Timpson’s smart gesture generates significant positive brand sentiment

brand gesture, social active brands, brand agency

A UK dry cleaning company has launched a great brand gesture that is getting the lots of attention for all the right reasons.

Timpson has placed signs outside their dry cleaners across the UK offering the unemployed a free dry cleaning service to ensure they look they best for a job interview.

It’s a simple, timely and an incredibly worthwhile gesture that is restoring people’s faith in humanity and generating great publicity for the Timpson brand.

James Timpson, the chief executive of the company told the UK’s Mirror, “Some people can’t afford to look smart. We want to help those people. It doesn’t matter where they’re being interviewed by us or somewhere else, it’s about helping people get back on their feet.”

While this will obviously cost the company money, the publicity and positive sentiment they are receiving through traditional and social media would be significant pay back for the brand and business.

brand gesture, socially active brand, brand agency

This is not just a one of gimmick for the old school brand. The gesture seems to be inspired by a genuine people and service led belief system. It is in synch with not only how the brand looks but also how it behaves. The company is renown for being an employer of choice and proudly gives people a second chance such as reformed prisoners.

Timpson also has charismatic chiefs who are seen as business thought leaders. The company chairman, John Timpson has had his own column under the name ‘Timpo’ for 10 years in the magazine Real Business and is a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph. He also writes a blog on the company website.

It’s just a bit of shame that Timpson aren’t leveraging this publicity better. While the CEO tweeted the gesture of free dry cleaning, there doesn’t appear to be a company twitter feed. Their Facebook page also hasn’t been updated since 2003 and the website is frustratingly old school (not in a good way).

The timing is right to truly bring to life their genuine brand belief system. There appears to be a disconnect from how they think and behave with what how they present themselves. Just like the unemployed need to look smart to get a job, Timpson also need to look compelling to appeal to their customers. This isn’t necessarily about a new logo or corporate colours but they could benefit from a brand refresh that reflects their great culture and makes it easy for customers to connect, engage and share the brand spirit.

Michael Hughes
Managing Partner, Strategy

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