Stevens & Graham Case Study
Stevens & Graham is the world’s largest exporter of tartan carpet. Since his takeover in May 2013, Director John McIlvogue has brought this Scottish heritage brand into the homes, hospitality market and grand palaces and major landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace in over 20 countries, up from three before he came on board.
What was his secret to success? John attributes a large part of his internationalisation and business strategies to his investment to social media advertising. As of this year, he has over 20,000 Facebook followers, most of which are highly dedicated fans that actively vote on their favourite tartan design patterns and contribute to weekly facts about tartan.
Most importantly, these fans have helped contribute the majority of Stevens & Graham business without investing into any other advertising outlet!
The Power of Social Media:
Months into Stevens & Graham’s social campaign, major American luxury carpet brand, Stark Carpet, contacted them after finding them on Facebook. This flourished into a relationship that brought Stevens & Graham a deal worth over 200k in the first year with expectations to top a million in the second.
Nothing says Scotland more than tartan and there are many Scottish Americans that have a real connection with the Stevens and Graham designs thanks to their relationship with Stark.
The Defining Moment on Social:
When the Facebook account reached it’s first 700-800 followers, an unbelievable amount of chatter started to materialise between Stevens & Graham and his fans that has established a strong network of new business.
The luxury tartan carpet company chose to invest in social media, because there was a very limited budget allocated for advertising and a very important desire to grow an international audience that was best promised through effective targeted marketed ads on Facebook.
According to John, most UK carpet companies start social page and don’t follow through. Many try to start a Facebook and Twitter page, update them three times and tend to spend their advertising budget into traditional media that cannot render the same quality of targeted marketing.
Social media is a full time job. After acquiring a massive following and a healthy stream of international business and acclaim, John decided to begin his own social media agency that would focus on managing and training the interior design industry, amongst others, in devising social media campaigns guaranteed to increase sales and spread the word about their brands. That’s how Stitch was born.