Henkel is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Adhesives & Sealants. In the UK, Henkel dominates the category in both the DIY and craft adhesives sectors, with brands such as Loctite, UniBond, Solvite, Sellotape and Pritt.
Since winning the contract with Henkel in 2018, Logobrand ran a team of part-time heads, supported by a team of tactical merchandisers.
Logobrand delivered strong results in both strategic and tactical activity for Henkel and were well-placed to secure a new contract for 2020. We expanded the team, appointing a new National Field Manager to recruit, train and oversee a larger field team for Henkel. In January and February 2020, we undertook extensive planning for a large conference to be held on April 1. We aimed to launch a new strategy with specialist training to transform our team into true brand ambassadors.
However, the coronavirus pandemic had other ideas. DIY stores closed completely. A proportion of employees were furloughed, due to either shielding or self-isolating. Consequently, all store visits supporting DIY channels were suspended, and the launch of our new team was postponed several times.
As restrictions eased and retail stores re-opened, it soon became clear that things would not be returning to normal for some time. Our plans to hold face-to-face training and an in-person engagement conference for the new strategic large scale field team of merchandisers had to be cancelled.
We were faced with a challenge, as we could not simply double our headcount and send them into stores without adequate training. This required a new way of connecting with the field team, and we knew time was of the essence.
If the pandemic highlighted anything, it was the importance of digital technology in our world. Logobrand always invest heavily in our people, systems and technology, with video hardware and technology to support our ground-breaking, and bespoke, in-house online e-learning system.
Technology allowed us to break down the barriers of in-person contact raised by the pandemic and was essential to drive our project with Henkel to great success. We arranged a virtual conference to be broadcast online, professional filming in stores and of Henkel’s development labs, as well as Henkel brand introductions and a KPI/incentives piece.
For some time now, we have been providing video activity briefs and client webinars, alongside field and head office e-learning modules. However, this would be our first full virtual conference to be broadcast online and there was a lot to disseminate to the team, including:
Henkel outlined an initial plan: a live hosted event taking place over a full day, delivered by Henkel’s sales and marketing teams providing commentary over pre-prepared slides.
Despite many of us in the corporate world typically working eight hours a day, sitting chairs in front of a computer screen, we knew this approach would not be at all suitable for our in-store team, who are accustomed to working out in the field.
Therefore, it was key for the conference to be engaging and punchy, as well as informative and motivational. We had just the people for the job – Our Field Capability Manager with a talent for theatrics, and our in house videographer, a budding Steven Spielberg.
We gained special permission for our filming team to enter Henkel’s development labs at Winsford, which were, at the time, closed to all except a few authorised Henkel employees. This gave our team the opportunity to meet Henkel’s R&D mastermind and see Henkel products in action, including some dramatic examples in the test lab, such as slamming hammers against newly adhered objects, bouncing a bowling ball stuck to elastic tubing and even turning a man upside down with his feet glued to the floor.
Of course, all filming had to be done under strict social distancing guidelines and adhering to COVID-19 prevention protocols, and we were grateful to retailer stores who allowed us to visit and film outside of trading times.
We advised Henkel that, although there was a lot of information to convey, we were confident that it would be achievable in three hours. Using video, as opposed to slides and commentary, cut down the time, as the majority would be pre-recorded– not only the lab and in-store content, but also the Henkel/brands introduction and KPIs/incentives piece.
This would leave just the welcome and linking segments to be transmitted live on the day from Logobrand HO, and hosted in a socially-distanced manner. The Account Team would also be able to handle any resulting questions and answers, which could be added in the chat box in the hosting application.
The team were sent a substantial sample pack containing key Henkel products so they could join with the touch and feel as we talked about them on screen, assisting with immersion in the event.
We recorded the conference to be hosted on our YouTube channel. This facilitated any future team recruitment, and meant that team members unable to make the live stream could catch up another time.
This virtual conference has been a gift that keeps on giving. Our high-quality training was so effective that we decided to repurpose recorded video content for use on Logobrand’s e-learning system. We can select elements that will be most beneficial as training modules for team members, as well as supplying content to Henkel to train colleagues internally.
Additionally, holding the conference virtually cut costs by 50%, compared with holding an in-person event.
Finally, Logobrand won TWO silver awards in the prestigious industry FMBE Awards for our excellent success with the virtual conference – including the Connectivity Award and Virtual Events & Demos Award. We were placed higher than bigger brands, such as Phillips and Coca Cola.
Henkel have sung our praises ever since, summarising their experience with us as the following:
“Merchandising is a key piece in our activation plan to ensure we have excellent execution.
Due to COVID-19 and store closures, we were glad to restart merchandising and wanted to ensure the merchandisers had all necessary knowledge and tools to kick-start implementing our new strategy, and work as brand ambassadors to our strong brands.
Together with Logobrand, we decided we must launch our new strategy virtually and wanted to ensure the content is engaging, memorable and also reusable even after the live conference.
Thanks to Logobrand’s skilled team, this conference was delivered with a passionate, capable and professional way. The content was beyond our expectations and the materials have also been used internally at Henkel for own product training.
We are certain that thanks to this virtual conference, we now have a highly engaged and excited merchandising team who promote Henkel brands in our top retailers.“
Head of Category Marketing – Henkel Consumer Adhesives