JW Filshill rebrands and launches new community campaign as it celebrates 140th anniversary

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JW Filshill, owner of the leading KeyStore convenience store brand and one of Scotland’s oldest food and drink wholesalers, has unveiled a new brand identity featuring a refreshed logo, new vehicle livery and revamped website.

Celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2015, the multi award-winning Glasgow-based company has invested heavily to overhauled its image and marketing strategy to reflect the current challenging marketplace with increased competition and ongoing price-cutting. Managing director Simon Hannah explained: “We’re operating in a dynamic market that has seen much expansion over the last few years with the larger supermarket chains opening their smaller, more local stores.

“If we are to maintain our market-leading position we have to continue to innovate and lead the way in our sector in order to remain competitive and continue to grow the business. Part of this revolves around how we market ourselves.”

Filshill, a Sunday Times Top Track 250 company which increased pre-tax profits to £1.3m in the year to 31 January 2015 – up from £0.8m the previous year – also conducted comprehensive market research on the company, surveying staff, customers and consumers. “This confirmed what we already know – that our level of service is second to none,” said Hannah. “However, it also told us there is much room for improvement and no room for complacency.”

According to the research, Filshill’s particular strengths include the fact it is a family business. Another key point emerging from focus groups is the wholesaler’s high-profile position within the industry as a technological innovator. “These are both important selling points for us and we will continue to use them to our best advantage,” Hannah continued.

“While the research revealed that our customers are positive about Filshill and the KeyStore brand, and believe our marketing strategy is good, we know there is scope for improvement,” he said. “The fact our research shows that none of our competitors stand out in terms of their marketing provides us with a timely opportunity to ramp up our own activity particularly as at consumer level there is less awareness about KeyStore and few differentiating factors between the other c-store brands.”

A new community campaign entitled We’ll Support You Ever More has also been launched to strengthen awareness of the KeyStore brand and enable both Filshill and its customers to give something back to the communities in which it trades. The wholesaler has initially joined forces with Education Scotland to collaborate with local schools in KeyStore neighbourhoods to provide a range of benefits including:

  • Free water for pupils on their school sports day
  • Free football/hockey/rugby strips for schools or local clubs
  • Planting trees or creating fruit/vegetable gardens/pods in schools
  • Holiday feeding programme support to help the most vulnerable children

“It’s all part of developing our business,” said Hannah. “We’re confident that KeyStore retailers will really get behind our new community campaign as it will boost their standing in their own community as well as enhance the KeyStore brand as one that sits at the very heart of local communities across the country.”

Meanwhile, as part of the wider Filshill marketing strategy, the company is redeveloping its promotional leaflets and point of sale material and, in an ambitious move, will shortly unveil its own Scottish food and drink sub brand within KeyStore outlets. The company’s Craft Beer Clan of Scotland brand, initially created to sell and promote Scottish craft beers and artisan ales in overseas markets, is already becoming established in UK c-stores and this has led Filshill to identify further opportunities in domestic markets.

“This is an exciting but critical point in Filshill’s history and we are all looking forward to the next chapter,” said Hannah. “We’re also redeveloping our social media platforms and will continue to update both our Filshill and KeyStore websites in order to remain relevant to all of customers. There’s much more to come in 2016.”