Kill Jellie goes global
Kill Jellie was founded in 2010 by Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes. Selling children’s backpacks, lunchboxes and accessories, the co-founders not only created their own products, they also devised an innovative distribution channel with advertisements screened on the Nickelodeon TV channel driving customers directly to their website, YUUworld.com.
Gill and Kellie became more widely known when they gained the support of Deborah Meadon and Peter Jones on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den in October 2012.
Gill and Kellie found out about UKTI from one of their friends, “We wanted to expand internationally,” explained Kellie, “and were advised of the great support network available through UKTI.” Because of Kill Jellie’s novel route to market, international expansion was relatively low-risk but a clear and inviting website was going to be paramount.
The YUUworld website had been fundamental in the business’ UK success. However, before embarking on an international growth strategy, the co-founders were keen to revisit this key communication platform, “We wanted to sharpen up our website, refine its content, review the customer’s buying process and ensure it was the best it could be before investing in translations and launching overseas.”
The Department for Business and Trade (formerly UKTI and Department for Trade) supports UK companies expand overseas. The Export Communications Review (ECR) was a UKTI scheme providing practical, impartial and straightforward advice to help companies improve their communications with overseas markets. Each review was conducted by a communications expert and was tailored to the company’s individual requirements. Through her UKTI International Trade Adviser, Kellie was introduced to Notburga, an International Communications Adviser.
“First of all, Notburga called us to gain an understanding of our business objectives and a good feel for our brand,” said Kellie. Notburga then spent a morning with Gill and Kellie and their technical web design team reviewing their current website strategy and proposed a comprehensive package of practical and useful improvements. “There was so much she went through, exclaimed Kellie. “It was great, a really in-depth analysis of all aspects of our website; even our web guys got loads from the meeting!” After the meeting, Notburga sent through a step-by-step report detailing all the recommendations.
As a result, the website is now clearer and more informative, more suitable for an international audience. The buying process has been streamlined with fewer stages for a customer to complete, “Notburga really helped us to make the user journey less ‘clunky”, explained Kellie. In addition, the content and wording have been simplified to be more easily acceptable to a non-native-English audience, and the photographs demonstrate the products more visibly.
“Notburga also helped us with some really useful advice that we just didn’t see ourselves,” enthused Kellie. “She recommended that we secure web domains in our countries of interest before investors buy them to make money from us. The very next day, we learned that someone had already purchased our domain in one of our target markets and was trying to sell it back to us at an inflated price; we quickly heeded Notburga’s advice and bought key domain names whilst we still could!”
“We feel confident our website is now the best it can be,” explained Kellie. “One good example to demonstrate the clarity of our new copy and structure was the reaction of our Scandinavian translators: they were truly impressed with the new website copy finding it simple and straightforward to understand in each of their cultures.”
Kill Jellie’s sales continued to grow 20% year on year and with the website ready to translate into many languages, the company was confident their international expansion will continue to fuel business success.
Kellie was extremely happy with the support she received from Notburga and the Review, “Not only was Notburga’s technical knowledge impressive, she was also eloquent, thorough and culturally insightful. Her ongoing support has given us the confidence we needed to invest in launching our business internationally. We will definitely be looking to use Notburga’s expertise again!”
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