Our work covers a wide range of areas. Whether it’s a behaviour change smoking campaign in Botswana, a large scale consumer research project in Europe to understand parents’ attitudes to healthy living, or a social brand marketing campaign to protect Arctic habitats, our work is all about driving positive change for organisations and the society of which they are part.
We use techniques from the worlds of marketing and behavioural science to develop behaviour change campaigns and movements that help create positive social change.
Changing people’s behaviour is really, really hard. We just are creatures of habit. From when we get up, to what we have for lunch, to our attitudes about certain things, we get hardwired. One of the most important things we’ve learned through all our behaviour change work is never to underestimate the pulling power of the status quo, behaviourally speaking.
So we see our work in this space as being one part of a much broader mix when it comes to actually changing behaviour. We know that on any given issue you need to give people the capability to change, and the opportunity, and this often means structural change and development work. But we also know that this alone isn’t enough. You have to make them want to make the change, whatever it is, and that’s where we come in.
We work to use the power of marketing and branding to create campaigns and movement that help create the desire within people to do what we want them to do – it has to come from them.
This means we always start by focusing on the person, not the issue or the desired change. We understand what matters to them, and explore the stuff of their lives, and then we work within this context and live within their social world.
We do this in the development and advocacy world, we work with governments, and we do it for brands – after all, there’s no better way for a brand to become associated with positive change than by helping people do it in practice.
We think the existence of purpose is hanging in the balance. It rose to take the brand world by storm, and has fast become purple prose that acts as a mirage to real progress. In far, far too many cases it’s a marketing exercise that ends up with a glorified version of what everyone used to call a ‘positioning,’ and lasts as long as the CEO or Brand Director that delivered it. Purpose washing is real and it’s everywhere.
But we’re not quite ready to write it off entirely, because while the execution has been terrible, the concept itself is far from it. We believe – absolutely – that the iconic businesses and brands of the future will be those that know who they are, why they exist and what they are here to achieve. In other words - they have a sense of purpose around what they’ll contribute to the world we all live in.
So come to us for purpose done right.
We work with organisations of all sorts to help them define their purpose – in a real and lasting way. Sometimes, we do this with completely new businesses and brands, helping them right from the start to think about what they do in the biggest possible sense. We work to make sure everyone in the organisation shares the vision and feels passion for it. We develop an articulation of it that drives it home. And, most importantly, we work with the organisation to ensure that the purpose is not something they say, but something they do. It filters through every aspect of their business and everyone feels empowered to make decisions around it.
We also work with organisations that already have a pretty good idea of what they do and why they do it, but have a dusty mission statement and set of values that most people in the organisation might never have heard of and have definitely never engaged with. We change this. By working with the organisation to distil their essence down and express it as a purpose. To help them define the principles that set out how they behave. We work with them to set out pledges – firm commitments of future change that make it real and give people something to hold the organisation accountable to. And then develop the proof that provides people with the reason to believe.
And then we work with organisations that have a very strong sense of purpose and know exactly what they’re here to achieve. We work with them to come up with new ideas, or partnerships, or ways of doing things, that keep them pushing the boundaries on their purpose and propelling them into the future.
We help organisations understand what sustainability means for them and how to deliver on it in a way that makes both social and commercial sense.
We work with both businesses and brands to deliver corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies that work at the heart of the organisation, supporting and bolstering what it does and the way in which it does it.
Sometimes this means helping organisations understand their social and environmental impact and identifying the issues they need to address, and working with them to develop ways of doing so – and demonstrating that they’ve done so. It often involves talking to a wide range of the organisation’s stakeholders, to understand perceptions so that we can assess how they map against reality and develop actions accordingly.
We also work with organisations on specific elements of their sustainability agendas – from the nitty gritty of collecting data and carbon disclosure, to moving reporting to the next level and making it genuinely interesting to specific stakeholders, to developing organisation-wide initiatives that turn strategy into action.
Our clients also often use us to help them push their sustainability thinking forward. We’ve helped organisations move along the way from the standard one-size-fits-all CSR style approach, to a more targeted and context-driven strategy, to a holistic and future-facing view of sustainability.
Whatever stage in the journey an organisation is at, we work with them to ensure that the work they do delivers as much value as possible to the organisation and the world, and makes sense for them, uniquely, given who they are and what they do.