About us

We are one of the UK’s fastest growing retail and shopper marketing agencies. We deliver compelling marketing solutions based on shopper insight to help you sell more.

  • 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.

  • Kirstie Seaman

    Kirstie Seaman

    Account Director
    Trampolining, accents, purple, cinema, photos, cake, Spurs, city breaks, sarcasm, Factory, inappropriate giggling, organising, frothy coffee, music, Italy, pistachio ice cream, reading in the bath, Sauvignon, The Wire, beach walks.

  • 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.

  • Meriel Barnbrook

    Meriel Barnbrook

    Account Manager
    Festivals, New York, Bombay Sapphire, Laughing, Cherry Coke, Will Ferrell, Trustworthy, Christmas, Bad Driving, Kings of Leon, Montreal, Talking, Gym, Shoes, Long Island Iced Teas, Reliability, City Breaks.

  • Scott Powell

    Scott Powell

    Designer
    Snooker, Could have been pro, Arsenal FC, Coffee, Determined, Yellow, Football, Goalkeeper, Vans, Aston Martin, Prepare well, Timid, Think of me as a counsellor, Family, Comedy, Will Ferrell, Good laugh.

  • 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.

  • Carol Lilley

    Carol Lilley

    New Business
    My boys, family, Cape Town, Dubrovnik, cocktails, dancing, music, art, laughing, craziness, talking far too much, shopping for a bargain, forensics, friends, honesty, humbleness, flowers, faith, spinning, freedom of speech.

  • Jane Keenan

    Jane Keenan

    Account Director
    Northern, Dog sitting, Fruity whites & robust reds, trustworthy, Snow Patrol, Gin and tonic, Gardening, Walkie–Talkies, Chatty, Auntie J, Local, Funny, Apple addict OCD, Travel, Pilates, Reliable.

  • Rebecca Lane

    Rebecca Lane

    Account Director
    Only fools and horses, days out at the races, sauvignon blanc, country walks (to pubs), summer evenings, `to do´ lists, cheese, San Francisco.

  • andy-tyne

    Andy Tyne

    Associate Director
    George Orwell, QPR, cricket, cold pillows, Tring, Charlie Brooker, Joy Division, Spitfires, Jim Broadbent, Yorkshire Tea, Parson Russell Terriers, The B-52s, Radio 4 Extra, Stan Bowles, a Thesaurus, Barbour, Danny Baker, New Zealand wines, Stephen Fry, Sebago, Pete Postlethwaite, Devo, Richard Dawkins, Spoonerisms, Neoprene.

  • 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

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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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Reverse Showrooming and the rise of super shoppers

18.02.14

A new study by Deloitte commissioned by eBay has found that while 31 per cent of shoppers visit the store prior to making a purchase Read More

A new study by Deloitte commissioned by eBay has found that while 31 per cent of shoppers visit the store prior to making a purchase online, generally referred to as ‘showrooming’, more people (34 per cent) research online and then complete the purchase in store, or ‘reverse showrooming’. People who browse across different mobile devices and make use of on-to-offline services are 30 per cent more likely to do research online before committing to a purchase but the value of these purchases can be up to 50 per cent more than if done through a single channel, according to a new study by Deloitte commissioned by eBay. Dubbed ‘Super Shoppers’ they are the 18 per cent of people who shop most frequently but who accounted for 70 per cent of total UK retail sales in 2013.


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The rise of digital couponing in-store

14.02.14

As an agency, we try to get out for a pizza on a Friday. Admittedly it doesn’t happen much, as client work comes first, but Read More

As an agency, we try to get out for a pizza on a Friday. Admittedly it doesn’t happen much, as client work comes first, but when it does happen, something remarkable takes place.

We all pitch up to our favourite Italian around the corner, and the first thing that happens is at least 3 members of the team get out a discount coupon for money off our meal.

For some, they’ve printed it out on a sheet of paper, but the majority simply have it on their smart phone and show it to the waiter or waitress before we even look at the menu.

This is now common place for bars and restaurants, but in reality it will soon be coming to every store near you!

In a recent shopper mobile survey, 38% of respondents said they were ‘extremely likely’ to use digital coupons in the future – but very few could actually confirm if their favourite stores had an app or not.

And this is the real dilemma. After 24 months of everyone going app crazy, retailers have now woken up to the fact that the app they build needs to play an active part in the shopper’s buying experience.

It’s not enough to simply represent information to the viewer, it needs to have live and compelling content. If you build an app, people won’t just magically show up. It has to be integrated into the entire shopper experience and there have to be rewards and benefits for shoppers!


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WHAT IS SHOPPER MARKETING?

05.02.14

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past 12 months, the term shopper marketing will not have escaped your notice. But what is it? Put simply, Read More

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past 12 months, the term shopper marketing will not have escaped your notice. But what is it?

Put simply, “customers use, shoppers buy”.

It is founded on delivering the right message at the right time and place through a deep understanding of a shoppers’ profile, the media channels they use and the different shopper missions they undertake once on their path to purchase.

And just in case you find yourself in the USA in the next few months, don’t forget they have a different definition of Shopper Marketing. They think of it as the ‘last yard’, i.e. marketing at the point of purchase, be that online or in-store, whereas in the UK we regard it as marketing throughout the entire path to purchase, or as we put it, from the ‘sofa to the sale’.

So there you have it. Shopper Marketing is simple. The difficult bit is doing it. That’s why we are here!


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PAGE LOAD TIMES MATTER

Recent studies have revealed that just a one second delay in page load times can reduce customer sales by a whopping 7%. In this world Read More

Recent studies have revealed that just a one second delay in page load times can reduce customer sales by a whopping 7%.

In this world where none of us have enough time to cram everything we need to do, mixed with our impatience to have everything immediately, page load times are a crucial element that all retailers need to address.

Page load times also impact your overall SEO ranking as Google loves not only relevancy, but speed as well.

So next time you get told that your website seems slow, remember that a 1 second delay can result in 11% fewer page views! a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in sales. (Data from Aberdeen Group)

As a first step, check out your Google Analytics and review the Speed Suggestion Report. It gives you tips on your page load speed and tips on how to speed it up.

And if you want a more in depth analysis and solution – give us a shout.


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Contact

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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