Breaking The Brand is run 100% by volunteers which means everything donated goes directly towards the campaigns.
Nia: Nia is the ‘poster girl’ of Breaking The Brand. You will see her not only on our Web Site but also on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. Nia means purpose in Swahili and Nia’s purpose is to stop rhino poaching.
Dr. Lynn Johnson, Founder of Breaking The Brand
I founded Breaking The Brand in 2013. I don’t have a conservation background, but from an education prospective I’m a nerdy scientist; I have a PhD in particle physics and I in my professional life I have been given the opportunity to solve diverse and complex problems.
The bulk of my professional life has been working in the areas of leadership & strategy development, executive coaching and corporate culture change. I have had my own business since 2001, helping businesses and leaders evolve their behaviours in response to changing expectations and/or market conditions.
As a kid in the UK in the 70’s I was addicted to nature TV, Animal Magic, Survival, Wildlife on One, Life on Earth, Johnny Morris, David Bellamy and David Attenborough. The emerging debates at the time about how people needed to protect the natural world and how you could and should take action resonated. The family home was in town, on a bus route, and the bus stop was directly outside the house. I decided my bedroom window would become a billboard for all that I cared about and the passengers on the top deck of the bus where confronted with posters on everything from save the whale, stop seal clubbing, anti-fox hunting, pesticide and birds of prey, anti-fur trade, save tigers, save elephants, beauty without cruelty……the list went on. Over the years I have signed petitions, collected signatures, made personal donations and helped fundraise for a range of campaigns.
Creating the Breaking The Brand project was just linking back to something I am really passionate about and it meant I could use the insights on human and organisational behaviour I had gained over the years to design demand reduction campaigns for illegal wildlife products.
The aim is that this type of campaign serves as an example to the conservation industry of what can be achieved in reducing the demand for illegal/endangered wildlife ‘products’ beyond rhino horn, for instance ivory, tiger & lion ‘products’ etc. If the industry more effectively creates campaigns targeting the users of these ‘products’, in a way that resonates with these users, it is much more likely to create a change in purchasing/using behaviour. This could have a positive impact on reducing poaching and saving many of the world’s iconic animals that may become extinct in the wild in the next decade. To do this would mean a significant cultural transformation for the conservation industry.
Breaking The Brand is very privileged to have some wonderful volunteers. Though we can’t mention all of them individually, we would like you to meet some key members of the team.