Established in 2006, Bristol-based design company Magmatic Ltd survived an encounter with the Dragons to achieve a turnover of £2.35 million in 2009. Here Rob Law, Magmatic mastermind and the brains behind Trunki ride-on children’s suitcases, discusses the company’s incredible success and the significance of intelligent marketing.
What drives you to keep growing your business?
The excitement of building a global brand.
How fast has your business grown?
We’ve doubled turnover year on year, and are currently on target to hit £5,000,000 for our 5th financial year. Our products are now sold in 62 countries worldwide.
What were the biggest obstacles to your success?
I’ve had failed licensing deals, factories go bust, a hand luggage ban at the height of terrorist threats, a potentially damaging appearance on BBC’s Dragons Den and the financial crisis breaking just as I began fundraising!
How did you fund your growth?
Initially via help from the Princes Trust and a personal loan. Then help from friends and family, banks, the Small Firm Loan Guarantee and private investment.
What advice would you give someone looking to grow a business?
To consider exporting; there’s great help available through UKTI and their Passport for Export programme.
How important is marketing to your business?
Marketing has been essential to building Trunki into a recognised brand. Creating a global marketing strategy has been challenging but hugely rewarding; we’ve seen editorial on Trunki in TIME magazines, TV adverts from Korea and Trunki race days in Taiwanese department stores.
How do you market your company?
PR is a key part of our marketing plan. We’ve also embraced social media as an interactive way of engaging with customers. We pride ourselves on our customer service; without happy customers spreading the word, marketing effort is wasted.
How important is social media?
Very. A huge part of our brand appeal is personality and social media allows us to really interact with customers. The original Trunki characters have their own Facebook profiles which they update regularly, letting their friends know where they’ve been.
What role should marketing play in a businesses’ strategy?
The current economic climate means marketing is more important than ever. We value the power of word-of-mouth; customer service can make or break you. Customers should always be the priority in your marketing strategy; we’ve built a trusted, well-loved brand and our customers are extremely loyal.
What do you feel is the future for marketing?
Savvy shoppers mean products have to offer more, whether that’s physical extras, an added service or eco-friendly features. With magazine and newspaper sales in decline other avenues must be exploited, such as social media.