Say what? We’re what?

On March 14th we started to get a lot of congratulatory tweets as I was coming back from London on the train. News was starting to filter through that Bray’s Cottage was number 95 in a top 100 Social Brands chart. I found myself tweeting a lot of “Thank you, how lovely – but I don’t really understand what’s going on” messages.  I’d been looking round the vast IFE exhibition and then that was followed up by a busy week, so I’m only just starting to absorb the significance.


To be fair to Headstream, the company behind the exercise, they’d both tweeted me about #sb100 when we first turned up on their radar and they invited me to their London breakfast launch of the top 100 report.  I was just being very hopeless about understanding the exciting thing they were trying to get me to focus on.

The link to the full list is here, we’re among some very, very big players.

For example, Dell (which is in the number one spot), Innocent, Amazon…

By my count, Bray’s Cottage comes in as the 7th highest food brand.  Amazing. We’re there with Marmite, Walker’s Crisps and Dominos. Needless to say we have a long, long way to go before we are on the same platform as them using almost any other measure!

As far as I can see, there are only two others of our artisan “peers” in the top 100 (both of whom we know personally because we’ve interacted on Twitter, picked up the phone to and eventually, and joyfully, met in the flesh), Muddy Boots, who make brilliant burgers and who are heading for great things after a Channel 4 programme and the wonderful Gower Cottage Brownies who make the best damned brownies in the universe and occasionally steal Phill Jupitus’s phone. It’s a long story.

All the other brands, I imagine, have dedicated social media teams. But it’s amazing what you can achieve with an iphone whilst you are eating your breakfast, or mid-bake.

There’s a lot of reading to do to understand the methodology, but the researchers, Headstream, have tried to analyse and score the essence of social media interaction, how brands engage and respond – how human they are.  It’s an interesting task and a bit like trying to grasp smoke, but I think they’ve set the bar for common sense and a thorough understanding of social media, backed up by well resourced research, in a field notoriously stuffed with charlatans and “experts”.

So, thanks to Headstream and to whoever it was who originally and kindly brought us to their attention.  Sorry I was so slow in realising how very lucky we were to be in there!

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6 Responses to Say what? We’re what?

  1. Huw Sayer says:

    Not luck at all Sarah – sheer hard work and a real focus on genuinely engaging with your audience (friends, consumers, distributors and other artisan producers) as a human being not as some disembodied ‘brand’.

    Unlike the corporate social media teams, you weave the (very gentle and infrequent) plugs for your pies into interesting, passionate and fun conversations about the weather, local wildlife, farming, farmers markets, food, drink and your Pie-aggio runs to the independent deli’s and village stores that stock them.

    Well done on getting into the top 100 – but I suspect Headstream are underestimating the rapport you have with your followers and those you follow (I also suspect – but don’t know – that they overestimate the value of sheer follower numbers and one-way @mentions for corporate brands).

  2. tony goodger says:

    What an achivement. The only pork based product to be recognised in the Social Brands top 100!

  3. Sarah S says:

    Congratulations Sarah! Isn’t it about time you expanded to NZ? xxx

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