you getting the picture now?
The soaps seem to be the flagship products, since the Force4Good logo can be found on the label, and when you see press releases about the company, the founder Ms. Kichnau is usually pushing the soaps over any other group of products.
In general, the lineup of products seem to target the 20-40 female who indulges in a tribal-bohemian-earthy-yoga-inspired lifestyle. You can tell from the name of the company, of course. They connect their products to trendy far-flung corners of the globe like Asia. It's a tidy, imaginative marketing niche that seems to work for a lot of companies (so why not Force4Good?).
The Compensation Plan
Until May 2015, selling the I am a Force4Good products was only possible by obtaining a wholesaler login and selling them at your boutique. Starting May 1, however, Brenda Schubach announced the direct selling opportunity, which was launched June 6.
Those who join are called “account managers” and they sign up by registering to attend the webinars which are held every two months. These live webinars guide new account mangers through the philosophy of the I am a Force4Good brand. The webinars also serve as introductions to the product line, as well as give details on the compensation plan. At the moment, registering for a webinar is the only way to get details on the business opportunity.
I am a Force4Good seems to have an extraordinarily strong branding and vision system behind it. That's an excellent foundation upon which to build a great business. Ms. Kichnau has been peddling her wares for a while now, and also has some impressive business and charitable experience behind her (not just some MLM experience, either!). So far, I like everything they've presented about the company. It's a tight package so let's hope the opportunity pans out to measure up.