Imogen is Hook’s new content and strategy executive. At Hook Research, we’re always thinking about the brands that inspire and challenge us. To get her started, we’ve asked Imogen to share her thoughts on a brand that is getting her excited in 2018.
Finding compassion among the cappuccinos
The first Pret A Manger opened in London’s Hampstead in 1984. Just over 30 years later, there are over 500 outlets worldwide. So what is the secret to Pret’s success?
In my opinion the answer is simple: compassion. Let me tell you why….
Most of you will be familiar with Pret’s “Random Act of Kindness” Scheme (even if you’re yet to experience it first hand).
Pret uses this scheme as their own take on the (very generic) loyalty card. This makes them stand out as being more personable which surely just draws more people in. The practice of allowing staff to gift coffee to customers not only puts a smile on the face of the unsuspecting recipients, but it must also feel great for the staff who have been given the control to make someone’s morning a little better.
This additional cheer supplements in-store morale and results in all round better service. What a lovely idea.
Moving beyond ‘Random Acts of Kindness’
Spreading its compassion further afield, Pret is currently doing a lot of work around sustainability and helping the environment:
- They recently teamed up with “Chilly’s Bottles” to create an exclusive range of re-usable bottles.
- They’re currently trialling a deposit return scheme in the hope of increasing recycling rates.
- They offer 50p off hot beverages to those who use reusable cups.
Other ways the brand demonstrates compassion include:
- Pret Charity Run: depositing non-consumed food to the homeless each night.
- Rising Stars Campaign: helping the ex-homeless.
- School Leavers Programme: supporting those who don’t wish to attend university.
Taking a Top Down Approach to Empathy
Lastly, let’s address Pret’s CEO.
Clive Schlee’s hands-on approach to engagement is something of great impact and inspiration. He actively uses Twitter to connect with consumers on a personal level, regularly asking for ideas and feedback (this Talking Human style of engagement is something we’re really interested in at Hook).
Just one example which has seen him throw himself into a campaign is climbing the Grosser Rettenstein in Austria with a group of ex-homeless people as part of the Rising Stars Campaign. His personal approach has a lot of impact, demonstrating to customers just how valued their opinions are.
So, whatever your opinion of Pret, it is undeniably a success. I put that down to how they pride themselves on delivering a personal experience and making a difference to their customers and beyond.
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