“Chalk + Ward have been instrumental in helping us develop our brand and grow our business, challenging us strategically at board level whilst also providing invaluable support with marketing implementation.”
20 years ago, we were enlisted by Andrew Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Mole Valley Farmers, to help the business brand a new flagship store in South Molton, Devon. Today, we are Mole Valley Farmer’s trusted marketing partner, sitting at board level and playing a part in a journey that has seen the business grow from a turnover of £50 million to £460 million, becoming the UK’s largest agricultural supplier and rural retailer in the process.
This relationship grew over more than a decade of marketing consultancy and innovation. Our role began as a typical design agency and has since transformed into a strategic partnership where we assess how to best grow the business. Our focus far exceeds marketing, however. This is all-encompassing, business consultation, moving Mole Valley Farmers forward and innovating their entire retail and customer experience.
Over the course of our 20-year partnership, we’ve supported a number of expansive marketing and branding projects.
Perhaps one of the most significant was our rebrand of the entire retail arm of the business, creating ‘Mole Country Stores’.
In 2001, Mole Valley Farmers acquired SCATS Countrystores, a chain of 18 retailers based in the south and south east of England, with over 60 years of heritage.
This significantly expanded Mole Valley Farmer’s portfolio of retailers. We were asked to plan the creation and roll out of a national retail brand, ‘Mole Country Stores’
This was an immersive branding project, where we advised on the strategy, the name, the identity, the design, the brand implementation, the internal communications, the launch and the ongoing advertising strategy.
No stone was left unturned in reinvigorating a struggling brand, transforming it into a national retail chain that put Mole Valley Farmers firmly at the forefront of the agricultural market.
During this relationship, we’ve also been utilised as an outsourced marketing department, implementing the marketing strategy at all levels.
This included typical marketing and branding activity, such as merchandising, signage and point of sale materials, but also extended to more strategic work, including full rebrands, detailed customer profiling and extensive targeting and segmentation.
This was a very large piece of business, providing much needed support for Mole Valley Farmers as the business grew exponentially, whilst we learnt the business inside and out.
However, we always knew that the ultimate aim was for marketing implementation to move in-house, which is why all worked effortlessly to achieve this goal and ensure a smooth transition, because it was the right decision for the client at the time.
It’s difficult to summarise a 20-year partnership with a client in one case study. We’ve worked on so many different briefs and projects together but the relationship is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of the market.
To this day, we still add an incredible amount of value through our strategic business and marketing consultation, working closer than ever to drive business growth.