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We recently dived into a well-loved copy of Wally Olins’ ‘On Brand’. Published in 2005 when chip and pin was a fledgling technology and the WWF won a battle against the World Wrestling Foundation over the use of its initials, Olins' book forecast that branding would broaden its reach from consumer products to charities, the arts and cultural activities – and that this change would make enterprises better, more effective, and more influential. 

Fast forward to 2023 and it’s safe to say this forecast was spot on. Now, charities are using the power of brand to win hearts and minds just as effectively as consumer-facing businesses. What people expect from brands has evolved too. Consumers are increasingly making spending choices that show their values in action, and prioritising businesses that do good for their communities, planet and people.

At Sonder & Tell, we believe brands have the power to create positive change. That's why we work with clients to build brands rooted in a story that brings to life the good they do. Some shift consumer behaviour to reduce waste (Homethings), others smash cultural norms to rebalance gender equality (Bumble), they might rally the public to act against life-threatening hunger (Action Against Hunger), turn the healthy choice into a celebration (Rude Health) and promote positive mental health and self-image (Popsa). Stories have the power to build culture, unite people and last for generations. So when brands tell stories, they can too. 

As an independent agency, we choose to work with brands, founders and independent creatives who want to make a difference. Through an idea-swapping Slack channel and real-life events, we get to know and grow our Wordsmiths community (keep an eye out for future talks). And we’re building a pro-bono workshop to help founders from underrepresented backgrounds to build their brand story. 

In 'The Vortex' section of this newsletter, we’ve highlighted some wonderful things our clients are doing to go beyond for B-Corp Month. And as we move closer to our own B-Corp certification, we also pledge to go beyond brand – to continue telling positive stories for our clients that ripple out into tangible action.

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“It may be uncomfortable for a lot of people but the onward march of brands into charities, the arts, universities, sports and cultural activities is inevitable and inexorable. And for the most part it will make them better, more effective, more influential.”

― Wally Olins
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What does 'sustainable' mean to travellers, and to those working in the industry? We asked Richard MacKichan, Editor-in-Chief of hotel-booking agency and newly certified B-Corp Mr & Mrs Smith. In our chat, we delve into upcoming travel trends for the year and discuss common clichés that writers often fall into when writing about travel (insert synonym for ‘nestled’ here).
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SOJO is a brand rooted in mission: to make fashion fairer for people and the planet. They started out in the world as the ‘Deliveroo of clothes alterations’, easy enough to understand but it didn’t give them a rallying belief to get behind. In collaboration with our friends at Regular Practice, Sonder & Tell transformed them from a practical service to your partners in change: taking a stand, until change is standard.

What’s one thing you’re doing to 'Go Beyond' for B-Corp month (and beyond)?

Hit reply to submit your prompt
Read, Scroll, Listen

Birdsong's Pick your Own Print initiative trains migrant workers.
Sip on the bright side with LOAH’s fruity 0.5% lagers.
Join Wild Nutrition and Baby Mori for a talk on nutrition in pregnancy.
Having raised £140,090 with Chefs Up, Action Against Hunger is appealing for donations to life-saving programmes in Turkey and Syria.
SOJO launches a tailor and repair partnership with GANNI.
Our friend Ettie Bailey-King is making words accessible and inclusive.
Read these inspirational stories of Black and Brown leaders.

Browse our page to see what the team is reading and a few of our favourite brand and copywriting books. When you buy from you're supporting independent bookstores. And we're donating the 10% affiliate cut from our store to BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity. 

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Sonder & Tell · Sonder & Tell, Unit 28 · 40 Bowling Green Lane · London, EC1R 0NE · United Kingdom