Simplifying customers’ lives
Bother was built on essentially “the anti-panic buying model,” explains Morton. The team spent seven months developing the idea and structure for the business, having “identified what we saw as a real structural problem in the market quite early on,” he adds. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the launch was sped up, with Morton realising that, “if we were able to use our launch in a way that was beneficial to people, why wouldn’t we?”
While the conversations at the start of lockdown swirled about the precarious position business found itself in, Hooper recalls a rousing speech Morton gave about the brand and its vision. For the agency, Hooper says, “it was a really strong, focusing moment,” and the catalyst for the decision to launch the brand immediately.
Much of the creative that had already been made needed to be changed, as social sentiment was monitored. As Hooper says, they had to change “to make sure it didn’t jar with how people were feeling.” Bother didn’t want to become a “disaster capitalist” by taking advantage of the situation. Hooper expands that it was “very pleasing to be able to make something relevant. A lot of brands had to stop because they said we have no right to be talking to people right now.”
Morton feels that it is the brand’s clear, genuine vision, ingrained in its structure from the start that will carry them through. The belief that this is the way that shopping should be done. This vision was developed together, by both brand and agency working alongside one another. “Bother is here to save people and planet from household shopping,” rings the tagline, a message that resounds both in spite of and despite the circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment.
Born out of frustration
Like many businesses before it, Bother was “born out of frustration,” says Morton and a belief that everyday products should be easier to find. This frustration is where he drew his passion from, he says, to bring about change in an industry which should have seen it happen long ago.
Morton highlights research that reveals that while digital-first grocery delivery is at 80-90% of the market in Asia, in the UK just 16% is digital-first penetration grocery channels. “What this means is it’s massively inefficient,” explains Morton, “a market that is not fit for purpose.” But in the last few months, big FMCG companies have totally shifted their focus to be predominantly digital first. This is a trend that Morton believes has been held back for years, “blocked by incumbents and by consumer habits that are not good for anyone, not good for consumers’ lives, not good for the environment.”
Hooper expands by revealing that the research the team did around attitudes towards online and supermarket shopping helped to inform the messaging that was created. This was then rolled out across social, “always the plan from the beginning”, so that they could understand what messages landed best and where. It would also allow them to find their first customers in the process.