Belonging is everything – Supporting local producers

A current trend with brands is being local and community led, I can share that there is one brand that genuinely is and acts accordingly.

We work with the Co-op Channel Islands, an Island that is 14km long and 8km wide, where the local producers are very much local, with the egg farm literally 4.5km from the main store, delivery can’t be a problem- and when they say fresh they mean fresh! From the sea to land, from milk to cheese, bread to wine, strawberries, even ice cream and never forgetting the famous Jersey Royal potatoes and all the locally grown vegetables, these Islands have a great source of local produce.  But its not about scale or close proximity, more the DNA of the brand and business.

Not only does the Co-op support the local producers but they also invest in the community and that is key to the business, providing support for local charities, support groups, schools and even local events including donating towards the recent World Cup fans-zone in St.Helier and organising beach clean-up days, they really do invest back into the Islands.

The Co-op Channel Islands approached us to refresh their brand communications, and relevance and meaning of ‘local’ to them, both internally as a business and externally to their consumers.  How they operate over the two Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) in supporting local producers and working with them to support and retain a sense of community. We pulled our research and knowledge over the years of the Co-op brand, to collaboratively pull together a strategic approach that would help reaffirm the reasoning behind why they do what they do, and what makes a real difference to the community they serve.

Developing the strategic strapline, ‘Belonging is everything’,  we could then draw down from this, and express it through a series of branded graphics for in store and produce a series of films and art directed shoots across the Islands, telling real stories about the people and the people behind them- it’s not just about the producer it’s about the employees and their families who are equally supported and championed by the Co-op.

‘Belonging is everything’ is a mantra on an Island that invests in itself. Others might come and go, but there is one that really does understand the community and can say ‘we support local and we sell local’.

The newly launched initiative is to not only sell local but to make it a department/brand in its own right and give it presence. We have also worked with the co-op on ‘love local’ a sub brand that develops and support the growth of local produce, tells the story, brings local to the front of the store and highlights the benefits not only in fresh produce but in supporting the Islands businesses and maintaining its future.

For a brand that does look after everything local, this brand takes pride in everything they do, from food to travel, to health and funeral care, its a brand that will support you and belonging is really everything!

It’s been a great pleasure to work with the co-op Client team and everyone involved, and meeting all the charities and producers of the Channel Islands- and just returning from visit to the Islands, it’s great to see the realisation of the strategy and branding in-store, into tv advertising and local press. I look forward to my next visit to see this self-perpetuating vision grow.