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Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones: “Customers are our number one sales force”

24th May 2012
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“If you want to be seen as holding a number one position as a brand you must have a very strong relationship with your customers because your customers are your sales force.”

Speaking at the European Customer Experience World event in London, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, the marketing entrepreneur behind The Black Farmer brand, explained how loyal customers and social media were responsible for the rise of his business.  

Intent on launching a brand that was different yet able to thrive in the mainstream, Emmanuel-Jones explained how having a gluten-free product helped build a loyal customer base.

“The consumers love a David and Goliath story – they like that they’re in a position that they can make a difference. Having a gluten-free brand means if you can get an interest group behind you, supporting you, they’re going to be really powerful in helping you build your brand.”  

Turning to social media, Emmanuel-Jones said: “If you’re trying to start a business today and not on social media, you’re a fool!”

Consumers visit websites for information but use social media platforms for engagement, and their demands are a lot higher. He added: “My brand wouldn’t be where it is today if we weren’t born in this age of social networking – in an age where consumes have switched off from big corporates.” 

Rather than above the line advertising, Emmanuel-Jones instead opted to invest in networking which although not as measurable, provides customers with a platform to engage, he explained. 

Highlighting The Black Farm scholarship scheme – a project that helps those from inner cities discover work in rural Britain – he noted that most of the company's social communication has nothing to with food.

“It’s always important when you do your social network that you’ve got an assortment of things that you’re always talking about,” he said. 

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