From coalface to cold hard business truths
As we sit in the boardroom of Clipper’s head office in Leeds, we overlook the East stand of Steve’s beloved Elland Road. Fresh from a new paint job, the stand overlooking the motorway and facing the Clipper offices is adorned by one of Clipper’s most iconic images, created by Propaganda. The ‘winged horse’ has become synonymous with the business, and symbolic of the ethos of the company: logistics evolved. And that seems like as good a place as any, to start the chat about Steve’s meteoric rise to the top.
“The most impressive thing is logistics evolved.” says Steve. “When we appointed Propaganda, we were the biggest logistics company nobody had heard of. We were the first in our industry to take this strategic approach, and gaining insight into our own industry has been very important for our success. We’re thinking 5-10 years ahead of the competition. Our brand is iconic, and for me, a company’s branding has to be aspirational.” His straight-talking, a key attribute to his success, couldn’t be more succinctly put when he summarises: “We look the bollocks.”
Steve’s not shy about his successes, but he’s also not complacent about the future. “People have copied us. People have come into the market on the back our our success. I’m proud that where we have led, others have started to follow. What Propaganda has allowed us to do is to be more creative and think outside of the box. That was new for this industry. This is branding at the highest level of business.”
Clipper’s success has been exceptional. The business now works with almost every name you’d care to mention from the high-street and online retail. In the latest campaign, created by Propaganda, the business takes on the theme of ‘now is history’, referencing the fact that retail is one of the fastest moving markets in the UK and Europe, and Clipper is constantly looking ahead.
As with all of Propaganda’s relationships, we work with the people who run the business, and Steve references this as a reason for the partnership’s success. “It’s easy because our teams know each other. We have relationships between our businesses at every level.” And this sentiment has been key to the collaborative success. In 2016, Clipper signed up for a new long-term contract, which will take this relationship into its tenth year of partnership. A milestone well worth celebrating.