GC Business Growth Hub helped Ancoats-based Loaf Creative to develop a new approach to its marketing strategy, build robust managerial structures and processes, and redefine its core business values.
Loaf is a leading creative agency in the North West. From its creative studio in Ancoats it helps innovative brands emotionally engage with their customers, sparking loyalty and increasing desire through brand, campaigns and customer experience.
Over the last five years Loaf has made a big impact on the North West’s agency sector, winning high-profile clients such as Liverpool ONE, BAE Systems, and Merseyrail. However, co-founders Dave Mullen and Alan Houghton realised that to maintain its position in the highly competitive market, the business needed to revisit its core company proposition and values, its processes and marketing strategy, and position itself effectively within an ever-changing consumer landscape.
Says Neil McCluskey, digital, creative and tech sectors advisor at GC Business Growth Hub: “As consumer attitudes and tastes change, agencies like Loaf Creative need to work hard to understand how brands align themselves with market trends and consumer expectations, and stay loyal to their products and services.”
The business signed up to Greater Connected, an intensive growth programme for the region’s digital, creative and technology SMEs.
Over a four-month period (July – October 2017) the Greater Connected programme addressed a variety of business themes, including: market positioning, market segmentation, business planning frameworks, value proposition and effective client engagement strategies.
Being part of the programme, and working with its dedicated growth coach Neil McCluskey, Loaf was able to take a step back to revisit its core business proposition and values, and how these values were translated into the work for its clients.
Following the benefits achieved through Greater Connected, Loaf accessed the Executive Development Programme, an 18-hour programme of support specifically around leadership and management. Loaf used this opportunity to review the changes it wanted to make to the business and to define the approach and direction that it would take, as well as to clarify where it would focus its activities.
Loaf also engaged with business mentors, through Hub’s mentoring programme, which worked individually with the four directors.
As well as seeing new client wins and an increase in turnover forecast for the year 2018-19, Loaf has taken on two new employees on as a result of the additional business, increasing the workforce from 11 to 13.
Alan Houghton, managing director at Loaf, says: “GC Business Growth Hub has been instrumental in helping Loaf redefine our agency framework, and to fine-tune our products and service offering to our audiences. The one-to-one support from Neil McCluskey and (leadership and workforce development advisor) Nicola Fisher has been exceptional and I’m looking forward to working with the Hub as we continue our future growth.”
Hub advisor Neil adds: “Loaf Creative goes from strength to strength and, with their new proposition and direction cemented, they are now well on the way to realising their ambitions. It’s a tremendous achievement, well done!”