Driving internal & external positive change
The purpose-led conversation has shifted over the last two years, as it extends not only to visible, external company communications but also to internal policy. For MullenLowe salt, this is exactly where their work excels, by addressing both issues.
Business is moving in this direction, believes Last, because of pressure from both consumers and employees. Last adds, “Our purpose is to drive positive change through communications and that runs through all the external programmes, helping brands themselves grant positive change in what they do and how they communicate. But then that’s internal too so you need to drive that within the company itself.” The agency has started an internal social drive to improve the mental health of the workforce, intent on demonstrating their purpose rather than just talking about it.
Tackling social issues to drive business growth
The backbone of MullenLowe salt lies in helping brands to drive growth through tackling social issues. This is the way Last belives business is going. It is exemplified in brands like Tony’s Chocolonely that are holding bigger companies, like Cadbury, to account when it comes to the cocoa supply chain.
The agency worked alongside Mondelez, Cadbury’s parent company, to develop a new brand that addresses cocoa sustainability. Last talked through the difficulties that come with such a “complex” supply chain, as cocoa is typically grown in parts of the world where “there are no educational facilities, there is endemic poverty, the government structures aren’t necessarily in place.”
The reality is that, while NGOs have the answers to problems, they don’t have the resources to solve them, and nor, typically, do many of the governments in countries where cocoa is grown. Last explains, “the big chocolate companies, people like Mondelez, they are the people who can make a difference. Firstly, because they’ve got the scale and secondly because it is absolutely in their interest to ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa.”
MullenLowe salt developed a new brand, Cocoa Life to take everything complicated about cocoa sustainability and turn it into “an easy to understand brand.” What was vital is that this brand was robust enough for investors, employees and consumers. For Last, the work embodied the principle that the agency was founded on, to make the complex simply and the simple compelling. And now? “Cocoa Life is now seen as a central part of Mondelez business,” adds Last.