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  • Writer's pictureCraig Thatcher

Re-positioning a specialist people management consultancy for farmers

REAL Success was founded over a decade ago by Paul Harris, who is very well known and highly respected in the agricultural industry. An international speaker, he is also the architect of VITA Profiling, a simple psychometric diagnostic tool for profiling people for specific roles.


The company’s existing brand identity and communications did not reflect the high quality of advice and support provided to farmers and the glowing reviews received from highly satisfied clients.

AGRICULTURAL Industry must change

As a result of Brexit, changes to government policy and subsidies, farmers are struggling more than ever to attract people to work in the sector, because of the long, lonely anti-social hours, and the hard and often dangerous work. This has led to labour shortages within the industry which farmers are struggling to overcome.


Our brief was to identify a new market position and to create a new and exciting brand for the company that would resonate with and engage farmers, whilst conveying the full range of valuable people management services.


We wanted Paul to move away from positioning his company to farmers as a 'distress purchase' when they wanted to recruit a new person and transform it into one that offered them a strategic way to manage their future success -through their people.

It is always important to define who the ideal clients are for a business and it was obvious that the best prospects would be forward-looking farmers who realise that investing in their people would be the key to their success.

In this industry 'progressive farmers' embrace change and this term is an ideal way for them to self-identify. This is because they don’t see themselves as just farmers, but owners or managers of modern agribusinesses. The definition of an agribusiness is to maximises profit whilst sustainably satisfying the needs of consumers.


Paul completed simple worksheets designed by Craig, who then drafted a new value proposition. This provided the building blocks for the new market position and key messages as well as clearly articulate the strengths of the company, the points of difference and the tangible and intangible benefits for clients.


Craig reviewed how competitors communicated their offers and what they were saying about themselves. In this sector they ranged in size, yet most were corporate sounding, with bland personalities and not very people focused. Smaller competitors seemed to talk about themselves a lot and very little about the benefits of what they do for clients.

As a result of this review Craig identified a new market position for REAL Success and conveyed this by mapping it against competitors on an XY grid. At the same time he proposed a few different positioning statements and the one below was adopted.

Building harmonious high performance teams for progressive farmers seeking sustainable futures

As part of his initial presentation, Craig developed some key headline messages and combined them with images to bring the new positioning to life, having searched for and the created a board of approximately seventy potential stock images that could be used.


Craig slotted into a team of three, put together by Paul. Alex managed the overall project and provided Search Engine Optimisation and Hubspot CRM integration skills and Phil designed the new brand identity and built the website in Wordpress.


Once the value proposition and the new market position had been agreed the new brand identity was designed and refined by Phil, before developing the look and feel for the new website from some of the visual clues that Craig had shared in his presentation.


Craig proposed that the new strap line should be ‘Recruit, Engage, Align, Lead’ as a replacement for the existing cliched one; ’Your People Are Our Business’. This new one does two things at once. It helps to explain the name of the company; REAL as well as the four step process that leads to success.


Having reviewed the existing website, Craig re-wrote the copy for the new website so that it conveyed the key tangible and intangible benefits, and re-focused it around the visitor’s point of view and not on the company’s.

The look and feel of the new website had to be very people-focused, contemporary and to resonate strongly with the target audience of progressive farmers. This included the use of authentic imagery, friendly copy, written in every day language without jargon. The tone of voice perfectly matching the new market position and reflecting Paul’s own personality.

Craig proposed changes to improve the navigation with the addition of some new pages that provided more opportunities to drive visitors through organic search once optimised for the key word phrases that Phil had researched. The menu tabs 'VITA Profiling' and 'Farming Jobs' were given higher visibility than previously with buttons at the top of every web page.


There are so many ways to convey a brand’s personality and one of them is what people representing the company wear. Because of his surname and the target market, Craig proposed that Paul include a casual Harris tweed jacket as a key item in his wardrobe.


We recommended that a media pack including the new logo, colours, fonts and images should be put together and accessed via the new website to support the launch. As all the editors and freelance writers that cover the industry would only have reference to all the old digital assets.

Craig helped to develop the launch communications plan for the new brand and website by talking to Alex about Paul writing a white paper in response to a report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee called 'Labour shortages in the food and farming sector'.

Paul's white paper was a report researched and written to help farmers overcome the fifteen mindset myths with practical 'on-farm solutions'. It was covered extensively by Farmers Weekly - the leading trade magazine website and was put on the REAL Success website for people to download once they had provide a few basic contact details.


The results were impressive, with the number and quality of leads generated from the trade press coverage, social media and visitors to the new website up considerably and in a very short space of time. This is testament to the REAL Success offer and the real (excuse the pun) need in the market driven by seismic changes in the industry.

PAUL Harris, Founder and Chief Executive of REAL Success said

I just wanted to thank you for your excellent work on this project and between the three of you, it’s clear you have completely re-positioned the brand. Craig – your ability to reframe the copy into client focused language is clear and impressive, together with the site structure – thank you.

PAUL Harris was interviewed by Craig Thatcher, and you can watch interview or read transcript here. Paul has some excellent tips for others thinking of rebranding their companies.


Value proposition design (Craig)

New market position (Craig)

Brand strategy (Craig, Alex & Phil)

Brand identity (Phil)

Search Engine Optimisation (Alex)

Website structure and navigation (Craig & Alex)

Website design and build (Phil)

Copywriting and tone of voice (Craig)

Launch communications (Alex)

need repositioning?

Here are Craig's Top 10 Tips to ensure your branding project is a success. Not sure where to start? Try here first. Does your company need a new market position or to change the way that clients think about your organisation, then contact Craig today.


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