BASECREATIVE

Re>Pal

Transforming the logistics business with an eco-friendly revolution in plastic pallets

Up to 40% of the world’s timber production is used for making pallets – the simple base frames that products sit on for shipping and in warehouses. Most are only used once or twice, yet less wasteful alternatives have previously been too costly for wide-scale adoption. Australian company Re>Pal developed a revolutionary reusable pallet made from recycled waste plastic at a lower lifetime cost than wood, more durable, and lighter in weight.


With an average of 13 kg of mixed plastic waste making up every standard pallet, that’s 13 kg of waste removed from landfills, or worse, from the ocean, where ever-increasing plastic pollution is now recognised as a major threat to the marine ecosystem on which all life depends. In the face of such alarm signals, this amazing product – uniquely sustainable, innovative and functional, in fact superior in every respect to wooden pallets – has the potential to impact the planet more than any other project we’ve worked on. Base Creative was a natural choice to help Re>Pal bring this transformative product to market, owing to our considerable experience working on sustainability-focused projects, and we went all-in to deliver success.

4

fully grown trees saved for every 100 pallets produced

0

net waste – almost waste-neutral

What we did

With a new product that was unknown to the target customer group, Re>Pal wanted to launch their game-changing pallet across Asia’s major manufacturing hubs, with China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam identified as having the greatest initial potential. We helped Re>Pal to refine their early branding ideas, defining the brand strategy, and expanding on the visual palette. We subsequently assisted them in targeting their advertising and in promoting their product through a range of channels with a focus on digital media.

Research and Analysis

Brand Strategy

Brand Identity

Marketing Communications

Online Marketing

Research and Analysis

Through qualitative research, interviewing a range of front-line people at the company from the CEO to the Sales Manager, we learned that because the logistics industry as a whole is in decline, saving costs is the key priority. Yet with only 14% of the world’s plastic packaging being recycled, and double that proportion ending up as waste in natural ecosystems, environmental groups are calling for urgent change to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment. Pressure is mounting for all players to reduce waste generation, with leading brands like Apple requiring their suppliers all through the value chain to make changes towards greater sustainability.

Our research told us that manufacturers and logistics industry leaders were eager to play their part in this movement, yet were all too often constrained by cost considerations. As such, Re>Pal’s disruptive technology is a change agent – giving them exactly the product they wanted, finally at a price they could afford.

Brand Strategy

Re>Pal is in the rare position of being able to help companies meet the dual pressures of cost reduction and demands for greater sustainability. Building on this advantage, a compelling brand story emerged: 

•  A story of innovation – featuring Re>Pal’s patented proprietary ThermoFusion™ technology, which makes it possible to recycle mixed waste plastic without the need for costly sorting and grading. 

•  A story of multiple benefits to the user – a pallet as strong as timber at a lower price, compliant with international standards, light, durable, nestable to save space, easy to clean, and free from the disadvantages of wood – splinters, nails, moisture absorption, and the need for fumigation against pests.

•  A story of multiple benefits to the environment – not only substantially reducing deforestation, but helping to save the oceans through the use of salvaged marine plastic waste. Much of this is collected via sponsored beach clean-ups – benefiting local communities – while the pallets themselves are infinitely recyclable.

Armed with this powerful story, our strategic goal became clear – to position Re>Pal as a key partner in helping the logistics industry to cut costs, enhance efficiency, and reach measurable sustainability targets. The objective was to win recognition of Re>Pal as the market leader, innovator and expert authority on plastic pallets, as well as a passionate advocate for sustainability. This led to a persuasive brand value proposition – Save costs, Save the environment.

Re>Pal’s brand story is backed up by third-party life cycle analysis and testing, while further powerful reason to believe is provided by Re>Pal’s Lifetime Value Calculator, which reinforces the company’s zero-waste proposition by quantitatively comparing the performance of its products against those of other pallets on the market.

Stephen Bowhill, Chief Executive Officer of Re>Pal, summarises the key strategic message: “Re>Pal offers not only an environmentally-friendly, carbon-neutral alternative to wood pallets, but also a more cost-effective and lower price solution to your business supply chain over the lifetime of the pallet.”
 

Brand Identity

In support of this strategic goal, we developed a visual style that was very much B2B-focused and utilitarian but could express the extremely urgent environmental message through a very contemporary image. The creative expression style was expanded out to a visual palette and colour palette that reflected the key environmental message, while avoiding the clichéd over-reliance on green too often found in this context. Instead the use of unfussy modern fonts in white on a dark background made for a highly readable appearance with a businesslike industrial ambience.

Marketing Communications

Communication guides were created that outlined the key pillars of the brand and then drilled down into how they could be applied across various touchpoints – social media marketing, print advertising, sales kits, leaflets and other collaterals. A range of print advertising templates was also developed and the response rates to both slogans and images tested. An important consideration was to get the right balance in marketing materials between Re>Pal’s branding, product details and benefits, and environmental benefits. The latter were often illustrated graphically, for example by positioning a pallet in a photograph next to a pile of plastic waste equivalent to its content. Beach clean-up photos also provided effective visual messaging conveying the benefits of keeping plastic out of the waste stream. 

Online Marketing

With a focus on digital activation through a range of channels, we undertook detailed research to identify the most effective digital channels to reach the target audience. We identified two target tiers – CEOs and senior executives, whose primary focus is on cost-effectiveness and the corporate image; and Logistics Directors and operational management, whose chief concerns in addition to cost management are product functionality and efficiency.

We were looking for the highest conversion rate and a message that resonated strongly. Initial qualitative insights showed that the target audience groups wanted to make the change from wood, but it was previously cost-prohibitive. From this came a very simple and clear proposition “A plastic pallet at the price of timber”. We wanted to mould this proposition and nuance it into the most effective possible message.
Variations were A-B tested online using a range of tools – on banner ads and social media. A clear leading variant emerged that we used to drive the growth and sales during the first phase of the campaign

As we continued to roll out this message, we revisited the social media strategy, testing a variety of styles of posts and varying balances between the key messaging elements. Regional differences in what resonated began to show, leading us to make different content variants for each region in support of Re>Pal’s continuing market growth.
 

Summary

Re>Pal

4

fully grown trees saved for every 100 pallets produced

0

net waste – almost waste-neutral

Research and Analysis

Brand Strategy

Brand Identity

Marketing Communications

Online Marketing

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