HOT 100 BUSINESS BIG SHOTS: Henry Deakin & James Deakin, Managing Director & Creative Director, Deakin & Francis

Henry Deakin and James Deakin, managing director and creative director, Deakin & Francis

Marketing is an intrinsic part of the product mix that needs to keep evolving, even if you are a 230-year-old business, as cufflinks, jewellery and fine accessories specialist Deakin & Francis will testify.

The company has more miles on the clock than most courtesy of its proud history in the jewellery segment, but that hasn’t stopped it from resting on its laurels.

A revamp of its website has seen the buying experience improved for both trade buyers and consumers, while a new Look Book exhibits a streamlined core collection comprising a handpicked selection of the very best products it has to offer.

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“The breadth and diversity of our range is immense and so by creating a core collection it enables us to further improve our service, offering a fast delivery and react quickly to any customer demands,” explains managing director Henry Deakin.

With brother James beside him in the cockpit, providing the creative spark, the pair have ploughed every ounce of energy they have into growing D&F as an established British brand. Most notably this year, the launch of its Fundamentals range has enabled the Birmingham-based outfit to expand its audience and speed up product turnover, without compromising standards or service.

“We spent a long time perfecting this range to ensure it was just right,” says James. “With lower RRPs it has enabled us to enter new market places, but also allowed current customers to really buy into the brand – yet it still offers the inspirational, quirky designs that you would expect from D&F.”

The duo’s HOT 100 snap was taken in their home town of Worcester, where the self-styled ‘country boys’ got a chance to show their lighter side.

“The tandem bike was a wedding present for James,” explains Henry. “It was a way of saying that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously. We always like to have a bit of fun, in and out of work. Oh – and that it’s possible to drink a martini anywhere!”

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