Bright future for Rosie Nieper

Having acquired the Rosie Nieper t-shirt business in September
2008, educational toys and games mailer BrightMinds wasted no
time in giving the catalogue a redesign for its November mailing.

Rosie Nieper markets a range of t-shirts via its catalogue and
website as well as through a growing wholesale business. Trading
since 1996, the business grew to peak sales approaching £1.2
million. But founders Rosie and Tony Nieper, a husband-and-wife
team, “got to an age where they wanted to sell, so we
answered an ad,” said Alison Quill, founder and managing
director of BrightMinds, when asked how the acquisition came

All Rosie Nieper operations have transferred from London to
BrightMinds’ main office in Radstock, Somerset, although none of
the staff made the move. One Rosie Nieper employee did help train
BrightMinds staff with regards to the products, however, and the
Niepers remain in a consultancy capacity-“passing on their
many years of knowledge,” said Quill, such as “when a
t-shirt is funny and when it is crude!”

Out with the old

Immediately following the acquisition, BrightMinds’ priority was
to better showcase the product range, then rebrand the catalogue
and get it in the post. Even before the acquisition was complete,
Quill had sounded out her incumbent design agency,
Catalogues4Business, to enquire about timescales, as “we
had no time to spare”. Once she was able to disclose her
true intentions, the agency was on board to redesign the brand,
and the new catalogue was mailed the first week of November.

Quill was apparently eager to give the catalogue more of a
personality, said Catalogues4Business managing director Ian
Simpson. “The crucial thing with the old catalogue was its
lack of lifestyle shots. Alison was also keen to inject a sense
of fun, so we organised a one-day photo shoot with photographer
Adrian Wroth and a couple of professional models. We also roped
in several of Adrian’s neighbours and their kids.”

The photos hit the mark, Simpson said: “The Harley in the
cover shot is Adrian’s, and the ‘biker’ is his assistant. It
turned out to be the best shot of the day and really summed up
where Alison wants to take the catalogue.”

Simpson also worked to improve the catalogue’s eye flow and use
of hot spots, cross-sell opportunities and dot whacks. The logo
was redesigned as well, “to give the brand more strength
and better reflect the proposition,” he explained.
“The result is a far more cohesive catalogue with a greater
sense of fun, which reflects the products. The redesign is also a
bit quirky and slightly ‘retro’ in feel, particularly with the
choice of typefaces and the border around the spread.”

With the overhaul Quill hopes to grow Rosie Nieper’s sales to
£1 million in the first full year under BrightMinds’
auspices. And Rosie Nieper appears to have been just the first on
Quill’s “hit list” of potential acquisitions.

“Over recent times, we have invested significantly in
premises and systems to give us the infrastructure to bolt on
complementary businesses,” she said. “Thus far, the
integration of the Rosie Nieper brand has been virtually
seamless, and we certainly see this as the way forward to
building a stable of solid, independent brands all operating
under the same roof.”

Published: 24th November 2008


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