Becci Cornelius, Director of Ann’s Cottage Surf Shops, which has eight stores in Cornwall
Over the past 18 months, we’ve introduced three charity brands to our portfolio: Keep A Breast, Toms and Gandys Flip Flops. I’m often contacted by various companies but it’s the brands with a compelling message that really make me stop and listen.
A brand’s ‘story’ and inspiration is so important - it’s what sets them apart from cheaper, high street alternatives. At Ann’s Cottage, we’re passionate about keeping our varied customer base engaged, so a product that can make people feel good about their purchase is very powerful.
It’s hugely important that the consumer trusts not only the brands they’re buying, but also the way we communicate their message. It’s vital that our staff are confident and knowledgeable about what they’re selling and can tell a brand’s story in a way that can build long-standing relationships and credibility.
It’s impossible not to get excited about a brand that gives something back. Awareness events such as ‘One Day Without Shoes’ and concept window displays play an integral role in engaging the consumer.
In a society of expendability and mass production we’re bombarded with marketing messages. Brands with meaning, a conscience and a purpose make it through the noise.