Brand51 - branding agency in BristolMarketing Case Study: Brand51

Product: Webschool, Touchpoint Leak Assessment with Ros Conkie

Client: Faith Pennycook, Marketing Manager and Mark Guatieri, Senior Designer, Brand51

When you are immersed in your own business you sometimes struggle to see it from the outside, like a potential buyer might. We were too busy to step back and identify the emotional triggers that would get people thinking about the work we do and how we could help them.” Faith Pennycook


Brand51 is a Bristol based branding and graphic design agency, formed in 2012. They offer their creative services to clients ranging from start-ups to well known and established businesses. Their clients all benefit from expertise covering branding, design, digital, exhibition and copywriting – and enjoy a regular series of face to face workshops.

The initial challenge was establishing the Brand51 name – a tall order in Bristol – an area already rich in creative talent and holding the highest concentration of designers outside of London.

As senior designer Mark Guatieri explains “While we were very excited about establishing the business our initial approach was quite scattergun. Before we met Watertight Marketing we were frantically networking and attending events with no real strategy and didn’t know what we needed to get across – and our first sales visit was scary. We needed to refine our process and take on business development skills”.

How Watertight Marketing helped

Watertight Marketing AccreditedBrand51 are (at time of writing) five months into their relationship with Watertight Marketing. They first joined the Watertight Marketing Webschool, a structured and supported 12-part marketing strategy e-learning programme based around the award-winning Watertight Marketing book.

They also wanted to find out what their marketing priorities should be and asked Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant, Ros Conkie, to run a Touchpoint Leak™ Assessment. This is based around the Thirteen Touchpoint Leaks – our unique review process that would identify the areas where they were leaking profit and suggest a prioritised action plan for fixing them.

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One of the immediate benefits was the clarity that the course and book brought to their marketing activities. Being a designer, Mark felt at home with the visuals used to demonstrate the Watertight Marketing methodology and Faith, already an experienced marketer, liked the structure. She explains “It strengthened the way we worked and made things more cohesive. We were able to work through the same methodology together which gave focus to our strategy and goals”.

So, what did they find out and what changes did they make?

Leak 4 –  No Gateway

Brand51 were working very hard at raising their profile, marketing to their database and networking (all of which were important) - but how could they turn that activity into new and paying customers? The Touchpoint Leak Assessment identified a lack of a ‘gateway product’ – a way to gently draw potential clients into the sales process without committing them to a larger and potentially more expensive package of work.

As a result, the monthly events programme now has a mix of free and paid for workshops giving clients the opportunity to first get feedback on their branding – or, should they wish, take this further and start developing their own guidelines.

As Mark explains “Our events give clients a flavour of working with us. People have come back for advice and we’ve generated orders. The best part is that it gives us the chance to build relationships but also offer useful resources in a relaxed setting”.

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Leak 6 –  No Proof

When weighing up alternatives for a purchase of considerable value, people will look for evidence to back-up the claims that are being made. Brand51 had a great story to tell in terms of their creative output - but they weren’t getting it across as well as they could. Their website carried an impressive portfolio of visuals but would have been far more effective with case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients.

The human story part was missing and the Touchpoint Leak Assessment helped them make changes that have had a big impact on their new website. As Faith explains “We have developed our case study and portfolio pages and we are better at asking for testimonials. We’ve also developed these from written form to video and we’ve been really pleased by how this has been received”.

The benefit of increased familiarity

One of the hurdles many small businesses have to overcome are the peaks and troughs of yo-yo marketing. It is easy for marketing activities to go quiet for a while when there is plenty of work coming in – only to find it harder to get going again.

One of the common problems this causes is a lack of familiarity and this is covered in the Foundation Leaks (Chapter 2 of the book). Brand51 are now finding that the work they’ve done with their events programme and case studies are helping to sustain familiarity – a strong story backed by trustworthy client proof means they are no longer having to rely on the scattergun tactics that had been so hit and miss.

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The breakthrough

Applying the Touchpoint Leaks recommendations to their business has certainly helped Brand51 raise their profile and build relationships in a very competitive sector – but that hasn’t been the only benefit of working with Watertight Marketing. The methodology has also helped them understand the use of emotion and logic in the buying process, in particular the ‘Logic Sandwich’ – that is, marketing messages that start with emotion, lead onto logic and then return to emotion to seal the deal.

As Faith explains “When you are immersed in your own business you sometimes struggle to see it from the outside like a potential buyer might. We were too busy to step back and identify the emotional triggers that would get people thinking about the work we do and how we could help them. Now we try to make our blogs emotionally led, we flag the pain points and then explain how good branding can help”.

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The future for Brand51

By using both the Touchpoint Leak Assessment and the Watertight Webschool, Brand51 have a very clear set of marketing priorities and a process to implement them, thanks to Webschool and the on-going support and guidance of Accredited Consultant Ros Conkie. They remain just as excited and passionate about their business but, now that they’ve refined the marketing process they are busy for all the right reasons.

The book is so well explained and the examples make perfect sense. I found things I could apply straight away after just one read. Watertight Marketing has given us a common language for our marketing and we don’t have to waste time wondering what to do while trying almost everything. Five months in, we’re already seeing results and we’ve really only started.” Mark Guatieri

Ros Conkie - WorkshopRos Conkie, the Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant who guided them through this process, added: “It has been great working with Brand51 and seeing their marketing plans and processes develop. But working with Brand51 made me realise there was work to be done on my own branding. I know I'm not the only marketer who is so busy helping clients that my own business doesn't get as much attention as it should. Brand51 has subsequently helped me rebrand my business and I'm thrilled with the result.”

© Watertight Marketing Ltd

This marketing case study was prepared by Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant – Ben Wheeler.

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