The marketing drive was part of a wider programme of economic development led by the Brent Business Board, which comprised leaders from major companies in the borough, Brent Council, the West London Business Association, Westminster University and the College of North West London.

This programme included major regeneration schemes comprising thousands of new homes as well as commercial premises and recreational spaces. It complemented Brent’s ‘Borough of Culture’ status, which provided a big opportunity to showcase its cultural heritage and attract creative businesses.

What we did

We kicked off our work with a focus on attracting businesses to the borough.

We ran a series of planning workshops with business representatives, council officers and members. In these, we profiled the target companies the borough wanted to attract and developed a compelling proposition for each area, focusing on its distinctive identity and commercial opportunities.

Based on this, we then developed content for a new ‘Brent for Business’ website.

We created five business-focused videos featuring:

  • Wembley – “A place of great contrasts and immense business potential”
  • Kilburn – “The animated inner London business location without the eye-watering price tag”
  • Harlesden – “A place with a character like no other part of London – a melting pot of Caribbean, Brazilian and Portuguese culture and London’s unofficial capital of reggae”
  • An overview of Brent and the three focus locations

We ran a digital marketing campaign using LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to target relevant businesses, using extracts from the videos as well as still images to generate interest and draw people to the Brent for Business website.

And we addressed property companies by outlining the opportunities to take on vacant business premises within the borough and run them as high-quality business centres, offices, co-working spaces and studios.

We followed this work with a focus on attracting visitors to four places in the borough: Kilburn, Harlesden, Wembley and Ealing Road.

We facilitated workshop sessions to explore what each location had to offer to visitors, what made it distinctive and the profile of people the borough wanted to attract. We agreed the focus for promotion should be:

  • Kilburn’s central London location, the Kiln theatre and its eclectic restaurants, pubs and bars – to attract young professionals and boost its night-time economy
  • Wembley High Road’s independent restaurants, cafes and pubs – to appeal to event-goers who would otherwise head straight for the Stadium or a national food chain
  • Harlesden’s Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian and Portuguese grocers, restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons  and record shops — emphasising the area’s status as London’s unofficial reggae capital
  • Ealing Road’s colourful South Asian grocers and high-end clothing and jewellery boutiques

The results

The campaign was extremely well received.

Our social media ads scored a 1.1% click-through rate (CTR) – higher than the industry average – and we clearly achieved our objective of driving increased visitors to the Brent for Business website. While the home page of the site received roughly the same number of visits as the pre-campaign period, the three business location pages received 648% more unique visitors during our campaign.

Our videos also received many positive comments and were widely shared by other Council departments and the local authority’s partners.

This was a successful pilot programme for Brent Council – the first time it had run a campaign to draw businesses and visitors to the borough, and one on which it has been subsequently building based on the work we undertook to identify the proposition of each location.

The client’s view 

“Brent has wonderful opportunities – but we’re not always uppermost in the minds of visitors or entrepreneurs, retailers and directors of expanding companies looking for a new base. This campaign started to change that by promoting what the borough can offer.

“Having run a competitive process to find the best agency to support us with this, TK Associates stood out as professional, knowledgeable and experienced. They understood exactly what were trying to achieve and proposed a focused, well-structured strategy. They also have a strong track record which assured us they could deliver what we needed. We’ve worked closely together to take our first steps in presenting Brent as a great place for businesses and visitors.”

Councillor Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration