Hue Robertson

British Is Best

It’s recently been reported thatClipper Tea are returning to the concept of the British Tea Lady in their latest fully integrated experiential campaign. A ‘Revival Team’ will arrive at offices throughout the UK, serving up a mid morning tea party whilst explaining the benefits of Green Tea.

The Tea lady is an iconic, nostalgic figure of British society-and something tells me this campaign will work simply because of this return to a classic British comfort. On a similar vein is the Mr Kipling brand. In the latest TV advert for Oatibakes, we zoom in to the kitchen of a country house, where we see Mrs Kipling, a typical English house-wife, sat eating breakfast in a kitchen dressed with charming English ornaments. Already we cannot help but to warm towards this familiar scene, and without even seeing the product, the brand has already succeeded in tugging at those British heart strings.

Brands often turn to the strength of British tradition to carry out very successful marketing campaigns; yet doing the opposite often can truly have a negative effect. When Kraft first threatened to take over Cadbury, there was uproar that the endearingly warm tradition of the Cadbury brand would be destroyed and replaced with something far too polished and American. Let’s not forget that since 1824 Cadbury has been English, and fully part of British identity and culture. Perhaps the biggest set-back here is that we Britain’s don’t like change and we’re pretty un-accepting. Especially towards the Americans. Even more especially when chocolate is involved.

Just over a year ago, Innocent sold a 30% stake of their business to Coca Cola. So arguably not so innocent anymore and even the best of the British, Man United, are owned by an American businessman- Mr Glazer.

So with this industry in mind,so set on engaging the consumer, let’s be proud of our British heritage and use it to it’s full, glorious advantage. Remember, tradition is always best.

Now someone put that kettle on….

-Stephanie Wollenberg-

  • michael aldridge

    This reminds me of my days at Cunard and the Ritz we had guest history cards for every guest and the card would have details relating to temperature of rooms, newspapers ordered, food eaten (dietary requests) and a specific comments the guests made during there stay. i.e. if they commented on a piece of art work, on their next stay we would endeavour to have this placed in their room. I think the days of this attention to detail are gone. Correct me if I am wrong!! .

    This may seem over the top for Events but word of mouth is the biggest driver of business in Merlin Venues and we make a great effort to engage pre and post event to ensure we exceed their expectations.

    • Ellis LP

      Its not over the top, its thoughtful and quite creative. Its the little things that make a difference and by taking a small note of individual clients likes and dislikes we can create an environment which is suitable and appeals to those we wish to make an impact on, whilst sustaining effective events where personal experiences are the foothold to successful relationships-which they will share with on-line and offline connections building awareness for the host.

  • Stuart Sharples

    We have the same problem. As a designer and manufacturer of bespoke awards our design team rely on a budget to create the right kind of designs. If we don’t have a budget we can either end up massively over-quoting or quoting for something that is inadequate for the occasion. I think that sometimes clients are worried that if they give us a budget we will try and spend it all, but we always provide a range of designs up to the budget. We find that our clients that are open about their budget often end up with the best products.

    Stuart Sharples
    Product Designer
    Gaudio Awards

    • Stephanie Easom

      Yes I think you’re right, clients are worried we’ll use up the whole budget for the sake of it! Once we’ve worked with them a few times they know that if the right speaker/entertainer happens to cost half what they have in the kitty, then that’s who they get and more champers for everyone! 🙂

  • Andrew Harvey

    Here Here ! We have access to some great agency rates for acts and after dinner speakers, when you have sent thousands of pounds worth of work the way of a band, entertainer or celebrity you get options on some great deals, I can share these with clients, but only when I know what options I can offer.

    I can help when clients have £20,000, and I can help when they have a less zeros .. But what’s the point in me proposing 4 bands in the range of £2,000 to £4,000 when they have a £1,000 budget! I am aware that clients often don’t have a clear idea of what things may cost, but even after giving them the … “well celebrities are from £2,000 to £100,000 “ speech I still get the “well , we are not sure so send over a selection ! “ … That said, maybe it’s our job to help potential clients to understand why it’s important to have a budget in mind, or maybe and objective and what they want to spend in order to achieve this objective …

  • Stephanie Easom

    One thing I find that helps with the ‘we don’t have a budget’ claim is to explain that you don’t want to slow down the process but suggesting options that are wildly out of range. I usually say “Shall I keep suggestions under £15,000 say? £20,000?” and wait for the client to jump in… It’s always worked for me so far…touch wood!

  • Jessica Harvey

    When i’m looking into having an event, most of the time I have been sent away to see the costs before the budget is confirmed. So when i am asked what my budget is, it’s variable, dependent on what can be offered. A lot of the time i want quotes and information from both ends of the scale, as it enables me to choose what i think we would like and also enable me to show comparisons to my manager of the benefits of spending less or more on the event.

  • Ken Clayton

    Having been a client and a supplier, I’ve seen this from both sides. As a client, my finance dept. objected to me telling production companies what our budget was. My reply was that refusing to tell them was like asking somebody to sell me a car without saying whether I could afford a Mini or a Rolls-Royce. If I do that, it’s no surprise if they come back with the wrong answer. As a supplier, I’ve often followed Stephanie’s method, in effect saying ‘When does it get too expensive? £10,000? £20,000?’

  • Caitlin Kobrak

    I like the suggestions in the comments of asking the client when does it get out of you budget and suggesting a few different price points. Working in catering it is vital we know how much our clients want to spend as we get so many enquiries daily. We need to be able to judge who can afford our services and who is likely to book.

  • Simon McGrath

    Why do clients keep their budget secret? Well would you go into a car dealership and tell the salesman that you had 20k to spend before asking how much the car was? I worked in venue sales previously and found the best way to meet the clients needs in the first instance was to provide a quotation as requested but then add a couple of optional tiers which highlight the other services you can arrange/offer. Then at the next stage you can provide the more tailored package. I’m afraid that’s just part of the process. Remember the client might have multiple agencies and suppliers all vying for the same budget so they would need to have absolute confidence in the venue to handle all of the arrangements.