When do you need an expert?

Earlier this week Nick came back from meeting a lawyer in a state of high excitement. This was striking for being an unexpected outcome. But this lawyer was brilliant, and that’s the point. Rude Health is where it is, partly thanks to the guidance and inspiration from brilliant people who are outside the business. Over the years we’ve had to work out when we need external brilliance. Early on, I used an experiential specialist to support the launch of our foods into Waitrose. With hindsight this was probably the biggest waste of a few thousand pounds in my career. At the time, the words “specialist” and “expert” made me believe they knew something I didn’t. Since then, we’ve done almost everything ourselves, from social media and PR, to hiring. Or we just don’t do it – such as advertising or formal research. However, we’ve never written our pack copy or attempted our own pack design. The new pack designs, which we created 3 years ago with a small design studio, express the brand so effectively visually, that not many words are needed. The definition of good design, thanks to brilliant designers.

Since updating the packs, I’ve been working out how to let more of our potential consumers know about Rude Health. After a couple of false starts trying to create campaigns without a message, we took the plunge and worked with a specialist to create a brand proposition.

We haven’t finished yet, but it’s already obvious that the proposition will make a big difference to the whole business, not just our communications. So why did we wait so long to do it? Because it didn’t seem like a big deal. After all, a proposition is just a few words. But those few words define our brand and are the reason our customers love it. This perspective makes it abundantly clear that it is a big deal, requiring specialist skills and time. Now I can’t wait to finish the work so we can get out there and start shouting from the rooftops about what we stand for.