“After 75 years in the business trading as ISD Coldstores, we were well-known within the temperature-controlled storage industry. The high levels of technical expertise built up over that time should have enabled us to win tenders in other growth sectors such as data centres, but we needed strategic marketing focus. ¬ We had a great proposition – but no one knew about it!” CEO Andy Moon

ISD Solutions in Gloucestershire, the leading UK specialist contractor in the design, construction and maintenance of panel-based structures and specialist warehousing, was joined by Matthew Simmons of The Marketing Centre in 2012.

“After 75 years in the business trading as ISD Coldstores, we were well-known within the temperature-controlled storage industry. The high levels of technical expertise built up over that time should have enabled us to win tenders in other growth sectors such as data centres, but we needed strategic marketing focus.  We had a great proposition – but no one knew about it!” CEO Andy Moon

ISD wanted to generate revenue growth and double its profit within three years, and had recognised the need for a structured marketing approach to support their business plan

A family firm founded in 1946, initially specialising in the construction of cold stores, the company grew its business into related areas such as data-centre storage, firewalls, clean rooms and external industrial cladding and doors, and developed industry-leading, highly efficient and cost-effective construction methods pioneering single envelope designs.

ISD had grown organically in response to demand and the changing requirements of its field, and by 2012 the management team felt that they had a product and technical expertise offer second to none – but it needed focusing.

“It was obvious from the start that the company had many strengths,” says Matthew Simmons. The client list is fantastic – M&S, Sainsbury, Nestle, Stobarts, Crossrail, Muller Wiseman, Costco, Wincanton, Dominos Pizza, Yearsleys, Essex Waste, United Utilities – plus ongoing contracts with leading grocery groups including Aldi, Waitrose, Morrisons and Ocado to provide both warehouse and in-store cold storage facilities.

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“And it’s a great team of people, who are very, very good at what they do. However, by the time I came on board they were well known for cold stores but had far more to talk about than that, and the existing branding was in some ways limiting external perceptions of what the company was really now about – and what it could do.

Matthew ran The Marketing Centre Workshop with the company, which identified an urgent need for re-branding that did not limit the scope of the proposition.

The looser departmental structure was refocused into four new divisions, into which the ISD skills naturally fell; working closely with the client he developed chains of “complete solutions” brands, which enabled staff to drive their sales with a clear value proposition within each division.

Matthew further developed three websites, positioning the company’s offer, and created a versatile suite of printed sales materials that can be tailored to individual clients.

The new branding strategy was then followed with a PR campaign targeting selective and specific areas, for example front-page exposure in construction and logistics titles highlighting the skills, accreditations and techniques that differentiated the company, and instigating continuous press coverage that emphasises how ISD delivers its objectives – delivering smart, innovative, problem-solving solutions to the highest industry standards.

The marketing initiative is also hard at work internally, and Matthew has ensured that employees are kept engaged and up to date with ISD developments and marketing activities in social media and press. This ongoing awareness throughout the firm is paying dividends, he says.

“Staff now come to us with marketing ideas, and they’re really on board with everything we’re trying to achieve. They have a confidence in the business and a pride in its standards and creditability” Matthew Simmons