Can brands save the world? Let's hope so

Richard Reed
innocent drinks

I would like to start by thanking you. It is such a relief to come and find there are actually people here, especially on such a summery night. I feared that I would be addressing an empty room.

I also want to give a couple of caveats as I am nervous that people may be here under false pretences. Firstly, while I am one of the founders of the Innocent brand I do not claim to know much about marketing, so if you are here for marketing theory, strategy and models, I am afraid you have really lucked out. I don't have any of that stuff.

The second caveat is that the topic that I will be talking about is something of a personal passion of mine so I might go on a bit, but I will try not to make it too heavy and have lots of pictures to lighten it.

What I wish to talk about is the role of business and brands in society. And when I say ‘Can brands save the world?’ I mean brands in the widest possible sense. I have always seen the Innocent brand to be the business, the people within it, the products we make, the way we behave, our social contribution - to me all of it adds up to the brand, all of it is the business. For me the two are synonymous, they are one and the same. So whenever you hear me talking about ‘business’ think ‘brand’ and every time I say the word ‘brand’ think ‘business’. For me there is no separation between the two.