Chances are, if you have updated your kitchen or installed a new set of fitted bedroom wardrobes within the past 25 years, your furniture was either made by these guys or you have stumbled upon several of their products while trawling through the kitchen and bedroom section in B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and other stores.
From humble beginnings in Cookstown in Northern Ireland, the company bought another premises in Doncaster during the time of the recession and have grown to a turnover of over £20m, employing almost 250 people and supplying around 60,000 kitchen and bedroom doors across the globe per week. So even your aunt and uncle in Australia or the hotel you stayed in in New York could be fitted with a kitchen or bedroom made by BA Components.
In a recent cover by the Belfast Telegraph (in the link below) the marketing manager David Caulfield explains how they achieved such success despite the poor economic climate:
” We decided not to take part in the recession… Rather than become introspective and worry about what was going wrong in the market around us we looked out, we expanded, we acquired Doncaster, we put on more sales people, we developed more products which made us stronger in relation to everybody else and ready then when the market improved.”
BA Components’ huge global presence has been facilitated by working closely with Invest Northern Ireland to locate the right partners who will be able to effectively sell the products to consumers in each country and by going on regular trade missions, says the Sales and Marketing manager David Caulfield, who is just back from a business trip to Singapore. This is a good example of the importance of working with business advisors through the likes of Invest NI and UKTI to achieve your global strategy.
Following their recent shortlist for the International Award at the UTV Business Awards and winning Established SME at the Ulster Bank Business Awards, I just had to meet someone from the company to gain some insight into their incredible story (and pick their brains of course!).
I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Clara Lyttle, Digital Marketing Executive, who kindly shared with me some of the things she will be doing in the run up to Christmas. As this is the first year that BA Components are starting to push Digital Marketing, everything that she is doing at this time of year is different, so here are a few strategies Clara will be implementing:
- Sent out their first email campaign informing clients of the order cut off dates and will be sending out two more email campaigns just in time for Christmas.
- Running Facebook advertising to promote engagement with their current dealers and to attract the attention of new fans.
- Putting out a Christmas press release to the magazines who have an online presence in the hope that they will cover the story online and through their social channels
- The month of December will have lots of Christmas related posts on social media, including a Christmas board on Pinterest and a 12 days of Christmas competition on Facebook (if there is time considering how busy they are).
- From December onwards they will be developing their Vine network, showing people how their kitchen doors are made.
- Writing a Christmas themed blog post.
Although BA components are B2B focused, Clara is working hard to heighten brand awareness among both retailers and consumers by increasing their social media presence and blog content, so all of her tactics can be used by both B2B and B2C ecommerce companies.
If anyone who is also starting out in international ecommerce has any questions for me or would like some advice, I can’t guarantee that I’ll have the answer but I’ll certainly do my best to help, or indeed if anyone has any advice that they would like to share with me, please feel free to get in touch by tweeting @OpentoExport with the hashtag #LornasBlog.
For those of you who would like to know more about The Rug House, please feel free to visit the website at www.therughouse.co.uk