Featured

Lidl’s Middle Class Wine Drinkers

We were blown away with the scale of our campaign for Lidl. To drive trial into a more mainstream ‘middle-class’ demographic we used Lidl’s outstanding and previously unheralded wine selection to make newspapers and magazines reconsider quality and upmarket credentials. The story went viral appearing in all national newspapers, and rippling out into digital channels and international media.

Scientists find trigger molecule

We are delighted to play a small part in working with AbScent charity and leading scientists to announce the launch of their groundbreaking paper in Nature.

For the first time leading scientists identified the highly potent odour molecule that is common in many foods including coffee, onions and garlic and which is so troublesome for people experiencing parosmia.

It was fantastic to work with the Guardian’s science team to work exclusively on this story.

Nielsen Revealed Results of their UK-wide LGBTQ+

Inclusion in Advertising and Content Survey

Nielsen has revealed the results of a UK wide survey, conducted in collaboration with Dynata, into inclusivity in programming and advertising content, and the general media consumption of the LGBTQ+ community. 

10% of the LGBTQ+ community report they have been the recipient of an advertisement online based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Yet only 1 in 5 consider this approach as a positive experience for them.

The LGBTQ+ community therefore feels that brands are not targeting or delivering ads to them which are relevant to their individuality.

When it comes to inclusivity in the UK media, the majority of the LGBTQ+ community (63%) consider the media industry has improved in both their programming and advertising content in the last two years, but that there remains a lot of room for improvement.   

The LGBTQ+ community also made the following recommendations on how to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion:

  • Avoid stereotyping individuals (50%)
  • Be more authentic/realistic in depictions of LGBTQ+ people (44%)
  • Involve the LGBTQ+ community when visioning and creating advertising/programming (37%)

Generally, the LGBTQ+ community considers offline and more traditional media formats to be less inclusive. Nearly 1 in 5 described Radio Programmes, Newspapers and Magazines as the least inclusive channels for consuming programming content.

However, the LGBTQ+ community consumes more modern media channels, such as Social Media, On Demand Streaming Services, and Influencer Content, which were regarded as inclusive by 1 in 4 of the audience.  On Demand services came out the best with 68% of the community typically watching BBC iPlayer (ahead of Netflix) when they spend time watching TV on the internet, ahead of the total population.  And this community is 16% more likely than the general population to consume BBC iPlayer – so good news for the UK broadcast industry.

The LGBTQ+ community also tracks ahead of the total population with their use of Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) for the consumption of relevant TV series, films and documentaries.

When asked to rank the most inclusive advertising channels, social media advertising, Influencers and TV Advertising came out on top as the most inclusive.  According to the survey, while traditional channels like Newspapers, Radio, Cinema and Outdoor ranked low when it came to inclusivity, most likely due to the challenge of delivering broad ranges of content, and allowing for personalisation.

Through the survey, Nielsen identified specific verticals that deliver non inclusive advertising – with insurance, financial services and automotive companies being highlighted as able to do more for supporting this audience.  By comparision, fashion/clothing, beauty, travel and tourism sectors were seen as more inclusive.

Says Amanda Woodley, Head of Media Analytics and UK Pride Lead, Nielsen Business Resource Group: “It is encouraging to see that we are heading in the right direction with 63% agreeing inclusivity has improved over two years.  The purpose and consumption of some of the most recent and modern forms of media are more aligned with the requirements of the LGTBTQ+ community now.  

“However, the focus should also be placed on more traditional forms of offline media, to deliver more inclusive content.  The media, advertising and measurement industry needs to ensure people are at the center of everything we do and that advertising to the LGBTQ+ community should be more than just inclusive ads over pride month; let’s make inclusivity a priority all year round.”

The company considers it has an important role to play in helping show that diversity and inclusion is a global business imperative. In the UK, Nielsen Ad Intel is expanding its coverage in the Diversity and Inclusion sector, adding a number of media channels for reporting with the LGBTQ+ sector. Continues Amanda Woodley, “Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to everything we do at Nielsen, and this is just another step towards us living by our mantra of ‘Powering a better media future for all people’.”

Charity AbScent features in BBC news

The BBC team used the smell and taste loss charity, AbScent and its smell training workshops to illustrate the way in which Covid-10 negatively affects the brain, and what people might do to try and retrain their brains.

A new study has found that even mild cases of covid-19 can cause changes in the brain. Scientists from the University of Oxford looked at MRI scans taken before and after infection and found significant differences, including brain shrinkage and loss of grey matter, in the parts of the brain related to smell and memory. It’s not known whether the changes are permanent or will be reversed over time. Our Science Editor Rebecca Morelle has been looking at the research.
Producer – Alison Francis
Cameras – Duncan Stone/Martin Roberts
Film Editor – Duncan Stone

Guest blog: Chris Arnold on the importance of purpose in business

Is purpose really what the consumer is seeking?

The truth about purpose and performance, the dangers of ‘values disconnect’, multiple consumer personas and the what, why, who. 

Simon Sinek says that consumers don’t care WHAT you make but WHY you make it, it’s all about your ethos and values (your purpose). But is that true?

The answer is not a simple yes or no.

Today consumers are asking about HOW you make it. And there is a long list of ‘hows’ to follow – how you are reducing your negative impact upon society and the environment, how you are sourcing materials, how you treat workers and local communities and how you treat animals.

Meanwhile, shareholders are asking CEOs not just how much they make but how they make it. So the HOW is important. 

But do consumers really have time to interrogate all the brands they buy when the average person engages with over 250 brands (CONNECT2 research). Of course not.

When M&S launched their ‘look behind the label’ campaign they found consumers didn’t want to do the work, they expected M&S to do it. So they created the Plan A strategy – focusing on their values and ethos. If the consumer trusts the brand it doesn’t need to ask the HOW?

It is more convenient to just buy from brands that you trust to do the right thing because they share your values. That is the WHY. Why they do what they do.

It’s easy for start-ups to be built on eco or societal values but most established companies have become manufacturing or retailing machines with the sole purpose of making money. 

Does every brand need a purpose statement?

There’s a lot of talk about purpose and how every brand has to have a purpose statement. I disagree, as does the consumer. Not every brand needs to be about purpose because many simply are not.

There is nothing wrong with being just in the business of doing business, as long as you aren’t doing bad business. 

While I may care passionately about the values associated with my choice of tea, washing powder or meat, when it comes to nuts and bolts or staples, it’s not about ethics.

Fast fashion, for example, appeals to values that have little to do with ethics.

For many brands there is no natural purpose so they have to adopt one. In many ways that can be effective as it allows a brand to invest in doing good. For example, if a glue company adopts the purpose of ‘Sticking communities together’ and invests in community projects then that adds values to the business, even if they were not there before, that can be better than a start-up claiming to be an eco-ethical company.

So a brand has three options:

Avoid purpose all together

Find a natural purpose

Adopt a purpose

The big mistake many businesses have made is falling into the trap of jumping on another jargon-based bandwagon. It creates a tunnel vision that prevents a more holistic approach and distracts them from doing what we should really be doing.

As Mark Ritson said, “I find that 95% of what is written about purpose is utter bullsh*t!” 

Which begs the question how can purpose = performance? To do that, the ‘purpose’ has to be of value to the consumer.

So, what about the consumer?

In the rush to generate a purpose statement, the approach can be inward thinking. Too often CSR is dictating the message, which is fine for corporate PR, that is their lens, but CSR is not trained in thinking in a customer-centric way. This is why it is essential that marketing controls the messaging to consumers. That’s their lens.

And the key here is values alignment – seeking to align a brand’s values to those of the consumer. Note – not the other way around!

In seeking a purpose, many brands are self-defining the values they believe in (or want to be seen taking on) and then trying to sell them to consumers. But the fit doesn’t work and you end up with VALUES DISCONNECT. In short, you are failing to connect with consumers.

A good example is Net Zero – which has been described as “totally meaningless CSR eco-jargon” to consumers and, as most are 10 to 20 year targets, of no value what so ever. 

In a recent poll I did on a variety of Net Zero claims, students condemned the claims as being greenwash and lacking real commitment to the climate crisis. One citing 2040 as a target got the response – “We’ll all be extinct five years before that date.” Overall, it actually created a negative impact upon the brand and its green credentials.

Here the brand has failed to align its values with the consumers  VALUES DISCONNECT – and many brands suffer from it. 

The key here is to find out what your customers really values about your business and what values they expect of you. And it all starts with insights. 

A lot of research shows that when it comes to People vs Planet, people win. This is due to several factors – one is that many consumers feel that when it comes to the environment many brands have no choice but to do the right thing. Environment is more rational, but when it comes to people, that’s emotional. People relate to people.

Consumers also believe that brands give to charity because they get it all back in tax breaks, so don’t expect too many bonuses here.

What impresses consumers is when a brand does what they believe it doesn’t have to. Actions do speak louder than words.

Three types of conscientious consumers

I have divided consumers into three key types:

BRAND BELIEVERS want to know that your values and ethos, the WHY, align with theirs. (High brand trust = greater loyalty.) Example – M&S Plan A – you don’t have to focus on the HOW as you trust M&S to do good because you know WHY they do what they do.

BRAND INTERROGATORS want to know HOW you are reducing your negative impact upon society and the environment. (Seeking validation for choosing the brand.) Example – Sainsbury’s, who are very good at supplying consumers with relevant information.

BRAND BUYERS don’t care about the WHY or the HOW, just the WHAT – what does it cost, when can I get it? (Just into value not values.) Example – Boohoo, Primark.

This is not to say that a brand may be unethical or ethical, it’s a case of whether it’s relevant to their buying decision.

Of course every consumer wants to know WHAT you sell, is it relevant, good value and does it solve a problem? So Sinek is wrong on that one.

But to be able to answer both the HOW and WHY gives your brand a competitive advantage.

The influence of community

I have written a number of articles about the multiple buying persona – that any consumer can adopt different reasons and values when making a purchase.

Another key factor here is community. Almost all of us are influenced by our communities (and most people belong to at least six). We rarely buy in isolation but within the context of how others will judge us. 

71% of people say that community is a key factor in their lives (CONNECT2 Community Research).

A good example are eco-mums. Mums are influenced by the group ethos of buying products that reduce environmental impact. But a mum may also be influenced by another social group that seeks to support equality. 

The lesson here is to think beyond just the solus consumer and about the impact and influence of their social and community groups.

What, why, who, how?

In today’s climate, no one doubts now that doing good is good practice (check out my article on Power + Purpose) and that consumers are making decisions based on a brand’s ethical values (though not every consumer and not every purchase).

A recent YouGov survey claims that 52% of consumers are looking at the environmental credentials of brands they buy. They are also equally looking at the societal ones – people matter too. 

A news story about exploiting people has far more damage than an environmental one – Boohoo shares halved after the Leicester sweat shop scandal. KPMG research says that 71% of consumers will never ever buy a brand that puts profit before people.

So here is a more pragmatic and consumer centric way of looking at it.

WHAT do you make/do/sell? 
What does the customer want? What is the relevance of your product/service to them? What is the benefit? For example:
– A solution to a problem? 
– Convenience? 
– Makes life better? 
– An essential need like food, safety, shelter..? (See Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)
– Indulgence?
– Self image?

(Most of these are functional until you get into indulgence or self-image when people buy brands to reinforce their social status.)

WHY do you do what you do? 
What drives you? What is your ethos, culture, your driving values? This is where ‘purpose’ sits.

WHO are you talking to? 
Who are your customers? How much do you know about them? Especially their needs and values. It’s essential to assume nothing and gain real insights. What values they align with may surprise you? It’s all about values alignment not values disconnect.

HOW do you make/source materials and labour? 
How ethical is your supply chain? How are you minimising your negative impact upon people and planet? This is not just key to consumers but retailers too. And it’s a tough one. 

BrewDog, one of the most successful breweries of recent years, has been famous for PR gimmicks but now claims to be the only brewery that has a negative carbon footprint – good PR or great CSR? Either way it scored highly with consumers in a recent YouGov research.

Conclusions

So is Sinek right or wrong? Yes, we care about the WHY but he forgot the HOW? But he’s certainly right that it’s all about values.

A purpose statement is just a statement, actions speaker louder than words, and aligning a brand’s values with the consumers is the key to delivering performance. 

And understanding consumers is the responsibility of marketing, not CSR.

Chris Arnold is a Doctor of Business, co-founder of CONNECT 2, the UK’s leading business to community engagement marketing agency and a specialist in communal economics. To read more of his thoughts and insights, click here.

Four social media trends to watch in 2022

Social media will continue to grow in popularity and reach in 2022. With an ever-changing landscape and new trends emerging all the time, we tell you everything you need to know about this year’s biggest trends.

1. Video continues to shine

Video content will continue to boom, with all of the major social channels pushing this more interactive form of content in 2022. Video keeps users attention for longer than text- or image-based posts, which is why all of the social channels prioritise it. Video is incredibly inclusive, attracting audiences of all ages and interests. You only have to look at the global success of TikTok and Instagram Reels to know that you should be embracing the power of video this year.

2. Brands become human

Today more than ever, it’s important for brands to appear transparent, genuine and wholly committed to sticking to their mission statement and corporate promises. Leaders are increasingly stepping up to be seen, leveraging their social presence as an extension of the brand. Customers want to be shown by brands that they’re being true to their brand values and delivering on them every step of the way. Brands that do this effectively will gain more customers who will ultimately have stronger brand loyalty.

3. Short-form content is king

As humans are now said to have shorter attention spans than a goldfish (humans 8 seconds, goldfish 9 seconds), it’s imperative that content connects quickly. We are bombarded with data, content and marketing messages all day, every day, so it’s crucial that your content stands out in 2022. That means short-form, easily digestible videos and text that instantly connect with consumers. Try to keep any video content to under a minute and copy on social media posts short and to the point with a clear call to action.

4. Social commerce goes big

Social media and shopping – a match made in heaven? Well, it certainly looks that way. As social media continues to grow, so do the opportunities for brands to sell to an engaged, targeted audience of online users. When you allow people to shop via your social media channels, they’re more likely to stay on the platform for longer and generate more sales revenue for your business. Just look at TikTok; products advertised via the platform can sell out in days, particularly when linked to a digital influencer. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are also creating new ways for customers to shop. That includes things like virtual showrooms and clever filters that show shoppers what products look like on them. Embrace this trend in 2022 and watch sales soar.

Five marketing trends for 2022

Once you have your purpose and identity cracked there are 5 things that every brand should have in their output for 2022. Here’s what we’ll be implementing in 2022…

1. Email marketing

Gone are the days of sending out blanket emails to customers. 2022 will see the emergence of hyper-segmentation of your subscriber database and increased email personalisation. Dynamic, interactive email content will be the key to engaging customers who are looking for more targeted communications this year.

Email marketing is crucial to the overall success of any company and as email allows much of the process to be automated, it’s a great tool for companies to use. For relatively minimal effort (compared to creating video content, for example) email allows consistent communication between brands and consumers.

It’s easy to personalise both the content and frequency of email communications. Plus, it’s private and highly visible, which is good for customers. However, remember it’s crucial that content is well-crafted, engaging, contains clear calls to action and communicates key brand messages effectively.

2. Video content

Marketeers will no doubt be aware of the new dawn of video content and the absolute power it holds. Social media channels such as Tik Tok and YouTube are trailblazers when it comes to the format. Customer engagement, content and interest continues to grown exponentially and shows no sign of slowing this year.

In 2022, short form video content will become the cornerstone of all marketing campaigns for companies. Social media and streaming TV platforms will introduce new advertising products that emphasise video.

Customers will also see the format emerge in the retail world with innovative new video content used to grab their attention and drive sales and revenue. Every marketing manager should be looking at how they can improve their company’s video output this year.

3. Direct mail

With more and more people trying to escape the digital white noise, a return to direct mail is on the cards. Savvy businesses are rediscovering the power of connecting with customers through the post box.

People are bombarded with digital messaging all day, every day, that’s why direct mail can break through in an authentic, nostalgic and tangible way. It’s also a highly targeted strategy based on location and demographic profile.

Integrated campaigns give businesses the opportunity to reach customers on a more personal level. One interesting trend is the use of postcards, a simple format that maximises ROI. Lightweight and visually appealing, they stand out in the post box. Good news for marketeers.

4. Podcasts

Love them or hate them, podcasts are here to stay. In fact, experts predict they’re going to become even bigger in 2022.

Companies can embrace the popularity of podcasts by creating their own, which will help elevate the brand position and communicate key messages to consumers. Or they can work with other guests and influencers to reach new audiences.

Podcasts are an excellent way to connect with audiences in a completely different way and add another channel to a company’s marketing strategy.

5. Livestreaming

According to figures, watch time for live content is up 250%. A rising marketing trend and highly effective format, livestreaming is a great way for brands to authentically showcase their personality and values.

It helps consumers connect with a brand and some of the people behind it. It also helps people feel more comfortable with making a purchase and recommending it to friends.

As clickable links can be shared on livestreams, customers can make a direct purchase then and there, which can help improve online sales. This type of social commerce will continue to gain momentum in 2022. Are you ready to embrace it?

How a Yorkshire food importer is navigating a perfect storm

Positioning experts in the news agenda

It has been fascinating working with Eurostar Commodities to leverage their years of expertise as global food importers to position them as commentators in the current news agenda.

Clients are often experts in their fields and we’ve found that once you start seizing opportunities and saying yes you can create a media-positive environment. When a company understands how the media operates and starts to think about their business in terms of stories then you are able to produce news hooks that may have otherwise have been overlooked.

And we don’t mean silly stories and crazy stunts and ideas, we mean that you need to understand the news agenda and consider how the expertise within your business can help journalists by providing insight.

Just like this profile in the Yorkshire Post:

How a Yorkshire food importer is navigating the perfect storm

As the nation prepares to see out 2021 with a heartfelt “good riddance”, there will be hopes, universally shared, that 2022 will bring something better. That the Covid winter will melt away, ushering in a spring of renewal, freedom and economic growth…

Read the full article here… https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/how-a-yorkshire-food-importer-is-navigating-the-perfect-storm-3497430

The Morris Project unveils stunning space

We have been delighted to work with, New York and London based, design studio, The Morris Project to launch their stunning interior space at London’s 22 Bishopsgate.

If we’re currently asking, what do companies need to do to get people back into the workplace? Then it is this! Commissioned by AXA IM and Sir Stuart Lipton for the Capital’s most eagerly anticipated new 62 storey building, The Market, is Europe’s first ever wellness food hall. It is UK’s first building built to the new Wellness Standard (and only the 2nd building in the world to have this accreditation)

The design team’s aim was to emulate London’s tradition of the guilds, of which there were once 90, whose purpose was to provide welfare to their members, and a place to gather and share ideas. After years of decline, urban guilds are experiencing a revival, and the design for 22 Bishopsgate seeks to emulate their noble objectives; encouraging the development of community while supporting collaboration, well-being, and discovery.

Key features of the 20,000 ft collaboration and wellness market include:      

  • The Restaurant & Terrace will provide a welcoming “local” for meetings and gatherings; The Terrace has its own bar and relaxed seating
    • The Market includes four kiosks which will offer a variety of nutritious & delicious options and highlight a diverse group of future tastemakers
    • The Market Hub Events Space will support dynamic programming of music, talks and private events
    • Floor-to-ceiling walls at 20% taller than in a market-standard building, give a sense of volume and space to increase wellbeing of residents. Triple glazed windows, which not only increase the energy efficiency of the building but also reduce noise and boost the level of natural daylight by 60%, reducing need for internal lighting and providing a healthier environment
    • Innovative technology creating convenience for residents who want their coffee ready to pick-up on arrival, or lunch delivered to their desk

Amy Morris is Founder of the Morris Project, and recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design. Morris said; “Our number one goal was to design a space that is a hive for collaboration. Providing support for balance and wellbeing in business and daily life. I believe whole heartedly in 22 Bishopgate’s vision to radically embrace a new environment for the way we work. Your surroundings have a strong impact on your day. The Morris Project’s partnership with DesignLSM aims to create spaces that invite collaboration and spark ideas. It’s a dream project with a dream team in one of my favourite cities.” 

British artist, Sintra Tantra has created a unique installation, Illuminated (2021), which will stretch across seven arches. Sinta Tantra’s immersive site-specific frames the central social space of the building. The work draws inspiration from the rich history of the City of London to inform a contemporary reading of this dynamic new public space. A careful composition of geometric forms suspended in a formal tension creates a sense of harmony and balance, echoing the ethos of wellbeing and creative exchange at the heart of 22 Bishopsgate.



Introducing De Havilland gin

We are delighted to be launching a premium new gin, De Havilland. De Havilland gin is the new premium classic small batch London dry gin created by aviators.

De Havilland honours the world’s first commercial jet flight on 2nd May 1952 when history was made with the De Havilland Comet traveling from London, England to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The brand is inspired by the bravery, and pioneering spirit of those classic aviators and celebrates the best of the British and South African botanicals. Each bottle of small batch distilled gin is labelled with its own unique flight number and signed off with the pilot’s signature.

De Havilland gin has been created by aviator and pilot, Hiru Bathija who has been inspired by the magic of flight and his journeys across the globe, celebrating the people, the land, and the rich diverse cultures of the world.

Hiru Bathija, says; “Having traveled all over the world I wanted to create gin that is connected to the earth of two continents. We want to invoke that real sense of adventure and exploration into the unknown world that those early travelers would have felt. We have used botanicals from the shores of England, and the plains of the South African Highveld to distill a gin that is fresh, fragrant and elegant, invoking that same exciting feeling. We mix flavours of classic British cucumber and elderflower with South African botanicals like Buchu, Lion’s Tail, and Devil’s Claw. We are delighted with the result.”

With a RRP of £39.00, www.dehavillandgin.com De Havilland has a smooth, velvety nose that is rich with juniper, aniseed, and tantalising spice. De Havilland gin is deeply satisfying with a cool refreshing herbaceous length and a subtle vanilla finish.

WOLFCROWN CELEBRATES FESTIVAL DE CANNES

We are so proud to be working with Simon Procter and the Wolfcrown gallery. Simon has collaborated extensively with Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. Simon is one of the most collectable photographers of his generation. His artwork is held in prestigious collections and museums worldwide.

His new exhibition at the Wolfcrown Gallery celebrates Cannes women throughout the contemporary history of the festival in a series of portraits taken by Simon Procter. The exclusive collectable artworks are produced in limited edition Platinum Palladium prints.

Simon’s prints are hand printed by Master Printers in Paris, using this intensive, traditional technique with a certified precious metal content. The Platinum Palladium photographic process dates to the 18th Century and uses precious metals and UV light (originally sunlight) to express intensive warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone greys. Platinum Palladium is an expensive and time-consuming process that is widely regarded by collectors as the summit of photographic art.

The collection features Saorsie Ronan, Emma Watson, Eva Green, Natalia Vodianova, Laetitia Casta, Natalia Imbruglia, Aishwarya Rai, Nora Von Waldstätten, Astrid Berges-Frisbee, Miranda July, Noemie Lenoir and Marina Vacht.

You are invited to visit the gallery at a time to suit you https://www.wolfcrown.net/  and for more information about Simon visit http://www.simonprocter.com/