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Build A Brand Movement: The Body Shop, Hiyacar, Crowdcube... The Round Up

Build A Brand Movement: The Body Shop, Hiyacar, Crowdcube... The Round Up

It’s been a whirlwind year for us at Mattr, helping our brand partners build authenticity and purpose through the power of film whilst creating our own platform all around how to get people to actually care about your brand.

That, of course, includes three epic Build a Brand Movement events, last week’s being the final one in 2018, with amazing lessons from Maeve Atkins, Global Corporate Comms Manager at The BodyShop, Patrick Ryan, Senior Equity Fundraising Manager at Crowdcube, and Sarah Kilmartin, CMO at new tech start-up Hiyacar. We had a whale with these three, and would just like to thank everyone who made it for such an insightful evening!

 What a night it was…

What a night it was…

For those who didn’t attend (boo), the below summarise all the important things we learned from them. If you like what you read, we hope you’ll join us in 2019 when we start it all up again!

  1. Get your people thinking: ‘how can I help?’

  “We campaign on serious topics, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously” - Maeve quoting The Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick

“We campaign on serious topics, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously” - Maeve quoting The Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick

Maeve was our heritage brand representative for the evening. Leading the #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting cause for The Body Shop, she taught us all about how to successfully create a cause-led marketing campaign that wins the hearts and minds of all stakeholders, staff and customers.

The Body Shop had been campaigning for 30 years on animal rights, but the 2017 campaign was the first time the entire business attempted to get both staff and customers to rally behind a cause (namely, to ban the international use of animal testing in cosmetics globally).

So how did they do it? Ultimately by getting people to understand and really care about the cause and showcase that what The Body Shop stood for was far more than ethically sourced products. To do this, The Body Shop doubled down on educating their staff at all levels about why it was so important to The Body Shop as a brand. The result? Huge amounts of internal advocacy not only boosted morale, but created another layer of word of mouth communication in stores and online when it came to convincing consumers to get involved. Oh and 8.3m signatures on a worldwide petition...no biggy.

TAKE AWAY: Cause-led marketing starts from within.

2. Let your customers help shape your brand

   “Word of mouth is the most powerful way to get your brand out there” - Patrick Ryan

“Word of mouth is the most powerful way to get your brand out there” - Patrick Ryan

Crowdcube’s main purpose is to democratise equity fundraising. It is now the biggest equity crowdfunding business in the world, and as Senior Equity Fundraising Manager, Patrick sees first hand the power of creating advocacy out of your customer base.

For Patrick, the key is to take the time to really consider how to make people feel like they are a genuine part of your community, that they belong to your “tribe”. That all comes from figuring out what your purpose is, why it’s relevant to your audience and how you to action your purpose so that they believe that what you stand for goes way beyond your product offering.

And it seems that this sentiment is shared by some of the platforms most successful fundraising partners. Monzo, after raising via Crowdcube sent out “investor” personalised debit cards to all the people who invested with them. Crowdcube uses their investors to help them hire new team members. Simple, cost-effective, but something that he explained highlights how brands don’t just see the monetary value in their crowdfunding investors, but the social value as well. It impacts the bottom line in the long run, not just the short term.

And finally, Patrick explained that whilst most people think the investment is a rational decision, particularly with such early-stage businesses as those on Crowdcube, it’s as much about your story and vision...it’s about buying into what you stand for.


TAKE AWAY: it’s all about the personal touch and making people feel they belong.


3. Think outside the practicality box

   “We’re in a generational move from less materialistic to more experiential ownership” - Sarah Kilmartin

“We’re in a generational move from less materialistic to more experiential ownership” - Sarah Kilmartin

Sarah Kilmartin has a favourite phrase she uses to describe the founders of her company Hiyacar, perfectly reflecting their mission. She describes them as “practical revolutionaries” because they aren’t trying to save the planet (although that’s a nice bonus), instead, they’re simply trying to change the way people think about and use their cars.

They’re doing this by getting people to understand they can turn their expensive vehicles from liabilities (your car sits in your drive for 95% of the year!) into assets, using money as a motive to share it with your neighbours and the wider community. Their priorities focus on this connectivity between communities first, moving away from the idea of being another disenfranchised car hire company.

There are many things Hiyacar are doing to live and breathe this value of community. From a communication perspective, Sarah explained that whilst competitors are focusing on expensive TV ads and print campaigns, Hiyacar is sponsoring a Christmas tree, supporting local choirs. When it comes to product research, Hiyacar literally goes around door knocking, meeting the users of the product to learn how they feel when they share cars with each other. However, the most interesting thing she mentioned was how business plans have been built and changed based on the value of community. As she said, they could follow the likes of Zipcar and create fleets of their own cars, but this would defeat the purpose of their mission- creating better communities.

TAKE AWAY: always go back to your values when making a decision, no matter how big or small.

4. Ensure you approach your communications honestly

 Look how happy they were at the event…honestly :)

Look how happy they were at the event…honestly :)

A common factor which all our speakers spoke about was the importance of communicating honestly. Their thoughts all aligned along the same trajectory - the way to get people behind a mission is to eliminate any fancy brand language and go along the lines of promoting personal purpose instead.

For Sarah, this meant changing all brand maxims and statements released to omit the words “car hire”, because their identity doesn’t relate to a car hire company, it’s a community-based service. People are what make the service as reliable as it is, so why shouldn’t their comms revolve around personal stories from users, as well as the cute community moments that entice more people to use it?

At Crowdcube, making sure that all investors could connect with business founders and feel a sense of power in the future of a company was paramount to the success of their product. Giving money to someone can be seen as an act of self-satisfaction, but maintaining a level of equal and honest engagement is important for any investment. Being constantly in communication with investors is why Crowdcube has raised over £150m in 2018 alone.

And finally, for Maeve, continuously reviewing their products and ensuring they match up to their ethical values is paramount to what they communicate. Most cosmetic companies have come under scrutiny for false activism, so real storytelling about that ethically sourced produce is central to everyone in the business, from shareholders to farmers, helps build that trust with staff and customers.


To summarise…

To build a brand people care about, you need to tap into their sense of being part of something bigger than themselves.  Whether it’s engaging your staff to build internal advocacy, creating personal touches to make people feel like they own a part of your brand story, or basing entire business decisions around your mission and what’s best for the customer, the key is to action what you stand for in everything you do. We hope to see you at the next Build A Brand Movement soon!

 You could be at our next event, make sure to book your tickets!

You could be at our next event, make sure to book your tickets!

3 challenger brands who are smashing their "why"

3 challenger brands who are smashing their "why"

We live in a world now where asking why has become second nature. Why should I vote for this, why should I pay for this or why should I pay attention to this?

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And guess what, as a brand guardian, you need to be able to have an answer to these questions! Not only do purpose driven brands outperform the stock market by 206% (Havas) but a study of 1000’s of CEOs showed that 88% of them believe that a business must have a clear purpose beyond profit to attract the next generation of talent (Cranfield School of Management). Nuts and bolts, ensuring you stand for something as a brand is’nt just vital for thriving, but it’s become necessary for surviving.

So, the natural question… how do you do this? Well, at our last ‘Build a Brand Movement’ event, we heard from 3 brand leaders who seem to have figured it out. Karma Cola are tackling the globally expansive fairtrade problem by building social issues into their business strategy, Eve Mattress are looking at advertising communication beyond selling their mattress products to enable people to have “the perfect start” and finally, Lynx literally turned it’s entire business around from their social ashes to become a phoenix of male empowerment.

You can check out what each of them spoke about HERE. But for some absolute nuggets of inspiration, let’s sum up for you the key takeaways:

KARMA COLA: “If it looks good, it tastes good and it does good, people will love it”

Simon Coley is founder of beverage disruptor Karma Cola. He explained that it was the discovery that there is actually no cola in traditional cola soft drinks that prompted him to create a fairtrade, community driven cola brand. The company literally bring good karma to every step of the production cycle- from  the producers, farmers, environment and of course the consumers get something out of it too. Whilst it’s elegant design and delicious taste goes some way to explaining their success, Simon puts a lot of their rise to fame simply down to the power of their storytelling...they can hand on heart explain what goes into their products to their customers and because these products are literally building bridges in Africa and helping farmers daughters go to school, these emotive stories are the things that are convincing people to spend money with them. And guess what? Because of how well received the brand story, Karma Cola is now growing the family to a whole range of other soft drink (see full presentation HERE).

 Simon     taking us through how Karma reinvests it’s profits back into the communities who help make the drink

Simon taking us through how Karma reinvests it’s profits back into the communities who help make the drink

EVE MATTRESS “Your why is your north star, you should always come back to it”

  • Kuba Wieczorek, CMO and co-founder of Eve Mattress believes that a brand has to be honest in their marketing, because without this approach customers simply will not trust the message you’re trying to relay. Having a brand purpose is integral to this, because it gives you the chance to reflect on whether what you are communicating truly feels like it’s coming from your brand. And whilst TVC’s, Out Of Home campaigns and online content creates fantastic awareness, Kuba gave us some amazingly simple examples of how Eve Mattress do this with their purpose “everyone deserves the perfect start”, from putting on free wellness retreats for the general public to helping talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds have full time jobs with the company (see full presentation HERE).

 Kuba     passionately discussing what it means to be honest

Kuba passionately discussing what it means to be honest

LYNX “Pain makes you move”

  • Fernando Desouches, ex Global Brand Director at Lynx explained how the brand discovered it’s purpose only by hitting rock bottom. Having spent years as a trusted brand amongst young men, Lynx lost sight of the changing attitudes towards sex, particularly amongst younger generations who were turning away from their quite dated ads which suggested you could win the hearts of beautiful women by wearing their product. It was only by losing meaning to their target market and millions of dollars in the process, that Lynx starting enquiring what they meant to the modern man. Research into beliefs, social commentaries, surveys and focus groups led to an understanding that “masculinity is a reflection of what society considers masculine”.  The conclusion? Lynx realised that if it empowered every young man realise they are the ones who decide what being a “man” is defined as, it would become central to this very conversation. ”Become the best versions of yourself” became their new mission statement and by focusing all internal and external communications around this, the brand not only saw incredible reaction by consumers but a huge uplift in sales (see full presentation HERE).

 Fernando explaining his personal journey of what it means to be a man in todays world

Fernando explaining his personal journey of what it means to be a man in todays world

Conculsions

So what can we take away from these stories to help you create answers when your audiences start asking “why” about your brand? Well, firstly, to be relevant to your audience you need to start from within. Ask yourself what is the problem you are really solving and what does your audience truly care about? Secondly, it’s all well and good having a fancy mission statement, but how can you live and breathe what you stand for? Whether it’s donating back to society or simply having principals in the way you work as a business, bringing staff to customers together around something that feels honest and true to who you are is vital. And lastly, always speak honestly. People have never liked being sold to, but even more so in today’s world. If you can connect authentic stories that you’re champinoning with your brand mission, you’re onto a winner.

Thanks for reading. if you liked the article, you’ll love our events. And lucky for you the next one isn’t too far away (November 7th) so be sure to book your free ticket HERE.

 You could be at our next event, book your tickets quickly!

You could be at our next event, book your tickets quickly!

Purpose is more than a statement: How brands need to act in 2018.

Purpose is more than a statement: How brands need to act in 2018.

For so long now, advertising agencies’ solution to selling brands has been to create a one sided communication with a heavy media spend behind it and expect that a customer will buy into the brand. But according to the results of the Havas’s 2017 meaningful brand report, over half of the world’s brands aren’t trusted and customers claim they wouldn't care if 74% of their brands disappeared completely. Scary right?

But don't panic just yet. Our evaluation is, you need to lead with purpose. Yes, I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard that buzzword being throw about but the truth is to stay relevant and trusted in today’s world brands need to start walking the walk as well as talking the talk. 

Brands need to find a way to live and breathe their values and integrate that into their both internal culture and through their customer journey. Every touch point you have with your audience should be an opportunity to communicate why your existence matters and enable them to actively participate with your brand. Brands that fail to do so run the risk of falling behind or worse still burning out. 

 

The Cultural Shift

Brands are failing to emotionally engage: The statistics from the Havas report highlight just how disposable brands are becoming and with the combination of businesses not having a clear mission or fulfilling their promises there’s no surprise we’re seeing such alarming results. In the Drum’s brand engagement research last year they found that 78% of people feel brands never emotionally connect with them. It appears to rush to create quantity over quality content, has led to brands failing to focus on their true values which has consequently led to failure to connect. And with Facebook and Google now changing their algorithms to favour “valuable content” there has never been a more important a time to communicate why your brand is irreplaceable.

We’re living through a movement era: Whether it was down to Trump, leaving the EU or the rise in sexual harassment complaints, the consumer mindset has never been so passionate about change. In fact, Fast Company released research that showed for 61% of millennials, it’s their goal to make change in the world. Change of course doesn’t have to be socially or politically driven, brands that provide an opportunity for customers to participate in something bigger than themselves will be the brands that form long standing communities.

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It’s not just external purpose, it’s internal too: It doesn't stop with customers, employment expectations continue to show that your staff want more than money, they want a purpose. According to Kin&Co’s latest report How to avoid fucking up purpose their research showed that over two-thirds of workers said having a purpose that was properly embedded into their culture would have a positive impact on their work; including being more productive, more efficient and more likely to contribute to the company culture. And unsurprisingly 72% said they’d be more likely to stay at their company if they were more emotionally connected to their work. So not only is there a want for businesses to reflect the values of their staff, but there are results to show it does actually improve work place productivity.  As Simon Sinek states, businesses who live and breathe their vision will be the ones that don't just give employees something to work on but something to work towards

 

The early adopters

It’s started with 'Think Different….'

Don’t worry, I’m not going to create a case study article about the success of Apple because lets face it you’d have to be hidden under a rock to have missed that empire evolve. But the one thing we will highlight is there has never been a minute of doubt of what they stand for. Their consistent reinforcement of 'Think Different' has always been apparent in everything they do, making it both unavoidable and a definitive staple of Apple’s brand. From their emotive TV communications right through to their in-store Apple geeks, their beliefs have remained true throughout their evolution and is a case study to purpose led brand success.

Brands that we see echoing this are Dove with their Real Beauty mission, AirBnB’s Belong Everywhere and newer brands like Toms and Karma Cola who integrate their purpose into all areas of the business. Take the Toms 'One for One' movement, their mission to help people in need didn't just depend on customer purchasing and barefoot selfies, it was embedded in their internal culture too. As part of their Tomorrows Project program, every month employees are invited to submit ideas for a charitable project that inspires them. The company then votes and the person with the winning idea receives $10,000 and two days off work to make it happen. Pretty amazing right? The program encapsulates both what the brand stands for and what they are working towards.

And it’s not just B2C brands that have establishing discovered their purpose leads business success, B2B brands like E&Y have put a strong focus on “building a better working world” by providing industry leading research, thought leadership events and tailored training to improve workplace performances. Whilst instant messaging software Slack is a testament that when you define your brand as an enabler to bringing a workforce together, you can turn a tool that has been available for years and that sits in a heavily saturated market into a multi-billion pound company and an everyday essential to all industries. 

All examples have very different agendas but their passion for achieving their vision is consistent and more importantly accessible. Creating a strong product is key to all of these brands, but the difference in components these days, is providing an opportunity for people to take part in the brand passed purchase. The ability to identify and tap into the values and beliefs of an unformed movement is where brands will see the biggest opportunities in the future. 

 

Late bloomers

Even legacy brands with years of heritage need to find a way to stay relevant in today’s world. Take Hellmanns for example, despite being a market leader and having 100 years under their belt, their concern of being considered as the fatty condiment in the cupboard is what drove them to rediscover their purpose. Recognising their magic formula was real, simple ingredients they begun their “Real Food” movement - Hellmann’s commitment to helping Canadians discover the pleasure that comes from eating real food with simple ingredients. To do this, they created an Urban Gardens program to give Canadians a place to grow their own real food, developed the Real Food Grants program that helped fund over 40 real food initiatives across the country and used influencers to foster Hellmann’s brand advocacy inside the real food conversation. Through a mixture of education and interactive experiences the brand continues to champion real food initiatives across the country and change a longstanding perception of the brand. 

Proof it works

Does it work I hear you ask? Of course it does. According to Unilever, purpose driven brands are the driving force behind it’s success, reporting that its Sustainable Living brands grew over 50% faster than the rest of the business. And when Hellmann’s reviewed the success of its purpose-driven efforts, in addition to shifting consumer perception around mayonnaise, they saw a substantial and direct impact on sales of Hellmann’s in Canada. 

With research confirming that meaningful brands are outperforming the stock market by 206% over a ten-year period, it’s no surprise we’re seeing industry leaders like McVities and Cadbury reassessing their current positioning for a more purpose led perspective to re-engage with its audience in new times.

The time is now for brands to find what they truly stand for and focus more on how they can involve the customer along the way. 

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What’s next? 

The most important thing to remember is purpose is more than a statement. It’s something you genuinely believe in, identify with and action upon. 

So what do you need to do next? First things first, you go back to the drawing board and remind yourself, why you started. When you’ve identified this internally, you need to ensure that your purpose is going to resonate with your new or existing customers, there’s nothing worse than getting it terribly wrong (cue that Pepsi ad). Then, and arguably the most important part to the process you need plan the best way to communicate your vision to be relevant and authentic. 

And don’t just take our word for it we’re hosting our “Build a Brand Movement” event on the 7th of March at Camden Work.Life where we will be hearing first hand from Bacardi Global Brand Director Zeenah Vilcassim, Virgin Money Creative Director Tim Arthur and Founder of MyFreda Affi Parvizi-Wayne who are building brands with purpose. Book your free ticket here.

 

Stefanie Sword Williams, Senior Content Producer at Mattr.Media.