Bradfords already had a number of key milestones planned throughout the year, including events sponsorship, charity partnerships and staff initiatives, but needed a more strategic approach to bring all aspects of its marketing activity together.
AMBITIOUS developed campaign messaging focused around family ownership, South West footprint and Bradfords’ customer centric focus, using the 250th as an underlying theme to help the company bolster its approach to communications.
The outbreak of COVID-19 however brought about an immediate need to pivot the entire focus of the campaign. Having quickly deployed industry leading safety measures, Bradfords made the decision to remain open to its trade customers, making it one of the only builders’ merchants in the UK to remain operational.
Communications activity successfully pivoted to include:
- Crisis communications & reputation management
AMBITIOUS devised a strategy to manage any negative sentiment via social media or otherwise, regarding staying operational during lockdown.
To date, Bradfords’ social media channels have remained a critical communications tool. A key element of the Bradfords social strategy comprised the posting of content publicising the multitude of essential works being carried out across the region. This included the support of housing associations working on front line projects, and providing the materials for a number of NHS trusts.
AMBITIOUS also created a series of social media assets, including video content, to help publicise key updates and safety precautions.
- Industry thought leadership
To reinforce the positive messages on social media, a key element of the activity involved the personal profile-raising of Bradfords’ CEO David Young.
Tactics included publishing regular thought leadership posts on David’s personal LinkedIn profile as well as creating bylined articles for placement within leading trade media and Builders’ Merchant Federation communications.
To further support Bradfords’ positioning, a series of news announcements were made over the course of the year, including the launch of key Bradfords marketing campaigns, such as ‘We’ve Got Your Back’. This particular campaign was in response to the work being carried out by tradespeople across the South West during the pandemic.
A host of new industry partnerships was also successfully publicised, including new relationships with social housing associations, sponsorship of the Exeter Chiefs rugby team and various initiatives with leading charity Mental Health UK.