Tim Witcherley

[Case study] Our story with Pearl Motor Yachts

by Tim Witcherley on October 23, 2014
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As growth experts, our marketing expertise has driven numerous B2B business transformations over the years. A very common question business owners ask me is what sort of brand and marketing platform you need to facilitate growth.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the point is to share one of our case studies with you, which involves our longest-standing client, Pearl Motor Yachts.

We first started working with Pearl in 1998. Back then, they were a very different story to the brand we now see. The business was tucked away behind a motor dealership in Stratford-upon-Avon, had no clear brand identity and was underfinanced.

When the owner decided to retire, he offered the business to Iain Smallridge, who was one of the team members. However, he was unable to take over the business as he didn’t have the funds to do it.

That’s where we came in.

We enabled Iain to gain access to the skills, resource and direction he needed by setting up a meeting with a mutual contact with interests in the marine business. As a result Iain was immediately provided with a mentor and the finance he needed to take on the business.

Under Iain’s ownership and with our marketing support, Pearl has blossomed into a major global yacht brand synonymous with luxurious comfort and exhilarating performance.

Over the years it has established a dealer network in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mallorca, Cyprus and the UK. Pearl is also recognised as the fastest growing boat builder in the UK. It has formed a long-term strategic association with highly-acclaimed British interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE and recently unveiled its fourth, eagerly-anticipated model: the Pearl 65.

What business growth lessons can you take from this case study?

For all businesses, particularly ambitious SMEs, I can’t stress enough just how much you need to focus on establishing your brand as a competitor in the market.

We enabled Pearl to do just that by providing them with the foundation to enable them to maintain growth by:

  • Giving them a strong brand
  • Establishing their profile using PR
  • Leveraging their differences over the competition to enable them to carve their niche in the market

This significantly increased their share of voice and influence within an industry that’s dominated by large brands.

Branding and marketing needs to be based on a process, not guesswork

Cognition has a series of processes underpinning effective branding and marketing. We call it the Route to Growth, because that’s what it fundamentally is. First we understand the exact marketing challenges your business faces; then we build a solid foundation and marketing strategy to enable you to address them.

It’s a proven approach that’s been hailed by Management Today as being the blueprint for getting a brand ‘to punch above its weight.’

It ensures that all your marketing is geared both to the ideal prospect company and the individual decision maker(s) within that company. This will help you achieve more value from your marketing spend.

Before embarking on a campaign it is vital that your proposition, key messages and proof points are identified and fine tuned in line with the competitive landscape. This ensures everything from your logo to your web copy to your sales collateral and social media communicates the right message to the right people.

Once this framework is in place, a detailed marketing strategy is necessary along with a measurement matrix to ensure that prospects are delivered into and through the marketing funnel.

So when owner-managers ask me what they need in terms of branding and marketing to outperform their competitors my answer is always that they need to stop thinking in terms of outputs like logos and websites. Instead, they need to think in terms of outcomes – what they need is a route to growth.

(And if you’d like to chat about what a route to growth would look like for your business just give me a ring on 0800 7810247.)

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Tim Witcherley

This post was written by Tim Witcherley

As Cognition's Managing Director, Tim sets by example by being an incredibly driven and commercial businessman who has built a very impressive marketing consultancy which has continued to grow year on year. With a very straight and honest approach to business, he ensures he gets the best results for his clients and builds strong partnerships with his suppliers.

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