Businesses building brands

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BUSINESSES in Coleraine are benefiting from a branding support programme led by Coleraine Borough Council.

The North Coast Food Branding Programme, which is aimed at businesses located in the four Council areas of Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle, offers local food companies opportunities to grow, develop and sustain their business by receiving specialised branding support.

Fifteen food businesses are taking advantage of the Programme which is designed to encourage them to develop a brand that helps them grow.

The Programme is lead by Coleraine Borough Council and financed by the Councils in the four areas. Additional financial support was received from the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Fund for Northern Ireland, and Invest Northern Ireland.

Martin Clark, Economic Development Officer with Coleraine Borough Council, explained: “Research shows that well known brands, particularly in the fast moving consumer goods industry, achieve consistently higher margins.

“Whilst we have some great businesses on the North Coast selling food and drinks products globally, we have few readily identifiable brands and yet, the North Coast is highly renowned for its rich environment and great local foods that are natural and full of flavour.

“The programme recognises the need for local food producers to embrace and develop strong branding and marketing capabilities.

“As part of the learning process, a combination of practical workshops, specialist branding, design support, and expert mentoring supports positioning and enables businesses to present their products/brands in line with what food consumers expect.”

The programme is being delivered by i2 Total Marketing, which has extensive experience in working with food businesses to grow their business through targeted branding campaigns.

Seamus Mc Adams of i2 said, “Now is a great time for small food businesses to embrace branding. Local and regional food marketing has gone mainstream, where local food brands are booming in popularity the world over, from high street supermarkets to farmers’ markets.

“Looking ‘small’ has now become BIG business, so why shouldn’t our small, artisan food producers here on the North Coast make the most of the opportunity.”