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5 brands who prove every business can matter in 2019 👊🧠❤️

5 brands who prove every business can matter in 2019 👊🧠❤️

As we approach the half way point to the year (and the next Build A Brand Movement event), we’ve been reflecting on the number of times we hear people say “we don’t really stand for something” or “we’re just a commodity, not a brand”.

So, we thought it would be nice to shine a light on 5 totally different companies who are absolutely smashing it when it comes to building brands that matter. If it’s anything to takeaway, it’s that no matter how big or small your company is and no matter what you sell, you can build a company your audience cares about.

1. You can stand for something, no matter what you sell: Velux

If Velux can do it, you can to.

If Velux can do it, you can to.

On the face of it, this is a company that sells windows. However, for more than 75 years, Velux has been dedicated to improving people’s quality of life by helping to ensure homes and workplaces can get enough light and fresh air through their skylights. Nothing highlights this better than their most recent campaign “The Indoor Generation” in which Velux created a platform to raise awareness of the fact we spend 90% of our time indoors, yet a lack of sunlight and fresh air can have  a serious impact on ones wellbeing. What we love about the platform is how useful it is, with lots of information to explain the dangers of being indoors for too long and ultimately what everyday things we can all do to improve this issue. So for those businesses out there who just think they sell a boring product, if Velux can do stand for something, you can too! 

2. You should provide value in everything you do: Patch Plants

Patch think about how to provide value at every stage of your journey with them.

Patch think about how to provide value at every stage of your journey with them.

Patch are on a mission to bring the restorative powers of plants to a new generation, selling plants to a younger audience who know little about the world of gardening, but are interested in bringing plants into their homes and offices for the first time. What we love most of all about these guys is how much care they have taken to ensure the customer experience is as close to their mission as possible. From creating easy to understand how-to video tutorials, ensuring the quality of your delivery matches that of the plants (they’re known for how friendly their delivery drivers are!) and even having Plant Doctors on tap to answer all your questions once you get your plant, they have really taken the time to consider how they can be as useful as possible to their customers.

3. Purpose led advertising isn’t just about changing the world: Brewdog

Brewdog is one of the fastest growing craft beer brands in the country and want to make people as passionate about great craft beer as they are. So how do they combat the fact that only 14% of the country have discovered craft beer? Well, they believe “radical transparency” is one of the ways to do so. Whether that’s giving away the recipes for all their 300 beers, ensuring accounts are fully transparent or future plans are made publicly available. However, their latest campaign is AMAZING! In an industry where a "tsunami of mass-produced, industrial lager brands monopolise advertising space”, they came up with this ingenious number to disrupt your newsfeeds…self aware, completely honest and frankly one of the best ways to showcase your values kudos to their whole team on this one!

4. Make your shopfront stand for something: The Body Shop

Use all the touchpoints you have to connect with your audience.

Use all the touchpoints you have to connect with your audience.

For those of you who were there in 2018 at our Build A Brand Movement event, we heard first hand from Maeve Atkins all about how The Body Shop have been standing for more than the products they sell since their inception. However, since being acquired by Natura, they’ve been able to reassess how they fuse their brand purpose more seamlessly into the entire user experience. Which is why they are now using their stores more like hubs for their campaigning and lobbying. They’re also up-skilling teams to run local activism projects. What we love here is how this isn’t just a smart marketing strategy, it makes total business sense- essentially empowering staff and turning a traditional point of purchase shops into an experiential hub to encourage brand loyalty and drive new sales in the process.

5. Leverage your expertise for good: Sky

Sky use their global reach and audience attention for good.

Sky use their global reach and audience attention for good.

I have to admit, it was only when we learnt about the work Sky does behind the scenes, that we started appreciating how much the brand is trying to make an impact by leveraging their power for good. The campaign that highlights this the most is Sky Ocean Rescue- Sky’s aim to use it’s mass market reach to shine a spotlight on the issues affecting ocean health, find innovative solutions to the problem of ocean plastics, and inspire people to make small everyday changes that collectively make a huge difference. And before I hear you say “that’s just corporate PR bullsh*t”, Sky actually have a strong history of using their reach to take the lead on environmental issues. Ten years ago, they became the world’s first carbon neutral media company and with Sky Rainforest Rescue, they raised more than £9million to save the rainforests, helping to keep 1 billion trees standing in Acre, Brazil.

Finally…

Hope that’s given you some inspiration for what’s in store for your brand this year. If you want to learn more about how to create the brand your audience will love, check out whether there are still tickets to our next Build A Brand Movement and hope to see you there.

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!