Service
Business growth
Design associate
Jonathan Ball

The success of our Yorkshire Flowerpots business, developed with Design Council support, has offset much of the downturn in our traditional construction markets.

Edward Naylor, Chief Executive, Naylor Industries

Naylor Industries’ Yorkshire Flowerpots range was launched in 2006 into a market where British manufactured products had been largely displaced by poor-quality pots from cheap-labour countries. Sales grew rapidly - to £2m by 2012. With the development of export markets as far afield as North America, Scandinavia and Japan, 2015 will see company sales exceed £3m for the first time. The company now manufactures some 300,000 pots a year, making it Britain’s largest manufacturer of clay pots by some distance.

Ambition

Naylor Clayware started in 1890 as a manufacturer of clay sewer pipes. By the mid-1990s, the business was facing extinction due to a construction industry recession and the erosion of the clay pipe market by plastic materials.

The company addressed the need for new income streams by launching a range of fresh products including the Yorkshire Flowerpot - a frost-proof, British-made terracotta pot. In entering a consumer-oriented market, the company was going into unfamiliar territory and Chief Executive Edward Naylor contacted Design Council seeking help in developing a marketing strategy.

The process

Jonathan Ball joined the project from Design Council’s expert panel of design associates. With 35 years of experience and a product design background, Jonathan was well-placed to provide the support Naylor needed. The company had established an initial range but through a series of meetings, starting with a workshop, Jonathan was able to pinpoint two weaknesses in the company’s approach:

  • A need for a more systematic approach to product development
  • A need for clearer branding

Using his industry connections, Ball brought in external branding consultant Fiona Myles to clarify the strength of the flowerpot offering, with this work highlighting the ‘Britishness’ and quality of the product.

The results

As a direct result of our work with Design Council, Yorkshire Flowerpot sales took a great leap forward.

Edward Naylor, Chief Executive, Naylor Industries

With Design Council support in place, there was a major overhaul of business name, logo, merchandise and marketing material. The product’s durability was encapsulated in a new proposition for customers - a lifetime guarantee against frost damage - and a blueprint was developed for new product development. Flowerpot sales increased dramatically, safeguarding the employment prospects in a 125-year-old business.

The launch of the Yorkshire Flowerpot has helped the company become increasingly international. Naylor products - pots and pipes - have now been supplied to every continent and used in 65 different countries. Current export sales across the Naylor group are £5m - over 10% of group turnover - and growing fast.

The company recently won Insider (2013) and EEF (2015) awards for exporting, was listed in the Sunday Times “International Track 200” survey and won the HSBC’s Global Connections award for most dynamic MMC business in the North/Scotland region. 

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