Grand Metropolitan is responsible for the implementation of the strategic direction of all marketing functions and the tactical strategies of the entire Ellerine Holdings Group. As the Group in charge of Marketing, they are responsible for the local and foreign divisions of the 13 brands and oversees and controls the market image and corporate identity of each brand as well as all advertising material produced by the in-house studio. With more than 170 million leaflets and catalogues being printed per annum, this is no mean feat.

The core focus is to create demand for the specific products sold by each of the brands. This is achieved through media exposure, aligning the marketing message to the consumer segment targeted by each of the brands, thus protecting the clear distinctions between each of the brands and ensuring their longevity. To maximise exposure, a “killer strategy” is employed from a marketing perspective by introducing precision marketing through the TRIAD system and increasing exposure with targeted sales letters and statement messages.

With the responsibility of integrating the marketing for the merged Group, Grand Met has had to develop a synergistical approach in order to maximise the flow and collaboration between the brands whilst at the same time maintaining clear brand identity. This has resulted in cost effectiveness without sacrificing differentiation or market penetration.

Customer care remains a Group priority and is evidenced by the success of the customer call centre in dealing with aggrieved customers. The sophisticated CRM system is coming to fruition with the launch of the new store operating system in mid July 2005 in the Traditional division. These initiatives should result in improved re-serve rates thus demonstrating further the high degree of customer loyalty which these brands enjoy.

Ellerines was once again ranked as the best brand in the highly competitive furniture sector of the Sunday Times/ Markinor reader’s survey in 2005, having achieved similar recognition in the 2003 and 2004 surveys, with Town Talk, Beares and Savells/Fairdeal all holding coveted positions in the Top 10.

With customer awareness in mind, the Club magazine for the traditional brands will be introduced in December 2005 following the success of the magazine in the universal brands.