Marketer of The Week
Brewing Success Through Best In Class Brand Building: Yorkshire Tea's Dom Dwight
The marketing director of Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, the owner of Yorkshire Tea, makes the case for bold creative ideas
16 November 2023
Effie UK, which recognises and celebrates the most effective marketing of the year, awarded Yorkshire Tea the Grand Effie last week. The award was for the most effective marketing campaign in the UK. Yorkshire Tea also scooped a Gold for its long-running brand campaign, ‘Where Everything’s Done Proper’. The marketing director of Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, the owner of Yorkshire Tea, Dom Dwight is our marketer of the week.
Speaking to Creative Salon about the win he said: "I was over the moon when we won both a Gold and the Grand Prix at this year’s Effies - as were my whole team and our agency partners. Every win is a good thing but, with this one, it’s in recognition of many years of work so it means a great deal to us all."
Alongside him for the climb for the past nine years has been the ad agency Lucky Generals, who he credits for their brilliance and the win.
The ad with British actor Patrick Stewart - who emerges from an office swivel chair to deliver the leaving speech of a lifetime - took the art of bidding goodbye to new levels. The ad continued Yorkshire Tea’s gently playful tone of voice, building on former films including The Social Distancing teapot – which had a comically long spout – and Where Everything’s Done Proper, which has seen the advertiser enlist famously talented Yorkies like Sean Bean and Michael Parkinson to front TV spots - showcasing a really firm understanding of its role in culture. It famously was also one of the first brands to declare “solidaritea” with BLM as protests broke out around the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
All this under the helm of its marketing boss Dwight. A former journalist, Dwight joined Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate as a copywriter and launched the brand onto Twitter in the very early days of social media. Since he became marketing director in 2016, Yorkshire Tea has grown to become the UK’s number one brew - a vital part of the success has been landing the idea of "properness'" with consumers through bold creative ideas and consistent brand communications across TV and social.
In an earlier interview with Creative Salon, featured in the Creative Marketer series, Dwight described marketing as “a balancing act of looking at data, but trusting your gut”, and added “if everyone followed it and didn’t deviate, it would be a very boring world,” with little deviation or effectiveness.
Effie UK Council member and Unilever chief brand officer and chief equity diversity & inclusion officer Aline Santos had this to say about the Yorkshire Tea win: "They had an ambitious goal: to be the number one brand in their market - and this campaign achieved that. It grew the brand – in a shrinking market, where consumer behaviours are firmly entrenched, and it did it at a price premium.
"In an industry obsessed with the new, it proved that long-term investment in your brand pays off. And it showed that spending through a recession reaps rewards. An important message for brand teams and agencies."
The black-tea market - one of the most habitual purchases - has been in long-term decline. And also includes strong market leaders - rivals PG Tips and Tetley - who have built-up decades of equity in the minds of the public. Amidst this scenario, Dwight decided to focus on long term investment in the brand while aiming to be the number one brand in a declining market with firmly entrenched behaviours established over many years. The brand first overtook its main rival, Unilever-owned PG Tips, in the traditional black tea category in 2019.
"Maintaining the discipline to stick to a long-term strategy while staying consistently dedicated to bold creative thinking has been a huge team - I am beyond chuffed to see that recognised and celebrated," Dwight tells Creative Salon about the success story of his brand.