Today I went to a really good event. You know the kind where you’re not 100% sure what to expect, but it turns out to be really interesting and informative.
It was an event put on by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – I jumped at the chance to attend as it was in Cumbria and not many of the events come this far ‘Up North.’ I’m also undertaking my CPD so it was a great way to add some hours to my record to show I am continually developing my knowledge as a marketing consultant.
Anyway, I found this event so interesting. A presentation was given by Michael Bell, Director of Bells of Lazonby about how they have grown over the years, since 1946. He spoke about how they have developed, the techniques they use, how they market themselves and how they have had to grow with trends in the industry. Most notably how they identified a gap in the market and began developing Gluten free products. This is now a huge part of their business as there are not very many people who produce Gluten free cakes. It appears one of the main reasons for this is because it such a complex area of development…they even have a separate factory where the Gluten free products are made to ensure no cross contamination.
It appears that ‘Free From’ products are big business, but require a huge amount of investment. Mr Bell was very passionate about his business and continuing with the traditions that made Bells of Lazonby what it is today. I certainly picked up a few ideas and thoughts about how to think about new ways of marketing in the food industry. I certainly learnt that no business can be build without passion, dedication and drive from their owners!
Mr Bell was a very nice chap and on saying goodbye I was very impressed that from my surname he knew who my family were; my Grandad worked at Bells of Lazonby years ago and it is also where my Dad trained as a baker; with Mr Bell Snr buying my Dad his first car…not many bosses would do that!
Even better we got to take away some samples yum yum!