Ryan Lockwood

5 QUESTIONS WITH RYAN LOCKWOOD

We spoke to the Marketing Manager of Flexseal, Ryan Lockwood about their most recent project with HERRON + CO and the importance of a longstanding relationship between an agency and brand success.

What can you tell us about Flexseal?

At Flexseal, we’re specialist manufacturers and distributors supplying high quality products to the civils & drainage, plumbing and water management sectors. We were established in 1989 and born out of an invention called a flexible coupling — a product range which we’ve grown alongside other complementary products and tools over the years.

While we’re market leaders in the UK we also have a strong global presence, with a growing number of customers around the world.

Flexseal homepage design

How long have you worked with HERRON + CO?

I joined Flexseal around six years ago. It was quite soon after I started that I reached out to Paul and got the ball rolling when it came to working together. I learned the ropes fairly quickly at Flexseal and began developing our in-house team and approach; Paul and the rest of the team at HERRON + CO have been on that journey alongside us.

One of the first digital products that came out of that relationship was the Flexseal Academy. As a training package, it has multiplied dramatically since we launched the first platform. We went from wanting to launch an online platform where our customers can login and access pre-loaded training materials. We rolled it out and had almost 1000 members on the platform taking courses every day.

Then the pandemic hit and of course it became a learning platform for people to use at home. But what we also did is took the branding from the Flexseal Academy and expanded it into webinars. As we’ve been waiting for the world and marketplace to open up even further we’ve built an onsite training facility as well. It’s amazing to think that a simple platform we launched with HERRON + CO four years ago has become a major offering within our operation.

What can you tell us about the new website?

Our previous website was archaic and not reflective of our company’s complete offering. Having sat down with Paul we agreed the messaging around Flexseal wasn’t hitting the mark. It’s difficult to think of yourself as an out-and-out manufacturer, because there’s always going to be various steps in the supply chain between us and the actual customer that uses the product — and beyond that, the client that benefits from the customer that’s installing the product.

From an industry point of view we’ve always been focused on that middle ground. I think that’s changing slightly in that as well as working with the middleman we need to work more closely with the end user to get the feedback that will help make our products even better. But also, when it comes to launching new products we need to be talking to those end users and filtering messages out as far and wide as we can.

This new website which is modern, clean and consistent is the catalyst for us getting our messaging across, and HERRON + CO have helped us massively with that.

How does the brand function as part of a global operation?

Flexseal is part of a global group called Fernco, based in Michigan. Within that group there are various operations around the world — as well as slightly different marketing strategies as well as everyone has localised markets that require slightly different things. But the essence of the brand needs to remain the same.

Working with HERRON + CO we were able to get our website up-to-date and send out the right messaging from a branding point of view. They were able to help us set the scene from a digital and branding point of view so that the rest of the teams around the world can adhere to it easily and help continue the brand journey for Flexseal in their own locations.

How important is it to have a long standing working relationship with an agency when it comes to brand success?

I think it’s incredibly important. While Flexseal isn’t a company that floats between different agencies anyway, I’ve always believed in the impact building relationships can have in all areas of the business — but especially when it comes to marketing and branding. It’s important to have a team onboard that can understand our story and our history, which all feeds into the brand. That can take a long time to understand it for those who haven’t been a part of the journey. We’re a 30 year old business in the UK; our group is almost 60 years old. So there’s an incredible amount of nuances there to understand, especially as we evolve over time and grow as we have done these past few years.

Our industry is also very, very complex. Having Paul and HERRON + CO on that journey with us, working collaboratively with our team, has been invaluable — and hopefully we can continue that relationship going forward.

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For more information about our work with Flexseal on their website, read the case study

And / or, read the Flexseal Academy case study

Read about how we work with Ryan’s marketing team – True collaboration for brand success

Get in touch with HERRON + CO

 

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