Extensive research for a valid business strategy
Understanding the new business and its sector is the critical first step to any such project. Extensive research of target markets, the geographical area to be served, competitor businesses, prospective suppliers, trade media, online forums, social media, commentators and influencers is also key.
A comprehensive SWOT analysis and detailed business risk assessment were undertaken. Financial projections, sales and marketing strategy and management and operational plans were all prepared. Corporate communications, PR and stakeholder engagement were given particular prominence.
An international design team
Andrew Hillier renewed a long-standing creative collaboration with legendary illustrator Brian Grimwood. Morten Saether, the Oslo based international award winning advertising creative director and artist, was enthusiastic to join the team. Working to Hillier Consulting’s clearly-defined and detailed brief, the three together created a striking and contemporary identity for the new business. The Ballinger Equine identity and brand manual was created which ensured the application of the identity was consistent across the start-up’s wide range of vehicles, building signage, stationery, literature, own-brand products, uniforms, advertising, PR and marketing.
Online and social media
The new website was designed and produced in conjunction with FP Mortimore and the online pharmacy was launched, selling the new company’s range of own-brand equine supplements, packaging designed by Hillier Consulting. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels quickly followed. Brand Ambassadors were announced together with a major new equestrian sporting event and competition sponsorship and support programme featuring regional grass-roots sport.
Mission, values and vision
“A new standard of excellence in equine veterinary care” is the start-up’s confident strapline. The new business was launched with excellence at its core and a marginal gains improvement policy is central to its ongoing development. The hashtag #Equine Veterinary EXCELLENCE is applied across marketing, PR and social media and the practice is proactive in championing clinical excellence, integrity, horse welfare and the highest level of client service. The mission, values and vision are intertwined as the golden thread running through the firm, never more so than during staff recruitment.
Impressively, Hillier Consulting won the 2017 Veterinary Marketing Association UK Practice Marketing award for its launch of Ballinger Equine. And Ballinger Equine has already won the highly coveted UK Best Rural Start-up Business, East of England Best Rural Professional Services Business and Hertfordshire’s Most Promising New Business Award.
Hillier Consulting continues to handle all Ballinger Equine’s Corporate Communications, business development, marketing, PR, video production, sponsorship, advertising, stakeholder engagement, online and social media management.