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Commown or démarketing?

Commown Newsletter example

Sample email: Commown or démarketing?


From: Commown
Subject: Newsletter n°63
Preheader: Fairphone 5, Invest in Commown, GreenTech Forum, Board of Directors, Pr...

Why this choice?

Because Commown is a company that has left its mark on my mind. Their website breaks traditional marketing codes. And I love it!

Commown is a cooperative that offers rental of electronic equipment without the option to buy. On its website, the cooperative encourages you NOT to subscribe to their offers if your device is still working. Thanks to a Do I need it? "placed at the same level as the main button".Rent a Fairphone". Committed brands are generally very transparent about the consequences of their purchases, but Commown goes a step further. No other brand (to my knowledge) puts this kind of button forward.

Isn't that what demarketing is all about?

I have an iPhone 6 with software version 12.5.7, bought refurbished from Boulanger in 2018. Apparently, it is too old for Apple and most brands: I can no longer update the software, nor download applications ("The current version requires iOS 15.0 or later."or visit most websites ("Your browser is no longer compatible"). But otherwise, it works great 🙂 !

Does this mean I NEED to change?

I've been wondering about this for two years now. I regularly follow Commown news, I read their newsletters, I'm tempted by a Fairphone. And when I read what they have to say, I tell myself that no, I don't need one yet.

Commown newsletter diagnosis

Commown sends out about one newsletter a month. Here are a few comments on the last one I received:

  • L'object doesn't encourage clicking.
    • What could have been written: "Great news: The Fairphone 5 is (finally) commendable!"
  • The pre-header lists the topics covered in the newsletter.
    • What could have been written: "Read Commown's review of this new model"..
  • The design doesn't encourage clicks. There are no buttons, just links behind bolded words.
  • The main title of the email repeats the preheader word for word (or rather, it's the title that's automatically repeated in the preheader here). It's a pity, we could have put across a different message.
  • The text size is quite small. It includes some very interesting information that I would have liked to see right from the start, and which would have made me very happy (the release of the Fairphone 5).
    • I'd like someone to explain to me what "/e/os" is: a de-googlized Android.
    • The text "Useful reminder, the most responsible Fairphone is the one you already have... This news should not drive you to replace your current smartphone." > I would have taken this out of the text block. I would have made it an alert block below the main block. It's part of their brand posture, so I might as well go all out.
    • The link behind "forum" leads to a wealth of information, again of great interest. It warns readers about the consequences of a new model and raises awareness of the 3 types of obsolescence (marketing, hardware, software). Commown questions the appropriateness of the new model and gives his opinion on this phone. > The text should have highlighted these different points to make people want to read the article on the forum.
    • I would have added 2 AHUS side by side :
      • "I get information on the forum"
      • "Be alerted when /e/os is available".
  • The title of article 2 could have been clearer: "Invest in Commown before December 31". The explanatory text is very clear, except for one point I didn't quite understand: who are the institutional investors?
  • Add a "How does it work in practice?" CTA to encourage me to find out more.
  • For the third article, we could have added 2 CTAs: "See the Kaleidoscoop website" and "Add this event to my calendar".
  • By the way, the last part of this newsletter is dedicated to events, which could have been gathered in a "Agenda" section.
  • The last block on prevention could have been designed differently (in the same style as the Alert block above).
  • The phrase " You can reply to this e-mail to contact the team "is great. It's exciting to see this kind of phrase, nothing beats a good human contact. We tend to see the opposite with traditional brands: " This email is automatic. Please do not reply. "Much cooler approach 😉
  • The missing reinsurance block before the email footer. A block summarizing Commown's values and convictions.
  • The footer is very light, with only the unsubscribe link. There are no legal notices.

The last word

I'm often disappointed by the discrepancy between a brand's website and its newsletters (I'm also thinking of Emmaüs label in writing this). Especially when the brand is so committed. The newsletter is often a neglected medium, treated last, written in a hurry, even though it's hyper-important. It's one of the main ways of pushing news directly to your readers, raising their awareness, educating them and encouraging them to change their consumption habits. I would have liked to see a strong design to live up to their convictions and words that carry the strength of their fights.

This email has been selected by Marion Duchatelet