The news that we were going to be hosting a festival might have raised a few eyebrows, but we promise there was some thinking behind the decision. We didn't spend 10 hours cutting out bunting for nothing...
We have a simple question we ask ourselves in the HumanForest marketing team whenever a new idea is presented.
Is the idea going to pass the ‘nod’ test?
The nod test??
It sounds a bit odd writing it down like this, but we have a vision that when two HumanForest riders pass each other on bikes they both give a knowing ‘nod’ to the rider heading in the opposite direction.
The nod says, “We don’t know each other but we just might have something in common”. You might find the same thing when two skateboarders cross paths, perhaps two people wearing the same football shirt, or even a mutual friend you know... but not well enough to stop and chat.
So back to the festival. We’ve spent the summer doing lots of small scale activations and interacted directly with tens of thousands of customers, all work we’ve put into tearing down the divide between company and customer. But it felt like something was missing. Lots of the activations were done through social media, or put out and done remotely through our eBikes. The face to face interaction was limited.
We wanted to organise something where the whole team could spend time interacting with our customers, something which is criminally underrated in most businesses. The idea of ForestFest was born out of us trying to think of a way in which we could chat to a large amount of customers, hear their stories, ask why they use us, find out what we can improve. As well as providing time and space to a rapidly growing HumanForest community that might end up nodding to each other on the street... remember that?
Most companies would maybe have hired a research company, but no, that’s not the HumanForest way. We wanted to get our hands dirty and have a fun time doing it.
Oh yeah, we forgot to mention we did it because it was fun. An underrated decision factor that doesn’t get much airtime in boardrooms. Most ideas these days are stripped back to their most efficient combination of ones and zero’s, a process that can be effective at large scales, but for us we’re just happy to put smiles on the faces of our riders.
I mean, would you nod at a passing rider if they didn’t have a smile on their face?