Branding | Communication | Digital

In today's busy world...

with time at a premium...

your message needs Air Space...

to bring it to life.

air space

Every day, your prospects and customers are bombarded with messages. So how do you make yours stand out? Air Space is about making your message highly visible – and irresistible – to it’s recipient.

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    Branding

    Do you have just a logo or a fully formed brand? We’ll work with you to reveal, refine or rework your key point of difference so that your business really gets noticed.

  • icon-messages

    Communication

    We’ll work it into a compelling story, which can be delivered across the marketing-mix, attracting attention and demanding response.

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    Digital

    And apply it to your online presence, driving recognition, enhancing your personality and making your website more attractive to customers and search engines alike.

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Our approach always starts with you, your business objectives and marketing challenges. Once we understand these in depth, we can make a real contribution.

  • icon-listen

    Listen

    All projects start with a conversation. And we’re great believers in using two ears and one mouth in pretty much that ratio.

  • icon-think

    Think

    If you spot us staring off into the distance, we’re almost certainly thinking. We love solving problems and are genuinely motivated by helping your business succeed.

  • icon-communicate

    Communicate

    We’re not worried about art for art sake. We’re in the business of getting a response and building your business. Of course, the work should look great but results are what you are after.

  • icon-measure

    Measure

    Testing is key to developing a successful marketing plan so it’s great to hear about the results. And as we listen to the outcome, we all learn valuable lessons. And the process starts all over again…

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All
Branding
Communication
Digital
All
Branding
Communication
Digital

Beadle Crome Interiors

Branding

Alliance Boots

Communication

DFDS

Communication

EIZO

Digital

Beadle Crome Interiors

Digital

Device Access

Digital

Huawei

Communication

Southampton Airport

Communication

Image Evolution

Branding

NAAFI

Branding

Mey House

Branding, Digital

Mintec

Branding

Beadle Crome Interiors

Beadle Crome Interiors is a leading independent retailer, stocking the finest contemporary furniture from the world’s major design houses. Based in Reading, the company specialises in high quality designs and finishes from brands such as Hulsta and Ligne Roset. With 40 years’ experience, this family business has enjoyed continued success by being experts in their field so naturally we were delighted to help them in rebranding the business.  The key marketing objective we identified for Beadle Crome Interiors was to drive traffic to the store. Once there, the store does an amazing job, inspiring customers and generating business.

New branding needed to be modern, friendly and approachable and not detract from the design quality of the product. The room plan device provided just the right level of evolution from the previous version and stationery was printed in four different and vibrant colours. Air has applied the new branding to the Beadle Crome Interiors website, newsletters, point of sale templates and various customer mailings for special events. We’ve even designed a bespoke Christmas card.

www.beadlecromeinteriors.co.uk

Alliance Boots

Our Stop Smoking campaign was designed to present a grown up solution for those looking to give up. Using real people supplied by an extras casting agency, we simply highlighted the many benefits of stopping as told by the people themselves. Amidst the many ‘shock’ adverts created by the NHS, this people-led approach was preferred in research by 66% of the focus group, when compared with two other concepts.

Air developed the designs, organized photography and worked with the client’s printers to deliver the finished materials. We even assisted the marketing department in preparing their instore launch notes. The project comprised store window graphics with instore posters, point of sale and customer information packs. Over a million packs were given away inside two weeks and product sales were up by 13% in the following three months.

DFDS

Working within the confines of extensive new brand guidelines, Air has delivered a range of strong commercial communications to drive onboard sales on the busy Dover to Calais and Dover to Dunkirk routes. The core creative idea at the heart of the DFDS brand is ‘Real People. Genuine Experiences.’ With this in mind, we look to bring a friendly and realistic style to the materials we develop.

Over the years we have branded outlets, designed and produced point of sale materials, created new directional signage and developed an onboard magazine to support the retail offer. We’ve developed a great working relationship with the DFDS team and sales are up by almost 20% YTD, so we’re all doing something right.

 

EIZO

When EIZO asked us to look at their website, we found that a pretty unusual set of circumstances were presenting an interesting challenge.

A Japanese company, manufacturing high quality, calibrated monitors for business, graphics, medical, gaming, industry and air traffic control applications, EIZO’s UK website was very basic and had little in common with the .com site managed by Headquarters. Furthermore, the UK company had no desire to maintain the huge number of product pages required to set up a replica site.

So we produced a site using the same CMS as the HQ site and that included bespoke pages and content for the UK but pulled in other content, including product pages, from the .com site.

The UK team were then able to add their own set of press releases, details of exhibitions and we also incorporated their Twitter and Facebook feeds.

We are currently working on a Reseller Portal that will allow EIZO’s clients to check stock and place orders in a secure, online environment, improving efficiency and enhancing the customer experience.

www.eizo.co.uk

Beadle Crome Interiors

Beadle Crome Interiors is a leading independent retailer, stocking the finest contemporary furniture from the world’s major design houses. Based in Reading, the company specialises in high quality designs and finishes from brands such as Hulsta and Ligne Roset.

Their website needs to drive traffic to the store and present their credentials as a destination of merit. Much of the photography supplied by the brands is fantastic but also is used across the web. So we encouraged Beadle Crome to highlight their store and service levels as the major point of difference.

The site is built on a major, open-source, content management system which allows the client to easily update the many hundreds of product records; adding photographs, text, pricing / discount details and documents for download.

Various updates have been rolled out and a constant review and development programme identifies where improvements can be made going forwards.

We also provide monthly support for Beadle Crome’s Pay Per Click (PPC) activity that looks to drive targeted traffic for key brands such as Hulsta, Stressless and Natuzzi. Over the first three months we doubled the Click Through Rate (CTR) and halved the Cost Per Click (CPC).

www.beadlecromeinteriors.co.uk

Device Access

Device Access is a business that helps Intellectual Property owners to sell their medical device or procedure into the NHS. They have a huge amount of experience and a great track record in helping businesses from all over the world to access the enormous UK health market.

A website was required that would help tell the story. The client took onboard our advice that video would be the way to go and has created a number of films to show how much value they create for their clients.

The aim is to give enough information to encourage an enquiry without telling the entire story in one go, so we developed a single page site that establishes the case for Device Access without it appearing too complicated.

The brand guidelines have been followed closely and parallax images have been selected to tie in with the brand colourways.

The ‘News’ section automatically publishes articles on LinkedIn, a platform that Device Access use extensively for business development. This means that only one piece of content needs to be generated to gain enormous exposure for the business.

www.deviceaccess.co.uk

Huawei

Air has been working with the best-known secret in Telecoms for some years, producing their UK brochure and factsheet and a digital internal newsletter for email circulation. The brochure pulls together extensive corporate information and details from each of Huawei’s business groups to present an intriguing overview of the UK business and its amazing journey.

We also developed a fantastic video brochure, used as a giveaway at the opening of Huawei’s fabulous new UK Headquarters in Reading, that went down a storm.

Due to Huawei’s amazing growth, style guidelines haven’t yet been established so we’ve worked hard to establish a distinctive look that can be used across the marketing mix.

Southampton Airport

We’ve recently started working with the lovely people at Southampton Airport. The work is pretty varied, from the development of new Car Parking and Priority branding, through to a direct marketing campaign to encourage more flights from Guernsey.

Our focus on differentiating our clients and working hard to simplify messages seems to be working well with other projects also in the pipeline….

Image Evolution

Air was asked to look at developing new branding for Image Evolution, a digital printers based in Aldermaston, Berkshire, as the original logo and colourways had been in existence since the inception of the business in the 1990s. As always, finding Air Space in a crowded market was our leading aim.

As one of our longest serving suppliers, we are very aware of what great service Image Evolution provides. Digital printers can be dragged into a commodity market but these guys are so good at problem solving that they fall into a much higher echelon.

Our recommendation was to aim at more of a consultancy positioning and we engineered a strapline of ‘the future of digital print’ to reflect IE’s focus on leading edge technology and the development of new techniques. We also wanted to avoid the cliché of CMYK logo references so the branding is a deliberate attempt to project a more sophisticated business. You can see the before and after on the images to the left.

The new branding has been applied to stationery, a direct mailing piece and a new website which is currently being built.

NAAFI

Air has worked with NAAFI since 2003 when our first job was to promote retail sales around the Rugby World Cup. Since then we have totally immersed ourselves in the NAAFI brand, helping them deliver ‘a taste of home’ to the British Armed Forces and their families when overseas.

The NAAFI brand faced a number of issues, with consumers believing that they were a commercial entity, potentially ripping off people representing the country in a dangerous profession.

To overcome this we went back to basics in order to educate both staff and consumers as to what NAAFI is and why it exists. The original NAAFI crest was dusted down and redrawn in order to truly resonate with the Military customer and an internal staff campaign was followed by a consumer version to tackle the issues head on. We asked the very questions that consumers wanted answering; Is NAAFI expensive? Where does the money go? Who owns NAAFI?

And the results were amazing. Over a year later, people were still correctly recalling the facts and NAAFI’s approval rating had gone up hugely.

As a spin-off we were asked to redesign NAAFI’s tea packaging. Despite selling over 30,000,000 cups during WWII, sales were tailing off badly in recent years.

We discovered that the phrase NAAFI BREAK was used as a matter of course across the entire Armed Forces, as a name for the morning and afternoon tea break. It was even being used in places where NAAFI didn’t operate. This looked like perfect Air Space, so we reclaimed the phrase and applied it to a retro style brand that generated a 1200% rise in sales over the first 12 months.

We were even nominated for two awards for our NAAFI BREAK work; The CIM Marketing Excellence Award and the Design Week sponsored, Benchmark Award. High praise indeed!

Mey House

This project could just as well be sat in our Air Show branding section, but the most important deliverable for this stylish new B&B was certainly the website.

Sally-Ann and Rob James resigned from their stressful jobs, bought a house in the very north of Scotland and opened a five star guest-house. Our job was to help them make it successful by developing a brand platform and an engaging web presence.

An off-the-cuff remark about them loving the ‘big skies’ turned into the brand proposition ‘Welcome to the big skies’ which inspired us to use an iconic Scottish bird for the logo. It also enabled us to show enormous full browser-width images and to utilise Rob’s excellent photographic skills to show the landscape in all its splendour.

And they were clear that they wanted to present loads of content about the local area so we designed a comprehensive blog that they have filled with brilliant content to attract visitors and help them make the most of their stay.

The target was to sell 100 nights in the first year but Sally-Ann and Rob have smashed that with 176 nights of occupation. And received a coveted 5 Star Award from the Scottish Tourist Board. Not only that but as we write they have received 39 reviews on TripAdvisor and all of them are ‘excellent’.

Now where’s the diary? I fancy seeing the Aurora Borealis sometime this winter…

www.meyhouse.co.uk

Mintec

 

Shortlisted for the 2016, CIM, Marketing Excellence Award for Brand Management, SMEs, this rebrand of Mintec is a great example of what can be achieved with collaboration and structured thinking. A great team effort that we’re hugely proud of.

Background

Established in 1982, Mintec Ltd is a global provider of trusted independent market intelligence and pricing information for commodities and raw materials. Over 22,000 items are regularly tracked and monitored across the world, resulting in a vast array of data on items as diverse as olive oil, plastic, coffee and wood.

With a unique suite of procurement tools, Mintec assists supply-chain professionals in their daily task of reporting, analysing and interpreting such market information. This is used by businesses to make smarter and more informed decisions during pricing negotiations and strategic planning.

For example, if an Olive Oil salesman comes calling and advises that there will be a price rise, Mintec clients can check recent developments on a global basis and confirm whether this increase is justified.

Mintec’s international client base includes some of the worlds biggest and most recognisable retailers, manufacturers and food service businesses.

Selling to the procurement market can be tough and Mintec face the challenge of creating a premium positioning for themselves. The company has been seen as a data supplier and data is seen as something of a commodity. In addition, training has been sold as an extra service which clients have been reluctant to buy.

As a result, sales teams have found themselves under pressure to discount the products and services, by an audience who don’t fully recognise the benefits they can extract from them.

Initial discussions identified the opportunity to develop an identity and brand that delivers real value and can therefore charge a realistic amount for a service that can save large organisations millions of pounds.

In creating a more premium brand, an opportunity also existed to outline the business culture and behaviours required for future growth to employees.

Goals

Mintec’s senior team had already created a vision for where they saw the brand heading by 2020.

“We recognise our client’s need for even greater insight” says Ivor Peksa, Mintec’s Managing Director. “The business has been seen as a credible provider of data for over 30 years but we’re frequently being asked to comment and interpret the figures so that our clients can get on with what they do best. It’s becoming more important every year that we provide the knowledge that generates competitive advantage”.

As key part of Mintec’s 2020 Vision, the company aims to be increasingly seen as a leading data brand, a credible authority with a global outlook and a trusted independent opinion. “We’re dealing with most of the world’s leading retailers, manufacturers and food services businesses and they already trust our data. So we’re continuing our recent trend of delivering more actionable information and the intelligence that enables our clients to stay at least one step ahead. Mintec is changing from selling data products to delivering business acumen, which sounds like a subtle change but it’s one we’ve been working on for some time, and it’s fundamental to both Mintec’s and our client’s future success”.

Making Mintec even more visible to the target market also involved the desire to improve relationships with industry leaders such as the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). Reinforcing credibility was key to this.

A brief was established to rework the branding to reflect the new aims of the business, reviewing Mintec’s current brand, it’s position in the market and the approach of competitors.

Mintec worked with Hampshire branding agency Air Creative Marketing who utilised ‘Brand Archetypes’ to analyse the market and create a unique positioning for the business.

Strategy

Andy Litton, Air’s Managing Director says “Mintec were the ideal client as they were prepared to examine the options in an open and honest way. We ran a number of workshops where the senior team all voiced their thoughts. This helped us to establish concensus quickly and make good progress in developing a set of clear objectives by which all of our creative work could be measured.”

Mintec were seen by Air as a company focused on their own Technology and Data rather than one looking at client’s Business and People so the task was to switch to a more customer-centric approach.

And ‘Brand Archetypes’ was very much part of this. The system is based on the work of Freud and Jung, and offers a useful way of defining and differentiating brands by personality type. The profiles provide an insight into the types of behaviour a brand needs to adopt in order to satisfy their audience and their brands aims.

Mintec’s current approach was determined to be EVERYMAN, which is by no means as bad as it sounds. The EVERYMAN is very reliable, honest and hardworking but it’s a reactive personality trait and the target was for something more pro-active.

The archetypes for Mintec’s 2020 Vision were therefore agreed as a combination of:
SAGE – delivering wisdom, truth seeking, intelligence and clarity of thought
TRANSLATOR – an intuitive communicator, with the ability to make unexpected connections to reveal meaning, the gift of inference and seeing patterns, and proficiency at interpreting.

Air then developed a strapline in collaboration with Mintec’s marketing team – ‘Independent Insight in a Universe of Data’ – to communicate the new positioning and designed a new identity. The logo itself features a universe of data points revealing insight via the shape of an eye, all using historic Mintec colourways.

Impact

“We’re really pleased with the results”, says Mintec’s Marketing Manager, James Bennett. “The process felt like a real team effort and the identity chimes perfectly with what we are trying to achieve – it’s uniquely Mintec. We particularly liked that the graphic element indicates an eye, to represent insight, emerging from the universe of data. The clarity of the message is something that will help us to communicate how we would like the company to be perceived, and we have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from employees and clients alike during this soft launch phase.”

The brand has been applied to new stationery, office signage, a new corporate brochure and Mintec’s website. In addition, sales staff are now more confident in outlining the charges for Mintec’s services. The branding was only launched recently so 2016 will see us measure the impact of this confidence.

Senior Management and Non-Executive Directors are now better aligned behind the business aims and also seen to be so by staff. This delivers improved leadership and greater direction for the company.

The final word goes to Ivor Peksa. “I’ve always wanted procurement professionals to see Mintec as the industry standard when it comes to data and insight. I believe our 2020 vision and the new branding, will ensure Mintec continue to develop as the recognised independent source of raw material insight and become synonymous with truth and accuracy.”

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Mintec rebrand reaches the final

Air’s rebrand of Mintec has been announced as a finalist in the 2016, Marketing Excellence Awards, under the Brand Management, SME category. We’re all very excited, to say the least, and looking forward to the awards dinner in April. Naturally we’re up against some great competition with Cricket England and the rebrand of The Royal Albert Hall also in the final selection.

We think that the reason we’ve been chosen is that this rebrand of a family business represents a real collaboration between agency and client. Mintec completely bought into the process that we undertake, which we outlined from day one, and we were worked hard with their senior team to understand their business aims and objectives. The Mintec team was very clear on where they saw their business heading so our job was made much easier – we could concentrate on ensuring that we delivered against their ambitions.

Our approach involves plenty of research into markets and customer types before any design work is started. But, like many clients, Mintec particularly liked the ‘Brand Archetypes’ method that assigns one or more personality types to a brand. It has proved very effective on a number of projects and helps everyone understand how the new brand should behave – in this case, a combination of SAGE and TRANSLATOR.

We hope that the resulting identity and materials work just from an aesthetic point of view but we know that they definitely work when measured against the clients requirements – a really strong position to be in.

As well as Brand Guidelines, we’ve developed everything from brochures to badges; signage to stationery; we’ve even designed a Rubic’s Cube as a promotional gift.

If you would like to know more on this story, the items we designed and the process we all followed, take a look at the Mintec portfolio page in the Air Show section of this website or drop us a line via the contact form.

 

 

New Southampton Airport identity

Great news for Air as we see our new Southampton Airport branding being rolled out. It has been a while in the works but the feedback we’ve had throughout the process – from the client, their new owners and customer research groups – has been really positive.

We took something of a gamble on this project, pitching an approach that challenged the client brief and it has really paid dividends. Once we had the notion of translating the SOU airport code into SO U (so you) in our heads, it was difficult to shake the feeling that it would really work. Only Southampton Airport can make this claim, so we’re looking for them to own the idea of personalised, customer service at airports. And it also helps staff to understand the focus of the business – the customer – articulating a common goal for all to follow.

The identity itself includes a rework of both the logo and a Breeze graphic device to tie in with the line ‘It’s time to Breeze Through… Southampton Airport’. With the time taken for passengers to move from the terminal entrance to their gate at under 20 minutes in all cases, the speed and convenience was pinpointed as a major benefit to communicate. We also incorporated the silhouette of a plane that actually lands at Southampton. The branding has been created in four colourways to add flexibility and to reference the variety of passengers travelling through the terminal.

An initial soft launch has taken place with critical signage and collateral being replaced with the new mark. And discussions are now under way as to how the sentiment behind SOU can be incorporated into future materials…

Southampton Airport’s Marketing Manager says “I was very impressed by how the team at Air tackled our brand refresh. They understood the brief but were brave enough to challenge certain parts of it. We are certainly delighted by the results which were described as ‘iconic, confident and professional’ during our research sessions. The new identity builds on the old one and really differentiates Southampton Airport from its competition. We are sure it will be a great asset as we continue our aim to become Europe’s leading regional airport.”

Air Space brought to life online

We’re very excited to be launching our brand new website to the world at large. Aside from giving you a great big clue to our creative approach, it’s all about communicating the idea of Air Space; a place where your brand or service stands out and you can have a proper conversation with your audience.

Or, to put it another way, we help businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition. After all, who wants to look or sound the same as everyone else?

And it’s not just about creative intuition; we follow a ten stage process to help create Air Space that needs real commitment and hard work. Our clients seem happy to travel this road with us and we’re currently working on some very exciting projects that we hope to report back on soon.

The Air Space film you see on the site was shot and edited by our good friend David Cox and all locations are within an hour of our rural offices in Hampshire. We love it here and believe that our environment influences everything we do – we have space to think, space to create and space to communicate.

Please take a look around the site and let us know what you think? And if you think we could work together do drop us a line.

 

To Flybe or not to Flybe?

When travelling to NAAFI in Germany, we recently noticed the tired looking menu that Flybe was using onboard. A less than inspired design just didn’t motivate us to buy, and it certainly did nothing for the brand.

So we decided to rework it for the 21st century, reorganising the content into manageable chunks, improving the presentation of offers and enhancing the relationship between it and the funky Flybe branding.

There are two versions shown here and we’re particularly pleased with the use of BE as a prefix.

BE convinced – this idea could really fly…

Guernsey flights really take off

Air was very excited to be asked to look at increasing the number of passengers travelling from Guernsey to Southampton Airport. The brief was pretty open but previously local press advertising, via the Guernsey Press newspaper, had been used to limited effect.

So we set to work, researching the island and its demographics, in order to come up with a new communications strategy. With a population of around 62,000, there are only 26,372 properties on Guernsey so we suggested that the addition of a direct mail campaign would improve the impact of press advertising and allow us to expand on the Southampton Airport message.

The previous creative thought had been to promote Southampton Airport as ‘The London Link’, competing directly with the London airports, but whilst this certainly works as a message, we felt it ignored many other benefits of using the closest airport to Guernsey as an access point to the UK. The attractions of Hampshire and the South of England were being overlooked, as was the ease of access to the UK rail network.

Our designs looked to break down these messages into simple bite sized chunks, a technique we used not only on the Direct Mail. The advertising team at Guernsey Press were very helpful in allowing us to run quarter page display adverts across four consecutive pages and we also created animated gifs for online banners in a similar way.

Press advertising covered the month of July with the mailing drop taking place mid-July. We sourced the data and fully managed the project from design through to fulfilment and mailing using our reliable partners.

And the results were fantastic with an increase of 53% in traveller numbers from Guernsey for the month of August, as reported by ITV News.

Our contact at Southampton Airport was pretty pleased too: “I was really happy with the way that Air Creative worked on this project, converting Guernsey passengers from larger London airports is one of our top priorities this year and we were delighted with the results.”

Whisky October Whisky!

RIAT came to us with a problem. Sales of merchandise for their Royal International Air Tattoo were extremely poor. In fact they had loads of old stock gathering dust in the storeroom. The brief was clear; increase sales by 33% over the previous year.

Our approach was to go back to basics. Traditional versions for the grown-ups, colour and graphics for the youngsters and no mention of the date, so that stock can also be sold the following year. We also wanted to make the merchandise unique to RIAT so we created an idea around the NATO phonetic alphabet and adapted the letters to feature the RIAT logo’s typographical quirks.

The client was delighted. Everything we suggested was put into production and the figures were amazing. An increase of 40% year on year – Whisky October Whisky!

And the show itself was incredible; very noisy but incredible.

Delivering a taste of home

NAAFI wanted a flexible, menu style for their many leisure outlets across the world. With three different menu offerings and numerous formats, the brief was to unify the approach as well as saying something positive about the NAAFI brand. Based on the phrase ‘a taste of home’ we imagined just how tough it must be to work overseas, far away from friends and family. What are the little details that you’d miss in this situation? What is Britishness and how can we show it on a menu?

The resulting design features the Union flag in all its glory plus images of good old blighty to whet the appetite. The client loved it and it has subsequently been rolled out in Germany, The Falklands and Gibraltar.

Every child makes their mark

The prospectus for Kings Somborne Primary School turned out to be a real labour of love. But we think it was worth it. The new headteacher, Julie Way, sees the children at the heart of everything she’s doing to improve the school. It’s already basking in a ‘Good with Outstanding Features rating from Ofsted but Julie is determined to move the school forward to even greater heights in the coming years. We sat down and her passion for the children was obvious straight away.

Our thinking was that we should have the children write the prospectus to reflect Julie’s enthusiasm about their involvement in every aspect of school life. Who wants to hear the same old corporate business about curriculums and uniforms anyway? All that is covered on the website so the prospectus can concentrate on explaining what is really different about Kings Somborne Primary School.

The handprint idea and strapline ‘where every child makes their mark’ ties in perfectly and each child has one handprint in the finished document. The end result is just charming and has been universally well received in the local community.

“It just looks amazing and just what we envisaged in the first sketchy meeting we held. It is just ‘so’ this school! Can’t thank you enough.” Julie Way, Head Teacher.

A very uplifting weekend

In the UK high street the green shoots of recovery are definitely visible. Our friends at Beadle Crome Interiors saw a remarkable response to their regular VIP Customer event.   As always the message is direct and to the point; whilst attempting to retain the contemporary style the business is renowned for. We think the all-encompassing 2o% OFF was a major factor in bringing in the numbers. The mailer reveals the message in an interesting way and was sealed using a perforated tab to add a bit more ‘theatre’ to the reveal.

Now that the results are in, we know that both in terms of numbers through the door and orders taken, this weekend has delivered a brilliant boost to an encouraging year.

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For a conversation about your business please get in touch.

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