Robert Mackie of Scotland

The project

Long-established knitwear manufacturer, Robert Mackie of Scotland, needed to embrace marketing to sustain and grow the business.

I worked with senior management, leading them through the strategic phase of marketing thinking, helping them make the right long-term appointments and carry out a re-branding exercise to re-position the business and its products within the sector.

My role

I worked closely with Graeme Haddow, the Managing Director to provide strategic consultancy that would ensure the company made the right decisions to position the company for growth. This meant

  • Developing strong, trusting relationships with senior management team to introduce strategic marketing thinking and processes
  • Advising on the level of marketing support needed
  • Articulation of brand, brand hierarchy and market positioning as a solid foundation for future business decisions
  • Identifying marketing priorities and strategy; setting clear objectives and action planning
  • Market research to enable new design and development work
  • Establishing an online presence with a new website and social media

Highlights

  • Helping the company make strategic decisions about business growth, based on sound marketing principles
  • Appointing and mentoring Emma Carberry, a talented young fashion design graduate in the new post of sales & marketing executive
  • Selecting Freytag Anderson to rebrand the company and their products
  • "We worked with Kirsty to provide Robert Mackie of Scotland support in setting strategic direction for our marketing activities and defining and articulating the Company’s brand. She brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our senior management team, and we all learned a great deal from her. She had a genuine passion for ensuring our marketing underpinned our business objectives for growth, and was key in helping us to identify the marketing resource we needed, and appointing both a marketing manager and a brand partner. Kirsty has been instrumental in the strategic marketing of our business and we are confident that with her wisdom we can drive the business forward as the Company grows from strength to strength.

    Graeme Haddow Managing Director
  • I worked with Kirsty Innes to provide Robert Mackie with support in setting strategic direction for our marketing activities and defining and articulating the company’s brand. Kirsty's perspective coupled with her passion makes her a wonderful energy to be around. She is knowledgeable, experienced and most of all approachable. Kirsty is incredibly energetic, highly motivated and would provide real value to any ambitious business. It would be a pleasure to work with her again!

    Emma Carberry Marketing Manager

The story

There’s a fascinating back-story here and a long, intriguing history. Stewarton is well-known locally as the “bonnet-toun” and Robert Mackie of Scotland have been making Glengarry and Balmoral bonnets there since 1845.

Today their range of knitwear accessories embraces traditional and contemporary. The company is known for its use of fine materials and interesting colour choices.

I got involved with the company through East Ayrshire Council’s beReady programme. As a company with high growth potential, they needed solid, strategic marketing to underpin their growth ambitions.

An initial short audit led on to my 18-month involvement to help shape the company’s marketing thinking, planning and future actions.

My priority was to help everyone in the company understand the brand and then find a way of expressing it that would be right for the business. I was delighted to be able to recruit Freytag Anderson as long-term brand partners. Their response to our brief was brilliant and the new brand positions the company to take full advantage of key strengths.

Being able to appoint Emma Carberry to a new sales & marketing executive position was another key step for the business. I’ve been able to mentor and support her in the early stages of her career. Emma comments, “I worked with Kirsty to provide Robert Mackie of Scotland with support in setting strategic direction for our marketing activities and defining and articulating the company’s brand. Kirsty’s perspective coupled with her passion makes her a wonderful energy to be around. She is knowledgeable, experienced and most of all approachable. Kirsty is incredibly energetic, highly motivated and would provide real value to any ambitious business. It would be a pleasure to work with her again!”

I believe that the team at Mackie now has a clear understanding of how to take strategic marketing decisions and the right staff and partners in place to enable them to develop the business. I’m looking forward to seeing how the business progresses over the next few years.

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