Celine Mallet, head of marketing at Burgess Furniture, elaborates on why she joined the company, its new comms plan and how she intends to develop the Burgess brand.
You’ve just joined Burgess Furniture as head of marketing, what was it that attracted you to the role?
I have worked for various large corporations over the past decade, marketing to banks and retailers. When the opportunity at Burgess Furniture arose, I saw it as a great way to test myself, and apply everything I have learnt to a much smaller business, which had very little in place in terms of comms.
My dad is a furniture designer and so I’ve always had a soft spot for this industry. I also saw the role as a chance to apply ‘what good looks like’ to a smaller business model – and that’s exactly what I am busy doing!
Which aspects of PR and comms do you oversee as part of your role?
One of the first things I wanted to do was to on-board a PR agency to feed great quality content into our different channels and keep momentum going whilst also gaining coverage within the industry. This ensures that Burgess reaches an engaged architecture and design audience. Collaborating with an agency adds support to the activity of our in-house marketing team, becoming a natural extension.
As the head of marketing for Burgess I oversee everything we work on with our PR agency, Boomerang, relaying it to the business and the sales team while making sure my main campaigns and strategic pushes are aligned with the content produced and the target audience it’s placed in front of.
In terms of comms, we do a lot ourselves internally – from sales support to social campaigns – we manage it all in-house. The comms side is more than half of my role at Burgess and it is not only external comms support but also internal. There is never a quiet moment in the marketing office.
What are the key opportunities and challenges you expect to face?
Changing a brand’s perception within a given market is a slow and repetitive exercise, with results evolving over time. The main opportunity I personally see for Burgess is in promoting its strong heritage and solid reputation as a well-respected brand.
You have a number of product launches coming up across the year, what is your plan to promote them?
We have a very exciting year ahead of us at Burgess! We have two key campaigns around bedroom and casual seating under which most of our innovations fall.
Both integrated campaigns will fit under the ‘re-birth of Burgess’ angle, each offering their own flavours; whether for the specialised press, through our targeted direct marketing campaigns, at the hand-picked events we will attend, via our social media platforms, through our website or relayed in our sales support.
Who are you looking to target your campaigns at? And what are the challenges of promoting Burgess to this sector?
Our primary target audience is the operational side of the hospitality industry, with our secondary target being the architecture and design community.
The challenge we have is that both audiences are completely different with separate interests. So from a marketing perspective we have to find a balance. Our success relies on this.
The company is keen to promote its heritage, yet must also display its innovation to stay ahead of competitors. How difficult is it as a communicator to combine these two things into one brand message?
Rich heritage makes Burgess the business that it is. However, the main focus from a marketing point of view will be to project our innovations, ensuring we’re recognised for our cutting-edge products and latest out-of-the-box creations.
Finally, what’s the best campaign you’ve been involved with throughout your career?
It was during my early years in the financial service industry with SunGard when I learnt about the importance of implementing aligned and integrated campaigns – something I’ve utilised ever since.