Spearhead

The project

Based in Ayrshire, Spearhead has grown rapidly in the last few years, providing a very wide range of products to the care home sector throughout Scotland and the north of England. Their products include everything from specialist beds through to disposable aprons. With 50 staff, a strong sales team and a new e-commerce site, the company was ready for some new strategic marketing direction.

My role

Working with the team at Spearhead, I led the way on developing a marketing strategy for the growing company. This strategy helped define business objectives and support the transition from a sales orientated to a more customer focussed organisation. This led on to developing a new brand and implementing it through every aspect of the business from web to packaging, shifting the company from predominantly tactical marketing activity to a strategy led approach.

I helped Spearhead:

  • Set the direction for their marketing strategy
  • Develop a brand the business can be proud of
  • Ensure that all aspects the company’s activities align with the ethos and goals of the brand
  • Select key partners to work on design, photography, packaging and web content
  • Create enduring brand messages that has resulted in increased sales, brand loyalty and market share
  • Integrate digital with traditional sales techniques
  • Develop in-house marketing capability by working with and mentoring inexperienced staff

Highlights

The overarching highlight of this project was to see the immediate impact of the work, with a 9.7% increase in turnover and 16.4% increase in online sales. Other highlights included

  • Working with a range of external agencies to deliver the rebranding exercise
  • Presenting, and securing support for the brand strategy to Board of Directors, sales and marketing teams at internal meetings
  • Championing the brand throughout the organisation
    Overseeing the early stages of the brand roll out across traditional and digital platforms
  • Mentoring Daniel Lindberg in the role of Marketing Manager
  • Together with Blood Creative, awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in Scottish Design Awards 2018 (Packaging category)
  • “Kirsty worked with us to build our brand, articulating our core values, market positioning and messaging. She developed our marketing strategy based on this brand work, as well as advised us on resourcing and improving internal processes. Kirsty was invaluable in helping us get our marketing on track and, in particular, we greatly appreciate Kirsty’s drive, determination and high standards of delivery.”

    Andrew Lindberg Managing Director

The story

Spearhead is an established family run business based in Kilmarnock. It supplies a complete range of medical products to care homes including disposables, cleaning materials, furniture and equipment. They are the market-leading supplier to care homes in Scotland.

I was commissioned to work with Spearhead through East Ayrshire Council’s ‘beReady’ programme which was supported by Scottish Enterprise through their High Growth Pipeline initiative.

Like many companies, Spearhead had a very strong sales ethos and the challenge was to shift this towards a more customer centric approach to help position the company in the market for sustained growth. Aligning sales and marketing functions was critical for the company to achieve its growth ambitions.

The priority was to build consensus on the company’s brand and what it meant for all aspects of the business. An initial brand workshop with senior management and the Board led to an 18-month programme of activity linked to my Intelligent Marketing Framework.

A key part of the programme was to introduce Spearhead to a range of specialist suppliers, from market research, design, photography, web content and packaging and printing, who would become partners in brand advocacy and ensure consistency in delivery.

The branding work was extensive. It was captured in a comprehensive brand guidelines document and identified key partners, stakeholders and customers.

Identifying the most important target audience groups provided the focus for defining and tailoring Spearhead’s proposition to form the basis for future marketing activity.

Online sales were becoming an increasingly important contributor to Spearhead’s growth. To capitalise on this opportunity I reviewed and developed Spearhead’s digital presence including their website and social media channels to ensure they were being used effectively supported by SEO and content marketing.

Systems were put in place to create copy for the website, news items, blogs, videos and social media posts aimed at building strong relationships with key partners, stakeholders and customers. This activity was to:

BUILD brand awareness in the sector

POSITION Spearhead as an industry leader

ATTRACT more relevant traffic to the website

CONVERT these prospects into customers

DEVELOP long term relationships with customers to convert them into loyal advocates of Spearhead

MEASURE customer interactions through Google Analytics and other online tools to learn what works and adapt future campaigns to maximise return on investment.At the end of the full 12 month financial year, Spearhead’s turnover had grown by 9.7% with a 16.4% increase in online sales.

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