February 7th, 2021
Brands with character, humour and a sense of togetherness amongst their audience are often stricken with the monumental task of being ‘always on’. This can sometimes be a burden, and could see the brand itself losing a massive sense of their identity due to an inevitable latency and creative slump.
This isn’t the case with Innocent Drinks. Everyone’s favourite healthy drinks vendor, social media and brand marketing gurus.
You’d be hard up to find a brand that resonates better than these smooth-talking smoothie makers. Their purpose, according to their website, is to ‘make it easy for people to do themselves some good (while making it taste nice too)’. This rather fetching double-entendre (because they don’t just mean their delightful range of pulsed fruits) is emphasised in their ability to be as down-to-earth as possible, whether that be on social, in ad campaigns, even on a ‘serious’ channel like LinkedIn.
Innocent strives to give their customers a break in their day to make them smile. There are literally a hundred ways in which they do this. We could list them but we don’t want to take up your whole day.
But it’s evident. Simply scroll through their Twitter page, or check out their latest rebranding exercise, which utilises their approachable language, fun-loving staff and impeccable use of Clip Art and Comic Sans in order to get people talking. And that’s what Innocent does incredibly well – they get people talking.
And not for debating, disruptive purposes (although you could argue that’s exactly what they did when they released their Blue Drink), but for more casual conversation amongst themselves, between their customers and followers.
Brand responsibility is often chalked up to what a brand does for factors such as sustainability, whether they give to charity, donate to the NHS, support important societal movements etc. And while Innocent DO do all of those things, their brand responsibility and stature isn’t limited to that.
Instead, they dominate the realm of providing their customers with a sense that they’re basically friends. This they successfully do while simultaneously mingling in important conversations happening in the current climate, like a well-stirred smoothie.
Their ability to be ‘always on’ with current trends and topics of conversation is almost second-to-none. They’ve also given themselves the license to talk about these kinds of things by building up their brand persona throughout the years, and being authoritative voices among the correct side of conversations.
Taking something which can be seen as wholly boring – like pointing out the fact that it’s July during the current pandemic – and turning it into something hilarious. Or creating a crudely hand-drawn Planet Earth graph, something we STILL bring up now even though it was four years ago (we can’t believe it was four years ago).
Innocent’s ability to keep customers talking is a brilliant marketing tool they have on their fruit-covered belts, but it also seems to be fully genuine. They really do care about their customers. Take, for example, the ‘Bananaphone’ – something they offer as an invite to start a conversation with Innocent employees. There’s rules to this call, it’s not a place for complaints, they’re not asking for you to bring queries with you. Innocent are simply saying come and have a chat with us, your friendly neighbourhood strawberry-squeezers.
At the time of writing, Innocent are currently vetoing their social media channels in the name of ‘Stop Hate for Profit’, a movement which highlights the fact that certain companies are not doing enough to stop the spread of hate and racism on social media.
This is a bold, gutsy move from a company which has spent time and money finessing their channels to build a brand, and who rely heavily on it. But, they’ve done such an amazing job in building it, the foundations are pretty much set in stone, and this stance is sure to only strengthen their brand. It also further demonstrates their care and brand responsibility to take a side on important current affairs.
Innocent’s brand responsibility lies solely in being ‘one of the good guys’. The person everyone in the friendship group likes, the one who always has chewing gum or brings extra crisps to parties. They strive on making people smile, while making a point on subjects that really matter. Sometimes the subjects don’t matter, but that’s usually where Innocent come into their own.
This is a very difficult place to be in, because there isn’t much room for them to take their foot off of the pedal. But if anyone can do it, they can. They’re Innocent until proven guilty.
Written by Dan Farr, Content and Partnerships Executive.
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