Australia’s leading aquaculture company Tassal engaged SmithAssociates to strategise and create a communications campaign with the purpose of resetting the company’s image. Concern in Tasmania about the salmon farming industry was rapidly increasing. Tassal’s plans to grow production and operate new oceanic farms had put the company into the spotlight.
Activists were busy on social media and many Hobart restaurants had Tassal off the menu. The community was divided. Tassal’s brand was under threat. Staff morale was at a low.
Our research satisfied us that Tassal remained a global leader in aquaculture, committed to environmental best practice. Just one of many indicators, Tassal is the only company globally to have achieved ASC certification (the industry equivalent of Forestry’s FSC) across all their sites.
We saw that the biggest brand issue for Tassal was that for too long the company had been focused on the science behind its business for achieving sustainably-driven market goals whereas communications were failing to engage the public, by not recognising the need for a new emotional intelligence around their corporate stewardship message. Tassal had found themselves being criticised by a sceptical Tasmanian community and on their way to losing social licence.
Our communication needed to be mindful of the current perceptions while taking a leadership position.