WEDNESDAY 22 DEC 2021 11:09 AM


Chris White, managing director and founding partner of This Way Up, talks to Communicate about aligning a brand with its values, and why employee engagement is central to success.

Can you explain a bit about the recent Nurishh campaign and the factory branding?

Nurishh is a new plant-based cheese brand launched globally by Groupe Bel, created from the ground up including the development of a new manufacturing plant and a portfolio of products. Our role was to create the positioning, the look, and the feel for the brand including its naming, design, website and printed comms. Groupe Bel has consistently recognised the importance of engaging with their internal teams as much as new consumers and wanted employees to truly align with its brand and values.

The brand is created from and inspired by plant-based ingredients with a strong CSR ambition to improve food and agriculture. The idea behind the factory design was to engage with employees whether they are in the canteen, entering the reception area, using facilities within the factory, or writing on stationery. By communicating the accessible, delicious, democratising nature of Nurishh within the workspace the team are hoping to inspire and connect with their own employees.

Choosing plant-based foods such as Nurishh makes a direct impact on our environment and natural resources. The team at the new factory in France had many obstacles to overcome from product formulation, shelf life, storage, to logistics.

Delivering plant-based products on a global scale brings enormous challenges that dairy-based products don’t have. Empowering the internal team to feel that they are part of a bigger mission to make a change to our planet has been key in the success of the brand to date.


How does This Way Up help businesses ‘Live the ethos of a brand’?

We understand that branding must start on truths or attributes that are integral to the product. We look to identify those truths and amplify them in a relevant way for consumers.

But we also must remind ourselves that internal audiences are equally important because they will transition into advocates for the brand in their everyday lives. We work with our clients to provide them with videos, imagery, and internal comms to assist in relaying these brand values to their internal teams.

The values that we established for Nurishh include inclusivity to bring everyone together, integrity to support everyone’s good living, and generosity to lift and nurture all. These values are as relevant to the brand and to consumers as they are to the internal team. Inclusivity is vital for staff, as they need to feel they are part of a team that is changing the way the world eats. Integrity is important in galvanising employees’ belief that they are working with products that are genuinely making a difference, and generosity is evidently something that can be seen in how staff are treated by a larger organisation.


What is the key to aligning employee engagement with a brand’s mission and purpose?

The key to aligning employee engagement with a brand’s mission is to base it on clearly identifiable truths that underpin the brand. For example, this could be the way ingredients are sourced, or its relationship with suppliers, or the natural creation process involved in a product.

Engagement with employees has to be consistent throughout from the way the brand communicates (and this needs to be consistent both on and off shelf), in advertising, and in the way the brand is seen within the work environment. The visual look and feel of the brand helps bridge a gap and connect employees with the bigger vision that the business has embodied. For Nurishh, we created a branding system comprised of a series of shapes that have come together to form the design identity. This delivered a visual metaphor that was symbolic of inclusivity, but also provided a visual palette of a series of different windows which shows how the values are being delivered in the wider world.


What are some the challenges involved in employee engagement and how can businesses overcome them?

A key challenge is the lack of understanding about how powerful or important the brand is in consumers’ lives. Often when we undertake a brand audit to identify the key attributes of a brand and bring those to life in a positioning, internal teams can be sceptical of the true value of the brand has outside of the walls of their office. We work with them to demonstrate that there is often a powerful story behind the brand that makes a huge difference to consumers.


Which project have you worked on at This Way Up that you are you most proud of and why this past year?

Working with Kericho Tea to create a range of tea products that support the valuable wildlife conservation taking place in Kenya has been very rewarding. We have also worked with the leading mineral water supplier in Poland, Zwiec Zydroj, to protect and ensure responsible access to national parks. Hampstead Tea has also been an incredibly rewarding project, educating our team on the importance of biodynamic agriculture.