Get out of London! by @nikkoster
Following another day planning an elaborate train schedule across the UK with a week ahead of me lugging around a heavy suitcase full of POS, booze and a regrettable timetable of too many regional meetings I still feel compelled to write how successful you can be when you start ‘thinking regionally’.
Previous experience working with both big and small brands almost all campaigns are focused around London, the arguments being; the most amount of people, media outlets and biggest ‘iconic’ locations. Really it’s because most agencies/marketing depts. are based so they can’t be arsed to look/actually go much further than the city they work in.
In the past year brand managing a gin (Langley’s No.8) produced in Birmingham with a head office in Southampton, the founders from across the South-coast and strong representation in London and the North we’ve learnt that taking advantage of our UK spread has proved most effective.
Yes, London is incredibly important, all the arguments mentioned above are actually very relevant and campaigns we ran with The Ritz have been amongst our most successful yet. We now even have a cocktail bar in Shoreditch (Langley’s Yard) and it has gained our brand invaluable awareness in London. But, it’s taken around 20 times more time, effort and budget to build these campaigns in London with a similar if not smaller return to what we have done in regionally.
If you need evidence that other cities across the UK are worth pushing just take a look at Birmingham, recently named the UK’s most investible city.
With a ream of fantastic media outlets such as the painstakingly cool ‘I Choose Birmingham’ if you’ve got something good, you’re going to get great coverage reaching a huge audience. Have a read through some of these publications and you’ll see the city has; four Michelin Star restaurants, completely original bars, the countries official best Street Food event (Digbeth Dining Club) not to mention all of the independent businesses all keen for new and interesting collaborations with brands.
From the first event I ran in Birmingham with the excellent Yelp team, the brand loyalty has been stronger than any city I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot of big gin brands made at our distillery but none had taken the time to really push Birmingham and now we have the ‘locally produced gin’ market nailed. In an uber competitive drinks market now it’s an incredibly profitable city for us and it’s led us to get better national coverage than our ‘nationally focused’ campaigns.
Bringing this to an abrupt end; do some travelling with your brand and think of a campaign that suits your brand rather than changing your brand to suit London.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nik is a brand manager for Langleys Gin and can be mainly found tweeting from @nikkoster