Innocent Big Knit Case Study


Current Company Context Review

To ensure the product is launched in the best way, a review will be conducted of the current competitors to Innocent Drinks.


With regards to Innocent Drink, those aiming for a similar brand persona would be ‘Ella’s Kitchen’, ‘happy monkey smoothies’ (although both only available in the UK), ‘Naked’ and ‘Odwalla’. Along

 with Innocent Drinks these brands try to appeal to the more health conscious consumers and draw them in with the natural looking appearance.

Both ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ and ‘happy monkey smoothies’ have ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ as they released their


s several years after realising the success of Innocent Drinks and the psychology that is used. ‘Happy little monkeys’ worked hard to attract children to their product using the colour schemes, whereas it was the small

child sized cartons and the content that appeals to the parents. This is similar to Innocent Smoothies for kids as the iconic styling of the cartoon will stand out on a shelf.

‘ Ella’s kitchen’ is aimed at the parents as the product is for younger children; done through clever advertising of

the health benefits of giving young toddlers fruit drinks.

‘PepsiCo’ have just launched a new ‘Tropicana Smoothie’ range, in a bid to strengthen the governments’ efforts

to boost the 5-a-day campaign. Running a new product line alongside government proposals will dramatically

increase the sales for ‘Tropicana’ as the public can be easily influenced by government statistics. The reason that ‘Tropicana' felt safe to branch out into a new market is their experience, brand image and dedication to

providing excellent fruit selection and exceptional blends. Innocent drinks may not have as many years

experience as ‘Tropicana’ but their brand image

is enough to ensure that branching into a new sector of the drinks market would be successful.

‘Naked’ and ‘Odwalla’ are both over 25years old, and both began life in the US. ‘Naked Juice’, owned now by

PepsiCo Products, has recently introduced its products into the European market due to the rise in the number of consumers purchasing such products. Although this market is becoming more saturated, consumers continue

to believe that drinking a fruit smoothie will help them stay healthy. For example, ‘Naked Juice’ admits on their

website that they use the easiest advertising campaign


‘a person holding a ‘Naked Juice’ with a big smile on his or her face.’ Such like Innocent Drinks, they claim to be a ‘no added sugars and no preservatives’ fruit drink.

The particular subsector that is being targeted is saturated with products as most drinks companies produce water. However, many water companies will work within an area of a country. The aim of Innocent water would be to introduce it into all the countries that the other Innocent drinks are in.

The main competitors within the subsector, who have similar brand awareness as Innocent Drinks, would be ‘this water’ and ‘The feel good drinks co.’ Both companies work hard to use ethically sourced goods a

nd do not add sugars or preservatives. However, neither has introduced a still water that would sit alongside competitors such

as ‘Volvic’ and ‘Evian’. First bottled in 1938, Volvic is tapped from a source in France that has passed through a

nearby volcano, giving it unique mineral content. Bottled at the source means this water is regarded as one of the purest in the world and is never touched by human hands nothing added or taken away. This unique selling point allowed Volvic to grow and the brand, now owned by Groupe Danone, now sells in Europe, North and South America and Australia. Similarly French, Evian was first bottled in 1826 and the company became public in 1859. Evian water is portrayed as a luxury brand of water and therefore is drunk by many of the rich and famous making is easy to launch in the USA in 1978. Also owned by Groupe Danone, this may be why Volvic were such a success in the USA as Groupe Danone already had an existing awareness of consumer needs and traits. Founded in 1999,

Innocent Drinks

 began with 3 different products on sale; 11 years on, they have 36 successful products being sold as far away as Paris, Salzburg and Copenhagen. Starting out with 3 employees, the company has grown to 250 taking over 77.5% of the UK smoothie market and it

’s not surprising as the products are sold in over 10,000 different

retailers. Currently the number of products sold is in excess of two million per week.

Launching ‘the big knit’ campaign allowed them to broaden the market they target as 25p per

bottle with a knitted hat goes to AGE UK. With a fantastic portfolio, this company is strong enough to support a new consumer drinks product that will be entered into the water subsector. This business report summaries the current competitors, customers and products that Innocent Drinks have and propose a marketing mix to allow Innocent Water to be brought to the market successfully. It will be targeted mainly at those consumers who already believe in the persona of Innoc

ent Drinks and its brand values of ‘little tasty drinks.’

Innocent water will sit along side premium brands of bottled water and will aim to spread sales across Innocents current markets.

Company Competitors

A couple of weeks ago I (Lou) was invited to present a social media case study to NCFE’s marketing team. I chose Innocent’s Big Knit campaign to demonstrate how effective use of social media can create brand awareness and opportunities to engage. Innocent are great at social. In fact they were recently rated in the top 100 social brands for youth audiences in a survey conducted by Headstream, Voxburner and Social Bakers.

This video explains what Big Knit is:

The reason Big Knit works, in my humble opinion, is that Innocent took a simple idea they knew would appeal to their consumers and integrated their on/offline activity. It wasn’t about creating an idea specifically for social media. They started off by asking people to knit hats for their bottles. And people did. Then those people posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, to show everyone their handy work and let them know they’d supported a good cause. This meant the Big Knitters were engaging and creating content for them!

In order to keep the engagement going Innocent created knitting patterns for beginner, intermediate & advanced knitters and Facebook timeline images for people to download. They sent handwritten thank you cards, which people then posted pictures of, saying thanks for the thanks!

People were asked to vote for Hat of the Week/Year by liking images posted on Facebook or re-tweeting on Twitter.

It was the Big Knit’s 10th Anniversary last year and they built a microsite to mark the occasion. The site features the pattern and Facebook timeline downloads, a Hat of the Year Hall of Fame and information about how to get involved.  And for people like me who can’t knit you can now create a virtual hat. In order to donate you simply have to share the picture of your virtual hat on Twitter or Facebook. Innocent even populate the messages for you so you just have to click and share.

The campaign also saw the reunion of St Winifred’s School Choir in an attempt to get “There’s no one quite like Grandma” back to the No 1 spot and Big Knit events taking place at homes, community centres and other locations across the UK.

Now I know that Innocent has access to big budgets etc but even the smallest of business can learn from what they did. You just need a good, simple idea, which aligns with your brand and creates an opportunity for you to engage with your customers and them to engage with you.


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