Looking for a new direction after returning to New Zealand from a career cheffing on luxury yachts, Bridget applied her cooking and recipe creation skills to the making of soap. She’d always enjoyed the smell, feel and look of quality soaps and, although she’d never made any, her chef training provided knowledge of the science behind it. Turns out she’s as good a soap maker as she is a cook, and that’s where Soap Kitchen began.
Bridget was selling Soap Kitchen products from stalls at the Wānaka and Queenstown markets and this one-woman enterprise had a healthy customer base, but she wanted it to grow. Bridget came to us wanting to know how to use social media for advertising - yet she walked away with a revised market position, story, sales messaging and a new website.
Yeah, but ‘why’
This wasn't about upselling our client or ignoring the brief. Once we sat down with Bridget we simply understood more about the business - and the future goals - and soon realised the opportunity for Soap Kitchen was bigger than just social media.
At the heart of Soap Kitchen's proposition is great soap. Supporting that is a passion, and clear intention, for reducing plastic waste. The problem was, in market, neither of these wonderful attributes were clear to the consumer. With so many in the market selling 'soap' we needed to make sure Soap Kitchen's product stood out to the right people, for the right reasons.
This is why we found ourselves, with Bridget, resisting the heart of the brand -it's why or purpose.
What we found was a recipe for products that was 100% focussed on clean. Transparency, knowledge and thoughtful, balanced decision making when it came to the provenance of ingredients. Systematic (almost scientific) approach to natural ingredients and product design, packaging and choice of sales partners and channels. The features, advantages and benefits of these products was really clear when we delved deep. The only thing missing was how to get everyone else to know what we knew, and to help our client achieve her goals.
Today Soap Kitchen is not just another natural soap company - it is a brand that "chooses clean." It's brand that chooses to "delicately balance, lovingly craft products to keep you - and the planet - clean". With the strength of a clear brand story in her pocket, Bridget evolved her online store, and her products now grace the shelves of likeminded retailers. Her brand now grows stronger every day, connecting to a larger market and becoming more sophisticated without loosing the heart or the why. Maybe one day Bridget will pack up her market stall - but we doubt it. There's nothing like sticking to your roots and being there for the people who supported you first. For that, we salute her.
Sometimes the brief you walk in with is not the work you walk out with. If you find your brand isn't connecting with your intended audience via all the normal channels - all the channels people say you should be present it - perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the core of how you are telling your story.
A strong brand story is more than just a tagline. It's the heart of what you do and why you do it. It simplifies your message and connect your brand to a broader audience. It can give you the confidence to find the right talking points and make better use of both owned and paid channels, including social.
On the surface of it, Soap Kitchen was maybe just another natural soap creator; at the heart of it though is an adventurous entrepreneur, with a passion to help our planet and your skin. Now more people, other than those in her inner circle, know and get that story too.