Dom Dwight – Bettys & Taylors

Dom Dwight – Bettys & Taylors

Dom Dwight is the Marketing Director at Bettys & Taylors and responsible for the Yorkshire Tea and Taylors Coffee brands. Dom has been with the family owned business for over 10 years now and took an unconventional route to his current role. Previously, he worked as a journalist with a food and drink focus and brought with him a passion for editorial content and the written word. At Bettys & Taylors, he was originally hired as a copy writer. Dom built up his marketing credentials firstly leading social media activity, then broadening out to digital, PR, experiential, events, design and then all creative output for the brands before taking on the Director role.

Dom is proud to be part of a business that is not solely orientated around commercial gain. He explains: “There is a mission to do something in the world, to do the right thing. We make sensible, principle-based decisions for the long term. That is a great foundation for doing my job.”

Competing with bigger players

Bettys & Taylors are transitioning into a medium sized business on the back of recent growth, but still have a way to go to compete with the bigger players with deeper pockets. For Taylors coffee, Dom puts the challenge as: “Where do we start?” The category is growing and changing fast with competition from a spectrum of big players and specialists. Dom explains: “Supermarket coffee is probably not ‘where it’s at’. The momentum is delivered by what is happening out of home, café culture, espresso-based coffee as well as the convenience of pods. These are the new dimensions reframing perceptions.” The challenge is to find relevance with a new audience for the Taylors brand and find a different way to compete. 

In black tea, the Yorkshire brand has recently toppled PG Tips to become no.1. It is still a big market, but is in decline and heading towards a ‘new normal’ as consumers discover other things to drink. Dom explains: “There is a risk in becoming the ‘poster boy’ for a declining category so our challenge is to re-energise it.” This means finding ways to resonate with younger consumers. Dom: “I feel we have a head start in this as a result of being early movers with social and digital.” He sums up the challenge further still: “Don’t mess it up!”

“There is a risk in becoming the ‘poster boy’ for a declining category, so our challenge is to re-energise it.”

Brand Growth KPIs

To measure the progress on addressing these challenges, Dom sites several important KPIs: “We are careful not to use performance metrics that could drive the wrong behaviours in the business and careful to use consumer metrics we can actually do something about. In terms of those consumer metrics, it’s important to know that the brands are being noticed, getting preference, developing the right perceptions and building environmental and sustainability credentials.” Dom goes further: “It’s vital to know if our proposition is being understood by key audiences. So, we also look at relevance metrics and our associations with ‘worth paying more for’. Our position on quality helps to underpin our price point and manage price sensitivity.”

The role of creative

Dom sees a difference in the terms ‘creativity’ and ‘creative’: “Creativity is a vast notion. It works across the business and is about problem solving and lateral thinking whereas creative is a label for all of the brand output. The primary roles for the creative output are to give the brand a personality and a tone of voice in addition to a visual identity.”

In his time at the company, Dom has worked on 5 major campaigns encompassing the supporting digital, social, experiential and PR activity. He always strives for consistency in terms of recognising where the brands are coming from and the clear expression of the central idea. Dom: “For Yorkshire Tea, that idea is ‘properness’. This has been the driving force for the creative from the days of the ‘Little Urn’ campaign.” Consistency also comes from building and re-enforcing the distinctive brand assets but for Dom, “What’s at the heart of the brand is what will make it distinctive.” 

Dom goes on to explain: “In addition to the commitment to what the brands stand for, we are not afraid of bringing a bit ‘weirdness’. This helps us find the magic to take on the bigger players. A great creative comes from the right ingredients such as the right strategy and the right product. It’s an approach that breeds confidence and lets the brand teams be bold in how they express themselves to the world.” The recent ‘Why didn’t we think of them before?’ creative for the Taylors coffee bags is a great example of that boldness in action. For Dom, this harks back to a golden age for advertising on TV when imagination, humour and drop of irreverence were used to deliver the brand message in an entertaining way.

Development of creative

There is an important role for research in the development of brand creative. Dom: “We use a lot of research when trying to find out what consumers think or when understanding how well a campaign has landed. Campaign learnings will inform what we do next. However, when taking a big creative leap, we want to be more careful that not all of the directions and decisions come out of a research panel but instead find a balance with our own instincts.” A good example comes from the recent use of celebrities. Research was used to find out which celebrities resonated best with consumers and why, when the team was uncomfortable about using them. Dom: “This helped to put some ground rules in place for the future and fed into script development.”

Dom says they do have a process for creative development, but it is much more of a framework that helps to plan for jobs to be done and the necessary tasks and tools for execution. Dom is keen to point out that the relationship with the lead creative agency has the biggest impact though. “The strength of this relationship allows for more freedom and for any processes to be lightweight. It also means there is clarity on how strategy and creative work together, so we have a truly joined up approach.”