Thankyou. is a brand that has flourished (despite seemingly breaking all the conventional rules) to succeed in FMCG. Started by 19 year old Daniel Flynn and inspired by a video about the world water crisis, Flynn was motivated to make a difference in this area of social justice.
The thinking was around turning bottled water into clean drinking water. Thankyou. donates profits from its retail sales to fund charitable projects in disadvantaged countries.
Building a business by defying convention
The business started by word of mouth and social media. Despite having no start up finding, Flynn was able to negotiate an attractive deal with a bottling factory, which agreed to produce the water bottles at no upfront cost. Similarly, he negotiated a no up front cost deal with packaging juggernaut Visy, which provided him with a bottle mould at no upfront cost.
Taking on the retail giants
Flynn was able to secure a ‘once and only’ meeting with Convenience store 7/11. Prior to meeting with 7/11, Thankyou. posted on Social Media that they were meeting with them and asked their fanbase to jump onto the 7/11 wall and tell them that if they stocked Thankyou. water, they would buy it. And their fans did just that!
Similarly, prior to pitching to Coles and Woolworths in 2013, Thankyou. added a 6 minute video to You Tube which prompted 80,000 views in 2 weeks. They then hired two helicopters to fly over the Coles and Woolworths Head offices with signs saying “Dear Coles/Woolworths, Thankyou. for changing the world (if you say yes).
What can we learn from thankyou.
- If you are a challenger brand in an established category, focus on building demand first
- Be brave, bold and think outside the box
- Don’t listen to the naysayers