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.

Top advert to feature Star Wars

Assist my training to become a Jedi marketer you will?

Just for fun I thought I’d conduct a straw poll, nothing scientific (sci-fi maybe!), to decide which is the top advert to feature the film Star Wars or any of its characters.

I’ve listed the most recent three. I’m sure there have been others, if you can think of any and deem them worthy of consideration feel free to add them to fourth ‘Other’ box and maybe post a link in the comment box.

Thanks for taking the time, and may the force be with you!

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?

Virgin, right on the money?

The first airline to offer individual TVs to passengers. Tilting Pendolino trains to improve speed and safety. Commercial space travel. Virgin has a rich history of entering new markets and shaking things up a little, now it’s got banking in its sights.

Virgin, sometimes viewed as the consumer’s champion, has a track record of waking up the competition. Its strong company ethos on delivering quality and value for money for its customers challenges rivals to raise their game.

Never one to stay still, Virgin is entering the world of retail banking. Through its purchase of Northern Rock the company is expanding its Virgin Money brand, giving it a presence in the high street, especially in the north east.

As can be seen by the TV commercial, the launch of Virgin Money aims to draw on this heritage and promises to change the shape of banking for better.


But will Virgin succeed?

They propose to charge customers £60 a year for current accounts, a move going down like a lead balloon among a public with an already cynical view of the banking sector.

Nevertheless, if the new Virgin Money stores are anything to go by, banks could very well become more comfortable, relaxing and welcoming places, with people to greet you rather than the host of self-service machines and telephones you find in a branch of HSBC.

However, Virgin will need to challenge the established banks – becoming the most transparent bank, explaining clearly the rationale for its charges, being exciting and innovative, and aligning itself with the concerns of consumers.

Right on the money? You can bet Virgin will make banking better.

Fitness campaign has legs

In a manner of speaking.

Several people are currently pounding the streets of Swansea, delivering a flyer that encourages people to make good on their resolutions to get active this year by joining Active Swansea – so you could say the campaign has legs.

Download a PDF copy: Active Swansea membership January 2012 door-drop flyer

In planning the campaign I went through a process of looking at Active Swansea‘s current members and the communities the leisure centres serve. Using ACORN profiling I have selected appropriate postcode sectors, written creative copy and developed a design brief that targets the Secure Families group.

It’s early days, but the response so far shows promise.

All change…

Isn’t it funny how we all consider making changes to our lives around the New Year?

I’m certainly not immune to the habit, this year I’ve taken it upon myself to make a few ‘adjustments’ in the hope of living a more fulfilled life.

Among my resolutions is a desire to blog more. Another, something I’ve not actually written down as yet, is to progress my career. It is with both these in minds that I’m now rejigging my blogs.

My personal blog, retelling some of my adventures through life, can now be found at ‘This is my life and this is how it reads’.

It is my hope that this blog will provide a professional space online where I can share my skills and experience, and offer a commentary, sometimes opinions, on anything marketing related.

Please feel free to comment on any posts and subscribe to receive updates.

Chill beans. A stroke of genius?

Have you ever opened a tin of beans only wanting to use half? What do you do with the other half? You dirty another dish just to keep your beans in the fridge – annoying.

Fret no more, Heinz have come to the rescue with a new fridge pack, a small innovation in packaging that makes life a little easier.

Genius? It’s certainly great marketing. Heinz have examined the everyday lives of its consumers and responded with new packaging that enables them to enjoy Heinz beans at their convenience, without the hassle of having more dishes to wash.

That said, is it environmentally sustainable? The plastic packaging used in the new fridge packs is not as widely recycled as cans. Heinz could easily address this with refill packs in sachets, but then that goes back to square one.

So is Heinz’s new pack of beans you can chill a stroke of genius? Yes, and no.

Have a look at Heinz’s recent advert building an emotional attachment with the brand and differentiating their product from cheaper ‘own-brand’ competitors.