Mannok Sales Director, Lee Gillman, on The Value of People and Trust

23rd March 2021

With our recent rebrand from Quinn to Mannok came the opportunity to really look at who we are as a company and what that means to our customers. Beyond the day-to-day bustle of talking pricing, logistics, product selection, sales figures, etc., taking time to redefine our brand in line with the progress we have made as a company and our direction moving forward has given us some valuable takeaways, not least of which came from the conversations around priorities for our customers and how we measure up to their expectations.

Part of defining your brand identity involves an honest appraisal of your current positioning, gaining insights from listening to your people, your customers and the wider industry. When this appraisal reveals that your strengths as an organisation align with the priorities of your customers, we find a balance of mutual benefit. The sweet spot for us centres around two essential elements: people and trust. Both entwined in everything we do and central to who we are, and both key influences for the market and our customers when it comes to brand and product choice.

At Mannok, our people are perhaps our greatest asset. For our customers, the relationships and service we provide are a key differentiator where we excel. With a team of over 800, we are a large-scale organisation with a very distinctive approach to how we do business. People come first, always. That includes our own staff, our local communities, and our customers. Uniquely characteristic of the Mannok team is that, despite that size and diverse nature of operations, it’s a close-knit community which shares a common culture, which is perhaps best defined as a “can-do” attitude. The people who are servicing our customers genuinely care about getting it right, and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that happens. So with 800+ people working to do right by our customers, it becomes a significant advantage.

That advantage becomes particularly meaningful when issues arise and it’s at that point when our people have demonstrated that spirit of agility in spades, ensuring a customer experience which naturally breeds loyalty and trust. We’re all familiar with the challenges of the last year in particular, which has forced every business to adapt and find new ways of working. We’re extremely proud of how our team have dealt with these challenges, and it’s very rewarding to be recognised for this, winning the Lockdown Heroes Award at the recent NBG Awards. The award was voted for in recognition of the contribution our flexibility and hard work has made to the success of NBG’s merchant partners in the face of Covid related challenges. Working together to find solutions, delivering on our promises and open communication has helped solidify our customer loyalty and trust.

A trustworthy reputation is built over time, and transcends every customer touchpoint, including product quality and expertise. Yes, customers are looking at pricing, product application and suitability, availability, all of the practical influences on a purchase decision. But without trust in the quality, these other factors mean little, and with concerns around product quality prevalent in the market, we’ve found this another area where we perform well and which reassures customers in their brand selection.

Similar themes of having the right people, with the right expertise, working to do the right thing come to the fore when it comes to product quality. For us, the achievement of an industry certification or standard is not just a piece of paper which helps us sell more product; it’s a promise to our customers that we will continue to meet the high standards we have set, that we will conduct our own strict testing and quality controls processes, and that we will deliver on that standard time and time again. So we can stand by what we’re producing and reassure our customers that they can trust us when it comes to product quality. Without that, trust is lost.

We’ve established a strong trust in the market, both in the quality of our products and in the value of our service, and this position of a trusted brand is one we do not take for granted. To maintain trust, we must continue to deliver, and that’s key to the future success of our business and our Mannok brand. For customers, we continue to reassure them that whilst our name has changed, the products and service they have now come to expect from us have not changed, and our new Mannok brand puts people and trust at its very core.