Guest blog by Lucy Atherton.
I just love it when a client says “we’re thinking about changing all our branding”. I know it’s a painful exercise for any business – remembering to change everything from the delivery lorries to the visitors’ coffee cups, but finding the old comp slips and key rings are still creeping around months down the line – however for me it’s a golden moment.
Yes it’s a chance to totally re-think your image, but also an ideal moment to consider the story you are telling (us PRs are always going on about stories). For instance do you need to return to your core values, reflecting on the history or longevity of your company, or has life moved on so rapidly that it’s no longer relevant?
Somerset Larder was set up fairly recently in 2014, so the history bit didn’t apply, but they were made up of a group of south west food and drink producers all of whom do have long histories and fantastic stories to tell. (One of the main ones, Pynes Butchers, is owned by an amazing chap called Malcolm, who is simply god’s gift to PR, but that’s another story.)
The original idea was to bring together the region’s best small farmers, artisan food makers, drinks producers and bakers to bid for the Hinkley C development near Bridgwater. Five years down the line it was apparent that this model could easily work for other large tenders, maybe even replicating it in different regions, but the brand looked too parochial and definitely too dated to appeal to the larger corporate world.
Managing Director Steve Braithwaite says: “We had been flying under the radar for some time, but we knew we had a great concept which could be scaled up for other industries. The brand had become a little tired and outdated, so I asked a local design agency to come up with some new ideas.”
That design agency was Bluestone360 I’ve worked for them before on other projects and I knew they’d come up with something good, so I was thrilled to see the first ideas chimed in with the new message. It made it so easy for me to breathe new life into Somerset Larder’s social media channels and writing content for their new website flowed alongside this inspiring new branding.
Mendip Media was commissioned to make videos for the website and socials on the key suppliers. They too told the story beautifully.
Steve says: “The result was a new website and total revamp of our brand, which really brings to life our core concept of ‘nourishing the community’. We have already begun to win new business in the region and the pipeline for 2020 looks very exciting for us.”
Somerset Larder’s profile is now such that celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE recently agreed to officially open the Central Production Kitchen (CPK) in North Petherton and to judge food created by chef apprentices who work at Hinkley. The winning dish will feature on menus at the site in December 2019.