FLOCERT | communicating beyond the screen

FLOCERT is an independent certifier of Fairtrade products worldwide. It helps producers, traders and brands treat their workers and the environment fairly, and gives consumers confidence that they’re contributing to a better world when they buy Fairtrade products.

I was lucky enough to be part of the team at Neo that rebranded FLOCERT several years ago. Since then I’ve helped create and implement their communications strategy: setting up their social media network; creating content to launch their blog; and running weekly consultation sessions via Skype.


But a great communications strategy doesn’t just live online. Even the most compelling brands need to segment their audiences and reach out in a more targeted way to drive real growth. The process of segmenting its audiences illuminated a new challenge for FLOCERT: how, with individual members of a large team talking to a broad range of stakeholders via many different channels each day, could they communicate their value consistently? They asked me to help them tackle this by creating a flexible value proposition for one of their key audiences: traders.

First I took the time to get to know FLOCERT’s trader audience, and understand the daily challenges of the team that would be using the value proposition in conversations every day. It became clear that the team needed a toolkit that they could use to tailor foundations for useful, productive conversations with a very broad audience of traders – from a cotton trader in Bangladesh, to the head of distribution at M&S.

The toolkit I created contains a set of themed “building blocks” – carefully crafted paragraphs that can be fitted together according to the background and needs of the trader – and instructions for how to use them to build a narrative. It also includes a set of questions to prompt the user to understand their customer before starting out, ensuring that the conversation is meaningful to both sides.


FLOCERT isn’t just having more productive conversations with its customers since it’s been using its new toolkit. The faces behind the brand – the real people, starting real conversations ­– are smiling with new confidence, empowered by the tools to build great new relationships, right at their fingertips.