High Growth Collective: Building a happy, profitable and winning brand

High Growth Collective gatherings are a blimmin’ marvellous opportunity to get insights from leading professionals to increase your revenue and drive business growth (and scoff a croissant or three). This month, the High Growth Collective share their knowledge on having a happy, profitable and winning brand. Here’s how it went down:

The Key to Happiness

Vanessa King, Action for Happiness

Vanessa is an Action for Happiness board member and the author of 10 Keys to Happier Living, the book encouraging us to take action for a happier and more caring world. Vanessa’s inspired us at BareAll events before and we were excited to see what she’d bring to the HGC floor.

The Recipe for Successful Happiness
Action for Happiness has spent the last 20 years researching how to be happier and spread a little joy, so they know a thing or two. The outcome of that research is the 10 keys to happier living: easy, small changes to make profound differences in your life. Here’s a few to get you started:

DO IT: Gratitude journaling: Write down three things that you were grateful for yesterday, things that made you happy. It takes about a minute, do it everyday.

WHY: Experiencing pleasant emotions heightens positivity and overrides negative feelings, while fear and anxiety narrow perceptual fields. Broadening our perceptual fields with positive thought makes us more open, undoing some of the damage from prolonged stress.

DO IT: Tell someone about it. Discussing what made you happy amplifies the positive feelings and helps you to connect emotionally. And those micro interactions with friends and colleagues really matter.

WHY: Interactions of 6 seconds make a real difference, are quick and easy, don’t require any training and don’t cost a thing. What more reason do you need?

DO IT: Shoot the breeze. Caring about the happiness and wellbeing of your team is a corporate social responsibility. Take an interest in the people in your team over and above the job they do. Treat each other like human beings and not like machines.

WHY: Taking an interest in someone makes them feel good and research has shown those good vibes have a ripple effect. Pay it forward and you’ll reap the benefits of a happier workforce. It’s not a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential.

3 Steps to a Winning Brand

James Read, Giant Peach

What’s the biggest hitter in your brand arsenal? It’s not your logo, your font, colour scheme, or even the design of your site. It’s your heart, your story, your emotional connection with your audience. Think about the brand superstars: Innocent, Apple, Nike – they stir emotion and bag loyalty in droves. How do they do it? James enlightened us.

1. Brand promise
Your brand exists in the mind of your customers and nowhere else. In considering your brand promise, ask yourself what your customers get out of committing to you. The key is to then hone in on that emotional response to your product or service.

e.g. Starbucks position themselves as a lifestyle brand, not a coffee shop. For many, Starbucks is ‘working from home’, a chilled study corner, a relaxed meeting space, or a cosy café. Starbucks delivers on its promise to be a place of connection and community and our trust and investment is rewarded.

2. Brand personality
We buy from people, not companies. And in fact we’re no longer buying from brands, we’re joining them in their mission. Your brand needs to display its winning personality, it needs to be attractive, enticing and sharing the values of your audience, understanding and delivering on the needs of your customer.

e.g. Dyson is renowned for its strong and trusted personality – with its founder James still at the heart of the company, his personality is synonymous with his products: intelligent, forward thinking, creative, meticulous and innovative.

3. Brand recognition
Trust and loyalty are crucial. When values align, recognition is cemented. So brands need to offer something for you to buy into.

e.g. When you buy a pair of Toms shoes they donate a pair of shoes to those who need it, the ‘one for one’ scheme. If that resonates with you, you’re on the lookout for it, you champion it, you talk about it and you share it – that’s the holy grail of brand loyalty.

An Entrepreneur’s Journey

Barbara Cox

Barbara Cox is a highly regarded nutritionist, author and businesswoman. Founding Nutrichef in 2004, Barbara was crowned Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and is now a consultant and investor in start-ups. In November 2015, Barbara won the Venus award for lifetime achievement for her contribution to business in the UK.

Inspired to energise
A stint in Japan inspired Barbara to pursue healthy eating. Invigorated by how energized she felt eating the Japanese way, she set up Nutrichef to educate others on the importance of nutrition. Starting from scratch, Barbara had to learn the fundamentals of business but one thing she was sure of was her desire to change lives and make people happy.

Get happy
Happiness and connection form a strong thread throughout Barbara’s success. One of her first brand campaigns was radio-based because Barbara wanted to educate, motivate and inspire people through human connection, with people hearing the passion in her voice.

Self love
Barbara also quickly learned the value of self-preservation. She managed her time effectively and took care of herself. In line with what Vanessa talked about earlier, Barbara is a great proponent of the gratitude journal and of taking care of your staff in order to create the ripple effect of happiness.

Fall forward
In 2009 half of the Nutrichef business was lost overnight and Barbara had to make her first redundancy. But from the bad they found the good. Barbara knew that by connecting with her audience on a personal level, she could motivate them to invest in her and the business. Barbara’s inspiring talks and speeches were a hit and kickstarted her business back into life.

Personal connections
After running Nutrichef for 11 years, winning countless awards, setting up foundations and working for charities (not mention helping people achieve their goals of fitness and wellbeing), Barbara now focuses on consultancy and once again helping people get happy. Through many years, peaks and troughs, hard times and highs, Barbara has kept her one goal in mind at all times – to make her customers, team and herself happy. And that positive message has benefitted everyone that encounters Barbara on her journey.