The Innocent Story

* A blend of crushed pure & fresh juice, with absolutely nothing added in
* Three Cambridge educated guys, they would say “aspiring entrepreneurs”!
* Their backgrounds were in marketing consultancy
* The words INNOCENT were carefully chosen to persuade trust

Brand principles:
1. Be Natural
2. Be Entrepreneurial
3. Be Generous
4. Be Commercial
5. Be Responsible

* They met a guy called Maurice Pinto who first funded them
* Maurice said “U don’t start a business until U have Taste, a Name & You Can Make Money”
* Maurice invested £250,000 in the business in 1999
* The idea was to create “Europe’s favourite little juice company”
* Supplier relationships were key

* A brand needs values e.g. where you source your ingredients
* Quirky labelling e.g. kids should drinks bananas not go bananas
* Tone of voice was fun with honesty
* Funny ingredients e.g. 2 plump nuns

* Personal responses continue today from Innocent to the consumer
* Made a company rule book i.e. no rules at all
* In 2000 they started a weekly newsletter around to friends and contacts
* Kind of office gossip e.g. health tips, trivia, made postcards etc.
* Lowe were their advertising agency

* Label was their key to brand communications
* Label changes changes all the time
* Quirky e.g. No cows harmed
* People who delivered were rewarded
* They asked people to write and give feedback
* Consumers rang the banana phone help line

* Culture – Innocent recruited the right people, so a culture was built from the start
* The Innocent brand was lived through people
* Monday morning meetings always happened – Sharing information with fun & pace
* Always had “5” key initiatives going
– e.g.Take on Pepsi, launch a kids healthy drink, hire good people, 10% of profits to charity

* But Innocent must BE COMMERCIAL – We make money too, but need to be liked first!
* View the brand inside and outside
* Advertising/Communications via:
1. Product
2. Packaging
3. Advertising

* SALES (1999)
Year 1: 400K
Year 2: 1.6M
Year 3: 4.1M
Year 4: 6.8M
Year 5: 10.7M
Year 6: 17.0M
Year 7: 38M

* Within 6 years Innocent had 61% share of the UK smoothie market
* They re-invested the money
* They were the fastest growing food & drinks business
* Innocent take out ingredients that other manufacturers use to lower prices
* Advertising of a premium brand breaks out of niche
– this is the message to retailers i.e. Innocent is simply better value if you value your health
* Early outlets included the Deli and high quality food store
* These stores liked the drink, the people, the simplicity and stopped stocking other drinks
* Quality, taste, Innovation and Ethics were key

* Start with the product – no after effects – so indulge
* “Hello – here are 6 nice reasons to drink our smoothies”
* Made from fresh juice rather than concentrate
* Over 100% RDA of Vitamin C in every 250ml pack
* Each carton = 8 portions of fruit
* Low GI score
* Test shows Innocent makes you more attractive to the opposite sex

*Prime responsibility is health of its consumers – Making food as safe for people
* We are not driven by the cost but by the quality

* Consumers are prepared to pay the price for:
– Quality
– Taste
– Ethics

* Innocent has its own squad that looks after its:
– Product
– Corporate behaviour
– Packaging
– Emissions

* Recyclable plastic – was 25%, then 50%, now ?%
* Innocent foundation was started in 2004
* Innocent brand build on trust
* Strength is in the consistency of the product quality

* Brand has become a little like politicians – “The only sensible attitude is to mistrust them”
* Brand displays a sense of humour
* Brand is about being natural, staying healthy & enjoying life

* Seven Pillars of Innocent Wisdom
– Keep it Natural
– Stay focused on the brand
– Your business is your extended family
– Use your brand and imagination
– Stick to your principles
– Think about the message you leave behind
– Enjoy yourself









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