Fox & Hare talks to charity sector marketing experts to share insight into the future of fundraising and the power of creative campaigns.
With Christmas around the corner, we’re venturing towards what would normally be the most charitable time of the marketing calendar. And while many of the messages communicated throughout 2020 encouraged acts of kindness, charities have struggled to produce the financial support required to offset the effects of the pandemic, having to reinvent their fundraising strategies, almost overnight. We caught up with leaders in the third sector to discuss innovative approaches to digital fundraising and customer activations, emotionally connecting with communities, and harnessing the power of engagement moving into our collective new normal.
How creative approaches have boosted digital fundraising
At Fox & Hare, we experienced the power of digital fundraising when launching #TheBigMissYou for The Big Issue this year. This campaign, consisting of a hero film and customer activation, encouraged the public to digitally sell a subscription on behalf of vendors who couldn’t work on the streets over lockdown.
Speaking with Iain G. Morrison, group marketing communications director for The Big Issue on the success of the project, he told us: “Swift decisive action saw The Big Issue Group launch an appeal to help raise much-needed funds that would support our vendors and keep the organisation afloat. With a weekly readership of over 78,000; the support we received from our engaged customer base was incredible.
A few days before the first lockdown, we made the difficult decision to take our vendors off the streets which posed many challenges, including the loss of 80% of our revenue overnight. From there, a suite of digital innovations (including a new app, online subscription and a shift in approach to online content), gave us the ability to sell online. Our engaged supporters donated, subscribed and shared our message far and wide; encouraging others to buy from vendors when they were able to sell, to donate, or subscribe online.”
Matteo Plachesi, head of marketing and communications at The Design Museum, reflects on the swift lockdown put in place across the design and art industries. To react quickly, he explained: “We immediately decided to extend memberships for the duration of the first lockdown. Members are key supporters of the museum and instrumental in inspiring the next generation of designers. This 19-week extension was accompanied by a series of exclusive content, including a virtual version of the museum’s 2017 blockbuster exhibition, ‘Ferrari: Under the Skin’ and a new blog series.”
Learnings and Conversions: from physical events to digital engagement
Behind the scenes, brands faced restrictions on physical contact, putting physical fundraising on hold. The challenge most organisations faced has been how to replicate face to face contact, digitally. Conveying sensitive messages face-to-face is hard enough; so how did the additional touchpoint of a screen affect the relatability of these conversations?
Zoe Roll, brand marketing manager at Action for Children (previously the brand marketing and communications manager at CLIC Sargent and our liaison for the #ChallengeImpossible campaign) joined the brand team during Covid-19. Her introduction of a variety of gamified touchpoints has proven vital to Action for Children’s digital efforts.
She explained: “Covid has meant that certain activities have had to be paused or pivoted this year – but we’ve used this as an opportunity to trial different ways to reach our current network and new audiences to raise income and grow brand awareness. We’ve had to focus on generating compelling content that will stand out amongst the wider competition and empower our warm community to become ambassadors in their own local networks to champion the campaign. Excitingly this year, we’ve seen the current climate as an opportunity to pivot some of our successful in-person events to virtual products for the first time ever. Our Events team have pivoted our London carol concert to a mass participation proposition – and we’re also trialling our first-ever virtual quiz with Instagram sensations Mr and Mrs Hinch. This is opening us up to a brand new audience that may have never heard of Action for Children before.”
Events are usually the cornerstone of any fundraising outreach. Laura Hedges, deputy manager at All Dogs Matter, a dog rescue and rehoming charity in London, reflects on a challenging transition to digital events to rescue and re-home pets. “Fundraising through physical events has historically been a key way for us to connect to the local community, raise awareness and generate income. With Covid-19 we have had to be much more creative with how we now generate income, focusing on digital fundraising which has resulted in a number of new initiatives. This year we have run two successful digital events that would normally have been face-face. The ‘Great British Bark In’ – an online dog show – replaced what would have been the Great Hampstead Bark Off on Hampstead Heath. We asked people to send in pictures and video entries for seven dog show categories, which was judged by our celebrity patrons and had a huge response, with 160 entries and lots of engagement across our social channels.”
How attitudes have changed towards fundraising in 2020
This year, we have seen the continued deceleration of ‘sadvertising’ and the acceleration of positive and uplifting content, as a means of celebrating the moments of positive impact and encouraging connectivity. For an organisation such as The Big Issue, the subject of homelessness has always produced strong emotional connections, and communicating its impact is essential to engaging with their communities.
Iain notes this to be a part of their overarching goal for 2021, saying: “Emotionally connecting with your audience(s) remains vital. Marketers sometimes feel they’re drowning in data and paralysis can follow. But, there’s plenty of research that shows emotional connections drive results. Things that make your target audience smile or laugh are the sorts of things they’re more likely to share with others. Things that make them sad, or inspire them, stand a greater chance of motivating them to act.”
Louise Goulden, founder and CEO of The Together Project, a registered charity reducing social isolation through joyful intergenerational connections, agrees: “Emotionally connecting with your audience has always been vital, but whilst the growth of digital platforms offers new opportunities to connect, we also risk over-saturation. It’s getting harder and harder to create content that’s so engaging that your audience not only pauses to properly read or watch it but then acts upon it in some way. So, defining the purpose of each piece of content and then designing it to trigger that outcome is crucial.”
Finally, we caught up with Lauren Mee, CEO and co-founder of Animal Advocacy Careers: an organisation that aims to tackle the bottlenecks in the animal advocacy movement. In somewhat unusual circumstances: “This year we made our first hire (outside of co-founders) in marketing and communications, this is quite unusual as it is usually operations for most NGO’s in their infancy. However, we realised that a key bottleneck to our own success was building the credibility of our brand and gaining visibility of our services in order to help as many people as possible. James (our M&C hire) did a great job at the beginning of this work for us, and I think it was an integral part of the success in uptake for our courses this year.”
Racing towards this new landscape, we are faced with instability and new obstacles. We can embrace transformation by converting learning into action and finding innovative ways to strengthen customer connections. After all, no single one of us has the power to do more than what we can all do, together.
Fox & Hare catches up with TechXperts on tech and brand sides to hear how they harness technology and impact initiatives to scale brand awareness.
Published in September 2020, Nielsen’s most recent report has found that a staggering 73% of consumers would definitely change their consumption habits in order to reduce their environmental impact. AI, blockchain and emerging technologies present an opportunity to leverage sustainability, social impact and ethical sourcing in some of the world’s largest industries.
It’s interesting to see brands who have recently put these technologies at the forefront, and benefited immensely from doing so. As social impact specialists in the brand space, creative consultancy Fox & Hare are interested in the future of using technology to increase brand awareness alongside impact. By using technology within this space, it can help differentiate a brand or company from its competitors and gives them a niche advantage.
Fox & Hare caught up with TechXperts on both the tech and brand sides to hear first hand how they harness technology and impact initiatives to scale brand awareness. It looks at how brands can combat issues such as overstock and waste, their carbon footprint, and supply chain transparency.
From Batch to Real-Time – How AI and Blockchain Can Prevent Overstock and Waste
To start, we spoke with Tony Pinville, the CEO and co-founder of Heuritech, on how his trend forecasting AI technology has helped the likes of fashion industry giants such as Louis Vuitton, Adidas, and Moncler achieve ‘an unprecedented competitive advantage’ through sustainable production at the planning stage.
F&H > Heuritech has a trend forecasting precision rate of 90%. How has this tech helped brands tailor their planning strategies to reduce overstock?
Tony > In order for fashion brands to reduce overstock and optimise their production, Heuritech provides data-driven trend forecasting to help brands better plan their collections. Our technology analyses images from social media in real-time to forecast trends, which gives brands the necessary insights to then plan their collections. This kind of comprehensive data gives brands the opportunity to be clinical in their collection planning, and as a result, to avoid overstock. For example, in our Festive Seasons Report for European womenswear 20/21, Heuritech predicted that for Winter 2020, metallic fabrics are down 14% from last Winter. With that information, a brand now knows not to include this particular trend in their assortment this season – in this way, overstock and waste are prevented very early on, even before the design process.
F&H > Fashion is a notorious contributor to landfills. Can you provide an example of how Heuritech has helped reduce waste in this industry?
Tony > As we know, overproduction is one of the most detrimental aspects of the fashion industry. According to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report 2019, for example, clothing production is expected to hit 102 million tons by 2030, which represents a 64.5% rise from 2017. The principal reason for this overproduction is often inaccurate demand predictions in terms of both quantity and variety. One of our clients needed to decide if they should include chunky black sneakers in their collection or not. Heuritech’s analysis found that the trend would indeed continue to rise, particularly among edgy women in Europe. We even determined the precise shape of this shoe that would be most desired, and as a result, our client increased their sell-through by 15% and drastically reduced the number of markdowns in this category.
F&H > Accor’s partnership with Too Good To Go helped save almost 400,000 meals from going to waste across the European Accor properties since 2016. How does this partnership play into your brand purpose?
Shane > The fight against food waste is an integral part of the way we operate as a corporate citizen around the world. We recognise that food waste is a significant problem within the hospitality industry and by partnering with Too Good To Go we hope to reduce this waste by making surplus food from our restaurants available to customers. Doing so not only helps to reduce our carbon footprint as a business but also has a positive impact in the local communities our hotels are based in. High-quality food is available at great prices and consumers know that by making an order, they are having a positive impact on the environment.
Sustainability as a Service: How Tech Companies are Moving into Carbon Negative Futures
For our next interview, we chatted to Andreas Slettvoll, CEO of CHOOOSE, on how his climate platform technology is helping the travel industry and consumer-facing brands use digital touchpoints to engage consumers in climate action.
F&H > A major selling point of your service is that you give clients the choice in the CO2e-reducing projects that they partake in. How does this enable your customers to take action aligned to their strategic objectives?
Andreas > CHOOOSE offers technology and API integrations built to eliminate any friction that keeps companies from acting on climate change. This means that we enable our partners to spend time and efforts on what really matters; driving impact. CHOOOSE actively sources a global portfolio of impactful climate projects from which partners can select their climate compensation programs. This enables our partners to easily offer seamless climate compensation that fits their corporate values and consumer preferences. We believe the freedom to choose is key, as we know that many brands use the Sustainable Development Goals as a compass when building their sustainability strategies. Allowing our partners to select projects from the SDG goals that are aligned with their values and strategies, enables them to compare and measure their positive impact based on the realisation of the SDGs.
F&H > How do your customer-facing climate compensation programs via CHOOOSE Connect help companies engage their customers?
Andreas > We founded CHOOOSE on the belief that the climate crisis has a communication problem. That we need less doomsday talk and pointing fingers to avoid apathy, and more optimism to inspire action. This way of seeing things is also reflecting the way we work with our partners. Our purpose has become to do everything we can to change the narrative on climate communication by sharing words, news, and content that makes people understand that their actions matter. Our contribution is to cheer instead of spreading fear and to help engage as many as possible into the mindset that if we all do a little, it suddenly becomes a lot. For some partners, we also engage directly with their customers by providing a digital space to view, understand and share their personal climate impact from their interactions with the brand. We’re actually launching a new and engaging feature for end-consumers shortly, so stay tuned! The campaign invited Viessmann employees, partners, friends, and family to collect as many kilometres as possible for the climate, either by bicycle or by running. For every kilometre run and every three kilometres cycled, Viessmann supported tree planting and forestation projects around the world through CHOOOSE. Viessmann employees, family, friends, and trade partners cycled and walked a distance of more than seven times around the earth. In total, over 5,000 participants from more than three dozen countries participated. Not only did it boost internal engagement, and health benefits – they also supported the planting of 150,000 trees. This is a great example of how a brand can create an internal engagement to boost a positive impact that its customers can (hopefully) also get behind.
Lasso Loop’s pre-purchase program manager Kieran White shares how consumers can take actions towards reducing their carbon footprint and joining the recycling revolution. An innovative recycling appliance that makes used materials 100% recyclable, Lasso Loop is needed for the sustainability of our planet and will play a pivotal role in the transition towards a circular economy.
F&H > What are the challenges in the world of recycling?
Kieran > Recycling currently has two major problems – purity and accountability. The most common materials used and subsequently discarded are plastics, glass, metals and cardboard. If we use plastic as an example, currently only 9% of the total produced plastic is recycled, which means 91% goes to landfill per year (that’s 7.5 billion tons, which is equivalent to 22,000 Empire State Buildings!). This is because the different types of plastics are currently discarded and collected together, and subsequently mixed, which contaminates the vast majority. This means they can’t be recycled in an efficient or accurate way, so nearly all 22,000 Empire State Buildings-worth are sent to landfill. Alongside this, due to the size of the industry, no single organisation is being held truly accountable, while many are profiting from their negative effect on the planet. Lasso believes the power can be in your hands. When you purchase a product, you also pay for the packaging, it only makes sense that you choose where it goes and profit from its value. In short, the Recycling industry is in desperate need of innovation. Therefore, the power to change Recycling for the better of our environment lies with every single one of us. This is why the Lasso appliance is needed.
F&H > How does Lasso Loop address these challenges?
Kieran > Lasso is an appliance for your home that collects, cleans and processes used materials and stores the subsequent products, all from the corner of your kitchen. Each product is stored separately, maintaining 100% purity and subsequently allowing it to be 100% recycled (that’s right, from 9% of plastic recycled from your home to 100%! – from 22,000 Empire State Buildings of landfilled waste to none). We guarantee every single piece of used material that enters the appliance will be recycled, landfill is a dirty word at Lasso, hence we will never contribute to it. As a result of the near 100% purity achieved, we know exactly what is recycled, holding us accountable. The true value of your used materials is also unlocked through purity, meaning you’re able to earn cash from the recyclable products you produce.
Addressing the Consumers’ Rising Demand for Supply-Chain Transparency
For our final interview, we caught up with Josephine Rode Bager and Mikala Alexandra Wilson Skov, founders of London start-up Marleybones: a dog food company using blockchain technology to share the full story, journey, and sustainable impact of each product from farm to bowl. They talk to us about how supply chain transparency goes hand-in-hand with their product offering.
F&H > Marleybones has partnered with Provenance blockchain technology for supply chain transparency. Can you talk to us a little bit about the reason for implementing this tech in your business model?
Josephine & Mikala > It all started with Josephine’s dog, Marley, who constantly had stomach issues from his food and struggled to gain any weight. As a worried dog-mum, Josephine scoured the entire market for a healthy diet for Marley. But what she found was tonnes of mystery ingredients and unverified claims, leaving every dog owner puzzled about the content, quality and origin of the meals. In fact, the poll of UK dog and cat owners reveals that the nation’s knowledge of pet food ingredients is extremely low, with over 62% admitting to not knowing what they’re really feeding their pet. A common meal composition will include ingredients such as ‘meat-meal’, ‘vegetable-derivative’ or ‘meat by-product’, which doesn’t resemble anything of the meat or veg you would serve up at home. Even more shockingly, the words we do understand, like ‘chicken’, can be labelled on dog food if it contains only 4%. It’s an industry that hasn’t evolved for so long, and the result of this is waste products such as feather and blood, with no nutritional value, ending up in our dogs’ food, and the heart-breaking fact is that the average lifespan of dogs eating low-grade food products has dropped 11% in just a decade. And that’s a number we can’t stand by and watch. Alongside claims of quality and content crowding the pet food space, examples of greenwashing have started to emerge, in an industry that sadly has a detrimental impact on our environment and farming practices. To give one example, we have nearly 10 million dogs in the UK alone, eating nearly 40% of our nation’s meat production. That’s equivalent to 400 million chickens ending up in dog food each year. You will find that most of these are caged chicken in spaces smaller than an A4 sheet. That’s why we at Marleybones are trying to make a difference, not only for the lives of our dogs, but also the lives of farming animals cramped away in cages, workers’ conditions and unnecessary waste. Using real, human-grade ingredients to provide honest, nutritious food that will ensure happy, healthy companions, and sourcing these from conscious farms in the UK to help protect our earth and all it has to offer. Through the transparency platform Provenance, we are able to provide a tamper-resistant proof that we’re doing exactly this. When we say that all our proteins stem from animals raised in harmony with their natural environment, we show the free-range chickens, grass-fed lamb and cattle and hand-reared salmon we are using. When we claim that our supply chain contributes to a low-carbon economy, we show how our suppliers use renewable energy and limit food waste in their farming practices. And when we claim that Marleybones is the sustainable, healthy choice for your dog, you too can be the judge of that.”
F&H > How has the implementation of this tech steered communications around Marleybones product offering and social impact?
Josephine & Mikala > It’s quite simple – implementing this tech enables us to communicate exactly what our product offering is, and what social impact we have. Without all the propped-up branding, wordplays and empty claims, but in a simple, consistent way directly to shoppers. By laying all our cards on the table, consumers will know exactly what they are buying into, who they are supporting and what they are feeding, without any of the guesswork. A brand isn’t a result of its end-product alone. We believe it’s important to understand the work behind the product to fully understand the impact of what you’re buying. This technology allows us to communicate more than just the story of our products – we’re able to show every single part of our products, right down to the third generation family that grows our carrots, the pioneer that decided to grow the very first chia and quinoa in British soil and the pair of brothers who lovingly rear their free-range chickens while running food charities! We’re sharing each of their histories, credentials, accomplishments and approach to food, so consumers know who they are supporting when choosing Marleybones.” F&H > Do you expect the implementation of supply chain transparency to increase customer loyalty? Josephine & Mikala > By far the majority of pet owners agree that they pay as much attention to the ingredients that go into their pet’s food as the ingredients their family eats, and that it’s important that the ingredients in their pet’s food are ethically sourced. The problem resonates in the challenge of figuring out what you actually are feeding your dog. By providing the full story, journey and sustainable impact of each meal, from farm to bowl, we invite all customers to assess our meals and understand the impact behind what they’re buying. We’re hopeful that being completely transparent, open and honest will help build consumer trust.
Fox & Hare discusses how brands can leverage their social impact to increase profitability and build customer trust whilst maintaining sustainability.
With increased consumer demand for sustainable products, brands can leverage their social impact to increase profitability and build customer trust, whilst contributing to the well-being of our planet.
Improving the food sector’s footprint lies at the heart of solving some of our world’s most pressing issues. We’ve pulled together some of the most impactful advances in the brand space that are #MakingPurposePriority.
CO2 Emissions: Livestock
Going Meat-Free It’s no secret that meat production is one of our planet’s largest polluters. Agriculture accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 31% of that is from livestock methane. UK consumers are conscious and reacting: meat-free consumption has risen by 15% over the past two years, and almost half of consumers agree that reducing animal production consumption will reduce the environmental impact. Brand Solutions We are seeing an influx of meat-free products entering the market, whether it be from existing meat-market players or new businesses entirely. Whilst existing players might have the upper-hand financially, they can lack the consumer trust from avid meat-free audiences. Fox & Hare’s Impact Strategy Not every business will be able to develop the next best product in-house. Partnering with another company will help you stay competitive. Fast food giants such as KFC, Dell Taco, Subway, and Dunkin’ Brands, amongst others have partnered with Beyond Meat for their plant-based meat substitutes. Audit your business – know your strengths and supplement resources when necessary. Market Opportunity The meat substitution market is expected to reach £6.2bn with a CAGR of 7.8% by 2026. The EU currently dominates the market, accounting for 38.5% of global revenue. Fox & Hare’s Impact Communications Be authentic, bold, and pioneering: shout about the impacts you’re making. Shout about the problems you’re facing. Measure your results and share them. Beyond Meat shares how their products use 99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer GHGE, and 46% less energy. Find a way that your product benefits the planet and make it your USP. Mention it on social media. Mention it on your packaging. Establish yourselves as the expert and be committed to seeing the change through.
CO2 Emissions: Food Waste
Waste Not (Want Not) Food waste accounts for 6% of global and 24% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, totalling about £314bn in damages. This is broken down into 15% supply chain losses and 9% consumer/ retailer losses. The consumer is looking for easy ways to reduce their household carbon footprint, and expects brands, restaurants, supermarkets to do the same. Brand Solutions The rise in food waste awareness brings the rise of new solutions. We are seeing user-based companies such as OLIO and Too Good To Go offering food sharing options that have re-homed about 46mil meals to date. Software company Spoiler Alert helped Hello Fresh cut food waste by 65%. Recycled food condiment brand Rubies in the Rubble has saved 126K kg of fruit and veg, equivalent to 226K of CO2. Fox & Hare’s Impact Strategy If your product isn’t conducive to reusing food waste, consider improving the shelf-life of your product through enhanced, environmentally friendly packaging: consumers closely correlate the two. About 74% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging and sustainably marketed products in the consumer packaged goods market have grown x7 more than their regular counterparts – owning half of all growth in the sector. Market Opportunity Food waste accounts for £760m in global losses. The food waste management market is projected to reach £38.7bn with a CAGR of 5.6% by 2025. Currently, Australia and the US are the top food wasters globally. Fox & Hare’s Impact Communications Unique and eye-catching imagery (digital, print, packaging) will draw people in naturally. A brand’s top priority, above all, would be to appeal to the consumer’s sense of purpose. Can they participate in your campaign? Create and share content to your social channels? Encouraging customer input will create shared value and community engagement, ultimately keeping their attention on the issues and your brand.
H2O Depletion: Croplands
Optimising our Water Usage Agriculture consumes 70% of the planet’s freshwater supply and contributes to 78% of all water pollution. Recent AgTech developments have enabled producers to monitor water consumption, whilst product substitutes have lead to a general reduction. Consumers demand 360 degree awareness, forcing brands to work closely with supply chains to understand all impacts. Brand Solutions Solutions from CVP enriched soil (which uses 1/20th of the water and yields 1.5x the crops) and technologies monitoring water runoff to wireless irrigation networks help brands reduce water consumption at the supply chain levels. Fox & Hare’s Impact Strategy Work with your manufacturers on water use. This can be achieved via upgrading existing AgTech, enabling a company like Driscoll’s to see a 30-40% decrease in water consumption or partnering with new technology such as CropX to monitor runoff, soil quality, and water patterns. If this seems like a monumental task your team is not quite ready for, why not start with monitoring and reducing your internal water consumption? Market Opportunity The global Smart Agtech market is currently valued at £10.5bn and is expected to reach £16bn with a CAGR of 9.8% by 2025.
Footprint: Supply Chains
Accountability and Traceability A company’s supply chain accounts for 80% of its CO2 emissions and 90% of its land/ air/ water impact. Yet, only 25% of companies are actively engaging to make a change whilst 72% of consumers demand that brands know where all ingredients come from. Investing in supply chain technology can lead to a 15% reduction in costs and 300% increase in speed of cash-to-cash cycles. Brand Solutions From blockchain to predictive analytics, companies are tapping into new technology to support their mission to monitor and clean up supply chains. Fox & Hare’s Impact Strategy PepsiCo uses data to monitor crop performance across 14 EU markets. Nestlé produced on a blockchain solution with OpenSC, helping luxury coffee brand Zoégas achieve 100% Rainforest Alliance certification. Many companies are operating through the IBM Food Trust, an SaaS that produces actionable supply chain data. Brands in the position to do so would be wise to invest to reap the benefits long-term. Smaller brands have the luxury of less suppliers, so are encouraged to audit and monitor each one. Market Opportunity The global supply chain management market is currently valued at £12.2bn and is expected to reach £28.6bn with a CAGR of 11.2% by 2027.
Land Utility: Deforestation
Regenerating Our Planet
We use half of our habitable land for agriculture. Deforestation is common for soya, meat, and palm oil production and accounts for nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It is also linked to about 10% of global warming. Replanting trees in agricultural lands could help reduce 439mil tonnes of CO2, equivalent to about 94mil passenger vehicles per year.
Many large brands have been making long-term commitments to reduce deforestation, but some are integrating innovations to take it to the next level. Using crowd sourcing technology and innovative farming techniques, brands can monitor and neutralise their environmental impact.
Fox & Hare’s Impact Strategy
Planting trees as windbreaks, alley cropping, and FMNR are all ways of replacing trees without minimising crop yields. The Land Life Company uses Cocoon technology to replant trees in degraded land. Identify how you can get your business involved in regeneration. Whether it is through your own supply chain or a CSR initiative, your customers will appreciate you did.
Fox & Hare’s Impact Communications
Identify how you can use technology to keep you honest with the public. Unilever helped launch Global Forest Watch, which uses crowd sourcing to map and monitor the Universal Mill List. Tekt Industries, amongst a team of other contributing enterprises, helped develop Code of Conscience, an open source software that restricts heavy duty vehicles going into protected areas. Collaborating with other businesses of different specialities will enable your brand to be a part of something that is universally recognised and PR hype-worthy. A campaign of this nature could, quite literally, put you brand on the map.