This Much I Learned: Leon’s former marketing boss on why values matter

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s podcast series, former Leon marketing boss Kirsty Saddler discusses her experience feeding the frontline during the first lockdown, her shift to the startup world and why the pandemic has been a “wake-up call” for business.

It’s fair to say 2020 was a busy year for Kirsty Saddler. Having first joined food-to-go chain Leon back in 2015 as brand and marketing director – before leaving in 2018 for a return to the agency world – Saddler rejoined the company in February 2020, just weeks before the UK entered into lockdown.

In her new role as sustainability and values director, she was determined to champion the tangible impact Leon’s brand purpose could have on society. This mission was realised with the creation of Feed NHS, a platform enabling the public to donate money to fund hot food for NHS workers.

The idea, Saddler explains, came from conversations with NHS staff over the counter at Leon restaurants and became a huge collaborative effort between the brand and the health service. Kicking off in March 2020, the campaign raised £150,000 in its first four hours of operation and ran until the end of June.

Saddler has since left Leon for a new role as CMO at startup New Foundation Farms. Positioned as the UK’s first regenerative brand and business, New Foundation Farms wants to grow food in a way that creates a positive environmental impact, guarantees soil health and breeds rich biodiversity.

In this podcast, Saddler discusses why the pandemic has been such a wake-up call for business, why values really matter in a crisis and why she wants to make a difference at scale.

From opening up about mental health issues to closing the career confidence gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on iTunesSoundcloud and Spotify.

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