Innocent Drinks, Wooly Hats, and Community

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.

24 Responses

  1. 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. 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! ;-)).

  3. 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 :-)

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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 :)

  11. Hmm it lloks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just
    sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any helpful hints for beginner blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  12. When using such a solution, you will be asked to talk about the events that affected you in the year, marriage, new baby, move to a new
    house, started college, changed employment status, etc.
    When working under GAAP, revenues and gains have completely separate definitions.
    Itemized deductions and personal exemptions do not affect self-employment taxes.

  13. First thing that you need to be sure of is to do the right research,
    it is important because there are a lot of fake websites that
    can easily fool you. With the lifestyles that we lead these days, not only the food we
    eat, but also the pollution we are surrounded by and our lack of exercise, makes it necessary to do a regular detox to flush out all
    those unwanted and dangerous toxins that build up in our bodies.
    s better not to test instead of wasting your health insurance and money on these fake, choose nothing

  14. Since many men and women are mindful that keeping up with your healthy weight range has several emotional
    and physical benefits. The target for the five hundred calories is high-protein foods.
    So, the question is, what has changed and how do we address the problem.

  15. Thus we became noobs on the water when we purchased our 1957 Sea King
    with a 1964 Johnson motor. Given a choice, our primates will
    eat nothing but bananas. Another important application of second law of thermodynamics is found in refrigerators and heat pumps, which are based
    on the principle of reversed Carnot cycle or reversed Carnot theorem.

  16. First thing that you need to be sure of is to do the right research, it
    is important because there are a lot of fake websites that can easily fool
    you. Each year multiple ideas of what will work in helping us lose weight fast, is tossed around the radio dial, internet, and
    television about as often as Nicolas Cage makes movies.
    So, the question is, what has changed and how do we address the problem.

  17. Deegan was arrested and charged with human trafficking and drug possession after cops
    busted in and found the girls being held hostage. They come to the picture even in divorce cases
    in order to establish compensation that is needed for child support
    or spouses. Validation during – Data Import to ensure base data is correct resulting in generation of.

  18. There are also several mundane electronic items that should be added to
    a college dorm shopping list to make a dorm
    feel more like home. Surgical treatment for Gynecomastia
    is considered the fastest and most effective way to
    reshape the male breast. Frederick Mohs in the 1930’s who began this treatment for skin cancer.