Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Fortnight

How to create a successful marketing campaign: Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Fortnight.

The latest in our irregular series looking at successful marketing campaigns and how you can create your own winning promotion.

Fairtrade is a global movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers, and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers. It has a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation. The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by various charities, campaigns, faith, and women’s groups as an independent non-profit organisation. In the last 30 years, the Fairtrade Foundation has grown and 65% of people in the UK say they choose Fairtrade. And it’s growing; Fairtrade sales increased by 14% in 2020. But like any organisation, it can’t rest on its laurels and needs to keep promoting itself and most importantly it’s products. So, each year the Fairtrade Foundation runs Fairtrade Fortnight. So, what makes the campaign so successful?

Strong message

Fairtrade Fortnight has a simple message and in 2023 links in with climate change. This year, they have used the rationing of fresh produce as a hook. One of the reasons the message is strong is that it combines head and heart – something that always works well when it comes to consumer buying behaviour. The ‘heart’ message of the cause of the people producing the food and planet, mixes well with the ‘head’ message of you can make a difference through your day-to-day purchases.

Strong stunt

Taking the strong message, the Fairtrade Foundation has created a great stunt that will create headlines and column inches. The Endangered Aisle will shine a light on the supermarket staples most at risk of becoming endangered from the climate crisis, including coffee, bananas, and chocolate.

A strong call to action

The final thing that makes this campaign successful is a clear, simple call to action: Buy fairtrade. The campaign has explained the issue of farmers not being fairly paid, and land suffering climate change effects and then set out what everyone can do about it.

Taking note of these three things could make all the difference to your next campaign. How can you create a message which reaches both heart and head? Can you create a stunt that catches people’s eyes? And the most important thing is to make sure you have a strong call to action. Indeed all your marketing materials and activity need this so it’s worth spending some time on.

Let us know which of these tactics you use and what success they have brought you.

Pic courtesy of Adobe Stock.
Pic showing a stall selling different vegetables with a Fairtrade sign at the back
New Year, new clients

New Year, new clients

New Year, new clients

Not sure how it is already more than one month into 2022 but here we are. Towards the end of last year, I wrote a piece explaining our team had grown in 2021. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to write about the new clients we have been fortunate to work with in 2021.

Our new clients joined our collection of organisations that we produce a range of marketing, communications and design assignments for. We are very fortunate to be able to work on such interesting, diverse and exciting projects. One week we will be producing a new website, the next an animation and the following a range of social media posts. It keeps our creative juices flowing.

We had a number of return clients in 2021, including Shaw Trust and Ambiental Risk. Shaw Trust asked us to help with their annual Power 100 publication and their safeguarding report. Ambiental asked us to produce a new promotional animation for them.

Support goes both ways so as well as the services we always provide for our clients, we try to go above and beyond to add extra value and when we can provide favours. We believe in what our clients are trying to achieve and usually have to rein ourselves in knowing there are only so many hours in a day – so we love it when we get a chance to go overboard for a client and do that bit extra. These are just some of the ways we demonstrate the importance of supporting one another.

We also started working with the Career Innovation Company, helping them with their social media. It has been great to work on engaging potential clients through their channels and driving more visitors to their website. They have some really interesting blogs which have certainly got us thinking.

The Gandhi Foundation tasked us with updating their website – then added in a rebrand and some social media support too. Again, another interesting project which required some research into the life of a fascinating, wise man. You can see some of the work connected to this project on our Behance account.

We’ve also been back working with Vision Mission on a new website, another interesting project which concluded the branding and messaging work we did for them in 2020.

2021 was another busy year for We Are Comma and 2022 looks to be the same. No doubt we will be working even more new clients too.

Pic showing the updated Disability Power 100 logo and a spread from the new publication
Top five tips on finding the right agency for you

Top five tips on finding the right agency for you

Top five tips on finding the right agency for you.

After the horrors of Halloween yesterday and some of the mistakes agencies can make,today we are focusing on how to find the right agency for you. Alastair Burns and Jayne Runacres, the partners at Comma, share their top five tips on finding the right agency for you.

1. Know what you want
“Go to an agency with a problem you want to solve, whether it is moving up google rankings, better engagement with your customers or simply creating an eye-catching brand, it’s vital you know what you want to get out of it before you start” says Alastair. “That way you can measure success” adds Jayne.

2. Do your research
“Looking at previous work is vital” says Alastair. “Design, in particular, is very subjective. This is not just about do you like their work but can they produce a range of styles because this shows they understand customer research.” “Look for testimonials, ask to speak to previous clients” says Jayne. “Also check their accreditations. I’m an accredited member of the Charted Institute of Public Relations. That means I have to undertake continuous professional development each year so I know what’s new and gain skills often.”

3. Be a culture vulture
“This is really critical” says Jayne “We all only want to work with people we like, respect and feel we share values with. Find out if their values and purpose match yours.”

4. Meet them
“All this research creates a strong foundation but there’s nothing like actually meeting the agency and finding out if you gel with them” says Alastair “we love to meet with potential clients and talk about how we can help them.”

5. Once you find a good agency don’t lose them
“Often an agency becomes an extended member of the team. And just like any great member of staff, you don’t want to lose them.” Says Alastair. “We build long lasting relationships with our clients. We want them to succeed, we work to support them and ensure they can keep doing more good” says Jayne.

What are your top tips for finding – and keeping – a good agency?


Scary mistakes agencies make and how to avoid them

Scary mistakes agencies make and how to avoid them

Scary mistakes agencies make and how to avoid them.

Just in time for Halloween, there is plenty of horror around at the moment; Brexit and a general election looming for a start. We can’t do anything to fix that but Alastair Burns and Jayne Runacres, the partners at Comma, share their tips on finding the right agency for you.

“It can be scary to know where to start in finding the right agency to work with” says Jayne, Comma’s PR and Comms Partner. “You’re entrusting someone else with something precious, you want them to care for it as you do but also bring the extra skills, experience and creativity to take your organisation even further.”

“We have worked both in-house and at agencies so we know the benefit of finding the right balance to propel your brand forward” adds Alastair, Comma’s Creative Partner.

“A big mistake many designers – especially those who are newer in their career – make is to design for their portfolio instead of their client.” Says Alastair. “The right approach is always to design for your client. Doing that will mean effective design, which should definitely end up in your portfolio. Plus it will give you a more varied portfolio. A win-win for all involved.” Alastair concludes.

“Agencies are renowned for taking on more work than they can really handle. It often makes people wary of involving an agency. It happens in lots of industries and it’s an

understandable temptation when you’re running your own business. But often it can lead to not being able to give your clients the time and support they really need. This is basically a problem of how agile the agency is. And also how committed they are to their clients” adds Jayne.

“Another thing to avoid is choosing an agency which is a trend follower.” reveals Alastair. “It’s very easy to fall into the trap of following a style or trend that you want to replicate. But any designer worth their salt will start with research into your target audience. They will spend time considering what will engage and resonate with your customers. They will be working to create something which fits your brand, not just something trendy which is bolted on and in five to 10 years you won’t look back on fondly.” Alastair adds “By following proven research, a messaging process and development stages, the work produced not only is successful for the organisation but stands the test of time”.

“People can have the view that what we’re doing is some sort of dark arts, mystical activity” laughs Jayne “they’re afraid that the wool will be pulled over their eyes or that they just don’t understand design, marketing, communications and PR enough to know what questions to ask or how it should be measured.” “But” she adds “a good agency will explain all that to you. They should build a relationship with you.”

After the horror of Halloween, tomorrow for all saints day we will be looking at how to find the right agency for you.


Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels