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Five things we learned about building a conscious brand

A reflection on discussions at Sustainability for Breakfast: Five Tenents of Conscious Brands

On the morning of February 27, 40 people gathered at Hotel Blackfoot for a hot breakfast and stimulating conversation on the opportunities and challenges of being a purpose-driven business.

Rob Sinclair is the founder of Conscious Brands, a consultancy that helps organizations reach a better tomorrow through catalyzing change in their business and their industry. Rob facilitated the discussion at Sustainability for Breakfast: Five Tenents of Conscious Brands.

This is what we learned from the event:

  1. Clarity: In his opening presentation, Rob referenced the Marie Forleo quote, “Clarity comes through engagement, not individual thought.” This proved to be an overarching theme for the morning’s activities, engaging entrepreneurs and community members in discussions on ‘enabling forces’ and ‘inhibiting forces’ in achieving social change as a business.
  2. Shared experiences: During the exercise, attendees categorized their own enabling and inhibiting forces along two graphs, which measured the strength of the respective forces against the ease of change. Several attendees remarked having similar triumphs and challenges to each other, regardless of industry or background.
  3. Inhibitions: Political conflicts, competitive prices, and fear of instability were among the most common inhibiting factors that guests presented.
  4. Enabling action: Relationships, community, belonging, and education were among the enabling factors found in the exercise. “We found that those who listen will become your brand,” said Dave Cree, co-founder of CMNGD – a laundry service that employs residents of the Drop-In Centre. “If you are able to educate them, they will more likely become a fan.”
  5. Can’t have one without the other: During the table discussions, Universal Access CEO Sean Crump found that “you need to have the enabling forces outweigh the inhibiting forces to create change. If you can convince a potential client that it’s worth the effort for them, it’s easier to sell them on it.”


  1. Stay tuned to Conscious Brands’ blog page for an in-depth analysis of the enabling and inhibiting factors brought forth at the event.
  2. Click here to learn more about Conscious Brands’ work.
  3. Register for the next Sustainability for Breakfast: Honouring International Women’s Day, on March 20 at River Café.