Many brands today have adopted worthy 'Purpose' strategies, but for Co-op, doing the right thing is more than just a vague philosophy or empty promise. It’s something lived out every single day across each of its businesses – Food, Funeralcare, Insurance, Healthcare and Legal Services. That’s because Co-op exists to not only make a profit by doing good things, but also to do good things with the profit it makes, putting them back into the communities they serve.
It’s a set of values captured in the line ‘It’s what we do’. In 2019 we set about communicating Co-op’s unique difference in a concerted and committed way. Based on the simple premise that whenever you shop with Co-op, it does good. Communications married tangible, motivating examples of Co-op’s difference to commercial messages for each business unit in unexpected ways. For example, each time you buy Co-op Food it helps fund over 4,000 local community causes, as well as vital sustainable technologies like the UK’s first compostable bag. More than just an advertising line ‘It’s what we do’ also inspired action, in the form of a partnership with Steel Warriors, building 20 gyms in deprived areas made from surrendered knife-steel.
Reorienting the business around its difference has taken Co-op from being a brand with low emotional connection, known only as ‘vaguely ethical’ convenience retailer, to establishing long- term understanding and momentum of the fact that unlike other businesses, Co-op cares about the world we share.
It’s not a gimmick. It’s what we do.