All posts by Tim Miller

A Brand-New Powerhouse in European Retail Marketing

Two of the foremost retail marketing agencies have joined forces to create an exciting new company to manage their global clients in Europe as well as offering European brands and retailers access to a suite of global retail services.

The Valley Group is one of Europe’s premier retail agencies, and US based Outform have joined forces after collaborating on several global projects, to form Outform Valley Ltd.

Integrating the two teams, infrastructure, and distribution into one operation, will provide the European market with global reach and cost effective retail, innovation and retail technology services. The group’s mission is to become a leading global retail agency by providing clients who seek multiregional end-to-end support with a dedicated partner.

“We’re seeing that brands and retailers are confronted with obstacles when it comes to creating a consistent experience in retail across regions. At the same time businesses are moving towards smaller internal teams committed to channel marketing, and are looking for partners that can provide a full suite of dedicated retail services. By offering global and local capabilities we’re able to maintain consistent shopper experiences on a large scale. There’s a huge opportunity here, which is why we’re expanding our presence,” said Ariel Haroush, CEO of Outform.

The Valley Group’s 125 years of experience, combined with Outform’s agency heritage and global production capabilities will offer clients truly comprehensive and unparalleled shopper marketing, manufacturing and print services. With enhanced reach and support, Outform Valley can empower global brands and retailers with greater control over product launches, brand compliance, and retail distribution.

“With the world of retail constantly changing and the need to deliver a better-connected experience for the consumer we will provide an easily accessible multi-platform resource for our clients. Combining capabilities and years of experience, enables us to offer the best quality, competitive pricing, and guaranteed results. We provide solutions to every vertical, whatever their needs may be,” said James Haggas, the new Managing Director of Outform Valley, Mr. Haggas will oversee strategic growth in client relations and operations.

Outform Valley offers shopper marketing strategy, creative, mass and bespoke production, and installation for temporary, semi-permanent, permanent P-O-P, and full scale shop-in-shop creations. The agency services all sectors of the market and guarantees total program management to clients.

In conjunction with expanded production services, the merger of The Valley Group with Outform bolsters the group’s existing shopper insights division enabling dedicated management of market research and retail planning to North American, Asian, and European markets. The merging of The Valley Group and Outform reinforces plans for growth with a vision to become the global leader in retail marketing.
Find out more at www.outform.com

About Outform Inc.
Established in 2003, Outform has sites in Miami, San Francisco, Shenzhen, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, and London. The agency is one of the industry’s most advanced manufacturers of retail solutions and technology.

About The Valley Group.
Founded in Yorkshire, The Valley Group has been in business for 125 years. The company has focused on offering retail marketing services to Europe’s leading brands and advertising agencies and has offices throughout Europe.

Gillette

What do you get when 200 employees from different teams are designing and producing packaging, signage and POS without a streamlined process or brand oversight?

Duplicated work, loss of brand integrity and a lot of wasted money. In fact, when the Gillette team did the sums, it was estimated that a solution could save P&G over €30 million in one year alone.

Our web-based, tablet friendly management system allowed users to access predefined, brand-approved templates. Pre-defined copy, barcodes, legal blurb and other assets were loaded so users could drag, drop and save files. We also developed an approval routing system, all pre-defined by each user’s role within the organisation. The most impressive feature was a send-to-printer function whereby an approved file would be assigned an item code and sent to the printer. The printer reconciled the code, tied it back to the pre-approved assets and produced and shipped the item in question.

All of this delivered in 90 days, presented to P&Gs executive committee and given the green light for further funding and development.

Sony

We’ve worked with PlayStation since the launch of the PS4 console in November 2013.  Supporting the launch with pan-European qualitative and quantitative research, we engaged with shoppers at store level to gauge their reaction to the in-store PS4 experience.

The aim was to find out whether it matched the buzz, excitement and anticipation created by other media used in the run-up to launch. We now work with PlayStation on pan-European campaigns, covering all the key disciplines: insights, research and planning, idea generation, conceptual design, campaign toolkits, copywriting, asset generation, artworking, production and fulfilment.

Silver Cross

Silver Cross is one of the world’s leading nursery brands. A nursery specialist founded in Yorkshire in 1877, it remains famous for its coach built baby carriages.

With Valley as a long-standing and trusted partner, our two family-owned businesses have together delivered a retail presence that draws on the renowned and prestigious history of the brand, whilst ensuring that every expectation of today’s fully-informed, retail-savvy shopper is exceeded at the point of sale.

Thomas Sabo

Situated within premium retailers nationwide, Thomas Sabo desired an in store presence to reflect their core brand values with the ability to present a vast array of disparate products through both traditional and digital routes.

Valley designed a concept which draws on the company’s values, offering creativity, simplicity and elegance synonymously.

KAO

KAO appointed us as their lead shopper marketing agency in 2012. Working exclusively for the John Frieda brand our partnership has seen John Frieda strive to re position themselves as a premium haircare brand.

By taking a strategic approach to the retail space, and carefully planning around category and wider media touch points we have supported John Frieda throughout their recent transformation. We pride ourselves in looking after all aspect of the shopper journey for John Frieda, from managing retail relationships, insight, design ideation, retail design and more recently effective and results driven experiential work.

HP

Valley were chosen to design a concept that would be used to reformat 112 new stores and ultimately differentiate HP from the competition. Each module was formed to ensure that the needs of different shoppers across the shopper journey are taken into account. The result was a design concept that not only differentiates HP from competitors, but also utilises a distinct brand identity leveraging the best of execution references from the HP family.

Microsoft

Valley have been commissioned by Microsoft for a number of POS and in store projects over the years. Perhaps most notably, Valley India were chosen to design, manufacture and install display units nationwide.

The company began by gaining insight from a shopper perspective making full use of the information and expertise provided by The Shopper Agency.  Valley’s precision, unparalleled experience and knowledge of the market led to perfectly executed projects, on-time, on-budget, on-brand. 

This experience has also been demonstrated for Microsoft in a number of other projects. POS units were designed and created for Xbox 360 and work by Valley’s subsidiary The Shopper Agency enabled Microsoft to get fantastic standout in Argos over Christmas, ultimately aiding their 24% sales growth.

Beats

EMEA Retail implementation for Beats
1109 retail stores across 16 retail fascia’s throughout Europe and growing. Valley was given the opportunity and delivered one of the largest projects of its kind and is continuing to make this a success.

Below are some the retailers we visit most weeks

Dixons Retail – UK
Dixons Travel – UK, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark
HMV – UK
FNAC – France
Boulanger – France
Media Markt – Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Russia, Greece, Sweden
Saturn – Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg
Vodafone – Germany
Media World – Italy
SGM – Italy
Worten – Portugal
Migros – Switzerland
Manor – Switzerland
Expert – Norway
Elkjop – Norway
Musica – South Africa

LG

Over 10 years of experience working with LG

Over the years  we have delivered many successful programs from full stores to shop-in-shop environments to simple POS. All projects have had one thing in common – to increase ROI and engagement with the brand.

Akzo Nobel

Manufactured for more than 80 years, Dulux paint has an enviable and established reputation for quality with homemakers.

Dash – the first Dulux dog – makes his debut in a black & white advert in 1961 and The Dulux dog Spud celebrated his 50th anniversary in 2011. The Dulux brand values remain true to its founding principles: Inspiring, Uplifting, Authentic and above all a trusted friend that can be relied on for every occasion.

For over 10 years Valley have been upholding these principles and taking the Dulux message to the shopper in the highly competitive DIY and trade sectors. By bringing colour to life and by establishing itself as a ‘decorating partner’ the Dulux approach enables the brand to demonstrate that it is there to help consumers at each stage as they transform their home.

Valley helps ensure that the message is delivered loud and clear at retail.

Dixons

Valley have worked with Dixons Retail Duty Free team to develop, build and install new furniture (tables and wall units) in Heathrow T5 and Gatwick. These stores have been labelled Dixon’s ‘stores of the future’ by their CEO.

Senior Creative

We are currently looking for a Senior Creative to join us and craft award winning, innovative work. You should be an integrated thinker with digital/ interactive knowledge and the ability to develop our current offerings, capitalising on the core skills of the wider team. This is a senior role which will act as a number 2. to our Creative Director so confidence and leadership skills are as important as conceptual creative skills. 

Junior Creative Artworker

Our Milan offices are currently looking for a Junior Creative Artworker with a distinct creative flair. You will take artwork briefs direct from the client and therefore the role demands a consistent and accurate approach to layout and design, in order to fulfil the brief within agreed timescales. The role requires taking personal responsibility for client liaison on allocated jobs and therefore efficient time management is an important requirement. 

View all vacancies in Milan

SEO Account Executive

Valley are looking for an SEO Account Executive to support the SEO Manager in managing search programs and providing recommendations to optimise web content and other materials. The role also involves performing technical audits, analysing, reporting and providing insights based on performance metrics. As such, an in-depth understanding and genuine interest in online marketing and search marketing is preferred. 

Digital Agency Creative Lead

This position requires a creative thought leader who will develop advertising communications across Valley’s subsidiary businesses. The role involves collaborating with the Creative Director as well as agencies such as The Shopper Agency in order to develop creative digital plans and manage implementation and execution of digital plans and concepts. The role places a strong emphasis on digital solutions and therefore, an in depth knowledge of online platforms and tools is required.  

Digital Innovation Manager

The role of Digital Innovation Manager involves identifying and developing new initiatives to enhance existing digital products of business ideas. Development occurs through both research and ideation workshops with colleagues, and therefore, as Digital Innovation Manager, you should offer a strong understanding of emerging technologies and digital trends. Proven experience in a wide range of technical positions is preferred, as is experience in leading projects and participating in ideation workshops. 

Senior Client Executive

A senior client executive works to successfully maintain, develop and grow at least one strategically important client. The role involves aiding managers to establish relationships with potential clients, and ultimately manage projects in order to exceed client expectations and maintain long term partnerships. The ideal candidate will be self motivated and ambitious with a well rounded knowledge of the retail marketing world, and the ability to effectively build strong, lasting relationships in a culturally diverse environment. 

PR & Marketing Executive

Valley Chicago are looking for a PR and Marketing Executive with at least 3 years experience in the field. Are you an ambitious self-starter with experience in executing successful PR and marketing campaigns that yield tangible results? Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and dealing with lots of different departments, including senior leadership teams? And finally, are you creative with stringent attention to detail and have excellent writing and storytelling skills? If so, You’ve come to the right place!

View all vacancies in Chicago

Creative Director

Valley’s New York office are looking for a Creative Director to create and lead brilliant work that inspires our clients and employees. You will work in conjunction with the senior management team and will oversea the idea generation on major projects and pitches. You should be able to demonstrate an impressive track record of delivering innovative ideas in a creative agency and show a diverse range of brand experience with a strong portfolio and passion for all things design. 

View all vacancies in New York

A word from Kate

I broke the internet?…

The ongoing lovefest with the Kardashians and crew continues – a summer of Glasto, Cait and oil slicked derriere’s. The truth is though, as many UK multi channel businesses fail to prepare – you might experience a bit of Internet breakage yourself… or a website, at least…or in my case, my tablet out of sheer frustration!

I was born for Internet shopping, despite having a quite ‘hippy-heart’ – the ease, slickness and speed allow me to “multitask” in an airport lounge, back of a cab, or calm myself when I wake from slumber to remember I need an astronaut replica outfit, aged 6, for Friday. 

I am a champion for a real life, retail experience, and save myself for the good stuff out of work. The places where it’s a joy to shop. But, day to day, awkward to find, and high demand times – eg Christmas – I’m a big online fan. When it’s done right… So, as I speed from seminar to my next client, the only way for me to benefit from sale shopping is via my mobile, online.

With a big shopping list, I visit 5 National retailers and try to order. A couple of sites are ‘ok’ – they have annoying glitches – eg allowing you to browse, select and ‘add to basket’ before telling me it’s out of stock.  A further site seems to have some menu ‘ mash-up’ problem where it’s search facility becomes random – I presume due to sale traffic. The final two websites are so bad, I feel I have gone back in time.

They throw me out of the site, freeze and empty my basket – is it Black Friday all over again? Hours later, then days later, I manage to place some orders – which I will live to regret. Over the following weeks we experience orders that never arrive, items cancelled – but no funds returned, a bit of fraud from one of the courier companies who took a shine to our items, and nearly a month later – still awaiting goods and refunds.

Of course, I have experience in the retail world and can stand up for my rights – but what about those who can’t. Investigating how many customers have taken to social media and forums about similar experiences with the same retailers – I find the complaints are in abundance.

Every year, the cost to the UK businesses due to poor customer service, grows. Is it really acceptable to survive as a business on a ‘take now’ culture? The wise brands ?know it’s not. Take a look at the new Harvey Nichols Rewards programme. It’s smart, intelligent and it shows appreciation at every spend level. Allowing the customer to sit in the driving seat, they can customise their own rewards, get daily benefits like free coffees and smoothies, and link in their instagram.

It’s the companies that celebrate and love their customers that will survive and thrive. So instead of breaking the Internet this summer, let’s go back to those hippy days and make it a ‘summer of love’.

Our CEO Speaks

Hi it’s my pleasure to welcome you to our new website.

I would like to introduce you to my business, a group of retail marketing specialists working together to achieve the best possible results. Valley is now over 120 years old, started by my great grandfather and to this day still continues to lead the way.

Today we offer a fully integrated service from on-line to off-line, allowing us to engage the shopper on every step along their journey.
Take a look around to discover a little bit more about us.

James Haggas
CEO

The Valley Story

The name behind the world’s leading companies

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Talent Spotting Valley Style

Valleys passionate about recruitment.

Valley knows that one of its most important and valuable assets are its people. They provide the energy, foresight and passion to help drive the business forward. Creative thinkers, technical geniuses and those with the dedication for hard work who have the confidence to stick their head above the parapet with new suggestions are not only welcomed but positively encouraged at Valley.

Many people have long distinguished careers at Valley, as we provide the platform for growth and personal development across anyone of our businesses, in Europe, India and the United States. If you have a talent and the ambition to really make a difference within this exciting and vibrant industry then send in your details and lets have a chat.

It could be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Valley Smart Thinking

Over many years Valley has created a culture and set of principles that is at the very heart of everything we do each and every day – Valley Smart Thinking.

By using combined intelligent thinking and commercial awareness by some of the most talented individuals in the industry, across all aspects of our business, we look at your project to provide you with sound, honest and impartial advice. We analyse your brief and business challenges, we seek understanding of your stakeholder pressure points, we simplify the complicated and, with brilliant strategy and breakthrough creative, provide compelling solutions that help deliver commercial success and growth for your brand.

We can also apply this approach to existing client designs and ensure that every aspect is looked at for potential improvements in both creative integrity and commercial delivery to help improve your brands BUY MOMENT.

This intelligent approach saved one international brand whose existing designs we looked at, over €500,000 on a 3 year EMEA rollout plan.

For more information why not get in touch

What People Say

Valley is a business built on exceptional service and value. We strive to deliver excellence throughout our company and place the highest value on the unique and rewarding relationships we build with our clients.

We take time to nurture and develop these relationships on the solid foundations of trust, integrity and a thorough understanding of their needs. Whether our clients are looking for innovative solutions or need ideas about new technologies or sources of expertise, we are on hand to provide insight and advice.

Valley advocates have always been our greatest advert. A Valley client is a happy client.

Creative Design

We’re shaping retail futures by creating compelling creative ideas that resonate with shopping audiences across the globe.

With our creative hubs spread worldwide we are ideally positioned to understand shopper influences, local cultures and audiences giving great foundations to our creative solutions.

Communicating to shoppers in retail through brilliant creative ideas has been central to the Valley Group’s thinking for over 30 years. We combine innovation with creativity to execute ideas that shape brands and retailers in how they communicate with their shoppers.

Check out some of the brilliant brands we have worked with HERE

Develop & Manufacture

Manufacturers of In-store displays. Valley’s ‘Smart Thinking’ philosophy continues right through everything we do, including the development & manufacturing of In-store display solutions.

Here our highly experienced and talented teams work together to ensure that both quality and commercial goals are achieved and, unsurprisingly, in many cases exceeded. Rigorous testing, 3D printing and prototyping procedures are followed, guaranteeing ‘right first time’ production with deadlines being met no matter how challenging.

A seamless process guaranteeing our clients speed to market.

Find out more about Valley’s ‘Smart Thinking’ HERE

Creative Hubs

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Blacks

Our relationship with Blacks started with an assessment of their existing retail furniture. From this we applied our Smart Thinking philosophy to ascertain what was needed to revitalise the look and feel of this store estate.

With insight in hand we set about designing, developing and delivering what is seen in store today – a retail space that has refreshed the brand and delivered promising new levels of performance. 

Steve White, Group Marketing Director, wrote:
“As always, it’s great to work with a proactive, forward thinking company. It makes life easier. Valley certainly know about the shopper and the retail environment, and execute each project to a great standard.”