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Supporters changing lives

A blossoming success

Prestige

Online cause-related marketing is at the heart of our partnership with Prestige Flowers. Their Business Development Manager Philip Crowther talks about why he thinks Barnardo’s Flowers has bloomed.

In the last four years, we’ve become one of the UK's biggest florist brands on the internet.

Prestige Flowers was set up in 2010 by my brother Simon, who has expertise in digital media, and his business partner James Miskell, a graphic designer. I joined in 2012, from a legal background, to manage the development of the business. The brand became so successful that we merged with our suppliers to grow the business further and gain an international presence.

When we decided we wanted to partner with a charity in 2012, Barnardo’s was the natural choice.

Simon and I went to the same school and both remembered a fundraiser called Janice coming in to talk about Barnardo’s when I was nine and he was 11. We weren’t brought up in a wealthy environment at all but she made us think about how fortunate we were. We realised that there were children much more disadvantaged than anyone we knew in school. Abuse and exploitation does exist. If there weren't charities like Barnardo's, then who would stand up for these kids?

We’d very much like to shake hands with Janice and say ‘Thanks very much for what you did all those years ago’.

She still works for Barnardo’s and we hope to meet her again one day. The message she brought stuck and I don’t think we would have been the only ones to remember her words.

The partnership with Barnardo’s over the last two years has been stunning.

We first met them in a coffee shop in London in 2012 to discuss our idea about setting up a bespoke website - Barnardo's Flowers.   Now, we have about 140 products on the website and 25% of each sale goes to Barnardo’s. In the first year, we raised £15,000 for the charity and we expect a 30% increase in sales again this year.

When you put two great organisations together and you've both got the same goal, you can develop a strategy which works for both.

Barnardo’s have a big network of internal and external communications and eight out of 10 people have heard of the charity. So, benefits for us are reach and brand recognition. We’ve shared our expertise in digital media with Barnardo’s and together we have maximised cause-related marketing online.

We’ve embedded giving to Barnardo’s into our business model which has been challenging.

But partnering with Barnardo’s has been one of the best things we have done as a company. We’ve now got specifically trained staff for Barnardo’s Flowers so they can provide the very best customer service. They let customers know exactly what Barnardo’s do and how their money will make a difference.

It’s a really beautiful partnership and it's going to blossom further.

Last year, other than the development of the selling platform, we did some fundraising for Barnardo’s at Christmas and Halloween. Our staff enjoyed this and we’re looking forward to doing much more. We might also explore volunteering opportunities for our 20 head office and 50 to 200 flower line staff. I’d advise others thinking of partnering with Barnardo’s to go for it. We’re so proud that we’ve been able to do this.

Thinking of buying flowers for your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Barnardo’s Flowers are selling 12 red roses for £19.99 with free delivery – and 25% of the total value of your order will support vulnerable children and young people. For this and more offers for Mother’s Day, click here to visit the website.

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