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December 13, 2017
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February 8, 2018

Importance of keeping it real

Tonight I went to hear Jo McEwan, Head of Brand at innocent drinks, speak at a Lancashire Forum/ Boost Lancashire event in Blackburn.

innocent drinks are a massive brand. It is the best selling drink all over Europe. Good heavens, they had 1.7 million hand knitted hats on their drinks this Christmas.  THAT’S a big company. But still they take time to engage with customers. Really engage – not just on social media, but by phone; by sending out personalised gifts; by entering into dialogue. Even when they started, they asked the question ‘should we give up our jobs and make fruit smoothies?’ and asked customers to put the empty cups in either a yes-bin or a no-bin. The yes-bin won, and the rest is history.

One of the questions after the talk was ‘it’s is all very well to do this for a B2C company – but what if you’re B2B?‘. And it’s a good point. A different audience. A different product.

But the fact remains that people are people. Whether they buy laser scanners or plastic boxes; warehousing space or multi carrier software.. they are still regular people, and should be treated as such.

My big bugbear currently is the amount of automated/ scheduled tweets and posts. Companies, particularly B2B ones, seem to think that communications is strictly one-way – the “we tell you” approach. But who posts online just to be ignored? We all do it for engagement and thats what makes innocent drinks really stand apart. They engage in a personable, humorous way that it is line with their brand.

My key learnings from tonight?

  • Keep asking your customers what they want
  • Be real with in your communications
  • Get the right people on your team
  • Share with people what you’re doing. Let’s face it, if they hadn’t made this evening’s presentation, we wouldn’t have been talking about them tonight.

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