For more than 40 years, ARIAN has helped its clients to sell more of their products and services, reach more customers and elevate their brand. Here, RLI speaks with Steve Wynsford-Brown, Group Sales Director and Kate Regan, Chief Marketing Officer to learn more about the company and what the future has in store.
The ARIAN story started with its founders creating and producing window graphics for their local retailers. Safe to say in the intervening years they have come a long way and expanded this creative production offering and now reach a global audience on a daily basis.
ARIAN work with some of the world’s best loved and most respected brands, providing them with point of sale management services, unique front-end campaign planning tools, in-store and out-of-home visual marketing materials and complex fulfilment and logistics solutions.
“In order to grow the business globally we needed to diversify. Historically we were always retail focused and we still are, however we have identified opportunities to expand our offering and apply our retail experience to other sectors of industry,” explains Steve Wynsford-Brown, Group Sales Director at ARIAN.
“We are investing heavily in leading edge technology, fulfilment and logistics solutions to add value to existing clients and grow with new ones. We see this service solution as being a key area of growth in the next year,” he continues.
Neither Kate nor Steve could deny that the last 12 months have been challenging, however as a business Arian has always had to adapt and change its objectives to move with ever-changing markets. As their client base adapts, so do they and as certain markets decline, they seek opportunities in other areas. They are constantly re-evaluating the market place and investing in new services which will ensure the business remains relevant for clients now and in the future.
“What we have done throughout this period is maintain fluid, and high quality engagement with our customers and in many respects we have developed deeper relationships and have seen a great deal of empathy on both sides,” comments Kate Regan, Chief Marketing Officer at ARIAN.
“We have many long-standing, trusted relationships and in doing what is needed now, we firmly believe it will further cement our relationships for the long-term future.”
It is this flexibility and willingness to engage with their client base with true empathy that the business has, and will continue to focus on as they navigate a post-pandemic retail industry. They understand that the pandemic has affected everyone regardless of which sector of business they are in.
Discussing the ‘new normal’ and the new reality in terms of marketing campaigns, Kate feels that there will definitely be more localisation as areas come out of lockdown, explaining that a positive to come out of the pandemic is a better feeling of community and belonging. She believes this will be seen in marketing campaigns in the future, resulting in not as much of the ‘big seasonal bang’ but more localised, personalised, ‘relevant to me’ campaigns.
Meanwhile Steve feels that the new normal moving forward is actually the environment and the protection of it. “Therefore, we are and have been committed to supporting our clients with their own goals and targets regarding sustainability. ARIAN has supported many clients with their sustainability goals by introducing a range of alternative sustainable materials as well as reducing waste throughout the process.”
Whilst the company has grown exponentially in recent years and now offers services across the spectrum, tailor-made marketing campaigns are still a key part of what they deliver, and Kate feels the success of these still comes down to really understanding the end consumer, what their challenges are and how you solve them. It is about how said campaign can cost-effectively gain stand-out in what is often a crowded market and gain a positive return on investment.
“We see ourselves as collaborative consultants in this process – working closely with creative agencies and the client to guide them on the optimal solution in terms of cost, ensuring that the ‘big idea’ can be safely realised,” explains Kate.
Today they are a truly global company; they deliver to over 80 countries on a daily basis and have colleagues from different nationalities who speak ten languages. Whilst they have grown in size and scale, they still maintain a local feel in everything they do. They support global brands to execute campaigns across the world ensuring that each market gets what is needed for their audience.
“We are constantly improving our ways of working to optimise resource efficiency and minimise waste. People think that being ‘environmentally sound’ is expensive but it does not have to cost the Earth, it just takes passion and commitment,” states Kate.
As the interview reaches its conclusion, we asked both Steve and Kate if they had any words of warning as businesses across the world head into unchartered territory.
“People and companies need to be open-minded and retain the courage to make decisions as we move into this new world,” says Steve.
“Be brave, honest and fearless in reaching for your goals and show empathy and kindness to those around you,” Kate concludes.