Never take your foot off the gas

“The brand should continue to evolve” is Steve Parkin’s take-home assertion. Clipper hasn’t got to where it is today by standing still, or waiting for the next new trend. As the message says: Logistics Evolved. It’s clear the stock Steve puts on the business’ branding, “If we hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t have taken off in the way it has. It has stood the test of time and still looks fresh.” But Steve vows not to rest on the businesses laurels. “We’d always look to seek strategic council. It’s one of the things that has made the biggest difference to us, employing experts to help us along the way. Nobody can go it alone.”

By way of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs or those looking to start their first business, Steve is clear. “You can’t buy into being an entrepreneur” he says. “True entrepreneurship is working your way up from the bottom. Taking knocks is a big part of business, but the true test is how you respond to them.”

It’s clear that Steve’s appetite for business hasn’t waned in the two decades since he founded the Clipper business. In 2015, he announced he’d taken a stake in another Propaganda client, Southerns Office Interiors. During the launch, for which Propaganda handled the media interest and PR, it became clear that his ambition and high aspirations remained. Since then, Propaganda has completed significant brand work on a number of acquisitions to the Southerns group, and has just been appointed on a further Brand Health audit. As Steve says “It’s all about market intelligence.” 

Steve pragmatic about the future, with a hint of Yorkshire resilience: “The problem is the unknown” he says. But he’s more confident than ever in Clipper’s ability to cope, and indeed lead the way, in the UK and Europe. Knaresborough investments is always on the look out for promising opportunities, in which Steve can take a stake and provide his advice, capital and support. His business interests range from property and hospitality, to retail logistics and bloodstock. “We run a tight ship” he says. “When looking at branding and strategy, we need to understand what the payback is. We need to understand what the value is. Branding isn’t tangible to a lot of people, but you can see just what an impact it’s had.”

One thing is for sure, Steve looks set to be a driving force at the forefront of Yorkshire business for some time to come. He understands business and the often complex interactions needed to make them work. Propaganda’s model of insight informing brand strategy has struck a chord with Steve, as the relationship continues to flourish.