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Successful branding is all about getting people to buy into the ethos of your company. And although they’re called ‘Innocent’, the organic juice and smoothie company is a master at persuading customers to feel a certain way about their products.
Innocent Drinks’ connection with its target market is as authentic as can be, so if you’re looking to build loyal, longstanding relationships with your customers, the brand should serve as the perfect inspiration.
Here are five examples of Innocent’s genius branding:

Innocent branding: emotional connection

1. Innocent branding makes an emotional connection

Innocent represents something that everyone can relate to: Good, clean fun. For example, to help people to get over the winter blues, it installed a splash page on its website which had things like hidden boxes that uncovered funny visuals when you clicked on them. The result was that whether or not you consumed the product, interacting with the brand made you feel better. And as well as helping a good cause, the ‘Big Knit’ campaign – which encourages people to knit little hats to raise money to keep elderly people warm during winter – means further brand interaction and builds a personal relationship as people can see their own work on the supermarket shelves.

Innocent branding: emotional connection

2. Innocent branding is about Human interaction

Again, Innocent’s branding is all about connecting with its customers. Every year, it holds an AGM (which it abbreviates to ‘A Grown-Up Meeting’), asking its most enthusiastic fans to visit head office (AKA ‘Fruit Towers’) to ask questions, learn more about the business and sample new products.

Shared Values_2

3. Innocent branding shares your values

Innocent knows that consumers who care enough to buy organic, natural products are likely to share a certain set of social values. With that in mind, the brand includes expressions of its own social responsibility throughout its business practices and communications efforts. In 2007, Innocent was the first brand to make its bottles from 100{44cca7f4264e26d874f0729c4a6201195eadd2d9005d407f79af304836415e4e} recycled plastic and through its foundation it gives 10{44cca7f4264e26d874f0729c4a6201195eadd2d9005d407f79af304836415e4e} of its annual profits to sustainable farming efforts.

Innocent branding: timing

4. Innocent branding has Great timing

When Innocent started in 1998, smoothies were a pretty much unknown concept. Seventeen years later and the juice aisle of the supermarket has been revolutionised. Innocent tapped into the fact that people wanted healthy eating and started making smoothies at just the right time.

Innocent branding: personality

5. Innocent branding has bags of personality

Perhaps what stands out most about Innocent’s branding is its tone of voice. By combining an amusing level of honesty and frankness with a playful sense of humour (“In 1998 we write a business plan. Nobody wants to invest (to be fair, it did look a bit boring)”), it’s accessible to all ages. At the back of every piece of packaging, rather than using jargon like “Your statutory rights are not affected”, Innocent encourages dialogue with its customers, asking them to call the “Banana phone”. This also has the added benefit of acquiring audience insights through artificial situations like focus groups.

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(Illustrations by Matt Varker, Gorilla)