Norwich has a diverse range of businesses, many of which are independents rather than franchises or national chains. With that independence comes a greater need for marketing and solid branding to build a solid base of consumers and customers. Norwich offers opportunities in many markets from new media and communications, through to financial services, food and drink, art and crafts, construction and retail. In all of these markets you will undoubtedly find independent businesses producing some great examples of marketing. Norwich is very proactive in this area.

Norwich is a small city and is sometimes described by the media as being “behind the times” or “isolated”. “Is this a good or bad thing?” I am often asked when working for Future Radio, or working as a consultant. From my own personal perspective I do not think we are “behind the times”. Norwich has many examples of entrepreneurship or “firsts to market”. Often you see business ideas in Norwich marketing copied in other parts of the country and this speaks volumes about the business culture in Norwich, and how people in Norwich support business leaders and marketers in the region. Perhaps my one criticism would be that sometimes we do not market Norwich as effectively as we could. This limits external investment, and means that often the benefits of working and living in Norwich do not shine through in communications from our businesses, business leaders, or public sector bodies. Marketing Norwich is important!

Set against this, sometimes the rural nature of Norfolk and the way that some businesses are isolated geographically means that we do need to invest in proper communication facilities and infrastructures to support those organisations. This means better roads, better broadband, better train services, and more public sector support for collaboration in the county. We definitely need a much more proactive and positive approach in this area.

Often businesses in Norwich start off with just one person and an idea. It is amazing looking through Norwich Market just how many examples of this there are just for starters, but if you then start looking around Norfolk you will find more and more examples of really exciting small brands being developed in this way. All these businesses are passionate about their products, their brands, their Norwich marketing plans for the future and this in turn means that when you buy from these entrepreneurs you really feel like you are buying into the business and brand rather than just the product. Some people might say a lot of this is Norfolk marketing spin, but I would prefer to say it is people who are just very passionate about what they do.

Marketing is really important to businesses in Norwich because it enables them to share their values, vision and brand identity with not only people in Norfolk, but also people across the UK. Many of these businesses use marketing planning and marketing insight to develop targeted media campaigns and communication strategies to build market share and enter new markets ahead of their competitors. The result is a range of exciting brands in different markets all being born in Norwich and Norfolk.

Marketing is really important to Norwich based businesses because it has built the regions reputation for innovative ideas, innovative brands that have values and meaning, and developing new markets and new opportunities for the whole country. Some of the best examples of marketing planning, brand strategy, media and communications execution, can all be found in Norwich marketing. This has brought the region inward investment, a thriving business community, a thriving tourist and tourism industry and a sustainable local economy. Long may Norwich continue to place great marketing at the heart of its business community.