The Mustard & Moxie Mission
Marketing for a Better Tomorrow, Today
By Anna Boudinot
I founded Mustard & Moxie in 2020 when the United States seemed to be falling apart at the seams. Violence, racism, economic inequity, climate change disasters, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny – these were not new or novel problems by any means, but 2020 found me lying awake at night in despair. I felt powerless.
I was also in business school at the time, and I took a social impact elective where I learned there was an alternate view to shareholder theory. Whereas shareholder theory prioritizes maximum profits and returns for those who hold shares of a company’s stock, stakeholder theory states that a company can and should create value for shareholders and stakeholders. Stakeholders include everyone impacted by a company’s actions, from investors to employees to community members.
This theory left an impression on me, but it wasn’t until 2023 I knew I had to make a change. It was time to shift from a narrative-based, marketing-for-the-masses approach to one focused on working exclusively with organizations that do more than generate profits for shareholders.
Storytelling for Positive Social Impact
The initial idea behind Mustard & Moxie was to help businesses of all sizes uncover their unique stories, then use those stories to create connections with their audiences (e.g. customers and potential customers.) I have a long background in storytelling, so this element of marketing has always been thrilling to me. Yet, by the end of 2022, I was completely burned out. I had a hard time staying motivated, despite a deep desire to see the agency I was building succeed. I had said “yes” to almost every project that landed in my lap without fully evaluating whether the client was a good fit for Mustard & Moxie and vice versa. I had to take a hard look at what I wanted the mission of my company to be, and what legacy we were developing through the choices I was making.
When I focused on the clients and projects I loved the most, it clearly came down to those who were aiming to make a positive impact in the world. One of my favorites was a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) consulting firm that was unafraid to speak truth to power and ask their clients to make a concrete commitment to DEIA. Another was a community-based nonprofit that was supporting Latinx immigrants in a state whose government was (and is) making life harder for immigrants every day.
Something lit up in me when I had meetings with these clients: when they shared the stories of the people they were helping and the lives they were changing, it made me want to work even harder. With all of the terrible things happening in this country – I realized I could choose to work for good as a standard, rather than merely getting lucky with a handful of clients I took on. I realized I could help the helpers.
Helping the Helpers
In 2023, with the help of a team I’m honored to work with and colleagues whose advice has been invaluable, I pivoted Mustard & Moxie to fully serve nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. This means our clients are aligned with our core value: Working Toward Social Good. Our role is still to help our clients tell their stories, but we’re doing it with sustainable social impact and all the stakeholders in mind.
Are you a helper looking for, well, help? From data collection and analysis to compelling storytelling and branding strategies, Mustard & Moxie helps nonprofits and social enterprises fulfill their missions, reach their goals, and grow alongside their stakeholders. Let’s get the conversation started today!