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By 20th September 2016July 12th, 2019No Comments

Jumping on the Home-Grown bandwagon

Sometimes, things can happen that give you a hefty shake. You look at yourself and wonder why you hadn’t seen it coming.

It’s the same in business and in 2016 – AKA ‘the year of uncertainty’ – we could say that there’s been more of this than ever. It’s unlikely to change though, so there really isn’t much point in sitting back and hoping things will get better soon. That’s not what builds a great brand.

Success is about taking adversity on the chin and turning it into an opportunity when it’s not looking. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have built massive brands this way, so we’re looking at one prime example: Tyrrells Crisps.

So how have they done it? 

Tyrrells Marketer Pro Hub blog Newton Print


Tyrrells admit to having a passion for old photos. These are used to illustrate the jovial, cheery image that the brand embodies, as well as a hint at the product itself.

Using eccentric, old-fashioned imagery in humorous ways is very British. Tyrrells have captured this in their efforts to jump on the ‘home-grown’ bandwagon that has gained a louder voice in recent years.

Being British can be a strong element in establishing trust and appealing to consumers’ conscience.  Subconsciously, consumers believe that buying British helps to reduce food miles, supports local farming and boosts national pride.

Tyrrells aren’t ashamed of their Britishness and have used this to build a perception of heritage. After all, they’ve only been around since 2002 yet they dress themselves up as an age-old favourite that granny used to enjoy. That’s the power of well-thought-out packaging.


Instead of holding back and playing safe, Tyrrells have forged ahead into the global market for premium crisps.

True, they are fortunate in that crisps are universally popular. But they’ve also tapped into the more generic international appeal of Britain as a brand. They haven’t shied away from the fears of local competition and cultural differences. They’ve successfully kept their same tone of voice and light-hearted image.

This gives them huge scope for scalability, as it means they don’t have to spend precious resources in adapting processes and flavours for other countries. They simply export just as they are, and take advantage of exchange rates wherever it favours the pound.

What haven’t they done?

Tyrrells Marketer Pro Hub blog Newton Print


Until the end of 2015, Tyrrells barely spent a bean on advertising. They relied on cleverly crafted packaging designs, social media and good old word-of-mouth to build the brand to £40m revenue.

In fact, the majority of their money is spent on the packaging – something they coined ‘packvertising’. The imagery is carefully selected and used to create an image that consumers get.

But even when they began to venture into the world of broadcast advertising, they kept their cool and didn’t adopt a carefree approach. Instead of blasting out to all and sundry, they concentrated on a specific area (London and the South-East in their case) and on a specific channel.

Using print advertising through posters gives them control over location which is important for this luxury snack brand.


Tyrrells Marketer Pro Hub blog Newton Print


Tyrrells started out as premium hand-cooked potato crisps. But they haven’t let that limit their product offering.

They’ve kept the brand flexible so that they can broaden into other snack markets. Tortyrrells, for example, is their offering to fill the popular tortilla market, and they also have branched into popcorn.

Sticking to what you do best is fine and definitely a play-safe option. But sometimes, a well-planned bold move can be all the difference when you’re trying to achieve growth.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got”

What’s in it for you?

What can you take away from Tyrrells as a successful brand?

  • Don’t lose your sense of humour. Consumers see advertising ‘noise’ all day every day, and do everything they can to turn it off. Using humour and a refreshingly light-hearted approach will get you results ;
  • Is your advertising working? Just because everyone else is using expensive advertising doesn’t mean that you have to. In fact, that may be the reason not to. Look carefully at your advertising spend and see if you can find a cheaper route to greater results. A non-saturated channel such as direct mail might just help you achieve results;
  • Expand your reach. The global market has never been more accessible, and some are arguing that British businesses need to do more to promote themselves overseas. Research your target market thoroughly because it’s likely that you’ll need to tweak your product and/or marketing strategy. Or you may be lucky like Tyrrells and not need to at all!
  • Think outside the box. If you’re looking to grow, look at new products affiliated to your existing offering rather than flogging the same thing (Remember the Ansoff matrix?!). Like Tyrrells, you can then sell these new products to your existing, loyal customer base – a comparative easy sell!

Do you know of a brand that is successful? How can you learn from what they do well? Maybe you own or manage a brand and want to share your story. Share your insight with us here…

Sources:,, plus a good dose of my own personal opinions and experiences. This post is written by Simon Besley and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of the company; it’s intended to be a helpful review to dissect what I think the brand does well, and how we can all learn from it.

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Simon Besley

Author Simon Besley

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