Glasstorm is one of Britain’s most exciting glass blowing studios working in the design and manufacture of luxury products. Their main customer is the drinks sector, for whom they create bespoke bottles for high end ranges.
Although Glasstorm has always been successful, it had not addressed the market shift which took place following the recession. “We were so busy fulfilling orders, we weren’t putting ourselves out there,” says owner Brody Nairn. In consequence, although Glasstorm was forward-thinking and enjoyed high status in the ultra-premium sector, that message had never got across to its current or prospective customers.
Glasstorm decided to consult HIE, who recommended the Innovate Your Business Programme (IYB).
The company’s innovation challenge was to develop a modern communications and awareness strategy, improve production systems and output – especially for larger orders – and create a more efficient collaborative process with clients, starting with a more structured database.
With the help of the IYB grant, Glasstorm produced two short films which promoted their services, and arranged presentations with clients, which proved very effective. “The biggest hurdle was time,” says Brody. “Everyone is very hands-on, so we had to find the time to fit in all the new things we wanted to implement.”
The grant also helped Glasstorm streamline its production processes, and HIE supplied a consultant who helped the company focus its thinking on what it was, how it was perceived, and how it could drive future growth.
“The process has allowed us to think very creatively about the business,” says Brody, “and we’ve implemented new strategies like addressing social media opportunities and attending events, which have been great for meeting new customers.”
My advice to other businesses is to give it a go. Diversification is the key to success. If you’re stuck in a rut like we were, there’s the potential for failure. Innovation means the opportunity to rethink how you do things - and if you’re open to that, the possibilities are limitless.
Since its participation in the Innovation Programme, Glasstorm has greatly improved its client communications and has already gained new contracts and secured seven jobs.
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