When Simon Coughlin and Mark Reynier took a punt and bought the historic Bruichladdich whiskey distillery on Islay in 2002 they couldn’t have imagined the roller-coaster journey they’d go on.
Almost a century after launch, 1925-launched heritage brand Champneys is massaged with £10m of investment a year. Not bad, considering owner Stephen Purdew admitted business plans didn’t exist when he embarked on his hospitality journey.
The commercial value of heritage is well known. It is a source of differentiation. It engenders loyalty, even love sometimes. It attracts consumers, both at home and overseas. But what about the brand narrative?
Today, Britain is lucky to enjoy an envious reputation abroad with the demand for its products continually rising. Food and drink is a main driver of this with British produce now being enjoyed in over 150 countries worldwide and 2,500 companies successfully selling home-grown food overseas. British brands should take advantage of heritage and capitalise on export opportunities.
First Great Western is looking to restore Victorian values to help its present day performance.
UK luxury goods firms get sales boost helped by global demand for 'Made in Britain' labels.
Japanese forex trading platform Z.com Trade recently launched in London. Its CEO, Tomitaka Ishimura, discusses what sets Japanese businesses apart – from considering customer service a given, to holding onto their heritage while localising enough to appeal to new markets.
Lesser known export “epicentres”, such as Bradford, are emerging as leaders in the race for international clients and British custom.
In 2013 David Cameron suggested that “there is not, in my view, a single European demos”. But according to professor Jonathan Clark, “the feasibility of the UK's integration into the EU is determined more by history than by economics”. And history seems to be on Cameron's side.
We've all heard of “China's love affair with Britain” and their increasing appetite for luxury goods. “A very important factor that makes Britain standout,” suggests professor Qing Wang of Warwick Business School, “is that it incorporates tradition and innovation seamlessly”. This was made evident when a party of delegates were taken around London ahead of UKTI's GREAT Festival of Creativity.