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Family businesses. Everyone has heard of them and everyone can probably reel off a few big brands that play on their family credentials. We uncovered many preconceived thoughts consumers have about family brands during the research for our Family Business Report. For instance, more than two-thirds of us believe that a family business is more likely to provide a good service but only six percent believe that family businesses can be high-tech. However, nearly half of us are more likely to buy from a company which markets itself as a family brand.

We love family brands, that’s why working with them is an area of our expertise. Here are five of our favourite British family brands and how they use their family background in their communications strategies, including a couple you may not have known were even family owned.

Specsavers

Did you know that Specsavers was a family brand? Specsavers has been owned by husband and wife duo Douglas and Mary Perkins since its formation in 1984. It has grown to become a billion pound, global, company – something which may not first spring to mind when you think of a family brand. Specsavers doesn’t use the fact that it is a family owned company in its marketing, but it also doesn’t necessarily need to. The strapline “should’ve gone to Specsavers” is clearly working for this family run company on its own.

Dyson

Dyson Ltd was established by James Dyson in 1991. As a British technology firm designing and manufacturing household appliances, Dyson definitely busts the misconception that family businesses aren’t high-tech. James Dyson’s son became the heir to the firm when he joined the senior ranks of the company back in 2015, but despite this, the Dyson brand doesn’t ever reference its family run background in its marketing and ad campaigns. Instead, it chooses to focus on its engineering prowess, and that’s most likely a conscious decision. As our research has proven, consumers are less likely to associate a family business with being high-tech, so instead of focussing on something which could stop prospective customers purchasing from Dyson, it focuses on its strengths – technology.

Warburtons

The family owned bread company was first established when husband and wife, Thomas and Ellen Warburton, bought a small grocery store in Bolton in 1876. Over the years and through the generations the business has grown to be the biggest bread brand in the UK, ahead of non-family owned Kingsmill and Hovis. It is also the second-best selling food and drink brand in the UK - second to American giant Coca-Cola. Warburtons’ rich family heritage is easy to identify as the company heavily uses its family run and family owned background throughout its marketing. Its strapline is “family is at the heart of our business”, and its new ad campaign, starring Peter Kay, tells a love story that started the family bakery business 141 years ago.

Aspall Cyder

Aspall Cyder is certainly a family brand as its currently run by the eighth generation of its founders. First established in 1728, the Chevallier family began distilling its Cyder at Aspall Hall in Suffolk - where they are still distilling to this day. The family has honed their skills for their craft and has even diversified to also produce vinegars and apple juice. True to what we perceive about family brands, Aspall Cyder provides a quality product and expert craftmanship which the company uses in its marketing. After all, aren’t you more likely to buy a product from a family which has been making an award-winning version for eight generations?

Origin

Founded by cousins, Neil Ginger and Victoria Brocklesby, back in 2002, Origin puts its family run ethos into the heart of the company. Sixteen years later, it is the UK’s leading specialist manufacturer of bespoke aluminium bi-folding doors and windows, operating across the world. Although still retaining its family run philosophy, Origin doesn’t use its family run history within their marketing campaigns, instead they focus on their outstanding product, unrivalled design and gold standard of service.

The family business brand is a concept that we are all familiar with but it’s surprising how many firms make the conscience decision to not reference it in their marketing. Using the family brand as a selling point works and our research shows this, however this depends on what the company is offering. Like Dyson, if the company is technology based it is probably better to not focus on the family brand aspect in marketing. This is because the consumer is less likely to buy it based on the misconception that family brands are only small and local. But if, like Warburtons or Aspall Cyder, the product is a craftmanship perfected over the generations, then it is a key selling point to consumers – as our research proves. To read the full Family Business report for free click here.

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