Benny's Barber Shop

Book a Yarn: Giving young guys a place to talk

 

If you’re a bloke living in Canterbury, chances are you’ve heard of Benny’s Barber Shop (BBS). With around 20 barbers, a headquarters with an indoor basketball court and seven cutting rooms, as well as a shop inside Hallensteins, the BBS brand has become known for a lot more than their slick trim-ups.

Owner, Ben Scott had a dream of using his brand’s influence on young men aged 18-30 to address the mental health problems that are so prevalent amongst that demographic. But he told us that finding the time and the contacts to do so was proving a challenge. We jumped at the opportunity to partner with such a cool brand and began brainstorming with Ben about some possibilities for BBS to make an impact on mental health in Canterbury.

The result was a Social Good Project called ‘Book a Yarn’ which was piloted at BBS Headquarters.

Once a week, a ‘Yarnologist’ (a qualified counsellor) was stationed at BBS HQ. Guys used the online booking system to book a yarn with the Yarnologist and talk about anything they needed to get off their chest. It was an entirely free service and we’re stoked to say that we were able to guide a number of young men towards the type of professional help they need.

Our approach

  1. We worked with BBS to conceptualise the project

  2. We then put a strategy in place with a key events schedule and a communications plan

  3. We created a launch event for the Book a Yarn service which included a Q & A session with Richie Mo’unga and Izzy Dagg

  4. James acted as the Project Coordinator, pulling together a team of professional counsellors, executing our comms plan and overseeing the smooth running of the Book a Yarn programme and related pop-up events at BBS

Results:

Book a Yarn was a massive success. The programme got great exposure through mainstream and social media for the BBS brand, proving that social good projects can be a hugely cost effective brand-positioning tool. Plus, most importantly, it was a well utilised service, helping a number of guys who may not have otherwise sought help for a tough life problem they’ve been facing. A true win-win for both BBS and the community.

Here are just a few stats that demonstrate the project’s impact:

  • 100% of people that used the service said it helped them and that they would recommend it to a friend.

  • The Book a Yarn service was featured on One News, Stuff.co.nz and The Breeze radio station.

  • Book a Yarn-related posts were shared 75 times on Facebook and had significantly more engagement on Facebook and Instagram compared to regular posts.