Stick to your Knitting – brand strategy with social conscience

Innocent knitted hats in store

Innocent drinks in the UK (the original juice with attitude) have outdone themselves this winter.
Partnering with Sainsbury’s supermarket chain in the UK, Innocent are donating 50p from every smoothie sold to charity Age Concern to help keep older people warm for the winter.

To kick of this bold, brand gesture, Innocent has a handful of celebrities design the first run of hats. From there hats are sent-in by Innocent smoothie nuts. Last year 230,000 hats were sent in, this year they’re aiming for 400,000 little hats. There’s a Big Knit Hatometer on the Innocent site that keeps count of the number of hats received. You can even get a hatometer for your own home page.

As a brand experience, the Big Knit is supported by:

  • Promotion on their site and through Sainsbury’s.
  • ‘Big Knit, The Movie’ on You Tube.
  • Innocent smoothie fans can upload photos to Big Knit Flickr page and be rewarded with smoothie related prizes.
  • ‘Knitter Natter’ news update on the Innocent site
  • Hats of the week
  • Patterns for knitting your own mini beanies.


As a brand experience the Big Knit is top shelf – it is:

  • First and foremost, absolutely, extraordinarily on-brand
  • Surprising (Have you ever seen anything like this ever)
  • Bursting with personality (bet you can’t walk past these cute little fellas in the supermarket)
  • Differentiating product (you shouldn’t just look better than the competition, you should be the only one who looks like you do)
  • Building community (Can your brand boast 230,000 plus people who not only buy product, but knit mini beanies for the cause?)Doing good things for people who need a hand (Together we can make the world a better place. Is there a stronger form of emotional connection?)

Innocent Drinks have been obsessive about building their community of brand fanatics for years.
Once again they’ve shown us that they are masters of the craft.
Hats-off to ‘em.



  1. Innocent are a great example of what’s happening with successful brands right now (they were ahead of the curve). They’ve opened their doors to their customers to create stronger and more valuable relationships. Only wish i was back in the UK to get in on some of the experience. Who’ll be the first Aussie brand to open their doors on such a large scale?

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