CAMPAIGN: Don’t Mention The Recession – ‘R-Proof’ Offices

Wellington skincare company Trilogy has gained extensive local coverage of its ‘recession-proof office’ campaign with several newspaper and television stories in recent weeks. But the initiative has now taken off internationally with UK chemist chain Boots just one of the global corporates to pick up on it.
Since the campaign was launched in late March almost 100 businesses have signed up including: Pharmacy Brands; LIFE Pharmacy; host of independents as well as department and health stores in New Zealand; Myer in Australia and Boots in the United Kingdom. The campaign has even captured the imagination of broad range of businesses throughout New Zealand that Trilogy hasn’t worked with, but which have heard about the campaign, like it and want to sign up, including Harcourts, Guthrie Bowron, Deloitte and Heinz Wattie.
The campaign started internally at Trilogy with staff committing to not using the R-word and resolving to think of new ways to conduct their business.
“I’d been up in Europe and found it hard to get any business done with the constant agonising over the economy. It’s just not the way I operate,” says Trilogy co-founder Sarah Gibbs.
Staff found they had such fun with the campaign that Trilogy decided to share its positive approach with suppliers and trade partners.
So Trilogy created an R-PROOF pack with some essential tools to inspire businesses to think positively and stand out from the crowd. The pack includes: top tips to R-PROOF your office; R-PROOF posters to motivate your team and personal R-PROOF computer wobblers to keep you on track.
A ‘$5 per misdemeanour’ fines jar has pride of place in Trilogy’s Wellington office and Gibbs admits she has been the main offender to date.
“There’s $30 in there and I think most of it was mine,” she says.
Gibbs says while the campaign is fun, there are serious underlying messages, including positive thinking breeds positive outcomes and now is not the time for retrenchment, it is the time for strategically thought-through, but not over-thought, action.
Trilogy was founded in 2002 by sisters Catherine de Groot and Sarah Gibbs to combine their commitment to producing quality natural skincare with their passion for the environment. The Trilogy mission is maximum effect on your skin, minimum effect on our environment and the business became New Zealand’s first carbon neutral company in 2007.
Head quartered in Wellington, the company has grown rapidly from boutique local operation to recognised international brand with offices in Melbourne and London. Trilogy products are sold in over 2000 stores in 10 international markets including Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and even Scott Base in Antarctica.
The sisters followed quite different career paths before coming together to establish Trilogy – Gibbs in corporate finance in Hong Kong, South Africa and London before returning to run her own natural ingredients manufacturing company and De Groot as food, beauty and interiors journalist.
Gibbs now oversees the sales, operational and financial activities of Trilogy and De Groot runs research, product development and the design and communication of the brand.
Trilogy has appeared on the Deloitte/Unlimited Fast50 index for three consecutive years. In 2008 Trilogy was the third fastest growing New Zealand business with 690 percent growth, in 2007 the company ranked in 36th position and in 2008 Trilogy appeared again in 44th position with revenue growth of 156 percent.

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