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Q&A: Frankie Bailey, Account Director at Our Revolution

We recently welcomed Frankie Bailey to Our Revolution as Account Director.

Frankie brings a decade of experience to this role. With time spent in London, Singapore and Sydney, Frankie has helped organisations including Unilever, Coca-Cola and Nestle create compelling and relevant brands.

We sat down with Frankie to discuss her passion for consumer brands, her experience across three continents and what she’s currently following. 

 

What attracts you to working with consumer brands? 

I have always had a fascination with the psychology behind people’s behaviour and thought processes. At the heart of consumer branding is understanding how people think, why they make the choices they do and how that might evolve in the future to ensure we create the best possible solution for brands.  

 

You’ve worked in London, Singapore & Sydney, have you noticed a different approach to consumer branding across the three continents? 

My time in each location definitely brought with it new approaches. This was partly because of the country and the life-stage it was in, but also due to other factors changing the way consumers think and behave.

During my time in London consumer branding was fast, it was an extremely competitive environment in the supermarket, however the rise of online shopping was really shaking things up. The big unknown was ‘how is digital going to change consumer branding and what does online shopping mean for the physical pack?’

Singapore was a really interesting time; however, the majority of consumer brands sold there are imported into the country without much local design adaptation. Most of the Singaporean consumer brands were still in their infancy and they were just beginning to understand the power of branding both locally and for export. 

Over the last 4 years in Australia I have really noticed the shift from the larger FMCG businesses and Supermarkets holding the power vs independent companies appearing and reshaping the categories. Convenience, transparency and digital seem to be the key drivers, and nearly everything is now available for delivery via an app. This is of course a global trend, but what I believe is interesting in Australia is that most people want to buy into ‘Australian’ products, ingredients and local businesses. It’s been great working with some of these independent companies and entrepreneurs who think differently and are open to a new approach.

 

What emerging brands or categories are you currently following and why?

There have been a lot of plant-based meat and dairy brands launching recently. It’s intriguing to see how different brands educate consumers on the new category and where they put their focus be it on nutrition, taste, science or ethics. These products are also changing the traditional supermarket layout with meat, dairy and ‘vegan/vegetarian’ usually being kept very separate from each other. 

Our Perspective: Can Giving Away Ideas For Free Be Valuable?

If you had a unique concept, product or design that you knew would make you or your company a large sum of money, would you give it away for free to save lives or to save the Planet?

Well thats exactly what Volvo did in 1959, Nils Bohlin redesigned the two-point waist restraint into the three-point seatbelt we use today. This revolutionary invention would have made a fortune on patents alone for Volvo, but they felt that it was too significant not to share. So thats what they did. Volvo gave the patent away for free as it had more value as a free life saving tool than an invention to profit from.

Brand Ideas Our Revolution Consumer Branding Agency

“It is impossible to guess exactly how many lives have been saved by the seatbelt design. But Volvo suggest it’s millions of people worldwide.”

Now it seems another free patent will be given out by Starbucks and McDonald’s. They may be going head to head in the world of take-away coffee but the two brands have recently decided to join forces and pool their resources in hopefully finding a sustainable cup solution.

Brand Ideas Our Revolution Consumer Branding Agency

The ultimate aim for the unlikely partnership is to construct and implement a fully recyclable and compostable cup within the next three years. This sustainable cup initiative will not stop at just replacing the cup, but its aim is to discover a solution for the lid and straw as well.

Brand Ideas Our Revolution Consumer Branding Agency

“We’re looking at this as a pre-competitive opportunity. How can we work together to solve a problem that’s an issue for society, for the environment.”
— McDonald’s Chief Supply Chain, Marion Gross

The open initiative is called the NextGen Cup Challenge. Innovators, large or small, are invited to come up with solutions that can replace today’s cups. It was launched by Starbucks with the earth-friendly innovation and investment firm Closed Loop Partners. Now, McDonald’s is joining in, with Marion Gross, the McDonald’s chief supply chain officer saying, ‘We’re looking at this as a pre-competitive opportunity. How can we work together to solve a problem that’s an issue for society, for the environment.

Combined, McDonald’s and Starbucks distribute 4% of the world’s 600 billion cups and while their existing cups are recyclable, they rarely are and both brands hope to change the way cups are used and disposed of. This union is unprecedented in the fast-food industry especially in its focus on ecological change. Starbucks has donated $5 million to the fund, which McDonald’s has since  matched. Additionally, they hope their well-known reputation and brand recognition may be an incentive to other companies that are ready to join them to innovate a better cup.

Brand Ideas Our Revolution Consumer Branding Agency

So If Starbucks and McDonalds are successful in their endeavour it would potentially mean that their 24 billion cups globally would be recyclable and provide a free blue print for other coffee cup manufacturers to replicate the better cup. It will create a significant long lasting impact for the better, on the effect that fast food packaging has on our environment. An impact that Starbucks and McDonalds could have tried to monetize or keep exclusive to their own brand. But brand favour is more valuable in the long term for us all.

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Led by a philosophy of design thinking and innovation, we define challenges and uncover the answer to critical brand and business questions. The outcome is compelling, original design that is effective and memorable. Uncover the answer to critical brand and business questions. The outcome is compelling, original design that is effective and memorable.

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