#MakePurposePriority

Changing the World: How Technology Can Maximise Social Impact

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.

Food waste accounts for 6% of all global greenhouse emissions and £770m in losses globally, which is why it is so important for applicable businesses to address it. Shane Munro, VP food and beverage, Accor Northern Europe, talks about how the Accor Group partnership with blockchain-based food waste management company Too Good To Go helps elevate Acoor’s standing as a global brand and impact leader.

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.

The Key to Getting Social Impact Right Is Defining Authenticity for Your Brand

Fox & Hare co-founder Ben Fox discusses the role of strategy and planning in the social impact world, and how they’re helping brands fast-track their creative efforts.

As purpose continues to rise to the top of consumer priorities across both B2B and B2C marketing, brands are looking to social impact strategies as a means of encouraging business health and longevity. LBB caught up with Ben Fox, co-founder/ strategy and planning director for creative consultancy Fox & Hare, helping brands #MakePurposePriority, to talk about the role of strategy and planning in the social impact world, and how they’re helping brands fast-track their creative efforts.

Little Black Book > So, what role does social impact have at Fox & Hare?

Ben > It’s everything to us and it’s the reason why we started the agency. We wanted to work with brands across the entire spectrum of positive impact – big brands that need convincing, the small brands that need extra team resources, and everything in between. Looking at my role in the company, it’s bringing together my two specialisms and passions; strategy/planning and social impact. I see myself as the point of connection between the client and the creative team, building the evidence to support creativity and ensure that our work always aligns with the client’s business and marketing objectives – and enable our campaigns to speak to audiences and drive tangible results. We’re now part of the B Corp community, which means we’re having to work just as hard as our clients – which gives us all an even sharper focus on how we operate as business in every single aspect.

Little Black Book > What’s the best part about your job?

Ben > Honestly, it’s being able to work with brands that I care about. I’ve always felt that strategy and planning are the most underrated department in an agency – often being pigeon-holed as researchers who shouldn’t be client-facing. And while creatives are the rockstars (always have been, always should be) in a creative consultancy, my role is to give them everything they need before they get too far down the wrong route! And as a co-founder, it’s building an agency that challenges what it means to be an agency. It’s the small things, the collaborative culture, the open-mindedness and passion that we put into our work because we live and breathe social impact – it’s our lifestyle when the office doors close at night.

Little Black Book > Do you believe that brand longevity is somehow correlated to social impact – can you talk about the value this brings to brands? 

Ben > Broadly speaking, there’s now a lot of evidence that highlights how consumers are demanding genuine social impact initiatives from businesses. It’s no longer enough to just say something and sit back. Brands have to prove more and more that they are doing good – doing nothing is no longer an option. Brands are acting now to remain on their customer’s radar every single time they put their hand in their pocket. If your business won’t make changes to fit into the new way of thinking, eg) caring about impact and your footprint on the planet, another business will. We have spoken to brands from every sector under the sun, there are several challenges that come up time and time again. 1) Fear of legacy getting in the way of progress 2) Differentiating from other brands in the industry 3) Proving that social impact can have a measurable impact on the bottom line That’s where strategy and planning can help to bridge the gap between the unknown and getting started. Research, insight, understanding and evidence all help brands to understand where they should really be putting their marketing efforts in a meaningful way for their customers.

Little Black Book > You talk about creating ‘genuine stories’ – what steps can brands take to successfully integrate them into their long-term strategies? 

Ben > Firstly, a business has to be honest from the beginning. There is no hiding anymore – if you’ve done something negative in the past, own it. There won’t be any progress if you hide behind a false truth. It might sound dramatic, but it massively helps to understand exactly what we’re working with before we get too far down one path! As a strategic advisor, our role is to uncover authentic impact stories that will inspire consumers to choose your product or service, so we need to be more convincing than our rivals. A non-genuine approach will tear the whole campaign apart before it even starts.

Little Black Book > How do brands with legacy and history authentically move forward on their social impact journey? 

Ben > Well, accept that you haven’t been perfect for starters. Positive social impact manifests across the whole business, not just one department in the company. A good starting point is understanding where your business has fallen down in the past and why. Once you know the reality, you can start to engrain your social purpose across the company through your employees. It’s key that senior management buys into this, of course, for investment reasons (money and time), but having the populus believing and living positive social impact in the workplace is essentially the make or break situation. A negative legacy will naturally mean more work is required with employees, customers and consumers, but it is far from impossible. When a new brand enters the market they have an advantage in many ways – but what they usually don’t have is the ability to impact on a mass scale. Newer firms will have smaller resources and customer bases, so generally their influence on the market, specifically referencing social impact, tends to be lower. A giant organisation, while it may take longer to turn the ship around, will have the power to do more good in the long term.

Little Black Book > At Fox & Hare, you’ve talked about social impact being a ‘point of differentiation’ – can you explain the value of this for brands who might be on the fence about dipping their toes into the water with social impact creative? 

Ben > The reality is that social impact has always existed. Issues such as climate change, youth unemployment, elderly isolation, societal diversity, financial wellbeing, workplace health etc., have always been there. And it’s great that businesses are talking about these key topics. But when everyone else is doing the same it can be difficult to stand out. That’s why we work with clients to develop their genuine narrative and focus on the areas where they have the most authority. In reality, there’s just no point in a soft drinks producer focusing all of their creative efforts on mental health, for example. The idea that soft drinks and mental health are linked is thin – coupled with the idea that there are thousands of similar conversations taking place in more appropriate scenarios. As an experienced strategist, I work with my clients to find their area of expertise and their reason for being, then match this with a clear differentiator in their marketplace. Only after serious development will we build the roadmap for success. My best advice here is for brands to take their time, build something worthy – not just jump in because everyone else is doing it.

Little Black Book > It feels like social media and social impact have a lot in common when it comes to the ways brands view them. Have you found that this is the case, and how? 

Ben > Absolutely, when commercialised social media burst onto the scene, it quickly became popular with brands who saw it as a new touchpoint with their customer – in many ways, purpose and social impact have been used in similar circumstances. And just like social media, brands are falling all over themselves to get out to their customers with their latest take on global issues. Mistakes have been made (and will continue to be made) in recent times – who remembers a popular soft drinks brand weighing in on the riots in the States, for example? Countless others exist too. But we can learn a lot from those errors. – The first learning being that social impact done properly was never going to be a ‘first past the post’ effort – It will never going to deliver results without any real thought or planning – Social impact is a long-term game, not a short-term fix – it’s also not crisis comms – On a similar note, positive social impact is not a one-time idea, it will evolve as time goes on, just like social media has – so be prepared – If your brand is not being genuine, you won’t be able to hide behind your purpose for long

Little Black Book > What’s the final piece of advice you’d give to our readers as we screech towards 2021? 

Ben > This is a simple one – get in touch with Fox & Hare to find out how we can support your journey in the social impact space – our specialists are equipped with experience, expertise and all the passion in the world to devise, develop, produce amazing work – and support you the whole way. Plugs aside, I’d say that businesses should use less corporate jargon and technical blabber. Always communicate in a way that speaks directly to a customer. Be human.

The Big Issue and Fox & Hare Support Sellers by Sharing True Success Stories in Time of Crisis

With footfall on high streets significantly down, the campaign seeks to shine a light on the ways sellers are supported.

On World Homeless Day, The Big Issue (TBI) has launched a digital campaign to highlight the support that Big Issue sellers receive from the Frontline team at the organisation in a bid to help boost sales of the magazine. The Big Issue, which offers homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK a means by which to earn a legitimate income, took the decision to safeguard its network of sellers and the public by asking that they stop selling on streets across the whole of the UK with immediate effect on 20th March. On Monday 6th July, Big Issue sellers returned to selling the magazine across the country. However, with footfall significantly lower on many high streets, every sale counts and support from the public is needed now, more than ever. The campaign, called ‘The Big Opportunity’, developed in partnership with creative agency, Fox & Hare, seeks to shine a light on the support that Big Issue sellers receive from the team on the ground in order to pursue their ambitions and passions.

The Big Issue team of over 60 frontline staff work with sellers in the following ways:

  • Connection to specialist support services, access to safe and secure accommodation, support to gain official ID which facilitates registering for many services including obtaining a bank account
  • Access to The Big Issue Vendor Support Fund for tools or items sellers might need to improve their lives Support with money management and digital and financial inclusion
  • Help with exploring career opportunities by helping sellers to recognise transferable skills, update their CVs, search and apply for jobs and with interview coaching
  • Back to work programmes, including corporate vendor placements and partnerships with organisations where there may be opportunities for sellers to take on roles within the business

The campaign consists of a series of 12 success stories that show the opportunity that selling The Big Issue provides people with for a chance to change their lives and realise their ambitions. The stories will be shared across the organisation’s website and social channels for four weeks. The first story, to be shared on Saturday 10th October, World Homeless Day, tells the story of Big Issue seller Martin McKenzie, 39, from London. He’s now been able to earn a living outside of selling the magazine and has aspirations to expand his mobile bike repair business. Martin has been supported to obtain a passport for ID and provided him with a card reader so he can accept contactless payments. Martin has also shared his mechanical skills in The Big Issue magazine’s weekly Seller Expert column. Martin said: “I can turn my hand to anything. I’m educating myself in electric bikes at the minute so I can have a general understanding of how the battery packs work, and the motors, and how to rechain them and so on. The bigger picture for the business is a rickshaw. The Big Issue has always led to better things for me – it’s been there to help me get back on my feet a few times now, and I’m determined to get back on my feet this time too.” Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “With city and town centres a good deal quieter than usual, it’s very tough out there at the moment for Big Issue sellers. We felt it important to show people how life-changing our support can prove to be. Not only do we provide people with a means to earn a legitimate income by selling the magazine but we work closely with each and every seller to help them on their way to pursuing ambitions that they may have. “We ask that you please be a part of that process of giving someone The Big Opportunity they need and deserve by buying a copy of the magazine. We would encourage anyone who wants to support us who doesn’t have a local seller to support The Big Issue’s mission to help people in poverty improve their lives, by buying a subscription to the magazine.” Ben Fox, Strategy and Planning Director at Fox & Hare, said: “Following the success of #TheBigMissYou creative campaign at the start of lockdown, Fox & Hare wanted to continue supporting The Big Issue’s mission even further by championing the huge effort that frontline staff provide in order to improve vendors lives, as well as promoting a handful of the vendors themselves who are proving that hard work pays off in the long-term. “There are so many opportunities for vendors and it’s all possible because of their frontline staff, so we wanted to share the powerful message of the #TheBigOpportunity to encourage more vendors to join up. Now more than ever, The Big Issue needs support to keep this life-changing work moving, so we’re urging everyone to subscribe to the digital edition of the magazine and play their part too.”

To read more about Martin and the other 11 stories being shared over the next four weeks, click here.

Food for Thought: Food Sector Sustainability and Impact Report

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.

NY Times

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.

Rubies in the Rubble

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.

Land Life Co

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.

Global Forest Watch

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 Life Co

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. Brand Solutions 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.

Click here to view the full report.

Social Impact Businesses in “an Age of Community and Global Responsibility”

Fox & Hare founders Ben Fox and Craig Hares on helping brands to take their responsibilities beyond their bottom line seriously.

The marketing world has been talking about the importance of brand purpose for years now. What’s new in that debate? Are there any insights that you don’t see brands acting on enough?

Ben> Nothing is ever truly new. The business landscape has been talking about corporate social responsibility, in some form or another, for over thirty years. And whilst social impact communications is by no means a new form of marketing, the increased speed at which we consume information has created the urgency for brands to express their genuine purpose. Movements such as #BLM and #MeToo have highlighted consumers’ demand to be at the forefront of social change, personally and by association. Covid-19 has resulted in people returning to an ethos of ‘shopping local’. Consumers want to engage with brands that take a stand and are held accountable for their business decisions and culture. They want to know how and where their products are made, and at what cost to the environment. What’s new to the debate is a sense of shared identity that stems from authenticity. We’ve moved past a period of individual action and into an age of community and global responsibility. To survive, brands must no longer view social responsibility as an obstacle or requirement, but as an extension of their core values. We see a lot of fragmented approaches to CSR and impact – some companies use “greenwashing” or external “sustainable initiatives” as a PR ploy, whilst others have contributed to social causes for years yet don’t actively share this with their customers. It is essential for all brands to build an integrated impact strategy that links into their wider business objectives and not one that simply sits on top of existing marketing initiatives. Those who have the courage and take the time to delve into the roots of the business to uncover their social advantage will not only have the upper hand but might discover untapped value and opportunities in the process.

What’s the best example you can think of a brand’s values impacting its bottom line drastically?

Craig> With ESG portfolio investments rising by 53% in 2019 alone, it’s not enough for an organisation to measure growth based solely on profit. Looking at organisational performance going forward, we base our evaluations on the triple bottom line: profit, people, and the planet. A classic example of a brand harnessing values for increased prosperity is eco-warrior Patagonia. Last year, the Patagonia team launched a Black Friday campaign pledging to match user-generated donations through their Action Works initiative, resulting in a combined £15.3m in donations over just 17 days. This campaign (five times more effective than projected) brought in £7.6m in sales, 24,000 new customer sign-ups, and certainly made for a nice tax write-off. The “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign they did in 2011 led to a 30% increase in revenue for the year. They often use their values to involve their communities, increasing lifetime customer value and loyalty. Over the years, there have been several examples of companies that failed by allowing poor values to dictate company policies, such as Enron and Wirecard. More often than not, we tend to see something a little more nuanced than outright fraud: ESG initiatives that backfire, impacting long-term profitability, purchasing consideration, and brand perception. The Volkswagen diesel emissions test cheating scandal of 2015 cost the automotive brand £25.4bn in recalls and damages to date. The brand reputation, whilst on the mend, has yet to return to its original scores five years later, resulting in a total rebrand and £39bn commitment to investing in the future. Now more than ever, brands need to be careful of greenwashing simply as a means of gaining public favour. Social advantage must be carefully considered and integrated into the very heart of the business.

What broad lessons can marketers take from these examples? 

Craig> 1) Aligning ESG strategies to core business values will result in increased funding and growth opportunities, 2) Advocating for your social advantage will help strengthen your communities and increase customer loyalty, 3) Social impact communications should be integrated into branding strategies, and 4) Authenticity will always outweigh showmanship.

I feel like there are still some very successful brands who don’t give a flying fuck about anything but their bottom line. Why should they care when they’re making so much money? 

Craig> The ground on which we trade is increasingly unstable. Now more than ever, consumers have the power to make or break a business with as little as a negative tweet. As the distance between brands and their communities decreases, we as business owners need to adapt to the new landscape which demands accountability and transparency. That means monitoring and improving supply chain operations, employee well-being, and community impact to improve your triple bottom line. 
Those who remain in the era of “profit-at-all-costs” be warned: your customers already see through you and will eagerly jump in bed with a competitor who will help them feel like they are using their purchasing power to make a difference in the lives of others.

You’re hoping to gain B-Corp status soon. What does that mean? Why is it so important to your business? 

Ben> Certified B Corporation describes itself as a collective of businesses “that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” What it means for Fox & Hare is that we are putting our money where our mouth is. There is no point in use telling people about social purpose if we don’t embody it ourselves. It means that our clients, employees, and communities all know that we strive to create a positive impact with each project we undertake. It also helps us implement a practice of continual learning on how we can improve as a business. Ultimately it boils down to being the best version of ourselves, to #MakePurposePriority – which is what our clients expect to see from us on a brand level and within all of the work that we do.

With all this in mind, what pieces of work are you most proud of doing recently? 

Craig> We’re excited to be situated in the social impact space, which feels relevant for the times and allows brands to still market to consumers in a way that is tasteful for the times. We love nothing more than using creative for the power of good. Recently, we launched #ChallengeImpossible on Twitch for CLIC Sargent, with a focus on gamers and streamers raising vital funds by using the power of technology and creativity for children with cancer. And #TheBigMissYou campaign we did for The Big Issue encouraged supporters to subscribe or support with a one-off payment to combat the effects of COVID on its vendors. At the end of the day, we are proud of all of the work we do that helps brands and their teams produce commercially-driven and measurable work. Our passion is helping brands establish their voice in a world that can be overwhelmed by negative noise, and take all opportunities to help them make their strongest impact.

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If you’d like to chat more about how to leverage your Social Advantage, or even to ask how those in the know have built a more impactful social strategy, you can email lauren@foxandhare.co to come and have a coffee (IRL or virtual)! 

Why pick a specialist social impact consultancy?

Published in February 2020, the AA’s most recent Advertising Pays 8 (AP8) Study has shown that 53% of adults say they would think more highly of any for-profit company that tries to make a positive impact on society.  

However, as a brand, applying the practice of ‘social impact’ to your brand and marketing strategies is a tricky process. 

More often than not, we see in-house marketing teams across all sectors constantly improving their purpose and potential in a way that truly empowers their customers to make a change for good. 

And this takes time and expertise to put into proper effect – and partnering with a dedicated team and agency in the social impact space (like us, hello there!) can be just the thing to kickstart your progress to making purpose priority. 

We delve into the benefits of partnering with such a specialist agency, and how social impact can rejuvenate the ways you’re planning your brand and marketing strategies: 

Bring your mission and purpose to the fore

Your mission is your lifeline – and your partner should be aligned with you on this to execute a dedicated, impactful strategy. 

But we’ve also found value in not ripping up the rule book – taking a look at your current strategies, and understanding how your purpose can boost your existing KPIs, business and comms objectives is a worthwhile exercise. 

Yet the truly specialist approach that a social impact agency can offer is in the act of unearthing your Social Advantage as a brand. While it’s easy to focus purely on product and ROI, this kind of partnership is a clear indicator you’re investing in an alignment and dedication towards communicating your mission and purpose. 

Creating more bespoke budgets to your needs

Everyone’s favourite question is: “how much is this going to cost?” – but when picking a more specialist agency as a partner to your marketing visions, conversations around budgets become much more transparent.

This is a great opportunity to plan strategically – instead of treating your external partner as a resource for one off campaigns, consider sitting down with them and provide oversight on your yearly budgets to see where resources can be allocated cleverly. 

Understanding the levels at which you’re able to spend, and how bigger campaigns can intertwine with your BAU digital activity is a more impactful conversation to have. A social impact agency who can identify opportunities to make your budgets work harder will serve you more efficiently in the long-term, especially as budgets are still a delicate conversation to be having in the lasting aftermath of covid-19.

Encouraging a new, collaborative approach 

And while it may be tempting to give your standard agency a budget and a project to run off with, as a specialist consultancy we’re able to implement a leaner way of working. Specialist agencies encourage expertise at all levels – we’re more of a hybrid choice. 

The act of taking on an external partner can sometimes leave internal stakeholders sidelined, but we see it as a boost to resources, not a drawback. 

It’s all about thinking how we can bring you the best value and services most aligned with the great talent you’ve already attracted, and providing an external perspective that can influence how we collaborate and build on your objectives. 

Harnessing the power of a disruptor

Choosing a newer social impact agency doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality, or imply you’re ‘settling’ for a ‘cheaper’ option. 

We value our unique proposition as a way to disrupt the ways agencies have worked with in-house marketing teams. You’re enlisting the help of a dedicated team who is quick, passionate, and able to be more on-the-ground than traditional agencies can be. 

As a brand signing on with a smaller agency, you’re going to be treated like a big fish in a (by no means) small pond, instead of being sold to tirelessly. 

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While all these tips and tricks are useful, we know how tricky it can be to make the jump. Here’s some recommended reading on how to be more invested in social impact – 

If you’d like to chat more about how to leverage your Social Advantage, or even to ask how those in the know have built a more impactful social strategy, you can email lauren@foxandhare.co to come and have a coffee! 

Download our PSI report on how brands are now catering to the more conscious consumer here.

Social impact during Covid-19 can determine your brand’s future

At the end of March 2020, Mike Barry of A Blueprint for Better Business wrote a post for Ethical Corporation outlining how businesses can help shape a sustainable world, post Covid-19.

In it, he observed, “Post-COVID-19, we will not see a blind eye turned as it was to the banks in 2008-2012 as they crept back to the old ways on the back of taxpayer support. The companies that prosper in the next decade will be the ones that have taken the management-speak of ‘purpose’ and turned it into reality.” 

The ‘purpose’ Mike refers to is your reason for being and what you stand for above all else; what you’re doing to make the world a better place – your social impact. 

There’s been a growing trend of consumers turning toward brands with a purpose for some time. In 2018, a study by Nielsen showed that 81% of global consumers say it’s extremely or very important for companies to implement programs to improve the environment. And 73% say they’ll either definitely or probably change their consumption habits to lessen their impact on the environment. 

Now, though, in the middle of a global crisis, people are paying even closer attention to what brands are doing around social impact, as was evident with the unwanted media attention for Wetherspoons and Kroger in the U.S, and the positive attention for Gary Neville and his move to donate 176 hotel beds to NHS workers

While social impact should never be implemented as a short-term measure to capitalise on the fact all eyes are on you during a pandemic, it’s a good time to think about marketing not as a way to generate sales, but a chance to tell the story of your long-term purpose. 

A good example of a brand striking the right tone during the time of Covid-19 is Nike. At a time when our daily routines were taken away from us, Nike helped unite people while sticking with its theme of inspiration and determination to get customers active. 

It’s Play for the World campaign was accompanied by practical ways for people to workout at home. 

At the same time, the brand has pledged support to grassroots organisations through its ‘Nike Community Impact Fund’ and helped healthcare workers by manufacturing PPE.

Why does it work? Because Nike has kept its message authentic and practised what it preached. 

And that’s what consumers want… for you to be part of the solution in a time of need.   

How brands act today, during the pandemic, will impact customer trust and loyalty in the future.

How will your brand look on the other side?

Why social media and social impact are the perfect partners for good

In 2011, the New York Time Consumer Insight Group conducted a study titled, “The Psychology of Sharing”. Its aim was to find out what motivates people to share information online.

Having carried out face-to-face interviews, a one-week sharing panel and a survey of 2,500 online sharers, the study revealed five primary reasons motivations for sharing: 

  1. To better the lives of others (94%)
  2. To spread the word about something they believe in (84%)
  3. To enjoy the feeling of having others engage (81%)
  4. To grow and nourish relationships (80%)
  5. To reflect their online identity (68%)

While social media is different to what it was in 2011, people aren’t. What motivated us then are the same things that motivate us now. 

These motivations for sharing help us build our social circles. They’re why we surround ourselves with people who share our opinions and like the same things. 

Brands find their way into our social circles by posting things we enjoy and agree with. Some also enter our circles for other reasons, by posting something we disagree with or find throwaway funny, but those brands never stick around for long. The brands that do stick around are the ones that fit our world view. The ones we like for what they offer as a product or service, but also for their content and message.

As a brand pushing a social impact message, motivations for sharing are tailor-made for drawing attention to your cause. 

And they’re backed by action. 

According to research by Cone/Porter Novelli, 73% of people say they would share information or stories about purpose-driven brands (brand’s whose reason for existing is focussed on helping people, the local economy and the planet as much as making a profit). 

They also fit with what a recent Sprout Social study showed consumers expect from brands: to be a positive contributor to society, to connect with consumers, to use their power to help people and to bring people together toward a common goal. 

Image: Sprout Social

By using social media as a tool for social impact marketing, you’re giving people content they want to share to better people’s lives, spread the word and engage with others. 

And with every share, your message spreads a little further, you become a part of new social circles and you bring people together. 

You become a brand that people want to support.
If you’re interested in learning more about social impact marketing, we’ve created a guide you might find useful. You can read it here.

Five ways to measure the success of social impact marketing

In an era of conscious consumers, where 81% of people want brands to address societal issues, it’s a good time to be a social impact brand.

It’s also a good time to market your social impact brand – global studies show that 91% of consumers say they would switch to a brand that supports a cause if it offered similar price and quality and 92% say they would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit. 

Social impact marketing helps your company grow and the more you grow, the greater your capacity to do good and affect change.

But you can only grow if your marketing resonates with people. The way to ensure that’s the case is to measure the success of your campaigns. By measuring, you can see what works and what doesn’t and continually tweak your marketing to keep people engaged.

Regardless of whether you want to build awareness, increase traffic to your website, promote a specific cause or generate sales, here are five ways to keep tabs on the success of your social impact marketing.

(Each of these metrics can be measured using Google Analytics, social media insight tools such as Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics and social media management platforms.) 

1. Reach

To build meaningful connections, people first need to see your message. Reach tells you how far your conversation has spread across social media and how big your potential audience is. The more people your content reaches, the more chance you’ll have of it succeeding. 

Look at the reach of your posts, hashtags and events. Then compare them with engagement…

2. Engagement 

Engagement looks at how many of the people you’ve reached are taking part in the conversation. 

How many likes, comments, shares and clicks you receive will determine how many more people see your message. They’ll also determine how visible your content is. 

Google and social media platforms like popular content. The more popular it is, the more they’ll favour it. For things like blog posts and landing pages, this means featuring prominently in search results. For social content, it means sticking around in people’s feeds for longer. 

The type of engagement to track depends on what your goals are. If you want as many people as possible to see your message, look at how many shares and comments posts are getting. If you’re more interested in visiting your landing page, look at the number of clicks.

3. Earned media

Earned media is the content that’s created every time someone who’s not affiliated with your brand mentions you. 

It’s essentially free advertising. And it’s a great way to measure the success of social impact marketing. Because for people to talk about you they have to be aware of you and if they’re aware of you, you’re doing something right (or wrong…but hopefully not).   

Earned media can be a mention in a blog post, vlog, social media post or in the press. You can track mentions by setting up Google Alerts or using a free tool like Social Mention.

4. Sentiment

To know what kind of impact you’re having, you need to know what people are saying and how they feel about your brand. Sentiment measures the emotion or opinion of the mentions you’re getting.

Tracking sentiment will give you an idea of:

  • How satisfied your customers are 
  • How loyal your customers are 
  • How likely is it customers will engage with you in future

Tracking earned media mentions is one way to measure sentiment. The other way is to ask customers directly in surveys, live chat conversations and phone or face-to-face interviews. 

When gathering customer feedback, make it easy for them by using a scoring system like Net Promoter Score (NPS) (you’ll know these as the 0 to 10 scales that brands often use rate satisfaction, 0 being extremely negative and 10 being extremely positive). The more straightforward it is for people to answer questions, the more likely it is they’ll do it. 

5. Employee satisfaction

Social impact affects employees as much as customers. If they aren’t excited and engaged by your message, customers won’t be either. 

Your team is the voice of your company. They’re the people pushing your brand and championing your values. Make sure they’re fully on board with what you’re doing. Ask for their thoughts and use their feedback to improve.

Not everything you do with your social impact marketing will work. As the old saying goes, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” 

But you can please some of the people a lot of the time. With a message that’s true to your purpose and the right metrics to measure and improve, that’s enough for success.