Today we are happy to meet co-founders of GoodDay, Dianne Potters and Ingrid Mesman. GoodDay helps companies and brands with their brand story, smart PR and activation campaigns in order to create positive impact for the world. They support companies to reach the right target audience for their brand and create relevant messages and concepts, which make target audience smile. They do that both B2B and B2C. The assignments for the companies they work with always add something positive to the world, like the environment, circularity, gender, or an inclusive society. GoodDay says: ‘good purpose leads to good brands’.
Is it just the two of you making a decision whether you go for specific brand or not?
Yes. Before we get to know the company personally, we do research. We always first meet a potential client and afterwards we decide if we want to work with this company. Commercial projects are good, as long as they have the right intention. Sometimes companies lose themselves in focusing on the short term profit, instead of considering the long term impact. We always challenge our clients to see the bigger picture and the impact they create with their business.
We think that a good brand cares about people, animals and the environment, and is transparent about their actions. A good brand speaks out for a cause, since people expect brands to be activist and to speak up about relevant societal issues. A good brand produces products and services which makes people’s lives easier and better, and needs to be better or more sustainable than other brands in the industry.
Good stories need to be told. We develop brand strategies and translate these into a brand manifesto and a brand story, always the starting point for all communication. A good brand story is appealing to your target audience and your stakeholders to share. When you hear an inspiring story, you want to share it yourself, not because you’re told to do so.
When an innovative sustainable high-tech product or service is launched, it is often difficult to explain the challenges it addresses and the technology behind it in an accessible way that everyone understands. That’s where we come in. We develop an attractive brand story which is relevant for all target groups.
Good brands need big ideas. We develop a visual identity and creative activations to create awareness and rumour around the brand. We don’t believe in expensive mass media campaigns, but we believe in smaller targeted campaigns and people who like to share the story. When you have a good story to tell, people share it for you. We are a boutique agency and we have a strong network of senior professionals around us. We always create the perfect team.
Working in a flex-working place helps us to build a network, because when you work close to each other it’s easy to share views and ideas. We get in touch with people around us and meet other professionals like copywriters and photographers. It’s a nice way to expand your network.
What would you advise our readers on how to start a useful network?
When you are a creative, you can join a network of freelancers like Freeforce, a Dutch association for freelancers in marketing. Be a nice person and be open to to meet new people. When they like you, they are more likely to connect you to other people. When you enjoy your collaboration with other professionals or with your clients, it leads to better results.
Don’t be afraid to share. It’s our firm belief that when you share your ideas or concepts, they will become stronger and the energy will accelerate. After all, what is the meaning of having 20 ideas in your notebook which will not see the light of day? Actually, the best networking tip is to reach out and share your ideas: ‘hey, I have a great idea, let’s talk about this’. What you give always comes back.
People often feel overprotective about their ideas. However, when you share, you become so much happier and have more fun.
How did you get your first customers?
A year ago we got connected by a mutual friend who said, “You two should get together, I feel like there is some kind of connection here”. We met for a cup of coffee, and that’s how it all started, then there came a point for us to start working together and create our agency GoodDay. In the past year we worked for several clients, mainly via our own network.
Way back I studied Fashion and Fine Arts at Artez Academy. Thereafter, I started as an independent artist but it didn’t give me the satisfaction I hoped for. So I went back to school for one year and started at Hallo©, the academy for Creativity. After this study I started working in advertising as an Art Director. Then I had my own agency and the past 10 years I was a partner and creative director at a brand activation agency. When I met Dianne, we decided to join forces and to bring together our experience and expertise. Together we rock the world with a good smile!
I’m a miller’s daughter. My father is a miller, my grandfather was a miller and my brother is also a miller. My father taught me to be respectful towards nature, so it’s really in my DNA to be respectful to the environment. After my university study I worked for several big corporates. In 2008, I decided to start my own agency, 21 Sustainable, and worked for a variety of clients, from small startups to huge corporates, from NGOs to big brands. Since last year I work with Ingrid. Together we can make the positive impact that is important for me.
How do you make sure that you achieve a positive impact with your company?
The most important thing for us is that we help our clients with a relevant and impactful strategy and story to make the change they want to see in the world. After we have a positioning meeting with a client, we take everything we need from this meeting back home and come back with a brand story which we’ve made up out of their own content. Once a CEO of the company had tears in his eyes and he said, “This is the most beautiful story, this is us, our story, but I couldn’t have said it in this way myself.”
Do you prefer to work with corporations or startups?
We love the mix. For example, NS, a former client, is a really interesting case because it’s such a large company with a huge impact. A few years ago, they wanted to tell travellers about their sustainability program. For example, trains running on green energy and recycling steel, which is a nice story. We came up with a creative idea to make their story relevant and interesting to customers. We created a pop-up store: the Lost & Found project. Our insight was clear: NS tried to get back all the stuff travelers leave behind on the stations and trains to their owners. But in the end the lost and found objects were going to storage, some of it was sold on markets. Instead of telling a ‘boring’ story about sustainability we created an upcycle store selling new products made of found objects, designed by students of styling academy Artemis. The profit went to the Natuur & Milieu foundation. In this store NS could tell their story. And it worked really well, it reached out to all Dutch TV and print media and was a topic on the eight o’clock news. This story is not just about words, the creative concept makes a strategy tangible, accessible and is giving people a smile.
What’s the most challenging thing about working with corporates and startups?
There is a big difference. Startups often have this brilliant idea. They start from scratch, are very innovative and fast moving. Making a huge profit is often not the first goal. Of course, they need to be financially sustainable, but it’s not the only thing they care about. Their main drive is to be sustainable, to make an impact. For example, we worked from the start back in 2013 for the circular jeans brand Mud Jeans. This Dutch company was the first to launch the concept of leasing jeans, instead of buying. Today, even Nike is following their concept by starting leasing their shoes. It is one of our most favorite cases to share, because we worked closely together with them on the strategy, story and PR activation.
The most important thing nowadays is that startups feel the need to make a positive change. They are the changemakers and want to tackle the challenge we are facing in the world. The challenge with startups is that in general you have to work with limited budgets. They often don’t have their own marketing department. And most of the time the founders are doing the majority of the activities themselves. So we take them by the hand through the process we have so much expertise in.
We just supported the launch of ClearCircle, an innovative circular cleaning brand for the professional market. We helped them with the positioning, the brand story and the PR launch and activation. We pitched their story, which resulted in a lot of national media coverage, like a radio interview at Business News Radio and an extensive article in the national newspaper Telegraaf. We become part of the team of the client. As business creatives, we make the extra mile, which is our own USP.
When you work with corporates, you work with managers, not with the founders or the owners. It’s great to work with marketing and communications professionals. They can also be changemakers, like startups are. But they have to deal with short term goals, like sales and financial results. This can lead to a tension between long term sustainability goals and short term financial goals. They also have to report to their managers, so the decision making process can take longer, especially in big corporates with several decision layers.
Do you feel that in the future there will be more synergy between corporates and startups? For example, corporates implementing startup teams within their team?
It’s already happening. For example, Heineken Beer which invested in the Amsterdam specialty beer brewery Oedipus The brewers from the craft brewery remain in charge of the future and their beers and Heineken supports them to grow their brand. Another example is Unilever, which acquired last year De Vegetarische Slager, a high quality Dutch vegetarian brand with all kinds of tasty alternatives for meat. Unilever has a large marketing budget and the power to attract more mainstream consumers to get in touch with this brand, to try it, taste it and like it. A partnership between a corporate and a startup can create synergy and work well, on the condition that the brand stays authentic and credible.
The need for change is urgent for the future of all of us. GoodDay believes in the power of collaboration. There is a huge potential in collaboration with changemakers who dare to make the difference: corporates, startups, universities and creative agencies should join forces and tackle the challenges the world is facing. And that is what we do and what makes us thrive.