As a fixture of the Midlands manufacturing scene for nearly 40 years, large packaging specialist S Lester Packing Materials have provided countless packaging solutions for an ever-growing number of customers. They’ve been constantly growing and expanding, whether that’s moving to larger premises, taking on more team members, or investing in the latest state-of the art technology.
Things aren’t slowing down, either. Even dealing with the impacts of both Brexit and COVID-19, the company has continued to grow — and the owners feel that now is the perfect time to reposition the company for the future.
The first thing to change is the name. From now on, the business will be known simply as Lesters. It’s a simple change, but when coupled with a new corporate identity and brand strategy that’s been developed over a period of several months, you can begin to see how even that small change can make a big difference.
So why now? According to Billy Hutchinson, Director, it was time for the external image of the business to reflect the work that’s been going on inside the company for a while now.
“We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years and during that time we’ve never stood still,” he says. “However, the last two years has seen us really push forward with our growth plans. We’ve invested heavily in our site, technology and people to create improved capability, capacity and efficiency. We made a significant investment in new machinery, installing a state-of -the-art TCY Jumbo casemaker which really elevated our production capability to a new level. We’ve also spent time creating a support team that has some of the most knowledgeable and experienced people in the packaging industry.”
He continues, “We’ve always been a trusted supplier, but these changes have seen us become a viable alternative for larger customers in a world where size and capability matters, and this rebrand only reinforces that position. As well as this focus on internal investment, we’ve also looked to expand our external offering with the recent purchase of our own transport and warehousing companies. Those acquisitions, coupled with our exciting growth plans, were really the catalyst for these changes.”
Scott Hutchinson, Operations Manager, agrees. He says, “Setting ourselves up for the future was one of the key elements of this new strategy. The ability to create a clear group structure, with common goals across the businesses is essential as we continue to grow. But it’s also important to make sure we don’t lose the great parts of what’s made us successful, so we’ve made sure that we carried through all the best parts of what we do into the new brand – and we never forget that the customer is at the heart of it all. We want to challenge the market, but in a way that works for the customer – not to disrupt for the sake of disrupting.”
The new brand strategy sees Lesters positioning themselves as the ‘Large Packaging Specialist’, a move away from simply ‘Big Boxes’. As Billy points out, they provide more than just boxes. He adds, “We’ve always been proud of the innovative design and prototyping facilities that we have, and the way our expert team works with customers to really get to know what they need. We don’t just sell boxes – we offer complete bespoke packaging solutions.”
It also comes with a new brand promise — ‘We Deliver More’ — which is something that drives the business forward. “This is as much an internal message as an external one,” says Steve Trow, Marketing Manager. “It’s what we all focus on and it’s what motivates us every day. We need to be constantly delivering more for the customer – whether that’s more innovation, more value or more efficiency. Creating a new brand strategy isn’t simply a case of changing the logo. It’s about identifying a niche position in the market and then inspiring both customers and colleagues – for now and into the future. We’ve got big plans, and this really sets us up well to make the most of any opportunities that arise.”
Given this new brand strategy, what can we expect to see from Lesters over the coming months? Well, clearly a sustained investment programme and a continued focus on growth. Billy Hutchinson concludes, “We’re an ambitious business with a growing infrastructure and a great team. We’re focussed on thinking bigger, innovating smarter and always delivering more for our customers.”