PA Life speaks to Andy Poar, Managing Director of personalised edible gifts company Eat My Logo…
Tell us about the background to the company.
Eat My Logo is a family-run business run by myself and my wife Ruth. The business came about by accident, really. About six years ago, Ruth had a celebration cake shop on the High Street in Chorley, Lancashire. We did birthday cakes, celebration cakes, etc, and we used to be able to print onto rice paper. Somebody came in one day and asked if we could make some cupcakes with their business logo on for an event.
Ruth came home and told me, and I thought it sounded interesting. And so we did a little bit of research and realised that this concept, whilst it already existed, it was very much a sideline to consumer propositions, and everything was very local. You couldn’t really buy anything on a national basis. So, we came up with the name, Eat My Logo, and launched a website. And to be honest, it just went a bit bonkers – the business just exploded. We went from a little cake shop on the High Street in Chorley to a nine thousand square foot bakery now. And we’ve just completed our biggest ever order, which was 165,000 Easter egg shaped biscuits for a client. It’s been quite an interesting journey!
What would you say is the biggest part of your business in terms of what people are buying your products for? Is it for incentives or rewards or corporate gifting?
It’s all of those things really. But there’s one common theme in terms of why people buy these types of products and we wrap it under the slogan ‘Treat, Reward, Celebrate’. If you’re looking to treat your own staff or customers or celebrate something – whether it’s a product launch, a business birthday or people hitting a target – generally people buy cake type products when they want to treat, reward and celebrate.
It’s different to, say, giving somebody a promotional mug. That’s a long-term thing that sits on somebody’s desk. Our products are different, they are still promotional merchandise item but they have a different effect on the recipient. We find that the response to receiving something edible creates a really positive goodwill feeling towards the brand and lasts long in the memory.
They are also really good tools for promoting social media activity if you use the ‘Tweet Before You Eat’ principle. If somebody gives you a pen, you’re not likely to take a picture of it and put it on social media, but something edible gets a different response especially if you encourage the recipient to share it. Some businesses give a prize for the best or funniest picture of someone eating the cake or biscuit and people really get into it generating all sorts of extra social media coverage. You can create a fun with our products from that perspective.
But what is interesting is that around 60 per cent of our sales are what we call ‘internal marketing’ – companies buying our products to give to their own staff. For example, we work with a company that buys a box of cupcakes for every new starter and that sits on their desk for when they come in. On another level, we made 65,000 cupcakes in October for Amazon’s staff on Amazon Prime Day, so that every single member of staff in their depots around the UK got a cupcake on that day. We also worked with Sky on its 30th birthday. Everyone – 30,000 people in their business had a Sky cupcake on the day of the birthday. So that internal promotion is something that’s really, is a really big part of our business.
How have things changed during the pandemic?
There has been a big change in the last year because pre-COVID everything was generally going out in large boxes of cakes, biscuits, donuts to one or multiple locations. Since COVID we’re spending loads of time putting one thing in a box and sending it to hundreds of locations because people are sending items to home workers. We are noticing some of the pre-covid type enquiries coming through, but I think people are still trying to work out what the ‘new normal’ will be.
Have you seen more of that sort of activity with employers looking to support and reward their staff during lockdown?
Yes, hugely. Whilst there are many benefits to being home-based, when employees are away from the hub of that business it’s hard to be close to it culturally.
And when everyone’s workforces became very disparate, businesses still wanted a way of keeping those people together. So, if they’ve got a particular monthly Zoom meeting, they want to send something out to people.
One client has a quarterly Zoom seminar with all of their agents around the country, about 250 of them in UK and Ireland. They’re always looking for something different to do. This time we did an activity pack for them where they got a piece a large brownie, some decorating icing, loads of sprinkles, and a branded printed icing disc with a logo on. They used it all as part of that seminar to get everybody to make their own products and decorate their own products. That went down a storm and the feedback from the attendees was brilliant.
What’s your most popular line?
Pre-COVID, cupcakes were probably 40 per cent of what we do. And it’s still probably the thing people think of first. Then biscuits were probably 35 per cent of our sales – standard ones, but we also did lots of shaped biscuits as well. We’ve done jigsaw pieces, camels, cars, rockets, taxis. As long as it’ll hold together as a biscuit, we can do something with it and we can produce those very, very efficiently.
And then we have other products such as doughnuts, cake-pops, millionaire, cake jars and brownies which are very popular.
Since COVID we now have a broad postal range. It made us become very innovative in terms of what we do. One of the key things was getting everything into a box that can be posted. In terms of what’s been the most popular product since COVID, it’s things like our letterbox Brownies and letterbox biscuits.
And what would you say has been your most unusual or maybe most impressive delivery?
I suppose the most impressive is the order we have just fulfilled for the 165,000 biscuits – that we had literally four weeks’ notice to fulfil. We had to triple our workforce overnight. But we got it done and delivered on time and everything went down really well. So that was a really good test for us as to how we can react to something as a business.
In terms of quirky, we’re asked for all sorts of strange things. For example, earlier this year somebody wanted a box of four cupcakes going out, but with a little cactus plant in with the cupcakes. We are always up for a challenge and will do our best to provide something that fits their brief.
Another good example is a project we did a couple of years ago for Transport for Greater Manchester. They told us they were celebrating ‘opening up the last piece of the Manchester Tram Network’ and wanted to give everyone getting off the tram a cupcake. We suggested that maybe people wouldn’t want to take a cupcake at six or seven o’clock in the morning – someone you can’t really put in your bag – and so we ended up making jigsaw-shaped biscuits for them branded with their logo and the words ‘celebrating the last piece of our jigsaw’.
What sort of prices are PAs be looking at if they want to order cake or biscuits for their teams?
Our products are competitively priced and we offer a lot of flexibility so you can buy at low volumes of just a few cupcakes, or we can provide tens of thousands for larger nationwide projects. We always try to understand what the project is for and establish client’s budget so we can tailor something that is just right for them.
To find out more about Eat My Logo, visit www.eatmylogo.co.uk