Our References


show you the returns our clients gain.

How to integrate national strategies into an international brand structure?


Salinen Austria (salt products)

Testimonial

James Calloway

“We knew we had to streamline our national brands in Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia as well as develop new ones. The pragmatic approach of Velvet Hammer Branding helped us develop national strategies and a vision of how those should integrate into an international brand structure. They shaped our new international brand to improve the profitability for the whole salt category. Our common aim to significantly grow from the consumer end of our business was and continues to be reached.”

Stefan MAIX – CEO of the Salinen Austria salt mining and trading company

Background

The international product portfolio of Salinen Austria was growing more complex and needed streamlining on one side and the development of syngergies on the other.

Tasks

Velvet Hammer Branding was asked to:
  • Establish market analysis and benchmarks for each national market.
  • Propose which brands to drop or replace and which to develop.
  • Develop new brands for different markets.
  • Develop international brands to streamline the portfolio and develop synergies
  • Introduce new consumer relevant categories and lift all markets to higher standards.
  • Develop national implementation plans to get these products onto the shelves.

Strategy and tools

In some cases consumer research was used, but in most cases existing market data was enough to draw a map of consumer behaviour and trends. To lift the salt category, innovative new products and brands were needed.

James Calloway
James Calloway
James Calloway

Results

  • Controversial and losing brands were re-launched and improved.
  • New consumer relevant salt categories were introduced.
  • In all markets the market share of Salinen Austria is growing.
James Calloway

How to grow from a 17 to a 87 gas station network within 2 years?


AVIA Hungary (gas station network)

Testimonial

James Calloway

“AVIA International granted us the freedom to position the AVIA brand according to the Hungarian landscape. After maping the gas station market, Velvet Hammer Branding defined an easy to realize, independent brand essence and strategy. We kept presenting our new brand strategy to potential partners and within 2 years AVIA Hungary grew from 17 to 87 gas stations – what else can I say?”

Zsolt KOVÁCS – president of the AVIA Hungary gas station network

Background

When AVIA Hungary was founded, the international AVIA organisation was asked for brand and business strategy, brand positioning and values. It turned out that every country organization developed its' own.

Tasks

So Velvet Hammer Branding was called in to freely position and develop the AVIA brand according to the Hungarian market situation.

Strategy and tools

The analysis of the Hungarian market situation clearly showed values and positionings that were overcrowded and others that were hardly claimed by any gas brand. It turned out that the AVIA brand could occupy this "no-man's land" even without substantial investments. The result was - that spiced up with values deriving from international bench marking - the AVIA Hungary brand now satisfies Hungarian consumers' most sought out values. All gas station owners received training materials and small rate cards for all their employees which translate and summarize the complex brand strategy into everyday rules to follow.

James Calloway
James Calloway
James Calloway

Results

  • The AVIA Hungary network grew from 17 to 87 gas stations within 2 years.
  • Within 6 years the overall turnover of AVIA Hungary grew by 1485%.
  • AVIA Hungary's gas station network grew to be bigger then Auchan, Metro or Lukoil and is now the 5th largest – behind MOL, Shell, OMV and AGIP.
James Calloway
2007
2009

How to sell 17 times more within 18 months?


Mátratej (dairy products)

Testimonial

James Calloway

“As our marketing director, Zoltán redirected our focus away from low price volume products towards innovative premium products. He also defined our brand essence as “the freshest”. He empowered us to develop innovative products like the "Caucasian Kefir“. That created a whole new category, which - as far as I know - it rules to this day. There was luck involved with our fresh milk, but without Zoltán we would not have sold 17 times more within one and a half years.”

János ELŐHÁZI – former owner of the Mátratej dairy

Background

In the early 1990’s the Hungarian dairy market was stormed by multinational players. Besides their new, different and better designed products being more expensive than the traditional Hungarian ones. Hungarians were ready to pay a premium for them, and lifted them into market leader positions.

Tasks

Velvet Hammer Branding was entrusted as the outsourced marketing department of Mátratej. Besides executing all basic strategic and operational marketing work VHB introduced new activities as:

  • Re-launch and repositioning of the brand.
  • Development of sub-brands.
  • Simplification and tightening of the existing product portfolio.
  • New product developments.
  • Merchandising.

Strategy and tools

Mátratej was positioned as the traditional quality leader in the Hungarian dairy market. Even more important, the so far static and conservative image (and the related products and designs) was changed towards Mátratej resembling the freshest and most innovative of all players.

James Calloway
James Calloway
James Calloway

Results

  • Within 18 months Mátratej sold 17 times more fresh milk.
  • Within five years Mátratej became Hungary’s leading fresh milk producer.
  • Within 3 years sales increased from HUF 5 billion to 10.3 billion.
  • The newly developed Kaukazusi Kefír became a category of its own, which – being imitated by everyone else – continues to stand as the market leader today.
HUF 5 BILLION
HUF 10.3 BILLION
James Calloway
1996
1999

Who worked with us

Alcatel, Alternate, Amoco, Amway, Andrássy University Budapest, Austrian Social Ministry, Avia, Ballantines - United Distillers, Bank Austria, Bayer, Belorussian Patriarchate, Bertelsmann, BMW, Boeing, Budapest Power Plant - EDF, Carglass, Charles Barker Connections, Chinoin – Sanofi-Synthelabo, Cocaine - DC Beverages, Creditanstalt, Delacher, Denso, Dreher – SABMiller, Edelmann, Elopak, Fix Futár, Fleishman-Hillard, General Parcel Hungary, Gerling, Győri Keksz - United Biscuits, Hardell-Protektorwerk, HBW Express Bank, Henkel, Holsten - Interbrew, Hyatt Regency Budapest, IPRA, IT-Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kapsch, Koppányi, KÖVET-INEM, Language Experts Group, Magnet Bank, Mátratej, Mattel Toys, Mayer Toyota, Microsoft - TechNet Magazine, Mixtura, Moment Consulting, Montana, MTKI, Nissan, Pharmacia, Quality Logistics Management, Olympos – Top Joy, Pneu Trade, Price Waterhouse, Protektorwerk - Hardell, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Russian Orthodox Church, Salinen Austria, Semmelrock, Shandwick, SmithKline Beecham – GlaxoSmithKline, Spar, Totalgaz, United Technologies – UTC (Carrier, OTIS, Pratt & Whitney, UT Automotive), Upjohn, UPS,
UTI (4 local Hungarian telcos), Vidal Sassoon - P&G, VISA International, Wolters Kluwer.