Technique 3 minutes, 12 second read Mark Johnson, Editor, Just.Marketing
Any organisation looking for proof that marketing can drive changes in behaviour, reputation or financial performance, will find plenty of evidence for each in the third tranche of 10 brands in The Innovation 50 list.
Each brand – and occasionally campaign – was nominated by a marketing industry leader because one or more aspects of its approach to marketing has broken new ground and delivered success in some important way – from redefining a category to combining purpose with strong sales.
Here’s a reminder of the previous 10 brands to make the Innovation 50.
The Just.Marketing Innovation 50 power list
21. Kiwi Rail
23. Divine Chocolate
25. Yves Rocher
26. Pret A Manger
In this group there are a rail company, a mattress maker, a confectionery brand, beauty brand, supermarket, toy company, search engine, food brand, oil company, dog food brand and a bicycle repair company.
With its emotive safety campaign aimed at preventing dangerous rail line crossings, Kiwi Rail used a powerful, visual reminder of pedestrian near misses on its rail lines in the form of white half crosses. A QR code on each cross took the pedestrian to CCTV footage showing the near miss on that exact spot.
In contrast, mattress company Casper was nominated for its classic disruptor approach to a sector that had not been disrupted in a century and leaving many imitators in its wake.
Our second chocolate brand with a social purpose to enter the Innovation 50, Divine Chocolate showed that although its original Fairtrade purpose was powerful, what really drove sales in its category was great taste. The farmer-owned brand had the courage and tenacity to reposition and reap higher sales as a result.
Ecosia, another brand driven by purpose, is Europe’s largest search engine. What makes its marketing so innovative is that 80 percent of its ad revenues go to planting trees in countries most adversely affected by climate change. Similar ecological concerns drove cosmetics brand Yves Rocher to highlight the environmental costs of the beauty sector in an award-winning influencer-driven campaign.
Meanwhile, a shift into omnichannel marketing by Pret A Manger won high praise from our expert panel. And in contrast, Lego showed that although marketing channels may change, its traditional link with education, creativity and play is multi-generational and a perennial strength of the brand’s positioning.
An unlikely but hugely successful collaboration between a diesel brand and a dog food company saw Mobil Delvac and Pedigree enter the Innovation 50 as a single entity.
If it is niche marketing with a mission that you are looking for, your search must surely end with London Bike Kitchen. This mechanic owned and operated brand has done something never attempted before in the UK – to not repair your bike for you but to teach you how to do it; coupled with extraordinarily good communications.
Finally, the first supermarket brand to enter the Innovation 50, Sainsbury’s has become a digital marketing leader while keeping all of its marketing distinctly human – a feat more easily described than achieved.
This is the third group of 10 brands in The Innovation 50 list. Over coming months, we will reveal the next 10 nominations.