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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Creating a new brand positioning for a 180-year-old family business

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Simmonds' marketing brochure

How to change brand perception and acquire new customers

A school uniform and family-run business in Kent has been in operation for nearly 200 years. They pride themselves on their family culture and always putting their customer first to deliver a professional, high quality, personal service.

Fast forward to 2020, and with all businesses wrestling daily operating challenges during a worldwide pandemic, they knew investing in their marketing was key.

They chose Sharp Thinking to help them assess how their business was perceived, how it could position itself today building on its heritage and advise on their digital strategy.

The Approach: Going back to basics and defining their brand

We began by immersing ourselves in their Tunbridge Wells based business, understanding how it operates and learning how it all began back in 1837 right up to how they run their business today. We performed research with their staff and their customers to gather insight to understand what makes them tick and how they were perceived.

The research with customers helped create customer personas, defining what both motivates and are barriers for them to purchase. We also ran an internal brand workshop bringing staff together to discuss and inform what their business stood for and drives them.

Through gathering as much insight as possible we were able to define their core purpose and create a brand positioning statement. Next water tight proof points were developed to create key messages which would resonate with customers and influence the output of future marketing assets.

The Result: Dressing the nation with pride since 1837

Over a 3-month period, we delivered a range of marketing tools and assets for the business to begin targeting new customers.

Greater understanding of their target audience

A set of customer personas were created of their B2B and B2C target audiences along with detailed messaging frameworks for each.

An identity that differentiates and competes with the competition

A proposition was developed defining what they do, what sets them apart and how they meet the needs of their customers. This was supported with a brand story of their business, describing how it all started.

Visual consistency across their business

Brand identity guidelines were compiled on how to use their updated company logo, new colours, fonts and photography together with a range of templates to use from collateral to social media posts.

Confidence to target new business

Finally, a 12-page, customer facing prospectus was produced bringing all the elements of their brand identity to life, telling their brand story using customer testimonials and crucially why to choose them. All this was packaged as a high quality printed prospectus using silver foiling and accompanied with direct marketing letters.

"This is a really exciting set of projects you are guiding us through. When we asked for your help last November I don’t think either of us realised just how wide ranging, detailed and professional your work would be. Whatever the financial results your input will have on the firm in the short term you have opened our eyes as to how we should approach business - and the financial benefits of that will go on for years. I’d also like to say that not only are you giving us a master class in marketing but you even help us complete our homework when we get under pressure from other tasks! Thank you. Simon Smith, Simmonds

Find out more about the marketing services we offer small business and see other clients we are working with in Tunbridge Wells and the rest of Kent.

And if you would like some help with marketing your small business, then please do get in touch.

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