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  • K O Jones

The Co Op does Community

Retail brands often harp on about community and feel good vibes, but the Co Op have put their money where their mouth is.

I wandered into their pop up store at Latitude this weekend to find myself assailed by a wall of sound, music blasting in the aisles.

I liked it. Scratch that, loved it.

A resident DJ played till 2am. Festival goers dancing across the chilled cabinets. Staff jigging about behind the tills with smiles on their faces.

It was like being in a musical.

As brand exercises go, it’s genius. The co-op has always stood for ‘community’ in ways other supermarkets can only imagine.

No doubt you’re familiar with the Co-Op business model, a store owned by individual members and other co-ops. But are you aware they pay for children's funerals. Or contribute a percentage of sales to local community projects?

I’m occasionally of the opinion that branding is decoration; papering over the cracks the public don’t see. I’ve worked on projects where planners dreamt up a wish-list of brand values from ‘aspirational‘ (possibly one the most meaningless word in the English Language) to ‘human’ (because we’re all robots?). Values that often bear no relation to what goes on behind the scenes.

Only this weekend I felt community come to life. And believed it.


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