Success Story: Denby
“When people touch our products, the handcrafted design and quality of the ceramic material comes through and usually leads to a sale. That’s the value of the face-to-face opportunities that Spring Fair offers.”
Hayley Baddiley, Group Marketing Director, Denby
Focus and Challenges
Denby is one of the last large-scale potteries left in England, having started in 1809 when a rich seam of clay was discovered in Derbyshire. That seam is still mined today and its iron-rich structure together with the glazing process used is what gives Denby ceramics their durability. The 3 brand pillars are versatility, beautiful and durable with the designs developed out of the mantra ‘styled by life’ – designs that reflect their times, whether that be the austerity of WWII, the flamboyance of the 1970s and the focus nowadays on authenticity and sustainability.
Today the company achieves a global turnover of just under £50m. Its main market is the UK, and it has subsidiaries in the US (New York) and South Korea (Seoul). Elsewhere, agents and distributors work in partnership with the company to present the products in the best way for each local market.
Denby is proud to be British and the quality of manufacture, design and product durability is highly regarded in many overseas markets, especially in the Far East. All the stoneware products are made in the UK and then shipped abroad. Through being an international company for decades, Brexit has had no impact to date. Cost control is always a priority, but the international nature of Denby’s means it is very familiar with managing changes in raw material costs, such as glass, and currency fluctuations.
The future looks very positive with sales in US and Canada in particular being very strong at present. In Korea, Denby bowls are so popular that total bowl sales have exceeded plates for the first time in the company’s history. Traditionally, Denby has sold through Dept. stores, regional and national and independent cook shops and also, increasingly, giftware retailers. Consumer buying patterns have changed so that smaller numbers of items are now bought rather than the big 36-piece dining sets. This means that increasingly Denby products will be found, for example in a café that has a giftware shop attached.
Equally, Denby has re-focused on the hospitality sector and found that its brand and products are welcomed with sales increasing rapidly. Broadening the range of retailers that use Denby is core to the growth strategy simply because using the product encourages people to want it in their own home.
Educate people who have legacy perceptions of the Denby brand, open new accounts and take orders
“Seeing the skill it takes to make one of our products and the care the potters take really brings the brand alive for customers and prospects alike.”
“Orders are important but they are not the only measure of success we use. We look at the bigger picture of stand visitors, new account openings and customer engagement.”
The Spring Fair solution
Denby mount a sophisticated marketing campaign to support its presence at Spring Fair. The company makes full use of the growing number of promotional opportunities the event offers – catalogues, website, social media - and runs its own programme. This includes sending newsletters to its database of customers and prospects, advertising in trade media (print and online) and sending product samples to key prospects to encourage them to take a fresh look at Denby.
The stand is used to bring the brand alive through exciting displays of the different collections and also the sales support Denby offers to its retail partners. The company has teams of visual merchandisers, online trade marketers and social media experts who can advise retailers on how to generate sales of Denby products.
The company believes in offering customers experiential shopping is key. For many years, Denby bring a team of potters who work in the Denby Pottery Village to store openings and trade shows to show off the Denby handcraft, which always attracts a crowd. In 2019, to take advantage of the giftware retailer trend, the company is taking two stands. The first is its traditional stand in Hall 9 (Kitchen, Dining & Housewares) of Spring Fair, with the second being a smaller stand in Hall 6 – the Contemporary Gift section. This stand will focus on Denby products as great gifts and will include a live demonstration from one of the company’s potters.
Denby has used Spring Fair for over 30 years as its start point for the year, launching new products and confirming its relevance to UK retailers.
Launch new products
- Promote new Spring designs and preview new ranges that will be launched in the Autumn
- Demonstrate that Denby designs are ‘styled by life’
- With a long-standing brand, there is a continual need to educate people of all ages about the new products and designs Denby offers
- Explain the retail sales support programme and how it enables Denby stockists to increase sales
- Highlight the company’s partnership approach
“We are very excited by the new developments planned for Spring Fair 2019, the show will be right in tune with the changes in customer tastes and demands we’re seeing.”
- New orders generated and accounts opened
- New business development contacts made, UK and international
- Build future sales pipeline
- Valuable customer feedback
For more information about Denby, visit www.denbypottery.com