Selling the Sizzle
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Stone Computers has well established relationships with leading partners (including Intel, Microsoft, LG, Seagate and Samsung) and is now the UK's largest privately owned computer manufacturer. They specialise in supplying computers to the public sector, including education, local government, emergency services, the NHS and the Ministry of Defense.
In 2006 we were sought out by Stone to develop and execute the marketing strategy necessary for their ambitious growth plans. At the time, Stone was just one of several relatively small independent computer manufacturers, but they aspired to become the most recognised brand in the public sector, and to be invariably associated with quality, reliability and value. With 82% of its business generated through supplying schools, Stone was looking to diversify its portfolio and expand into other markets.
In order to gain a complete understanding of the objective we carried-out an in-depth analysis of Stone’s business, its customers, its partners and its competitors. We then developed an Integrated Marketing Strategy, which incorporated branding, corporate identity, website design, direct marketing campaigns and exhibition plans.
During this time we also worked especially hard to develop joint marketing initiatives between Stone and its partners (most notably Intel and Microsoft). Though it was often challenging to liaise and mediate between the interests of Stone and those of their partners, it was clear that such partnerships would be fundamental to our client's success.
We developed “The Professionals’ Choice” as Stone’s corporate theme, in support of which we designed and produced a body of coherent promotional material aimed at both the public and private sectors.
We worked closely with Stone’s sales department to ensure that marketing activity maintained support and evolved in line with business development. This approach was important in guaranteeing that there was substance behind the idea of Stone as “The Professionals’ Choice”.
Also of great importance was the consolidation of Stone's relationship with Microsoft and its other partners. By working closely with them, and incorporating their own brand values, we were able to encourage Stone's partners to engage in joint marketing activities, thereby reducing Stone's advertising costs substantially.