What’s next for a company that has been established for over 50 years with a relatively strong performance? In any industry, failure to continuously improve and innovate means getting drowned out by competition. SureCatch World did not stop innovating despite its strong distribution network and operations. In a world of sink or swim, they chose to swim by building strong institutions and processes that facilitated capability development.
Business Design: Building Institutions
Streamlining the Brand Portfolio
Since venturing into the fishing tackle business in the 1950s, SureCatch World has built up an extensive brand portfolio, offering many in-house brands and agency brands to the fishing industry. Some brands remained profitable or were on their way to becoming profitable for the company. However, there were specific brands that were starting to decline or were already declining. Consulus did extensive research into historical sales data and trends to determine which brands were generating profit and which were not.
From the results, key recommendations were made to streamline the brand portfolio, maximising recall and optimising allocation of resources into the brands that increases cash flow.
Building an Institution that Lasts
When SureCatch World engaged Consulus, the core objectives were to:
- Set up a strong marketing department
- Develop an institutional marketing framework
In the process of setting up the marketing department, Consulus oversaw the hiring process to ensure that suitable and competent individuals were introduced to the team. Staff were given periodic training and evaluated on a quarterly basis to assess their ability to follow through with initiatives.
Consulus worked with SureCatch to reduce reliance on individuals and more on processes by developing a marketing framework comprising marketing processes, marketing plan and detailed tools. Marketing activities became more structured and not on an ad-hoc basis.
In order to shift the general mindset that marketing only acted as a supporting role, Consulus facilitated a number of discussions involving sales, product development, design and marketing functions. Through such sessions, the workflow between departments were clarified to ensure a smoother implementation of marketing campaigns that tied in with sales and product development efforts.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were also recommended to ensure the different departments (Sales, Product Development and Marketing) knew what to work towards and understood how to improve year after year. On top of that, tools such as a marketing dashboard and a monthly sales report were designed to give the marketing team and management greater insight into individual brand performance.
Integrating Marketing Efforts
To ensure smooth implementation of marketing processes, Consulus worked closely with the marketing team to oversee the execution of initiatives. These included vetting design artworks and copywriting done by the team, monitoring roll-out of online campaigns and meeting third party vendors to carry out new initiatives.
One key area was dealing with sponsorship requests. As SureCatch World receives a number of sponsorship requests periodically, a set of sponsorship evaluation guidelines, checklists and a post-event report template was created to make it easier for the marketing team to assess and approve such requests.
In addition, to ensure that approved sponsorships generated sufficient awareness and goodwill, our consultants brainstormed with the marketing team on creative ways to present the product brands. One such idea that was implemented was the SureCatch photo wall at the Nanyang Fishing Lake Competition in Singapore, organised by Nanyang Technological University Angler’s Club (NTUAC).
To measure the effectiveness of the sponsorship, participant survey forms were issued to collect feedback about the event and usage of the products.
Catchbay: a First-of-its-Kind Retail Experience for Anglers
With the marketing team and processes set up, SureCatch World was equipped with the necessary capabilities for upgrading and improving their retail experience. Along SureCatch World’s branding journey, we identified a gap in the region where products were usually sold in an environment similar to that of a provision shop. Under such a set-up, it was difficult for customers to cut through the clutter to find the best product for themselves and it was difficult to appeal to younger anglers.
Partnering with Consulus, SureCatch World launched a new retail concept for anglers known as Catchbay at their international headquarters. The 3,000 square feet angler-centered retail concept is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and was developed by Consulus in 2011, as part of the company’s strategic plan to offer unique experiences for anglers. Catchbay houses a variety of brands and has a passionate and knowledgeable crew running a technical support area for rod and reel repair advisory.
As the name Catchbay suggests, the space was a place where fishermen come together to find fishing tackle and talk about their “catching” experiences. Representative design features similar to that of a boating yacht – such as light wood paneling, white signage boards and steel finishing – were suggested, to evoke a premium yet comfortable and stable feeling.
Special attention was paid to the retail layout to ensure that customers would have a pleasant experience from the moment they set foot into the store to the moment they exited the store. For instance, products were neatly arranged by product type to streamline the shopper experience. For example, if a shopper was looking for reels, he would find a variety of brands conveniently located in a designated area. Shelves in the middle of the store were also deliberately kept short to lead the shoppers’ eyes all the way to the back of the shop, to elevate the sense of spaciousness and provide a clear view of all products in Catchbay.
During the initial organisational review, we found that customers liked to frequent the shop to relax. A comfortable outdoor area – comprising large umbrellas and deck chairs – was created to to allow patrons to have a drink and share their fishing stories.
Catchbay aims to be an authority in fishing tackle amongst the angling circle. As a result, one of the key features of Catchbay was its dedicated counter that provided anglers with rod and reel repair advisory. This ensured constant engagement with its customers, and helped to maintain certain standards of customer satisfaction.
Catchbay was largely the result of two years of hard work from the SureCatch World marketing team. Through the partnership with Consulus, they were equipped with the right capabilities, talent, and processes, ensuring that the newly set up marketing team would be able to function independently. These efforts eventually paid off for SureCatch World.