Is ‘brand fostering’ the future of the client/agency relationship?

Edwin Bessant, chief executive of Ceuta Group.

The Drum Network recently spoke to Edwin Bessant, chief executive of Ceuta Group, about why his consumer brands services business has introduced a complete outsourced ‘brand fostering’ solution and what it means for the future of agencies…

What does ‘Brand Fostering’ mean?

Brand Fostering means handing over the care of a brand / portfolio of brands to an experienced third party.

This model is appealing to large brand houses dealing with legacy, competing or unfocused brands in their portfolio, but also brands owners looking to launch into new markets, as well as manufacturers and private equity companies who acquire brands for their IP but don’t want bricks & mortar.

When we foster a brand, we take full ownership for the management and growth of that brand within one region or several markets. From brand strategy and creative design to shopper insight and field and experiential marketing; plus marketing analytics, SEO and digital, logistics, go-to-market sales and marketing, we provide all the infrastructure and expertise our clients need for their brands to achieve their full potential on a global scale.

These combined disciplines support the journey of a brand from concept to execution; delivering everything a brand owner would ever want or need from one outsourced partner. When we foster a brand, we treat it as our own. We nurture it, plan for its future and make sure it benefits from the best exposure and distribution according to a carefully developed and executed strategy.

Why has Brand Fostering developed at a rapid pace?

Our industry has consolidated both through the retailer and manufacturing base. This has squeezed margins and has created lengthy portfolio of brands for a high number of manufacturers. Outsourcing generally has gathered a high momentum and Ceuta are in the right place at the right time with a unique Brand Fostering solution supported by its ‘integrated platform of services’

We noticed that clients were struggling to bring external agencies together to work on specific projects to manage and grow their brands; making it a complex, costly and lengthy process. We also experienced the same issues when we undertook to Foster a brand, we found the solution. We acquired a number of services that supported the journey of a brand from concept to retail / market execution.

At Ceuta, we offer all the resources a brand owner will ever need under one roof, providing a collective of a consistent, comprehensive and professional service. Our efficiency means we spend all our time growing our clients’ brands, making it easy for them to work with us by simplifying complex brand processes and bringing focus, speed, agility and cost-efficiencies to the management of their brand.

What are the key advantages of this approach?

It’s a solution that enables large businesses to retain one of its most valuable assets - its brand portfolio - without having to lose the equity and value of brands it has built through either organic growth or acquisition, optimising sales potential and maximising shareholder value.

Over the years, we have developed strong partnerships with our clients by sharing the passion and ambition for the success of their brands. The strong relationships we’ve established and maintained with our international partners are also key to the success of the brands we represent. This is demonstrated by the longevity of our relationships with some of our clients, going back to 10, 15 and even more than 20 years.

How have the brands you’ve worked with so far responded to this approach?

Brand Fostering is allowing our clients to run lean operations or extended reach while maximising the value and growth potential of their brands in a much more cost-effective way. The model works; that’s why some of our clients have been working with us for such a long time or given us a greater share of their portfolio to manage – Ceuta truly offers a Global Brand Fostering solution offering a collective of added value services with a reach to 120 mass retailers, 3 million independent grocers and 440,000 pharmacies.

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