Together’s Monday Musings

July 6th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

What better way to kick off your week than with a small helping of inspiration? Each Monday we’ll be collecting together some of our favourite or most talked about things from the week before, as chosen by the Together team.

Here’s our latest roundup of thoughts, inspiration and ideas. 

1) Oasis Refresh campaign 

If every brand decided to do this, we'd go out of business.

If every brand decided to do this, we’d go out of business.

Last week brought home some of the hottest UK temperatures on record, but this honest ad left us so refreshed we didn’t even need cool beverages to put us right.

Oasis’ humour-tickling, refreshingly blunt ad is part of a wider campaign  that you can check out on their Facebook page.

2) Beavertown branding

Almost offensively cool.

Almost offensively cool.

Seeing as I’m wonderful and generous, I picked these up these Beavertown brews for my other ‘alf while browsing local beer shop/dream house Brew Cavern. Did I judge a book by its cover and pick them entirely based on their awesome branding? Well, yes – but can you blame me?

The whole office was pretty taken with the rocking look of these beers, and rest assured we’ll be back for more to add to the brand showcase in our library. By the way, they did turn out to be super tasty, too. (Note: I didn’t drink while working, obviously. We only do that on Fridays.)

3) True Detective opening titles 

This video did the rounds on our emails last week courtesy of our designer and artworker, Dave. The titles for the last season of True Detective won an Emmy, and the new opener is equally good – we love it!

4) Two words: Ping. Pong. 

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It’s not about winning or losing. Except it is.

Last week was the week of the ping pong table, after an inspired move by senior graphic designer Sean led to the installation of a ping pong net on our (conveniently) perfectly-sized kitchen table. Turns out one of our leaders, Nick, is a bit of a dab hand.

And it also turns out ping pong is actually proven to be good for boosting productivity, as it’s perfect for grabbing a breather and taking time out before revisiting a project with a fresh head.

It’s also pretty good for kicking your colleagues’ butts.


And on the blog, we…

Announced the launch of our new websites for Licor 43
Thought about digital best practice in sports brands
And shared eight tips for using Facebook as a marketing tool


That’s all for now! For more on what we’ve been getting up to recently at Together, head over to the website.  

8 ways to boost your business on Facebook

July 3rd, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

Ah, Facebook, where would we be without it? Over the years, it’s helped people across the world stalk the people they used to go to high school with, delete annoying comments from their mums, and become weirdly obsessed with a fake farm. It truly is our best friend of the online world, and now it’s our best business partner, too.

If you’re a business and you’re not utilizing Facebook as a platform for your products and/or services, you need to re-evaluate. We know, we know, technology can be scary, and if you make a fool of yourself online you might never be able to hide from the shame, but we’re here to help with our tips on how to avoid failing at Facebook.

  1. Actually have a Facebook page

Maybe this sounds a little obvious, but it’s a point that needs to be made. People are on Facebook all of the time, and a lot of people use it instead of Google when searching for a business online. If you don’t have a Facebook page, you’re running the risk of someone giving up on you at the first hurdle. It’s incredibly easy to set one up, and it’s free, so you’re losing out on nothing by having one.

  1. Meet your new best friend: frequency

No, you don’t have to update your Facebook page every two hours without fail. You don’t even have to update it every day! You just need to make sure that you are posting frequently enough for potential fans to have a reason to like your page. If you searched for a business and their Facebook page hadn’t been updated for over 3 months, you’d think they’d gone out of business, or that they just didn’t care. You don’t want your fans to think this about you, so stay frequent and plan at least one post a week.

  1. Images are easy, words are hard

You know the old saying about how a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s true, especially for Facebook. If you take your own photos, make them the right size, edit them properly, and post them with a link, you’re click-through rates will thank you for it. Make sure to always add your own images when posting a link, and to delete the linked image that automatically comes up.

If you use images properly, you’ll see a boost in your likes, comments, shares, and clicks that never happened when you were posting links only. As well as this, inserting quotes over an image will boost your engagement significantly. People love quotes, so capitalize on that!

  1. Let the people speak

No matter what business you’re in, there are questions you can ask your audience. If you own a restaurant, ask people whether they prefer a pizza or a burger and include a photo of each. It’s incredibly simple, and it will get people commenting and conversing. If you want to go a step further, offer a prize for the best reply. People love to share their opinions; you just need to give them the space to do so.

  1. Join the conversation

If someone comments on your post, reply to them. If they reply to your reply, reply again. Start a conversation with your fans – let them see you as a person, not a business. If you reply to absolutely every comment or post you receive, even if it’s negative, you’ll build your fan base a lot quicker than someone who ignores everything their followers have to say. Not to mention that interacting with your customers in a friendly way will make your business stick out in their mind.

  1. Keep everyone in the loop

If you’re running a competition on Twitter or you’ve just posted an amazing photo on Instagram, let your Facebook fans know about it. If you’ve updated your website and you’re offering a limited time discount for the first people to sign up to your newsletter, share the news.

While it’s important not to be present on every single social network going just to be there, make sure you’re followers know that you’re active and invested across a couple of platforms.

  1. Facebook Ads

If you have a budget for your business, see if it can include Facebook Ads. This means that your page will be advertised across Facebook according to the parameters you set, such as your local area. This is especially helpful for start-up, local businesses looking to spread the word. Facebook Ads boost your visibility and fan base significantly, so it’s worth thinking about.

  1. Make your followers into customers

Unfortunately, 3,000 likes on Facebook doesn’t mean 3,000 people buying your product or service. To increase the conversion rate from followers to buyers, consider offering a discount that’s exclusive to online fans. People are much more likely to come to you if they know they’re getting something in return, whether that’s a free drink or 20% off their first purchase.

If any of these tips have helped you boost your business, or if you have any of your own tricks up your sleeve, let us know by commenting below!

Digital best practice in sports brands

July 2nd, 2015 / Paul Baird

First off, I’m a little biased on the subject of this website (basketball and trainers) – but then again, why not reference good examples of projects/examples that are of interest to you?

Having said that, I’ve approached this review from a ‘general’ user perspective as opposed to brand advocate, so have a look through the site and see if you agree with the comments below.

 

Website: Jordan 30 Paris

 

Background

Basketball and trainer websites (and indeed sports brands) are very varied in their appearance, functionality, design and ultimately usability. Take for example two huge sports brands/companies:

Nike: their overall website and specific basketball sections/microsites are always top drawer (thanks to a focus on quality, design, global consistency, digital best practice and obviously a huge marketing/design/digital budget). Think ASOS for sports.

Footlocker: by contrast have a dated look and feel, a lack of solid user interfaces, poor payment system (Nike’s is just so simple and easy to use), an under-performing display of products (i.e. gallery sections), etc. etc.  They have quite a lot of good content, but just aren’t using or displaying this to its greatest potential.

Anyway this isn’t about either of these sites – more the site specified at the start of this post – so here goes…

 

What impresses about this site?

Slide1

There are a number of factors (probable more than covered off here) that contribute to this site being a great user experience and brand asset.

I’ve commented on a few of these below…

 

…Structure and access to content

Take a standard website and typically how it works = key section at the top (top level nav) and sub sections below (secondary level, key content and pages).

This website has taken this standardised structure but rather than small buttons that reveal more content, each section has its own dedicated full screen intro. Navigating to the next or previous sections (which are on the same level) involves simple clicks left or right.  Want more info about a particular section? You’re simply moved to the screen underneath.  It works on the same basis as the vast majority of other sites, but applied in a simple, effective and (more importantly) logical manner.

Slide2

 

Now don’t get me wrong – this isn’t ground breaking, true innovation or the first site to take this approach; but combined with a range of other positives it creates a good digital journey.

To aid this journey (or rather exploration) they’ve created a site which is both…

 

…Simple and consistent

  • Simple and standard navigation (all optimised for mobile) e.g. carousel to cycle through the nine sections via left and right arrows on the page.
  • Entry into a particular section via base of page.
  • Hidden menu top right.
  • Language selection top left.

Slide3

Take a look here>

This simplicity and consistency make the site’s navigation really intuitive.  And the fact that the key navigational functions have their own dedicated area at the edge of the browser window provides the opportunity to have a first-rate…

 

…Design

Simple functionality allows the key content to be highly prominent – images utilise every inch (or rather pixel) of the browser. Imagery is full bleed and consistent in appearance (largely mono with just a hint of colour in certain sections).

Slide4

This limited colour palette not only allows the copy content (positioned centre of the page) to be highly prominent without being a large bold font, but also really brings to life the sub level sections, for example the trainers, switching from the mono page design into strong full colour products.

Slide5

 

The design and structure of the website ensures that only relevant information is included.  Numerous sites try to be the full authority on a subject.  Why take this approach when, if the majority of the public want to find more information, it’s usually a case of “A = open Google” + “B = find the information I really need”.

So rather than trying to inform on everything within a given subject or product, this website has this just on-point: provide sufficient information to entice and if there’s an interest to find out more, use “find out more here” links to external areas with more detailed info.

This allows the website to retain its simple and aesthetic appearance whilst (from my point of view) providing just enough…

 

…Content – enough to engage, not too much to bore

Although a relatively small site – it does cram a lot of great content into its areas, namely:

  • Video (nice and short and all the same design style)
  • Strong imagery (largely mono with hints of colour to draw attention to key areas, complimented by full colour images of the more important products/areas)
  • User generated content (developed and shared by the web owner)
  • Nice concise sentences but big on inspiration/engagement
  • External links for more info
  • Where to find/latest availability
  • Restricted entry – only for those fully evolved with the brand = exclusivity

Slide6

 

jordan images

This variety of content and amount of copy makes the user want to really…

 

…Explore

Very few website visitors want to get bogged down with loads of info – they just want the key information to make an informed decision, form an opinion, access the info they need, etc. etc.

Slide7

With such easy to navigate sections and limited content – it pushes the user to visit all (or the majority of) the sections, even if these may not be of direct relevance to their need – it’s just so easy.

By taking this approach (or rather providing this for the user) I expect that Nike/Jordan are engaging their audience to a great level, increasing their brand sentiment and having many, many more positive effects on their brand.

 

The summary: simple and effective

Rating: 3 pointer + an ‘And-1’ (one for those who know the sport) = 4 stars

 

And that’s the review! Check the site out for yourself and I’m sure you’ll soon see the benefits of this site.

Our work: Licor 43 global launch!

June 30th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

You might’ve read a little while ago that we were working on some really exciting projects with Licor 43, a global liqueur brand based in Cartagena, Spain.

Well, the biggest chunk of that work has now come to fruition. We’ve just launched their brand new global website Licor43.com, plus local sites for Germany and the Netherlands.

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In the development of the sites we set ourselves a few challenges: we wanted to create a design that was easy to use, with information that could be found quickly and organised using filters. We also wanted to build a recognisable tone of voice and combine this with beautiful images that’d set users’ mouths watering.

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So, did we manage it? Take a peep at their global site and see what you think!

We’re really chuffed with what we’ve done so far- but our work with Licor 43 is far from over. Keep an eye on the blog for news about our work on their social media strategy, as well as exciting updates to the sites.

The Together Pantone party!

June 25th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

Since moving into our new digs on Bridlesmith Gate back in March we’ve been working hard to make it absolutely perfect, adding a glass-walled boardroom, social media pod, digital testing centre, and even a mock shopping area where clients can see how their products will look on the shelf.

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It’s been a long time coming, but with the work on HQ finally complete – it was time to celebrate. And we did it in style, with a Pantone-themed studio warming party complete with canapes, local beer and plenty of Prosecco.

Our Dave even brought along his band, Lacey, to perform an exclusive acoustic set as our clients and suppliers mingled, nibbled on mini burgers and had their glasses topped up by the wonderful team from Jose Raines Catering.

 

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If it’s alright for us to say so we reckon it was a pretty brilliant night (and by the looks of it, some of us were paying for all those bubbles the morning after). Thanks so much to everyone who came, some from even as far as Oxford, just to help us settle into our new home.


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If you came along, see if you can spot yourself in our Facebook gallery – and if you didn’t (booo!) why not have a little browse to find out what you missed?

We threw a Pantone-themed Together get together to warm up our new HQ.

Posted by Together Agency on Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Channel 4’s Humans is a record-breaking success

June 24th, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

Channel 4’s new original drama Humans premiered on Sunday night to a viewership of 4 million. For anyone who’s not so up on their TV statistics, that’s the highest-rated launch of any of Channel 4’s original dramas since records began in 2002. Not too shabby, in our opinion.

This surge in ratings got us wondering exactly what the team behind Humans had been up to in order to hook the interest of so many people and secure such amazing premiere stats. We took to the internet to have a poke around and discovered one of our favourite advertising campaigns of the year so far.

We’re sure that we weren’t the only ones who caught the advert for Persona Synthetics on TV. You might have noticed that there was nary a mention of an actor throughout the advert. You might also have noticed that you didn’t have a clue it was an advert for a TV show until the very end. In fact, the advert for the fictional company was so convincing that hoards of people took to Google to see whether it was real.

Humans Channel 4 Twitter Persona Synthetics

Image from @LizLonsdale_ on Twitter

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, watch the video below.

Just from the advert, our interest was piqued, but any good marketing team knows that online is the place to be. Humans certainly didn’t miss a trick with their fabricated eBay pages offering the chance for customers to buy their own Persona Synthetic for £20,000,000. Over 200,000 people viewed the product pages for Sally and Charlie over 72 hours (though we’re not sure how many people actually tried to buy one…)

Humans Channel 4 Persona Synthetics eBay

The Humans team continued with their online campaign, creating a fully-functional website for Persona Synthetics, alongside Twitter and Facebook accounts for the business. The website gave you the technical information for the Synths, such as their 4CX-CNS neural processors, while the Twitter and Facebook advertise features such as their “Adult Only” package, and the information that they are soon to be opening stores in Tokyo, Shanghai, and New York City.

Persona Synthetics New Store Twitter Humans

Image courtesy of @PersonaSynth on Twitter

Persona Synthetics Facebook

Image courtesty of Persona Synthetics on Facebook

If the hype wasn’t already sufficiently built, it was when they transformed the front of a Regent Street store into a Persona Synthetics outlet. The storefront utilized interactive screens to engage with passersby and encourage them to design their own Synth.

Persona Synthetics Regent Street Humans

Did you happen to see anyone carting people around the London streets in the run-up to the Humans release? Yep, they were Persona employees, and those ‘people’ were Synths.

Persona Synthetics Humans

The spike in Channel 4’s stats does not surprise us. A marketing and advertising team this dedicated campaign obviously know what they’re doing, and the numbers prove that their campaign was a huge success.

Were you one of the 4 million who tuned in to the Humans premiere? Let us know what you thought of it – and what you thought of its marketing campaign!

Dove does Dads

June 22nd, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

Father’s Day has just happened and businesses everywhere were going crazy with offers, promotions, and discounts that would let your dad know that you appreciate him. Everywhere from Tesco and Boots to Jack Wills and Twinings Tea is capitalizing on how much you love your old man.

Whether they were offering up a classic cuppa, a cosy pair of socks, a hamper of Old Spice, or a discount on beer, the message is clear: your dad cares about you, and he deserves a treat.

Father's Day Jack Wills

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 14.35.03

Dove have just entered the Father’s Day arena with a video that has warmed the very cockles of our hearts. Their advert for Dove Men+Care doesn’t mention a thing about the most important date in any dad’s social calendar, and it doesn’t mention any of their products. They seem to have completely ignored the ‘he deserves a treat’ half of the above statement, and focused instead on the first half.

For Father’s Day, Dove want to let the world know that men care, and that showing how much you love your kids doesn’t take away from your masculinity. With a slogan that states ‘Care Makes A Man Stronger’, they’re targeting the thing that men care about most. No, not their cars, and no, not their darts team. Dads care about their kids, and Dove are tired of the stigma that showing love makes you weak in some way.

Dove Men Care Father's Day

The video follows the stories of 13 different men in their ‘First Fatherhood’ moment – finding out that they’re going to have a child. Across the world, Dove have documented these men dropping what they’re holding, going slack-jawed with shock, and asking if they’re being lied to, all in the name of parental joy.

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This is a great move in subliminal marketing from Dove. It’s no secret in advertising that playing on people’s emotions is a surefire way to stick in their minds, and Dove have managed to harness this whilst still going against the grain. There’s no hint of a Dove-branded face cream bottle in sight, but by the time the advert is over, you’re invested.

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Since the dawn of time (that may be a slight exaggeration in time scale…), Father’s Day advertisements have focused on dads playing football, drinking beer, and manning barbecues. It’s never been the norm to show men caring about their kids in the way that women are during the Mother’s Day period. Dove have thrown that out of the window, and are saying that #RealStrength is crying with happiness when you find out you’re going to be a dad, and we think that’s lovely.

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This Father’s Day, whether you’re gifting your pop with socks, beer, or a pair of tongs for his barbecue, let him know that you love him just as much as he loves you. It’s what Dove would want.

 

Meet Leigh, our new Copy and Social Intern

June 19th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

Did you spot yesterday’s blog about Dove’s tearjerker of a Father’s Day ad? Well, that was written by our lovely new intern, Leigh. She’s just finished her 2nd year of a Creative and Professional Writing degree at the University of Nottingham, and this summer will be spending a couple of days each week as our Copy and Social Intern. 

We got the lowdown on just what this Leigh person is all about. Read on!


Leigh with a real life kangaroo.

Leigh with a real life kangaroo.

Who are you, and what’s your business with Together?

I’m Leigh, and I’m interning with Together because they promised me a mug that matched the colour of my watch. Also, experience and stuff.

(Ed: And we totally delivered on the mug, by the way.)

What do you do when you’re not interning here?

When not interning, I am eating all of the food. On the rare occasions when I must stop eating food, I am doling out food to other people at Savoy Cinema.

What do you want to do when you’ve finished studying? 

I study Creative and Professional Writing, so hopefully something that allows me to write creatively and professionally. Failing that, I’ve always fancied my chances at being the face character for Belle at Disney World.

Write us a short story. Really short. You have 140 characters. 

Once upon a time, there was a girl who ate 4 pizzas in 4 days. It was totally sick & this is definitely fictional & not about me. The end.

Tell us three facts about yourself. 

1) Do you remember all of the food that I mentioned earlier? That food is then turned into words and put onto my food blog, The Nottingham Bucket List!

2) At one point in my life I was so into Sweeney Todd that I had memorised the entire film and could watch it in my head.

3) I once had an hour long argument with someone in defence of Captain America.

30 second brief! Imagine this is an ad campaign and write it some catchy lines. 

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What’s that in the sky?!

Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?

No, it’s our incredibly low prices!

Be a hero, fly with EasyJet.


Thanks, Leigh! Keep an eye on our blog for more from our newest team member, and don’t forget to check out The Nottingham Bucket List.

Five of the best stunts to have sailed the Thames’ murky waters

June 4th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

Is it a duck? Is it a boat? No, it’s Airbnb floating a fully furnished and plumbed two-storey house down the Thames.

May’s publicity stunt launched Airbnb’s new service for London homeowners, who are now able to rent out their properties for up to 90 days of the year. And, like any good stunt, there really was no missing it.

"When you said 'river view'..."

“When you said ‘river view’…”

So in honour of Airbnb’s recent water-based stunt, we’ve collected together some of our favourite things to have floated down the Thames in the name of sweet publicity. In no particular order, we have:

1) Michael Jackson (1995)

"Call the coastguard! There's a Smooth Criminal on the water!"

Hold me, like the river of Jordan.” (Thanks, Virgin Media, for the image).

Well, a Michael Jackson statue, anyway. This gigantic spectacle took to the tides to promote MJ’s HIStory tour.

2) A huge rubber duck (2012)

A giant rubber duck sails down river Thames

This is either the Thames or a really decadent bathtub. (Image from The Guardian).

This 50ft high duck paddled about the financial district to promote Jackpotjoy.com’s Facebook FUNdation campaign.

3) Giant, glowing balls (2013)

Lottery balls, that is!

Lottery balls, that is!

To celebrate the launch of the new and improved National Lottery (and, erm, drag attention away from the more expensive tickets) a set of six gigantic lottery balls set sail through London.

4) A polar bear (2009)

I don't even know anymore.

This’d make a great Disney film.

This floating slice of environmental heartbreak had the dual purpose of promoting the launch of Eden, a new natural history channel, and raising awareness of the melting polar ice caps.

5) A golf course (2012)

That's one hell of a water hazard.

That’s one hell of a water hazard.

This stunt promoted golf’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics, and ran just before the start of London 2012.

Hilariously random though all this may seem, the Thames is ultimately an extremely prominent location that’s absolutely guaranteed to grab the attention not only of the commuters crossing London Bridge, but also the thousands of tourists that filter into the big city each day.

And, especially in today’s Twitter and Facebook saturated environment, the novelty and ridiculousness of this kind of stunt means it’s bound to be shared, shared and shared again right across the world.

So it’s no surprise really that marketing on water is actually a super effective way of getting people talking, and Airbnb are far from the first company to have cottoned on.

We guess it turns out that the best channels to get people’s attention aren’t necessarily those on social media, but the ones filled with water… and the occasional shopping trolley.

Brand purpose and profit – can we square the circle?

June 2nd, 2015 / Nick Honey

I’ve been meaning to comment on an article from The Drum a little while ago about how Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are facing challenges with their cause related marketing and the revenues generated.

To paraphrase, Nick Hindle, McDonald’s Senior Vice President of UK Corporate Affairs and North West Division Strategy and Alignment, warned companies not to mess too much with the brand experience in the name of “purpose-driven” marketing: “I have not come across a reason yet where it was the sole reason for consuming a brand. It can get in the way of success.”


Image: cultofmac.com

I’d like to talk through a few things with Nick if ever he has a moment. Firstly, it’s very rare that there is a “sole reason” for consuming a brand, including reasons of social good.

Most brand choices are a complex combination of emotional and rational considerations in both the conscious and sub-conscious minds of customers. So, I’m afraid expecting “purpose driven marketing” to be some sort of new silver bullet in persuading people to consume your brand, Nick, is a hope too far.

Secondly, Nick suggests that promoting the support of a social cause “can get in the way of success” – presumably he means campaign effectiveness, response and ultimately profit. It’s a shame Nick doesn’t think supporting a cause is a success. But credit where credit’s due, McDonald’s does make an effort to get involved in good causes, it’s just that few people know about it.

The fact is, you enjoy a burger in your head as much as in your stomach. Doesn’t it taste that bit better when you know it’s produced using prime beef, with respect to farmers, the environment, employees and your own community? I think it does.

If you disagree, imagine instead that your burger was produced with the cheapest, mechanically recovered offcuts and offal, from animals that only received the minimum standards of welfare, and that the farmers and processors were all screwed down on price and staff were paid the lowest wage legally possible. How does your burger taste now?

Cocoa-Cola also spoke at the same event. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Coke’s Head of Brand PR Joan O’Connor admitted to speakers at the same event that the struggle to tie commercial messages to social purpose is a tough challenge. “Success for us is when we’re able to measure trust, brand love or purchase intent when judging the impact of [purpose-driven marketing]. It’s not about whether we get a shed load of coverage,” she added. “But you want that idea to be able to address some tension in society, while having some relevance to the brand or company’s point of view.” Both urged companies to take a wider view of the power of purpose beyond the marketing department. Purpose is not an add on, it’s a culture change and it never finishes, they both agreed.


Image:trivision.tv

I agree with Joan and Nick on that last point. But Joan is also trotting out a version of that old management cliché from the last century: ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. 21st century brands support a cause because they believe in it, because it’s the right thing to do, not specifically and only to measure and drive sales.

Over the years I’ve worked with quite a number of brands where purpose/cause related marketing played a significant role, including organisations like the National Trust, UNICEF, Ecotricity and Budget Insurance (surprising, but there’s a story there).

Ecotricity is a great example of a commercial company with a cause, championing the issue of climate change. In focus groups I’ve run for them I’ve witnessed an incredible level of advocacy from their customers. And advocacy equals loyalty. Loyalty equals higher lifetime values.

But Ecotricity didn’t arrive at this by having a brainstorm meeting and wondering: “How do we increase customer lifetime value?”… “Oh, here’s an idea, let’s support the climate change issue.” The company, led by Dale Vince, believes so strongly in meeting the challenges of the environment that it’s at the heart of the company.

I’ve chosen a shining example there, but what about organisations and every day commercial brands where their commitment to a cause is perhaps less fervent? Here’s five starters:

1. The cause you support must be endorsed, if not originated, by the founder, board and/or investors. They will define the scale to which the cause is supported with appropriate allocations of resource. When I went to meet Unilever’s marketing team on the issue of climate change a few years ago, they only had ONE person, with NO budget! Compare that to their brand team, which had seemingly endless millions.

2. It’s better if the cause you support is related to the business itself. So a building society could support homelessness, a children’s clothing brand supports children’s charities, a bank supports poverty. Google, for example, has invested, or committed to invest more than $1billion in renewable energy projects given they know the extent to which data centres and servers have historically created a demand for fossil fuels.

3. Don’t try to measure ‘profit benefits’ from supporting the cause. You engage with it because it’s something in which you truly believe, because it’s the right thing to do for the less fortunate in society, for the environment, for all of us… and that happens to include the company itself.

4. Make sure you weave cause related messages into your existing programme as a tertiary message, or make it even more subtle than that. The point is it needs to permeate everything you do, consistently and over a period of time. Dedicated campaigns have their place, but they’re not essential.

5. Involve yourself as deeply as you can with the cause, so your commitment goes beyond just supporting the cause with cash donations. Offer expertise, staff resources, dedicated projects or staff sabbaticals.

For too long, many brands have focused on how they can extract the most revenue from their consumers. But brands that show they have a wider interest in their customers, in the issues that affect their lives and their world, have a greater chance of success.

Here’s wishing the very best of luck to all those brands that have the foresight to make that choice.

Love this post? Read some more of our thoughts on cause-driven brands in ‘Get responsible: how brands benefit from being the good guys‘.