News

Soft drink brand Vimto is launching its biggest marketing campaign to date.
 
Live from 2 May, the multi-touchpoint ‘Find Your Different’ campaign will be rolled out across various platforms including TV, video-on-demand, digital, proximity media, mobile and shopper marketing in store and online.
 
An evolution of its ‘I See Vimto In You’ campaign, ‘Find Your Different’ continues to showcase the Vimto spirit, dramatizing the essence of Vimto, highlighting the notion that life is a discovery and a celebration of what you love.
 
Having grown consecutively YOY for the past decade, Vimto is now worth £97.4m and brand sales are up 6.6% year-on-year, growing more than twice as fast as the category. The latest activity aims to “further propel the brand to the forefront of consumer minds”.
 
The £5m campaign follows the recent unveiling of a new brand identity across the entire Vimto portfolio and the relaunch of the Vimto core squash range – which is now fortified with vitamins C and D, as well as the introduction of a -new addition to the Vimto squash range – Blackberry, Raspberry and Blueberry.
 
As part of the ‘Find Your Different’ campaign, there will also be product-specific media, targeting parents buying squash for their families, communicating the new fortified squash vitamin credentials.
 
Vimto Senior Brand Manager, Becky Unwin, said: “We are incredibly excited to be launching our new Find your Different Campaign in our biggest-ever multi-channel marketing plan. As a brand, we are always seeking ways to disrupt the soft drinks category, and we feel that this is exactly what we’re achieving with ‘Find Your Different’.
 
“We are passionate about delivering high-quality drink choices in line with consumer needs and Vimto continues to go from strength-to-strength. With the combination of our recent brand redesign, the relaunch of our core squash range, and now our latest marketing campaign, we are excited to encourage consumers to find they’re different with Vimto.”

UK bank NatWest has announced that it plans to move its headquarters to London if Scotland votes for independence.
 
NatWest Group, known as Royal Bank of Scotland until last year, said this week that it would move its headquarters out of Scotland in the event that the country votes for independence from the rest of the UK.
 
The company has been based in Edinburgh for 294 years, but said that the bank’s balance sheet would be “too big” for the country’s economy if it was independent.
 
The change in registered headquarters would not be expected to impact staff or customers at NatWest.
 
Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest, commented: “In the event that there was independence for Scotland our balance sheet would be too big for an independent Scottish economy.
 
“And so we would move our registered headquarters, in the event of independence, to London.
 
“We are neutral on the issue of Scottish independence. It’s something for the Scottish people to decide.”
To ensure a safe reopening this summer, holiday park operator Butlin's is introducing a pioneering air purification system.
 
The Clenzair system is being fitted in event venues at Butlin's Bognor Regis resort
 
Clenzair says the system purifies and decontaminates the air and can neutralise 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, gases, odours, mould and Volatile Organic Compounds, both in the air and on surfaces.
 
The technology is already widely used in offices, schools, hospitals and other community spaces around the world.
 
In the US, it is used by Google, Harvard University and several airports.
 
"Butlin's has always focused on innovating, and we're delighted to be working in partnership with Clenzair to trial this cutting edge technology in Bognor Regis," said Jon Hendry-Pickup, Managing Director of Butlin's.
 
"Our guests told us that they felt really safe and secure as we reopened last summer after the first lockdown. This year we want to go even further."
 
Laurie Mcilwee, Director of Clenzair, said: "Clenzair technology neutralises viruses and provides cleaner, safer air. It's been a pleasure to work with Butlins who are leading the way, in the UK, to make indoors as safe as outdoors for its customers and their team."
Research from Ofcom has shown that six per cent of households in the UK remain without internet access.
 
This number has fallen from 11% in March 2020 when the UK entered a national lockdown for the first time.
 
The research also indicates that digital exclusion during lockdown is likely to be more disempowering than ever.
 
Groups least likely to have home internet access are those aged 65+, lower-income households, and the most financially vulnerable.
 
Almost half of adults who remain offline say they find the internet too complicated, or it holds no interest for them. More than a third of people lack the equipment to get online.
 
However, six in ten who don’t use the internet at home say they have asked someone to do something for them online in the past year.
 
Research on parents and children found nearly all children of school age had online access in the home, 4% relied solely on mobile internet access during the pandemic with 2% only able to get online using a smartphone.
 
Cable.co.uk consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle said: “It may be surprising to many that so many homes still do not have access to the internet. As one might expect, these tend to be concentrated among older people, and those living below the poverty line.
 
“Of course, there is little to be done about those households that simply do not want it. However, with the government consistently espousing promises of fast internet for everybody, there is plenty it could be doing for those who cannot afford it.
 
“With the UN declaring internet access a basic human right all the way back in 2016, free broadband seems an obvious choice for inclusion in various welfare schemes – a move that would undoubtedly provide a boost those who are struggling financially, and help those who are unemployed to find and apply for work more easily.”
Matt Elliott has been promoted into the new role of national recruitment manager and will lead the new team of five who have a wealth of experience within the retail sector.
 
Elliott has worked for One Stop for six years, previously as operations controller, he said: “I was elated to be given the opportunity to take on this role, as I know how much One Stop want to drive the franchise business. They are putting their trust in myself and the new team to deliver these growth and quality plans and move forward with the next phase of the brand. So, it’s a really exciting time.”
 
The new recruitment team also includes Jim Carroll (Scotland), Bill Nelson (North West), Shaun Dale (Midlands), Raj Sathi (South East), and Debra Allen (South East Midlands).
 
Elliott added: “Dedicating ourselves to recruitment as a team – across all corners of the UK – will get franchisees onboard quicker and we can work with them on all their bespoke questions and regionalised requests. Having that specific geographical knowledge will be incredibly valuable.”
 
John Miller, head of franchise at One Stop, said: “The results we’ve seen from our franchisees over the last five years have been astounding and as we come out of lockdown we’re maximising the momentum we’ve gained to move into a new phase of growing the franchise business. In today’s dynamic market retailers are becoming more demanding of their brand partner and we’ve now got the right team and the right proposition in place to meet those demands.
 
“Matt’s extensive experience in the convenience industry makes him the perfect choice to lead the way and he has an exceptional team to really focus on the future.”
London-based Osu, a new invoicing and payment app for the self-employed announced its partnership with Yapily, a leading open banking infrastructure provider based in the city.
 
As of now, there are 4.5 million self-employed professionals in the UK and many of these businesses rely on time-consuming payment processes to manage their day-to-day finances. With the partnership between Osu and Yapily, self-employed professionals get a way to receive payments sans fees or settlement delays.
 
This partnership comes at the right time as the self-employed are already hit due to the pandemic, eliminating the cost of getting paid and automating tasks including sending invoices, accepting payments, and chasing customers are critical to managing their cashflow.
 
Using Yapily’s open banking infrastructure, Osu enables a seamless payments experience for its customers. Osu removes traditional pain points affecting the self-employed when it comes to payments such as high fees, settlement delays, and error-prone bank transfers. This is possible as it builds its payment request flow on top of Yapily’s API infrastructure rather than integrating with a card-based payment service provider.
 
Noam Nevo, CEO & Co-founder of Osu commented, “Our app allows the self-employed to receive payments without fees or settlement delays so that they can carry on with their day-to-day with no worry of losing out on vital funds. Yapily’s infrastructure enables this to happen, so it was a no-brainer to partner with them. We’re planning on introducing a host of new business management features this year, and with support from Yapily, we believe our offering will continue to make life easier for the self-employed as they look to rebuild from a challenging year.”
 
Stefano Vaccino, CEO of Yapily said, “This partnership is an exciting development for Open Banking and demonstrates the benefits our infrastructure can bring to the changing – and growing – landscape of the self-employed. Our partnership with Osu very much aligns with our mission of driving financial inclusion. We’re looking forward to how this partnership develops into other innovative solutions that will, no doubt, prove invaluable to business owners.”
 
Osu founded by Noam Nevo, Daniel Scott, and Alon Zion in 2020 gives freelancers and the self-employed access to cutting-edge payment tools. Through its easy-to-use payments app, Osu lightens the load for self-employed professionals across the UK and helps them achieve more for their efforts such as more earnings, more time, and more opportunity to build.
 
As of now, the Osu app has helped over 1,000 self-employed professionals build and grow their operations, assisting them to successfully accept hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of payments. Recently, Osu raised seeding round of over £2 million and is in plans to increase its customer base to 10,000 active users by the end of 2021.
 
Users of the Osu app get a 30-day free trial sans providing any card details. After 30 days, they can take up a three-month subscription by paying £4.99 for the Lite plan, £9.99 for the Standard or £19.99 for the Pro plan.
European challenger bank bunq has reached €1 billion in user deposits.
 
The amount of money deposited in bunq by their users has more than doubled for the second year in a row – in 2019, user deposits grew from €211M to over $433M. This has shown the importance of easy-to-understand, user-centric banking available online 24/7 during a volatile year that challenged traditional institutions.
 
With the rapid growth of user numbers, bunq is expanding its operations into Germany by opening a brand new office in Cologne and introducing local IBAN (International Bank Account Numbers) for German members to enjoy all of the features of their bank accounts to the fullest.
 
From now on, bunqers living in Germany can receive a German IBAN. This empowers them to use their bunq account for all payments, direct debits, receiving their salaries, and Payment Sorter – all hassle-free and without worrying about IBAN discrimination.
 
All IBANs for Euro-denominated bank accounts within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) should be treated equally and accepted universally, but in practice, discriminating against foreign IBANs in SEPA countries is commonplace. In addition to launching local IBANs for German users, bunq has joined the acceptmyiban.org initiative, which allows users who experienced IBAN discrimination to easily and securely report it to the correct authorities.
 
Ali Niknam, CEO and founder of bunq, said: “We’re so happy that our users trust us with their daily lives and keep on using the features that make their lives easy. With a local account number, our German members can get the full bunq experience!”
 
Germany is just the beginning – bunq’s future plans include offering local IBANs in other countries based on reports and feedback gathered from members.
Marks & Spencer has announced some changes to its food leadership team.
 
The food business’ head of strategy Pav Anand has been promoted to strategy, transformation and online director.
 
Head of trade for meat, fish, deli, dairy and bakery Katharine Haenelt has been promoted to the role of fresh food trading director.
 
Head of ambient trade Lizzy Massey was promoted to ambient trading director while head of franchise David Phillpot moved up to become franchise and hospitality director.
 
Nevertheless, head of space, range and display, Ricky Horner was promoted to programme lead in M&S’s strategy and transformation team where he will report to Katie Bickerstaffe.
 
Former Morrisons head of commercial transformation Jim Clifton has been appointed to replace Horner.
 
“We have exceptional talent across the whole of M&S, with a brilliant mixture of new hires and experienced colleagues who are all working hard with a renewed focus, energy and determination as we come out of lockdown,” M&S food managing director Stuart Machin said.
Timberland has announced its plans to expand its regenerative leather offerings by building the world’s first regenerative rubber supply system for the footwear industry.
 
The footwear giant is partnering with Terra Genesis International (TGI) to bring the concept to life and will work alongside sister brands Vans and The North Face.
 
The regenerative rubber system is to be developed in Thailand with Timberland hoping to pilot the footwear in 2023.
 
The process will use local indigenous knowledge and practises involving a process where regenerative rubber farming incorporates different tree species to mimic a natural forest ecosystem, revitalising biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services such as soil health and water cycling.
 
The plan also provides diversity of yields that give farmers multiple streams of income, providing a long-lasting positive community impact.
 
The footwear retailer and its parent company VF Corporation said they would be supporting “train the trainer” schemes to help increase and spread indigenous knowledge and hopefully transform more plantations to the more sustainable regenerative systems.
 
“At Timberland, we strive for a greener and more equitable future, and investing in regenerative agriculture is one of the most powerful levers we have to achieve this vision,” Timberland senior manager of environmental stewardship Zack Angelini said.
 
“We are excited about the progress we’re making to source our top volume materials in a way that supports the farmers and ranchers working to reverse environmental degradation and create a world that is more abundant, more resilient and even more beautiful than it is today.”
Sam Calvert, Marketing Director at Plusnet, explains why simplicity is at the core of Creative Courage.
 
I’m a simple chap. I don’t mind admitting it.
 
It has a bad rep sometimes, being “simple”. But for me it’s sometimes an art form - the challenge of demystifying a concept and trying to explain it to my mum.
 
I love the art of simplicity and everything that goes with it.
 
But figuring out how to make things simple in my life, for my team, for our customers and for our business is not simple in itself. It takes up a huge amount of my time and energy. It requires specific creative thinking and effort to get it right - checking and challenging that there’s nothing complex about what you’re doing. 
 
It also requires courage.
 
When making things simple, it takes courage to decide what not to do, who not to please, what to sacrifice for the greater good, and when to take a leap of faith not to oversimplify.
 
When aiming for simple, it takes courage not to compromise, whether trying to please a senior stakeholder or a function in your business. Many times in development of our creative concepts I hear, “we can just add this”, or “we can include these words” - each time moving further away from simplicity.
 
The courage to stay simple rings true when developing strategy, creative concepts, customer propositions or anything which ends up needing to be understood by anyone.
 
We often forget that customers are simple too - they don’t understand complex business concepts or technical products, and they certainly don’t have time to grasp complex concepts with the amount of information beamed into their brains daily.
 
We, as marketers, need to be conscious of the concept of simplicity in everything we do, and be courageous to challenge those who seek to disrupt simplicity.
 
I want to share some of the times I’ve been reminded about being courageous in my quest for simplicity - and the lessons I’ve learnt in the last few years.
 
Plusnet’s strategy
 
Plusnet’s brand strategy is named ‘Brilliantly Basic’. It’s about us delivering broadband that meets our customers basic needs, in brilliant ways.
It’s not about poor quality or compromising on service, it’s about having simple products that just work, fair pricing and a responsive UK-based service. All the things our customers really care about, and none of the things they don’t.
 
For us to adopt this strategy, we had to be courageous about what we were going to stop work on: Plusnet’s TV service, our differentiated pricing strategies, improving landlines, new mobile products - all of which would grow revenue and enhance customer experience. But all of this would detract from our core broadband strategy and deliver extra choices for customers, hence less simplicity.  
 
This may be an easy argument to make when it comes to single-minded customer messages, but certainly much harder when talking to bean-counters and looking at future revenue opportunities.
 
Being courageous in pursuing a simplified strategy wasn’t easy. It involved many pitches to key stakeholders, reworked business cases, financial recalculations, and a leap of faith that a simplified business would mean lower costs, therefore an improved financial outlook.
 
A year into executing our strategy and we can see that this approach has worked. By cutting through the complexity, our people can explain our strategy, our creative agencies can recite it, and frontline advisors and even customers in focus groups can understand what we’re all about.
 
Our creative platform
 
Simplicity and courage also shines through in our refreshed creative platform: ‘That’ll do’.
 
The approach brings to life that pleasant feeling when you get more than you bargained for, but also showcases a quintessential Yorkshire phrase - “That’ll do” - used when finding an extra fiver in your pocket, right through to winning EuroMillions, equally in an understated way.
 
Interestingly, this courageousness to keep things simple was about us not changing things.
 
A whole new management team and marketing team were keen to stamp their own mark on the Plusnet brand - me included. This is where creatives and agencies get excited - reinvention and brand re-launches!
 
The problems we thought we were trying to solve were as follows:
 
  • We’d been reusing creative ideas for 18 months, given a lack of budget and strategy
  • Our brand recognition was tightly linked to our lead character: Plusnet Joe
  • We couldn’t be “too Yorkshire”, for fear of people thinking you could only buy Plusnet products in the North of England
 
After a while of trying to solve these problems, and looking at various collections of our own insight and industry brand trackers, we asked: Why had we been reusing creative? Why did we keep Plusnet Joe? Why play the Yorkshire card?
 
The answer to these was simple: it worked. We’d been deep in conceptual development of something just too smart.
 
We were courageous as a team, and embraced the art of simplicity, for not trying to get customers to consider a whole new brand platform, not bowing to our own egos to invent something new, not throwing out something that initially seemed tired - and mostly for taking our previous four-word brand tagline - “We’ll do you proud” - and simplifying it to two.
 
That’ll do.
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