My most successful marketing campaign: Uri Mizrahi

Our Virgin StartUp mentors have a wealth of experience when it comes to a huge range of industries. Many have coordinated global campaigns, taken an unknown product and turned it into a successful one, or found a way to get people talking about their business when they needed to get resourceful. So we decided to ask a few about the secrets behind their most successful marketing campaigns.

Uri Mizrahi is the founder of Bagel Nash, a bagel chain based mainly around the North of England. Here he talks about his most successful campaign, and how it paid off!


What has been your most successful marketing campaign to date?

Looking back, I will always remember a marketing campaign campaign we initiated in 1998. As a small bagel manufacturer, based in a 1,000 sq.ft production unit, we decide to try and break out nationally and target the major multiples after establishing our brand in and around Leeds. We booked a small stand at the Food & Drink Exhibition and decided to back it up with a very daring advertising campaign. We reserved a full colour page in the pre-show issue of The Grocer's Magazine featuring our brand and products. For a start up business this was a very brave move, as at the time only major brands used to take full pages. At the show, we generated so much interest and managed to secure a number of new national accounts, including a major supermarket chain.

What do you think made it so successful?

The impact of the full page projected an image of a big and bold brand with a great product and tons of confidence. It gave the brand the exposure required to be noticed, and customers related to that and felt safe doing business with us. It was however critical to have a great product and ensure that we could meet any future demand in terms of logistics and production capacity.

Where did the idea come from?

As a startup and regular reader of The Grocer's magazine at the time, I was always impressed with these major brands who could pay for big ads. Building the business from scratch, I always aimed high and wanted to lead and become a big brand.

How did you plan it?

As the exhibition stand was very expensive, we knew we had to back this outlay with a marketing campaign to make an impact. It was a case of: 'Can we afford it? So why not do it'.

What were the long-term impacts?

The long term impact was that we managed to become overnight a nationally known brand within the trade, and later developed to become a major player in Europe exporting bagels to over 20 countries worldwide. A week after the show we had an approach to sell the business, an offer we declined. We did exit the business in 2011 when the time was right for us.

What was the top thing you learned from this?

In business (as in life) you've got to have some 'Chutzpah' - or as the saying goes, 'It's not who you are, but who people think you are'.

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