Bendylegs Granola, a great local brand?

How well do you know your local business community?

It’s fair to say that most of us are aware of the shops on our local high streets – the baker, butcher, or fishmonger – but how well do you know the myriad of other businesses that exist, some thriving, many struggling, in your community?

I thought that I knew my local village, Mumbles, pretty well. However, today I discovered that a brand I once thought of as national, coming from somewhere in west London, actually calls Mumbles home. That brand is Bendylegs Granola.

Bendylegs Granola - a great brand born in Wales

Bendylegs Granola

Bendylegs Granola is the brainchild of mother-of-two Jo Watkins. Jo explains on the business’ website how her family loves the outdoors, how they like to shop local, and how they like to know what they’re eating. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that dissatisfied with the taste of supermarket granola she decided to produce her own.

Needless to say Jo’s granola was so tasty it caused quite a stir (no pun intended!) making the decision to step up and produce it commercially an obvious one. Now you can buy Jo’s Bendylegs Granola at a range of shops and cafes around Swansea.

A great brand?

The design is certainly pitching at a young, health conscious audience. The font used is often seen on Tumblr blogs with images of open seas and skies, striking a chord with VW Campervan and surfing enthusiasts.

A quick read of the Bendylegs website and you warm to Jo’s experience and passion for good wholesome food using locally sourced ingredients. The tone of voice is spot on.

However, I think that in its present form, closely associated with granola, the brand is fairly limited in its scope. It’s fair to say that Bendylegs has legs. By dropping the granola and diversifying one can imagine see a range of Bendylegs clothing, made in Wales using organic cotton, possibly to rival Howies, but I may be getting a little excited.

Meanwhile, Jo’s got a great brand with a strong wholesome ethos. It appears good and hearty, qualities that ring well with more affluent consumers.

The force is strong with Vodafone

Vodafone have called on Yoda ahead of the 3D relaunch of Star Wars The Phantom Menace to show off its new RED Box service.

Yoda using the force

It seems that not even Jedi master Yoda can compete with the mighty Vodafone

The commercial opens with a young couple sitting at the bar in a sushi restaurant. The guy is fiddling with his mobile while his partner, obviously getting a little frustrated with the way their date is going, asks “You’re not going to start swapping your numbers over now?”

It’s at this point that Jedi master, Yoda, buts in offering to help by using the force to transfer the valuable data. Unfortunately for Yoda there’s no need. The handy guys at Vodafone have created the RED Box that transfers numbers, image and music files, in their stores for you.


Enough to clean up Vodafone’s ‘dark side’ image?

After a year of negative media coverage for Vodafone, largely generated by UK Uncut’s campaign against the company’s alleged tax evasion, it seems that the brand has turned to the force to clean up its tarnished image.

Whilst the ad makes better use of a Star Wars tie-in than the Currys PC World commercial featuring the evil Darth Vader, Vodafone need to show greater sensitivity to a changing mood among UK consumers as austerity bites. Maybe making demonstrable donations to selected charities that help reduce inequalities in society will generate more positive media coverage in 2012.


Nonetheless, the ‘Yodafone’ commercial is creative, but I think the recent Volkswagen ad, showing a young boy dressed as Darth Vader trying to use the force to perform a variety of tricks including switching the car lights on and off, with its wit and charm beats it.


What do you think?

Personal informatics can strengthen your brand’s relationship with customers

Technology that is allowing people to share details of their everyday life, in ways never imagined a few decades ago, presents brands with a huge opportunity – if they’re brave enough to let customers access their data.

The advent of social media is enabling more of us to share with the world our thoughts in an instant. Whether, it be our views of the panel on this week’s BBC Question Time or what we had for breakfast, within a few clicks we can update our network of friends and followers though sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Inspired by a recent Marketing magazine article, discussing the importance of personal informatics (information that companies hold about each of their customers), I have been considering the potential this new form of open society offers brands.

By allowing customers greater access to the information recorded about their transactions, data such as previous purchases, brands will be able to develop more meaningful relationships.

I work in marketing for a local network of gyms and I see huge potential in developing this concept. Systems such as Technogym’s Wellness system allow fitness club members to have a personal training programme set up electronically.

Theoretically, it shouldn’t be too difficult for clubs to record members’ training patterns each visit and share this with their clients via online personal accounts. I imagine gym users would be hugely motivated if they could accurately and easily track their progress, producing stats and graphics illustrating how many calories they’ve burned each visit or the number of miles they’ve covered.

A branded widget device, added to sites like Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, etc., would enable gym users to update their fitness status without thinking about it, further motivating them and subtly increase awareness of the gym.

The development of a more open dialogue between brands and their customers, sharing personal informatics, has the potential to add value to the core product and deepen understanding – ultimately resulting in a more meaningful relationship that will drive loyalty.