Lovie alert! I know, I’ve already told you how much I love Moo.com and Ikea. I love their marketing, their tone of voice, the way they make amazing products and get every detail just right. And that brings me to the third member of my holy trinity of awesomeness: innocent.
For a long time, I have loved them from afar, simply sampling the odd smoothie when I had the chance, laughing at the quirky labels and enjoying the wonderful fruitiness of their wares. Then I got into branding and copywriting. One of the first things that happened when I started to express my interest for those subjects was that my manager Paul gave me a book to read. Now that’s not an unusual thing, hardly a day goes by that a new amazon box doesn’t grace his desk. It was a book about the innocent story. It told the tale of Jon, Adam and Richard, three friends who had started a business together, gotten rather good at it, and become the wonderful company that innocent is today.
A wonderful company. You don’t really tend to hear those words in close proximity these days. The Man is the all powerful and intrinsically evil power to fight against, corporations are dragons to be slain and bosses are blood-sucking vampires intent on crushing the souls of their employees. But the only thing these guys seem intent on crushing is fruit. Not only do their products taste good and do you good, but they make you smile and they have even built generosity and fairness into the very fibre of their company. The overall impression is one of overwhelming loveliness.
But does the reality live up to the image? Well, I was lucky enough to be picked to go along to the innocent AGM this year (and take Husband with me). I have to admit that getting that golden ticket caused me to jump up and down excitedly and scream like those people on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition*. So we packed our bags, jumped in the car and drove up to the big smoke.
I’ve mentioned it before: there is always a certain apprehension when meeting ones heroes. But once again my lucky streak held out, and innocent did not disappoint. Far from it in fact. From the second we walked through the gate into the beautifully renovated canal-side courtyard to the last goodbyes, the day was filled with nothing but smiles. To the point that my cheek muscles were aching by 2pm. Every single innocent person was beaming with pride and happiness, from the 3 big bosses to the lady who took our coats. They were all chatty, friendly and incredibly straightforward. At the Q&A, the questions were answered openly and with a great sense of humour.
As for the offices, well, what can I say? In the very same way that they get every single tiny thing right on their packaging (down to the “don’t look at my bottom” on the bottom of the bottles), they have managed to fill the offices with pure innocent spirit. Every tap, every bit of wall, every cupboard door has a little innocent touch, in a way that is cheery but not overwhelming. The layout and furniture is all funky AND functional. It’s an interior designer’s dream. And there is grass on the floor. Yes, really.
So, I have met another of my heroes, this time a collective one, and loved every second.Thank you innocent people for such an amazing day.
They have an open door policy at fruit towers, they say pop in any time, and they mean it (they have a wall full of polaroid snaps to prove it!) so if you’re near Ladbroke Grove in London, do yourself a favour and pop in. They are lovely people and they always have something nice to drink on hand. After all, any company that has a walk-in cupboard labelled “biscuits, etc.” can’t be bad…
*Except of course I’m British, so this was in fact expressed by a small high-pitched squeak and a wide-eyed stare at husband while pointing at the email on the screen.