Roger first contacted me back in 2002 and shortly after I’d taken over as MD of Stonemarket. At that time, we didn’t really have any great marketing expertise within the business, and neither were we in a position to permanently take any on – certainly not at a senior level. Initially, Roger carried out a brand strategy project for me and with the aim of really defining the Stonemarket brand and how this differentiated itself from not just competing brands, but also our parent company, Marshalls.
That initial and highly successful project, really acted as a foundation stone for everything we’ve since gone on to do with the Stonemarket brand and indeed where it now sits within the top of its market. Immediately following the project though, I needed someone to actually sort out all the various marketing outputs such as a new consumer brochure, trade brochure, trade show, consumer show gardens at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the RHS Chelsea Flower show, a new website, trade and consumer advertising, plus trade and consumer PR. That’s a fair mix of marketing disciplines for any individual, but Roger took it all on and delivered, too.
Seven years on, we’re now big enough to employ both a marketing manager and a marketing executive. However, we still use Roger for specific projects and it’s also fair to say that being able to employ full time marketing people, is a measure of the business success Roger has helped Stonemarket to achieve.
Stonemarket are the leading brand of landscape products in the UK for garden designers. Click here to read about the work Roger has done for Stonemarket.
Our initial contact with Roger was through a promotional offerfrom GIMA to carry out a 1 day health-check of our marketing activities. If we retained his services we would get the day free. I was initially sceptical that this would be the typical consultants’ approach or regurgitating what we told him and charging us for the privilege. We were pleasantly surprised that Roger brought a freshness of approach to the things we were trying to do and awakened us to the importance of brand building,helping us to clearly understand the usp’s of each of our diverse portfolio of businesses and helping us to present the many strengths ofthese businesses (that we often take for granted) to the market. We make and supply products to the retail, construction and engineering markets and although Roger’s background is more retail, his contribution in advising on how best to use scarce marketing funds for the other Divisions has been valuable. Unlike typical marketing consultants, Roger makes the extra effort required to get under the skin of the business and over the last 3 years has gained a good understanding of our different businesses andour aspirations for each, while retaining the healthy detachment we need to keep us on our toes. I think of Roger more as an off-sitemember of staff than a consultant. Specific projects have included re‑branding the Pest-Stop range of products. Copywriting sales letters for the different divisions. Input to literature, website, promotional activitiesand overseeingpackaging design work. Roger also gave a presentation to the Board on his view of where Procter’s marketing activities should be directed, which was helpful to me as MD in educating theOperational and FinanceDirectors in the importance of marketing.
Procter Bros. were established in 1740 and their portfolio of businesses extends from machine guarding products for leading manufacturers such as Honda, through to high security fencing systems.
We have worked with Roger for the past 2 years to develop our brand strategy, identity, and have benefited from his knowledge and expertise in areas of marketing which have included packaging, catalogue, trade PR, adverts, and website design. Roger’s contribution has been of great value to our business, and it continues to be a pleasure working with him.
Procter Pest-Stop are the second largest supplier of pest control products in the UK.
Hughes Consultancy played a central role in the development of Leisure Vouchers new brand strategy. Part of Whitbread Plc, the Leisure Vouchers brand had to stay true to Whitbread’s brand values but appeal to a business-to-business customer as well as consumer. Roger implemented a brand strategy where different images and tone of voice where used across various different channels but all hung on a central brand identity. This completely re-launched the Leisure Voucher offer to the business-to-business arena and Leisure Vouchers became the leading experiential voucher in the gift voucher sector. Although no longer part of Whitbread, Leisure Vouchers now belong to the same stable as the Virgin Voucher and Virgin Experience Days and it is testament to the Leisure Vouchers branding that they are still the UK’s leading experiential voucher.
Acorne Plc own and operate Virgin Experience Days, The Virgin Voucher and Leisure Vouchers.
Having previously worked with Roger during my time with Whitbread, I had no hesitation about contacting him when a need for brand expertise arose at Sodexo Education. I think what makes his approach so unique and such good value, is the speed he grasps the issues at and how well he gets on with the people around him in order to make things happen. For Sodexo Education, he ran his excellent ‘Let’s talk brands’ workshop for my senior team of 50 people, and then followed this up with a detailed review of what we call our ‘service offers’ – so essentially the different restaurants we operate in schools, colleges and universities. The results were clear, focused and have unquestionably added value to the business. You get so much from him, without anything like the cost (or complication of) a large branding agency.
Sodexo are a global food services and facilities management business employing 355,000 people at 30,600 sites in 80 countries. Their turnover for 2008 was 13.6 billion Euros.
We have used Hughes Consultancy to help us crystallise our brand values, identify our differentiators in the marketplace, and to freshen up our visual identity, all of which have worked well. I always felt that after a meeting with Roger, we had actually achieved something.
Click-On Logistics are a leading supply chain consultancy business.
It’s fair to say that Gala Coffee is the type of business which would struggle to justify a full time Marketing Director. That isn’t to say we’re not big enough in terms of turnover because we are, it’s more the nature of what we do and specifically that much of our production is own-label for supermarkets (who obviously have their own marketing expertise). But Gala still needs promoting at a corporate level, plus we also own the Lyons Coffee brand which was certainly in need of development. Effectively, Roger has filled the role of Marketing Director on a retained consultancy basis and, without question, the arrangement works really well. Some weeks he might do a few days for us, but other weeks it probably isn’t even an hour – so simply whatever is needed. He’s flexible, highly knowledgeable and will take on just about anything we throw at him!
Gala Coffee are part of Drie Mollen – a leading and global coffee business. Click here to read about a specific project Roger carried out for Gala Coffee.
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