Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Innocent Drinks, Wooly Hats, and Community

Posted by Becky Carroll on January 12, 2007

innocenthats.jpg One of the first companies highlighted to me by the blogging community as a potential CustomersRock! company is a UK-based fruit smoothie company called Innocent Drinks (thanks to Gavin Heaton for the heads-up!).  I had plans to blog on it before Christmas, but then the Z-list came along and distracted me slightly.  This week, I saw a post at PRblogger on it from Stephen Davies, and I got inspired.

Here’s why I see Innocent Drinks as a CustomersRock! company.   They are all about community.  They have an annual event called FruitStock where they invite their customers to come and listen to music, eat, and interact (they boxed up apples to send out some of the invitations).  They have a newsletter that they send to their family (mailing list) to keep them up to speed on not just products but other matters of importance like health information and even, in January, some of their personal New Year’s Resolutions.  Last summer, they started a blog in order to increase the interaction around their products and get feedback from customers.  And they do get feedback!  The blog includes little fun and cool contests as well as other tidbits to engage their customer base.  It also includes links to Fruitstock with pictures and slideshows put together by their customers.

Innocent Drinks also reaches out to their local offline community.  This winter season they started a campaign called SuperGran, which you can read about here from Innocent Drinks and here from Cherryflava’s blog.  The campaign was designed to raise money for the elderly through the sales of special bottles of Innocent Drinks with wooly hats on them (see picture at top of blog!).  Many people in the UK knitted hats for them, including blogger craftybernie; she gives her side of the story in this post from her blog.

When you have a minute, go out and browse around everything Innocent Drinks has to offer on their websites and blog.  You will get inspired, as I was.  Of course, the next time you are in the UK, go and find yourself an Innocent Drinks smoothie to quench your thirst.

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14 Responses to “Innocent Drinks, Wooly Hats, and Community”

  1. ksadams said

    I agree with you! They seem to be all about creating and maintaining a strong and meaningful tie with consumers and are very unpretentious about it. They bottle design is getting a lot of good buzz too.

  2. They do have a great design, don’t they? Very clever. Thanks for the comment. :-)

  3. Jordan said

    This reminds me of a company from here in BC called , who for years have been labeling their bottles with photos submitted by consumers. You can even order cases with your own label on them, totally customized.

  4. Jordan again. said

    Oops but if that isn’t a botched bit of code.

    Jones Soda’s their name.

  5. I have seen Jones Soda at various cafes and often wondered where the photos come from, they are so creative! What a great way to involve your customers in your business. Thanks, Jordan, for the info (even if the first attempt at sharing the name didn’t quite work! ;-)).

  6. ksadams said

    Ahh, I forgot to mentioned that they remind me of Ben and Jerry’s, the ice cream company, when they were starting. Very much community focused. I checked Jones Soda… very viral and clever what they’re doing.

    Becky, I tagged you with the “5 Things You Should Know About Me” meme :-)

  7. Laurence-Hélène said

    Hmm Innocent Smoothies – you are really missing out :)

    They do the wooly hat thing every year – my company gets involved every year. It’s actually quite funny to see people knitting during mettings!

  8. Thanks, Katia, for your comment about how similar Innocent Drinks are to the way Ben and Jerry’s started out. I should take another look at them (haven’t done so lately). And thanks for the tag; I will try to add 5 more things later this week!

    Laurence-Helene, I agree that we are missing out over here in the USA. Know any good distributors? Fun to hear about folks from your company knitting in meetings! Do you have any pics?

  9. Laurence-Hélène said

    Unfortunately I don’t know any good distributors – we could start something viral and see if Innocent decide to target the US market?

    Here are a couple of posts from my work-colleaugue about Innocent Smoothies:
    Here’s our production! http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4401/1831/1600/knit%20hats..jpg

    And a few posts, courtesy of Elise, a former work-mate of mine:

    http://london-frog.blogspot.com/ – check out the archives
    - TokyoLondon and…those smoothie hats: 29th November 2005
    - Knittting in London: 8th November 2005
    - Knitting in London 2: 20th November 2005

  10. Thank you for the pictures! The hats are so cute and fuzzy-looking. Great to see a company like yours working together for a cause.

    I don’t know what kind of competition Innocent would have in the USA, as smoothies are not my field of expertise. Does anyone out there have any ideas?

  11. I came across your post about Innocent Smoothies and their woolly hat campaign, during one of my midnight bloghops, and I just wanted to say thanks for the link to my blog. Just wish I had found it earlier in the year.

    There are hundreds of people working hard every year on the campaign and I thought it would be worth mentioning the FLICKRpool where contributors can post pictures of their woolly hats.

    There’s also a ‘woolly hat of the week’ feature when the campaign really takes off, and a ‘hatometer’ to keep track of progress! In 2006 the company received in excess of 220,000 hats (the target was 175,000).

    Although these smoothies are not my preferred drink, Mr CB likes them very much. I found them to be a bit too smooth – I like a bit of texture to my smoothie!

    Best wishes…craftybernie

  12. Hi Craftybernie, you are always welcome here!! Thanks for sharing the flickr site for the SuperGran hats. Some of those little bitty hats are truly amazing. Keep us posted on the campaign for this year; I would love to feature it again.

    You rock!

  13. Hi! I’ve just been searching about the Innocent hat drive, and come across your blog.

    I’m hoping to raise at least 40 hats – and awareness about the drive – through a pledge.

    I’ve set up a pledge, that I will knit at least 5 hats, as long as 35 other people knit at least one too. You can see it here http://www.pledgebank.com/thebigknit07

    Would anyone like to join me? I just thought I’d spread the word about it :)

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