Championing a cleaning brand’s sustainable vision

  • Client: Superunion / Delphis Eco
  • Disciplines: Copywriting, brand storytelling
  • Duration: 3 days

I helped Superunion tell the brand story of eco-friendly cleaning company Delphis Eco.

Following a joint briefing with the creative team and the client, I conducted an in-depth interview with Delphis Eco’s passionate, self-confessedly belligerent founder Mark Jankovich.

The first section, below, captures the story’s unlikely origins in the world of cut-throat finance – where Jankovich had the epiphany that drove him to drop everything and radically change his career direction.

“I woke up one day and thought, ‘Enough’s enough.'” – Mark Jankovich

Mark’s story

It was 2007, the year before the finance sector went into meltdown.

Mark had been working on a more joined-up approach to RBS Group’s corporate social responsibility. He argued that the banking giant needed to consider its impact on the world.

But profit was king, and Mark’s holistic plan was laughed out of the room. He quit the next day, with a burning desire to make a meaningful difference in whatever way he could. His goal was simple: build a business, any business, that could have a net-positive impact. After scouring the globe for candidates, he discovered a Liverpool-based chemist making professional-standard cleaning products from eco-friendly natural ingredients.

Delphis Eco leads by example when it comes to sustainability

The business had been struggling, and had racked up significant debts. But despite having no experience in the sector, Mark saw huge potential for social and environmental impact.

Shortly after the birth of his second child, and with no salary as a safety net, he threw everything he had into the venture, adopting a one-star roadside hotel as a rudimentary base near the warehouse in Bootle while he worked to turn the business around.

The brand story is set firmly in the context of the global climate emergency

Mark was prepared to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. To win one of Delphis Eco’s first major contracts, he spent seven months getting up at 4am to scrub Iceland stores, demonstrating to the supermarket why it should switch.

He also knew he had to get the products into the right hands, so cut out the middleman. Knowing the Prince of Wales to be an ardent eco-campaigner, he cold-called Clarence House and challenged the Prince’s staff to test the products. The risk paid off, ultimately leading to Delphis Eco receiving two Royal Warrants.

At the heart of Delphis Eco’s success story is Mark’s refusal to accept something is impossible, and the passion, belligerence and drive to prove it can be done.

Mark has lobbied the UK government to promote sector-wide change

The story goes on to explore how Delphis Eco has responded to the bigger-picture context of the climate emergency, and reveals the brand’s many sector-leading green innovations and related campaigns – including lobbying for meaningful change at the highest level.

Rolling out tone of voice for a European bank

HROD logo showing four quadrants. Image credit: 31% Wool
  • Client: 31% Wool / EBRD
  • Disciplines: Copywriting, tone of voice
  • Duration: 9 days

I helped 31% Wool make EBRD’s HR department more engaging and approachable.

31% Wool’s verbal narrative for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s newly formed ‘HR and Organisational Department’ (HROD) is based on four ‘quadrants’ that play on banking terminology.

All communications are framed in terms of assets, liabilities, risks and returns. HROD might describe people as its “greatest asset”, for instance, or discuss “unlocking returns” for its staff.

My brief was to translate this conceptual approach across a range of materials – from landing pages to onboarding packs – while balancing the need to be punchy and direct, but also warm and welcoming.

Read more on 31% Wool’s website…

Landing pages from HROD website. Image credit: 31% Wool

I also wrote guidelines to help HROD staff maintain this tone of voice across other day-to-day applications.

Tone of voice booklet for HROD. Image credit: 31% Wool

“Nick quickly grasped the intricacies and breadth of the client’s verbal comms, and brought to life some previously quite generic pieces with our new verbal language and a consistent tone of voice. He was happy to turn around some tight client deadlines, and I hope we’ll be working on more projects together in the future.”

Julia Woollams, creative director, 31% Wool