Issue #15

2022: A Year of Consolidation

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Following rapid growth last year, we’ve devoted much of this year to consolidating our operations. Instrumental to this process has been the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme. It has helped us refine our frameworks, methodologies, services and pricing – having completed this programme, we are considered investor-ready!

We’ve now begun communicating this refined Brands on a Mission identity, and we’re excited to do a full reveal in the new year with the launch of our new website – this website! Stay tuned for a future Substack on how we have evolved.

The Team

Given our size, who we are is intrinsically linked to our members and how effectively we collaborate. In 2022, we worked hard to formulate our core team, resulting in our team nearly doubling in size. To support the passionate, globally diverse individuals behind Brands on a Mission, we’ve added policies, greater structure and are providing benefits wherever possible.

Most exciting for us as a remote team, we had our first in-person team meeting in Kenya. After months (and in some cases over a year!) of working together online without ever having met in-person, this was a wonderful opportunity to connect on a deeper level. Most memorably, we defined the core values of Brands on a Mission while watching a sunrise over the savanna.

Areas of Impact

In 2022, we worked with a vast number of companies, governments, non-profits and community leaders around the world to drive collective impact, advocate for greater transparency across sectors and expand our footprint into new impact areas. We’ve worked with both old and new clients.

Starting with the new, 2022 saw us expand our work into the nutrition space, enabling us to take on ever-more ambitious challenges. We supported Blue Band, a brand of Upfield – the largest plant-based consumer products company in the world – that provides margarine and other spreads with their social mission. Together, we worked to make nutritious breakfast an everyday reality for 100 million school children by 2030. We evaluated their plans, developed a toolkit 2.0 and deployed this across four African countries.

We also worked with Horlicks, the malted milk provider, to address children’s dietary diversity in India through a behaviour change programme. This was only a quick scoping project, but we learned a great deal.

One of our biggest projects this year has been hosting and managing the National Business Compact on Coronavirus (NBCC). As shared in a recent Substack, NBCC is a multi-stakeholder platform that we co-founded at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to help reduce the spread of the virus in East Africa. By taking it under our wing in 2022 and partnering with Amref Health Africa to access renewed funding from Unilever and the UK FCDO, we were able to successfully revive its mission in this very evolved Covid-19 context.

2022 also marked us expanding our footprint into the climate change space. In a partnership around climate justice with the brilliant team at Business Fights Poverty, one of our colleagues went to COP27 in Egypt. Climate change is the greatest global health threat of the 21st century and so this was a fantastic opportunity to tune into the global conversation and meet inspiring climate activists.

To return to our long-standing clients…

We’ve continued working with Nestlé Pure Life on healthy hydration, and this year has seen us pass several exciting milestones, including engaging creative teams. We look forward to more progress in 2023.

In the area of communities in a B2B’s value chain, 2022 saw us wrap up our initial project with Givaudan. After a robust process of analysis and collaboration with numerous stakeholders, we helped Givaudan create a strong ‘communities pillar’ strategy, a core pillar of their global purpose. We are delighted that this strategy has been approved and we hope to see implementation begin soon.

And lastly, to spotlight the partner that has kept us most on our toes, AB InBev. The harmful consumption of alcohol is a major contributor to disease and injury globally, amongst other social issues. We have continued our work with AB InBev on using social norms marketing to address this. Along the way, we’ve joined AB InBev as guests at the Super Bowl in California, the UN General Assembly in New York, and finally the World Cup in Qatar. We start 2023 with a plan for deeper and more long-term engagement around smart drinking.

Looking Ahead to 2023

Although we can’t wait to continue driving impact in the areas outlined, we are also excited to expand our horizons. Complementary to my role as a board member of MSI Reproductive Choices, we will be doing more in sexual and reproductive health, and at the intersection of health and climate change.

Amongst all the types of our client work, we’d love to do more multi-stakeholder partnerships around different social issues. We’ve seen the immense value of this for all stakeholders through NBCC – from governments to public sector, private sector and communities. We also expect to keep growing our core team and collaborating with more subject matter experts.

If 2022 is anything to go by, 2023 will be even more exciting and impactful. We look forward to continuing with you on our journey.

Happy holidays to all our readers! We will be back in the new year.

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Originally published on Substack: Under the Baobab

Matilda Crowfoot

Programme Manager at Brands on a Mission | Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Graduate from the University of Cambridge

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