Major ‘New Beginnings’ Marketing And Product Push As Carte Blanche Salesteam Get Back To Work

The entire Carte Blanche Greetings sales team is now back at work – their return coinciding with the launch of a raft of new products and a major marketing programme, which includes a massive consumer competition offering £1,000 prize.

“Indies are very important to us and we want to all we can to support them, with products, service and marketing. More now than ever before,” said Alister Marchant, ceo of Carte Blanche. While the company has been operating throughout lockdown, its business development exec (BDE) team have all been furloughed due to the closure of non-essential shops. (The only exception to this has been Dimitri Michael who has continued to service the company’s convenience store and post office accounts which have been allowed to trade throughout).

Above: Among the 20 designs in the New Beginnings range are four thank you designs.
Above: Among the 20 designs in the New Beginnings range are four thank you designs.

“When lockdown started easing, we canvassed our independent customers and asked whether they wanted to see a rep and/or could accommodate them in their stores. The resounding response from the majority of our indie customers was that they very much wanted to see someone, so we took the decision to bring all 10 of our BDEs back to work on a part time basis, but will ramp up their hours to suit the customer demand,” explained Alister. Carte Blanche, which also represents Emotional Rescue in the independent channel, is covered in Scotland and Ireland by a team of four independent sales agents.

They have hit the ground running as CBG’s creative and marketing teams have been in overdrive during lockdown, publishing everyday catalogues, creating new relevant ranges, a host of marketing support materials and promotions galore. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/carte-blanche-helps-in-the-back-to-business-drive/)

“We recognise that now more than ever, driving customers into an independent’s store and showing them how important it is to ‘shop local’ is crucial,” explained Grace Elphinstone, marketing manager of Carte Blanche.

Above: CBG’s Alister Marchant and Grace Elphinstone on the company’s stand at Spring Fair in February.
Above: CBG’s Alister Marchant and Grace Elphinstone on the company’s stand at Spring Fair in February.

Under the banner of ‘New Beginnings’ is a brand new Me to You card range (the designs and editorial of which are wholly appropriate to the current time), impressive Point of Sale materials and an engaging consumer marketing campaign (that includes a consumer competition for their customers), all aimed at increasing footfall and local awareness of stores.

All retailers buying into the new range (which comprises 20 designs) will have the opportunity to participate in the allied marketing activities. On ordering they will receive the supporting PoS (including an eye-catching window cling) as well as all the necessary elements for the competition and the resultant PR opportunities.

Above: The competition centres around members of the public sharing their gratitude for others.
Above: The competition centres around members of the public sharing their gratitude for others.

“The competition centres around encouraging consumers to share their messages of love and friendship – highlighting those special people they value most, who’ve helped out, been there for them when it mattered most or those they are simply happy to be together with again,” explains Grace. They will do this by filling out a message on a heart message card (supplied by CBG) that can then be placed proudly in the retailer’s window.

Above: While those retailers with online sites have done well with the Me to You 2020 range that launched at Spring Fair, with lockdown easing this will be the first time the collection will be seen by the majority of the public.
Above: While those retailers with online sites have done well with the Me to You 2020 range that launched at Spring Fair, with lockdown easing this will be the first time the collection will be seen by the majority of the public.

By filling out their message, consumers can also be placed into a competition, the first prize of which is £1,000 and a limited edition print signed by Me to You head artist, Steve Mort Hill. In addition, every store will have a winner who will receive a limited edition Me to You print signed by Steve Mort Hill and a Me to You bear. The retailer with the best window display will also win a hamper for their store

Above: While those retailers with online sites have done well with the Me to You 2020 range that launched at Spring Fair, with lockdown easing this will be the first time the collection will be seen by the majority of the public.
Above: While those retailers with online sites have done well with the Me to You 2020 range that launched at Spring Fair, with lockdown easing this will be the first time the collection will be seen by the majority of the public.

All of the activity will be backed up by support across Me to You social media channels and via traditional PR. CBG is also to give retailers access to a local media PR and social media toolkit with templates and images they can personalise to drive local interest to the activity within their store.

Top: The window cling that launches the New Beginnings campaign.

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