Pride of Place Ltd & Director of Charter Brands Ltd
‘Delicious Brand Building’ was an inspiring event featuring experts who have built brands and products from scratch, bringing them to market and turning them into successful and desired products by trade and consumer alike.
Mark Dawkins, Founder and Director of Pride of Place Ltd and Co-Founder & Director of Charter Brands Ltd, has just launched his new brand, Langley’s No.8 Gin. With 20 years’ experience in the food and drink industry, this is the first time he has brought his own product to market, after two years of product development. Thomas Lock, a 23-year old entrepreneur, founded The Awfully Posh Snack Company, the first company to produce high quality pork crackling at an affordable price selling to retail giants such as Harrods and Waitrose.
They both stumbled upon their ideas while having a poor G&T and pub pork-scratchings respectively, installing conviction in their ideas to bring them to fruition. Although the differences between the two speakers were vast, messages from both of them are crucial to bringing a product from initial concepts to market.
Mark emphasised the importance of market research, focus groups, having a clear brand strategy and target market. Focus groups were crucial to his research, since ‘you’re so involved in your product that you need to show it to target consumers to catch things you may have missed’. And similarly, he advocated the importance of leaving budget to invest in your research sector. With his background in branding, he said he was crucial to stick to the research and strategy and ensure the product launch is well-timed. After all, as Mark said, ‘developing a product is like a long pregnancy, but it’s brilliant when it arrives and you want to nurture it, love it, educate it, and make it financially independent!’
On the social media and marketing front, Tom said that his best form of marketing was his brand and distribution; focus on the distribution and your product will self-market itself. Mark advocated the importance of real followers on Twitter, saying that he didn’t mind if numbers were lower, but he wanted to know his followers were genuine and loyal to the brand. And most importantly, tweets should be conducted in the right tone and language for the brand. This ties into brand loyalty – if you can catch your consumer early, you can keep them forever, as long as you too are loyal to them. We asked our audience what made them loyal to a brand and most of the answers included: quality, marketing, customer service, innovation and trustworthiness.
Both experts hailed the significance of PR; to get your product known, you have to get editorial coverage because it is a) more believable, b) you get more words and c) it seems partial and of course you can target both trade and consumer.
The strongest message which came from both speakers was the importance of belief: belief in your idea; belief in your message, and most importantly, belief in yourself.
To hear news on upcoming events, visit Noted‘s website.