Smart Brands and Meaningful Consumerism


Welcome to the first Hatched missive for 2019, where we set the tone for the year by highlighting some examples of smart brands and meaningful consumerism.

We’re currently living against a backdrop where trust in Government, media and business is at its lowest ebb making it a great time for brands to stand up and be counted.  Sustainable and ethical consumerism coupled with brands driving legislation is increasing in a time of global upheaval; Trump, Brexit, epic migration, inequality and the future shock of new technologies.

Our connected world means it’s harder to ignore the negative impacts that consumption has on the planet, society and our own health.  In turn as free-thinking individuals, we know that the brands we spend our hard-earned dollars with increasingly need to reflect our personal identity: I’m smart! I’m connected! I’m ethical…a full 70% of Millennials are willing to spend more with brands that support the causes they care about.

Meaningful consumerism lead by brands is not always going to be an easy direction to take, but it can provide unique opportunities to stand up and prove what you believe as a brand.  As well, it’s a burgeoning territory in marketing where big brands are taking a stand to make the world better place – take the recent Gillette ‘We Believe’ campaign.

As we watch the world push and pull in different directions across a wide range of issues, we see many brands that are willing to get involved.  This is a movement in communications that we have taken a particular interest in here at Hatched and intend to share more cases with you across the year in our newsletters.

Here’s half a dozen examples to inspire, with more to follow next time.

 Glenmorangie Whiskey (UK)

Glenmorangie has pioneered a new Anaerobic Digestion system which provides an efficient method of waste disposal and a sustainable source of energy that can be cycled back to the distillery in Scotland.  The project, including partners from Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society will ultimately restore Native European oysters to the Dornoch Firth and reduce the distillery’s reliance on fossil fuels by 15%.

Key benefits of the DEEP project include:

  • Reduces the biological load discharged into the Dornoch Firth by more than 90%.
  • Reduces the distillery’s dependence on fossil fuels by 15%.
  • Creates a copper-rich fertiliser that will enrich barley fields in and around the Distillery’s home in Tain.
  • Improved water quality in the firth helps return native oysters to the firth for the first time in 100 years.
  • A restoration model that has the potential to be replicated around the world.

Next time you’re walking the whiskey aisles at Dan’s will this sway you?


The We Company {nee WeWork} (Global)

Co-working business The We Company’s mission is to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.

Their most recent contribution is that it will no longer let its 6,000 employees in 553 offices in 97 cities expense meals containing meat or serve meat at its events.

Stated in an internal memo: ‘New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact — even more than switching to a hybrid car.’

Contentious for many but smart thinking.


Chatty Costa Café (UK)

Costa has joined the chatty café scheme, to address the very real issue of loneliness, across 300 of their stores.

The aim is to provide a safe space for cafe-goers, particularly those struggling with loneliness, to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Almost 10% of people aged 16 to 24 were “always or often” lonely, the highest proportion of any age group, three times higher than people aged 65+.

A great way to innovate in your own physical spaces or shared spaces – to bring your customers together in new, beneficial and enjoyable ways?


Rewe Supermarket Chain (Germany)

Germany’s Rewe Supermarkets empowered shoppers to choose the sugar content of its own-brand chocolate pudding and distributed puddings that had 20%, 30%, and 40% less sugar alongside its original formula. The peoples’ choice was 30% less and will be permanently available for sale.

This is a shift from price wars to focusing on customer health and involving customers in product development.

REWE’s customers were given a choice between taste and health.

Which intractable industry challenges could you turn over to customers to decide for you?


Manulife (Singapore)

In brief mosquitoes are a major health issue in Singapore and Manulife (a Canadian insurance company) came up with a cracking idea befitting their remit.

This video nails it


Patagonia (US)

The poster child of legislative companies, Patagonia bills itself as The Activist Company and publicly advocates for environmental protection, fair trade and stricter labour standards. It supports thousands of grass-roots environmental activists.

Most recently they donated $10 million, received by what they regarded as an unnecessary tax break for corporations championed by Donald Trump, to several different green groups.  In a LinkedIn post, Patagonia’s CEO Rose Macario said “Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources. We are committing all $10 million to groups committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis”.

Next time you’re after that puffa jacket….




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