About us

We’re a bunch of passionate strategic brand consultants and design fanatics. We love working with brands that have the same drive and passion as we do, whilst ensuring we make time to smile and have a bit of fun along the way.

  • Chris Penny

    Chris Penny

    Managing Partner
    Coffee, Early starts, Rioja, French living, Boston, Marmite, Friends, Staying young, Singing, Fun loving, World War I, Can do attitude, Family, Venice beach, Singing, Dog Walks, Lake Maggiore.

  • Simon Howell

    Simon Howell

    Creative Director
    Loads of Coffee, Early starts, Rioja, Movies, Toys, Cornwall, Italy, James Bond, Cities, Being prepared, Running, Fast cars, Technology, Music, Family, Friends, Thursdays.

  • Marc Rigby

    Marc Rigby

    Client Director
    Football, Everton FC, Prog, Folk, Pop, Walking, Cats, Z cars, J Atkinson & Co, SyFy, Blogging, Listening, London Pride, Full bodied reds, Showers, Bridgedale socks, Spartacus, Street End, Away trips, National trust, Toast, Honesty.

  • Alex Jepson

    Alex Jepson

    Designer
    Neon, cookies, textiles, chocolate milkshake, steak, stripes, black eyeliner, lane ropes, Lillehammer, snoods, my awesome kids, werewolves, lists, getting things done, baseline, cardboard, flip flops, bubbles, print, Los Pollos Hermanos.

  • Dan Smith

    Dan Smith

    Designer
    Illy and biscotti. Sundays are Specialized. Visit the Castelli Cafe. Jon Hopkins has immunity. Paul Smith. Hello to Jason Isaccs. YNWA. Inform Educate Entertain. Just Muc-off!

  • Matt Durant

    Matt Durant

    Designer
    Coffee, Discovery, Pixar, Studio Ghibli, (anything by Scott or Fincher). Attenborough, Brooker, Fry, Radiohead, Aphrodite, Joy Division, BSE, 6 Music, SGP. Just my type, BF3, & still hunting for that Will guy, with my brother, Ben.

  • Andy Langton

    Andy Langton

    Head of SEO
    Cold beer, Hot coffee, Music with soul, Electric guitar, Stand-up comedy, Late nights, Gadgets, Programming, Pivot tables, Dry humour, Taking things apart to see how they work.

  • Stephen Maguire

    Stephen Maguire

    Head of PPC
    Guinness, gammon, the city of Liverpool & Istanbul.  Football, boxing, peep show, curb your enthusiasm. Being bossed about by the kids. Analysing statistics & improving ROI.

  • Neil Grantham

    Neil Grantham

    Head of Insight
    Tennis, Rugby Union, Playing drums (and the flute!!), People watching, Good conversation, Having a laugh, Friends, Family, A good red, A crisp white, A good pint, Architecture, Fast cars and driving, Marmite on toast, Shorts.

  • Mark-thomas

    Mark Thomas

    Associate Director
    Being outside, Land Rover, clocks going forward, France, running, Ipswich Town, leisurely bike rides, Lake District, wine – any colour, movies, camping – but only when it’s dry, homemade pasta.

News & Twitter

The significance of storytelling within marketing

07.10.16

The significance of storytelling within marketing   In an age where almost every consumer is now glued to their smart phone, tablet and laptops storytelling Read More

The significance of storytelling within marketing

 

In an age where almost every consumer is now glued to their smart phone, tablet and laptops storytelling marketing is becoming more and more important.

 

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand. By giving your products and services an identity, by capturing and sharing the stories you can take your audience on a journey they yearn to experience. (i-Scoop. 2016.)

 

But why does the storytelling technique work better or more effectively than the traditional call to action or mass marketing strategies? Simple. ‘Stories work in marketing because human brains are hardwired to remember them. Storytelling is as old as time. They have long been used to hand down history and help build communities and strengthen families.’

 

Creating a great narrative for your business also provides another benefit. A great story cuts through the clutter of (too much) information. (Sarah Mitchell. 2015.)

 

So how does a brand create and implement a great storytelling campaign?

 

Storytelling is not about inventing a story, in fact the very reason you exist as a company is because of your story and the fantastic product or service that has come as a result. So tell that very story! The key within the story though is to get across how your brand, product and service fulfils your consumers need.

 

James Lush says all storytelling campaigns should pass the TRUTH test and knowing the elements of a good story. He states five elements that make for an effective campaign:

 

  • Topical – is this the right time to tell this story? Is your audience looking for the information now?
  • Relevant – It’s rare to have a ‘one size fits all’ story. Make it relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach.
  • Unusual – If you really want to cut through, come up with a new angle for your stories.
  • Trouble – One thing fiction writers know is there has to be some sort of conflict to tell a story. What makes it interesting?
  • Human – No one wants to be friends with your brand. They do however; get interested in the human element surrounding your brand. Put a human face to your stories and you’ll have a lot more success.

(James Lush. 2015.)

 

The word storytelling often comes with childish connotations, but the truth is far from it. Perseverance with a strategy of storytelling can result in consumer brand loyalty and their own ambition to be your brand ambassador due to the emotional connection you’ve created with them. It’s no coincidence then that the number one ranked storytelling brand in the table below (Mindi Chahal. 2016.) is Apple, a brand that has one of the biggest and most loyal brand ambassador armies out there.

storytelling-table

 

Mindi Chahal. (2016). Top storytelling brands capitalise on consumers’ smartphone obsession. Available: https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/29/top-storytelling-brands-capitalise-on-consumers-smartphone-obsession/. Last accessed 03 October 2016.

 

Sarah Mitchell. (2015). Content Marketing: Why Storytelling Is Essential. Available: http://www.globalcopywriting.com/content-marketing-storytelling/#sthash.eSpshWlE.dpbs. Last accessed 03 October 2016.

 

(2016). Using storytelling to strengthen your brand. Available: http://www.i-scoop.eu/using-storytelling-strengthen-brand/. Last accessed 03 October 2016.


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Howell Penny Win! CIM 2016 – Brand Experience Award

15.04.16

  It’s smiles and hugs all round at Howell Penny! Last night the agency was a Winner at the 2016 CIM Marketing Excellence Awards. The agency Read More

 

Howell-Penny-Win!-CIM-2016-Brand-Experience-Award-m

It’s smiles and hugs all round at Howell Penny! Last night the agency was a Winner at the 2016 CIM Marketing Excellence Awards.

The agency was recognised in the Brand Experience category for its work on behalf of SAB Miller owned soft drink brand Appletiser, (distributed through CCE in the UK) in establishing and activating the brands status as Official Soft Drink of Ascot, in order to address five years of declining sales.

The Ascot sponsorship has helped establish the brands premium credentials with consumers and trade alike. As well as working alongside PR and Social agency Brands2Life to activate key Ascot race days throughout the year, Howell Penny created a number of key account and advertising initiatives that have utilised the Ascot property. The work included on trade, off trade, promotional, advertising and digital activations.

The Award was also based on some impressive results. Total brand volume for Appletiser has seen a return to growth in 2015 following 5 years of decline. With the brand celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2016, spontaneous awareness is also up. Through the association with Ascot, Appletiser’s intrinsic messaging has also seen increased penetration, with increases for both the Crown the Moment’ &Original quality since 1966’ messages.

Brand-Experience-Award

“We are delighted that the teams efforts to grow this iconic brand have been recognised. In a fiercely competitive market re-establishing the brands premium credentials with a well chosen strategic partnership, and a brilliantly executed campaign of activity has been challenging but ultimately hugely rewarding.”

Marc Rigby
Client Director

 

For a full list of all the Winners Visit the
Marketing Excellence Awards – CIM 2016 Website


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We help Go Outdoors increase bike and accessory sales by over 100%

15.03.16

    Nice little mention in Retail Week today about the impact our store design and brand work has done to help drive sales for Read More

 

 

Nice little mention in Retail Week today about the impact our store design and brand work has done to help drive sales for Go Outdoors. Very proud of the team!


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Thirst Aid Kit – saving the planet – one tree at a time

08.09.15

The Challenge As a company that cares passionately about trees and plants thousands every year, it made absolute sense for our Client, Gristwood and Toms, Read More

The Challenge
As a company that cares passionately about trees and plants thousands every year, it made absolute sense for our Client, Gristwood and Toms, to introduce a tree watering bag to their product offering.
Water deficit is the main cause of failure in newly planted trees, so a watering bag can be a real life saver.
However, product awareness amongst the target audience of Tree Officers was low. We needed to find a vehicle to get a watering bag into their hands whilst at the same time driving home the ‘life saving’ benefits.

The big idea
Using ‘life saver’ as our starting point, lead us to positioning the watering bag as a Thirst Aid Kit – likening the needs of a tree to human needs.
The creative is playful with the graphic language of pharmacy and first aid and uses emotive health related terms like ‘treatment’ and ‘ chronic’ to complement this.
The physical delivery in a pillow box echoes the idea of a life jacket (the bag is zipped around the tree).


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Retail sales jump 4.2% in July

21.08.15

Retail sales jumped 4.2% in July as shoppers snapped up electrical appliances, furniture and household goods, according to data revealed today. Retail sales as electricals, Read More

Retail sales jumped 4.2% in July as shoppers snapped up electrical appliances, furniture and household goods, according to data revealed today. Retail sales as electricals, furniture and homewares lead the charge. Sales fall in food, textiles, clothing and footwear. Store prices fall 3%, but July could be “as good as it gets” for retailers and shoppers. It marked the 28th consecutive month of year-on-year growth in sales volumes. That is the longest sustained period of growth since May 2008 when there were 31 consecutive periods of growth, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


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Top reasons for showrooming

06.04.14

We found this whilst strolling around the interweb. What we found interesting is that whilst price is the key reason for showrooming, there are other Read More

We found this whilst strolling around the interweb. What we found interesting is that whilst price is the key reason for showrooming, there are other factors that the retail is in control of, which will help to limit the scale of showrooming in their store.

 

 

(more…)


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Giving a digital boost to in store sales

18.03.14

Whilst the era of bus stops, wobblers and other beloved items of printed point of sale may still yet have some legs, we are seeing Read More

Whilst the era of bus stops, wobblers and other beloved items of printed point of sale may still yet have some legs, we are seeing a significant increase in clients – manufacturers and retailers – requiring tech driven point of sale solutions. It seems that retail clients are finally coming to terms with the need to embrace an omnichannel approach and to find ways of properly integrating a digital experience into the shopping process. Not all technology will increase sales of course but it is worth remembering the role it can also play in building equity, differentiation and ultimately brand preference.


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When the personal touch goes wrong

06.03.14

I’m not sure how I feel about the recent slip-up by Starbucks, when one of their employees wrote “Vagina” instead of Virginia on the cup. Read More

I’m not sure how I feel about the recent slip-up by Starbucks, when one of their employees wrote “Vagina” instead of Virginia on the cup. On the one hand, I feel like I should applaud the fact that Starbucks personalise the customer experience in-store. On the other, it does highlight the errors you leave yourself open to whenever humans get involved.

Should I have laughed – no. Did I laugh – yes. Sorry Virginia – I hope you get a year’s free coffee for your troubles and in turn you become a Starbucks Brand ambassador!


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How to read more…and read faster

Its not just the Howell Penny techies that are enamoured of the fantastic streaming technology from Spritzinc, that threatens to revolutionise the way we read. Read More

Its not just the Howell Penny techies that are enamoured of the fantastic streaming technology from Spritzinc, that threatens to revolutionise the way we read. This clever little app allows readers to consume words at a rate way in excess of normal reading speeds. Also strikes us as marketers, that it is a great way to allow on-line shoppers to read the things they generally tend to shy away from, like small print for example. And on mobile devices it will allow web designers to serve more text within responsive design, avoiding too much scrolling and pinching.


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Gmail adds prominent unsubscribe button

28.02.14

As a creative agency who run a multitude of email campaigns on a daily basis for our clients, my first reaction was one of joy, Read More

As a creative agency who run a multitude of email campaigns on a daily basis for our clients, my first reaction was one of joy, on hearing that Gmail were making it much easier to unsubscribe from an email through the introduction of a prominent unsubscribe button next to the senders name.

On a personal level, I hate the amount of time and effort it takes to unsubscribe from emails that you never knowingly asked to receive. I always end up being frightened that the unsubscribe link hidden at the bottom of the email (if at all) that I have to press is actually a virus just waiting to be unleashed on my computer.

At a creative level, I think this will help advertisers improve their game in terms of the timing and relevance of their emails. Those that pass the test will be read, those that do not, will forever be confined to Room 101.


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Want to know more?

Give us a call +44(0)1442 873 777 or use the contact form:

  • HOWELL PENNY
  • The Old Dairy
  • 26 Lower Kings Road
  • Berkhamsted
  • Hertfordshire
  • HP4 2AE

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