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All has been quiet on the Thankyou front for several years, and many of our readers who have followed the social enterprise’s story, as we have done at PKN, were holding out for news. Well, here it is…

As previously reported in PKN, at the end of 2020, Australian-born social enterprise Thankyou launched an ambitious campaign, dubbed 'No Small Plan', extending a bold invitation to two of its biggest competitors, Unilever and Procter & Gamble (P&G), to partner to take Thankyou to the world and help to end extreme poverty. The idea was to take the social enterprise to global scale, leveraging either one of their global manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

Excited about developments roling out: Thankyou co-founder and MD Daniel Flynn.
Excited about developments rolling out: Thankyou co-founder and MD Daniel Flynn

The video invitation, filmed in a garage during a Melbourne lockdown, was fuelled by the imagination of many around the world, including Barack Obama, who encouraged the Thankyou team to expand to new markets in an interview with Thankyou co-founder and managing director Daniel Flynn.

The campaign was a huge success: Over three weeks, it generated 825 media features in 36 countries, over 2.67 billion media impressions, and consumers and influencers around the world posted their support for the idea.

But the campaign and surrounding media noise fell on deaf ears over at Unilever and P&G headquarters, with both multinational giants rejecting the invitation.

However, as Flynn related at the recent launch of Thankyou Reimagined attended by PKN, others did pay attention, and this has led to the next chapter for the social enterprise: a series of agile partnerships to take Thankyou global via a different route, and “revolutionary” product ranges designed to meet the changing needs of consumers.

 

“Both Unilever and P&G said no, and we wish them well. But at the same time, we were lost for words by the number of other companies around the world who reached out after seeing the campaign video. Some offered deals we couldn’t accept, like a $50 million investment in our US launch in exchange for equity in Thankyou, but others put forward the most remarkable partnership proposals. We were blown away by the interest and passion, and it was many of those conversations that sparked us to reimagine our approach to going global,” said Flynn.

And the plans rolling out are big and bold. Through a network of values-aligned innovators, producers and distributors from across the globe, Thankyou is currently working on expanding its reach from 23 million consumers in Australia to over 2.69 billion consumers across four continents in the next three years.

For now, Thankyou is remaining tight-lipped on retailer announcements and region announcements, although the world will get a taste of what’s to come as the innovation that it partner network has helped to develop over the past two years is launching here in Australia over the month of June.

The new product line up, which embodies the mantra of Consumerism Reimagined, sees a complete transformation of Thankyou's flagship product range, along with an all-new range in a completely different grocery category for Thankyou,  cleaning products. 

For the range's packaging, refillable and reusable concepts have come to the fore, with the use of recycled and recyclable materials a priority. The new Thankyou Hand & Body Wash 1L and 3L is packed in a bottle made from 100 per cent recycled plastic. The refill bottles have been designed with high-value recyclable, HDPE (high density polyethylene), that is itself made from 100 per cent recycled material. The cap is made from 98 per cent recycled plastic.

The Thankyou Antiperspirant Deodorant bottle is made from 96 per cent recycled plastic and the bottle is kerbside recyclable.

The Universal Cleaner bottle is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, and here too the refill bottles are made from with high-value recyclable, rHDPE, with caps from 100 per cent recycled plastic

“We believe the design-led, sustainable and innovative approach will disrupt category norms. The products have been designed to deliver great value to consumers and ultimately, appeal to consumers not just here in Australia but around the world,” Flynn said.

“At Thankyou we’ve always lived by two rules. Rule 1: make great products. Rule 2: never break Rule 1. We’ve never been more excited than we are right now about the products we have to present to consumers.” 

Thankyou’s mission is to help create a world where not one person lives in extreme poverty, and the route it is taking towards that goal involves creating desirable products, and directing all profits made towards positive impact. In Australia alone, the sale of Thank you products has raised $17.9 million to date.

With global distribution on the cards, it’s clear that this is just the beginning.

[Ed's note: Just ahead of the launch of 'No Small Plan', Thankyou announced its exit from the bottled water market, and soon afterwards, flagged a possible comeback into the water sector is not off the table. At the Thankyou Reimagined launch, PKN  caught a glimpse of a redesigned forever bottle for water. Watch this space...]

Thankyou Reimagined will be revealed in the coming weeks, with products hitting Australian supermarket shelves in June. 

 

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