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 is a Social Good Project called ‘Book a Yarn’ which is currently being piloted at BBS Headquarters.

Once a week, a Yarnologist (a qualified counsellor) is stationed at BBS HQ. Guys can use the online booking system to book a yarn with the Yarnologist and talk about anything they feel like. It’s an entirely free service and we’re stoked to say that we’ve already been able to guide a number of young guys towards the type of professional help they need. This project is being piloted through until the end of May 2019.

Our approach

  1. We worked with Ben 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 has acted as the Project Coordinator, pulling together a team of Yarnologists, executing our comms plan and overseeing the smooth running of the Book a Yarn programme and related pop-up events at BBS


Book a Yarn has already been a massive success. The ROI in terms of exposure through both mainstream and social media for the BBS brand has been incredible, proving that social good projects can be a hugely cost effective marketing tool. Plus, most importantly, it has been 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 so far:

  • 66% of available appointments have been filled, with 100% of people saying it helped them and that they would recommend it to a friend.

  • We were able to get the Book a Yarn service featured on One News and in The Press

  • Book a Yarn-related posts (five in total) have been shared 79 times on Facebook and had close to 3,000 engagements across Facebook and Instagram.