Magazine article Marketing

Stationery Movers

Magazine article Marketing

Stationery Movers

Article excerpt

The paper industry is turning over a new leaf in marketing, with brand building now a vital tool.

There was a time when a sheet of paper was just a sheet of paper. These days, however, paper used for business stationery is no longer a face-less commodity; it is now a carefully-positioned brand - complete with its own "brand personality", "core brand values" and a "global visual identity".

One company which claims to be leading the paper industry in the development of grocery-style brand marketing is Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers - a division of the [pounds]2bn multinational Arjo Wiggins Appleton, one of the world's ten largest paper manufacturers. Each type of paper produced by the company now has a separate brand strategy, supported by image advertising, loyalty-building sales promotions and database-gathering direct marketing.

In 1994, says Arjo Wiggins, the use of tried and tested packaged goods marketing techniques helped boost sales of its brands (including Conqueror, Connoisseur and Keay Kolour) by up to 15% in a marketplace that has been static for the past five years.

Arjo Wiggins began to introduce a full range of brand management techniques two-and-a-half years ago when it appointed a classically-trained marketer, Jeremy Knott, as its head of marketing. Knott brought to the paper industry nine years of consumer marketing experience at Cadbury Schweppes (where he worked on brands such as Coca-Cola) and four years in marketing and management consultancy at Price Waterhouse.

Knott believes his fmcg background gave him "the international perspective and strategic appreciation" to be able to lead a programme of radical change in an industry dominated by a trade marketing-led culture.

"But it was a case of evolution rather than revolution," insists Knott, who is now business director at Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers. "Over the past two years, we have introduced formal brand plans and strategic marketing reviews which is something we didn't have before."

The company's marketing department is now divided into "brand teams" - each of which is headed by a marketing manager who is responsible for a specific brand, or a group of brands, on an international basis. The marketing programme for each product is developed centrally and is implemented on a territory-by-territory basis.

Knott points to the Conqueror brand which, after a major change of identity 18 months ago, now has the same packaging, design imagery and promotional support in all of the 80 countries in which it is sold. The brand's "horseman" symbol is used in every territory - thus projecting, says Knott, "all of the product's core values". …

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