Covid-19 and the economic outfall have pushed businesses to their limit and beyond. Some of the world’s biggest brands have struggled to adapt. And others have risen to the challenge. For authentic brands in unprecedented times it’s a chance to let their values shine. And I would argue, become brands to love.
I am going to reflect on a brand I have come to love and the lessons for me, as a brand manager. Not renowned for my domestic goddess qualities, you may be surprised that it’s a brand for cleaning products!
Brand purpose is essential
At work, we have been partnering with Delphis Eco since 2013. They are the UK’s leader in ecological cleaning products, powered by plants. They share our ethical values and our teams love using their products. Founder, Mark Jankovich’s ambition was simple: build a business that could have a net-positive impact. Following their success over the past ten years in the professional sector, Delphis Eco launched a household cleaning range in 2019. I immediately started using it (and not just because I am named on the washing up bottle!).
Social good drives consumer loyalty
I have always been ‘green-minded’ (vegetarian for 40 years, recycler, composter and veg grower.) But after a diagnosis with a cancer mostly caused by chemical poisoning, I became obsessive about everything I used. From perfume and toothpaste to washing up liquid. I read every label’s ingredients and that’s when I came to appreciate how much nasty stuff there is in personal and household cleaning products.
When Covid-19 hit I knew that we would use a lot more cleaning materials to keep us safe. But I worried the increase would mean a lot more bad stuff would start pouring down the drain and into our water system. It would be on my hands, in my bath and in my clothes. But because I was already using Delphis Eco I felt a lot more positive and reassured that at least my cleaning procedures were not damaging me or the environment.
Science wasn’t my strongest subject at school, I wish I had taken more notice. In my obsessive cancer-information-gathering phase I learnt a lot. Did you know traditional detergents are a source of phosphorus in waterways? Phosphorus causes over-fertilisation of aquatic flora like algae – a condition known as eutrophication. When these flora die, they decay and use up oxygen, causing the death of fish, invertebrates, and aquatic organisms. EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a chelating agent common in household cleaning products that doesn’t break down much in the natural environment. This makes it a persistent pollutant, which also contributes to the remobilisation of heavy metals. And it is also potentially harmful to people and animals. It causes problems from nausea, to kidney damage. Delphis Eco products are free of phosphorus and EDTA as well as lots of other nasty stuff.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, Delphis Eco wanted their bottles AND their transportation materials to be made from all recycled materials. They spent a decade developing the first 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic bottle that uses only recovered plastic from the UK. They have created a genuine closed-loop system that re-purposes plastic over and over again. How much better can it get? Well it seems, it could….
A continued focus on values
When they discovered, as a result of Covid-19 there was a global shortage of most bottle closures (trigger sprays, hand soap pumps, and spray pumps) they immediately offered to sponsor their collection. Their ‘Tops Off’ campaign means that anti-bacterial hand soap and sanitisers can quickly get to those that need them most. Delphis Eco didn’t need to shift their focus during Covid-19, they were already there.
And with the increased amount of cleaning products we are now using, by recycling through ‘Tops Off’ we all have the opportunity to mitigate the impact on climate change. If everyone in the UK recycled one bottle, it would save enough energy to vacuum 82,460 homes! Imagine how long that would take?!
I have been recycling all my bottle closures and sending them back to First Mile, thanks to Delphis Eco. It’s super easy. Go online, download a label, package it up in the last box delivered to you (remember to recycle). I drop mine off to my nearest Spar shop (and Hermes collection point). I had a nice warm feeling to know these closures aren’t going to landfill. And they are providing a vital role in keeping people safe and protected from contracting from Covid-19.
So, I hope you can see why I have fallen in (brand) love with Delphis Eco. From what I have learned about them and their founder, these are my take-outs.
- It’s crucial to have a brand purpose
- Social good creates customer loyalty (including The Prince of Wales and a Royal Warrant)
- Tell the truth
- Be authentic in everything you do
- Have a relentless focus on ensuring your values are lived
And, these are also the reasons why I work at bartlett mitchell. I hope my thoughts are useful when thinking about how your brand can succeed during these challenging times.
You can order a box and book a free collection at recyclebox.co.uk. First Mile sort and clean the items before returning them to Delphis Eco to refill and reuse.
You can order Delphis Eco products for your home here