Sandon Global are an advanced manufacturing SME located in Runcorn North West England. Founded in 2004 they design and manufacture ceramic coated anilox rollers for the international flexographic print industry. The brief was to develop a 5 year strategic marketing plan designed to deliver the business growth objectives set out by the senior management team. A 3 month project ensued capturing a full situation analysis covering industry trends and opportunities across the globe and matching them to the internal strengths and capabilities of the business. Following a strategic review which included a fresh brand identity yet to be rolled out, and concluded with a detailed Integrated Marketing Communication Plan. The project was delivered as an Associate of the Manufacturing Technology Centre and I am thrilled to be invited to continue working on the implementation of the agreed strategies.

Client comment from Richard Millington, Sales Director, Sandon Global

“I am not over stating the case when I say that Stephen Lloyd at VCG has completely changed the way that Sandon Global as an SME not only approaches Marketing but also how we as a Management team view Marketing.

Marketing for us was something woolly that cost a lot of money and did not offer the ROI that we believed it should. Steve has taken us on a journey posing questions and creating research documents that have challenged the way that we focus on the commercial side of our business. Strategic marketing campaigns have been followed up with the hard yards necessary by sales. This joined up approach is the link that was lacking between Marketing and Sales within our company and this will remain the commercial blueprint as our company continues to grow in the future.

Steve drives a hard bargain with suppliers and has saved us a considerable amount when purchasing advertising and marketing collateral. This business savvy has been pivotal in getting the most from our suppliers during our re-brand and investment in a new website currently in development. Steve does not settle on second best and is prepared to have tough conversations if the standard he expects are not met.” 

Startfish logo

Starfish Brand Solutions provide an Asset Management Solution to global brands. Multiple artwork files for FMCG products can be stored, updated, approved and issued across the world. Vision Consulting Group provided strategic direction and project management for a new brand strategy, website and proposition development.

Infographic videos were scripted and storyboards created in conjunction with a London based creative agency.

Visit the new website http://starfishbrandsolutions.com


Blockwalls is an innovative recycling company based on the Wirral. Interlocking concrete blocks are manufactured from recycled aggregate for a variety of applications and sectors. Vision Consulting Group have provided both strategic and tactical marketing support to develop engaging propositions and execute sales driven direct marketing campaigns successfully. Managing Director Bob Evans comments on our contribution. “Steve is a quality marketer who actually understands marketing in a very practical way as well as all the strategic stuff. Steve can look at your business and work out what needs to be done to achieve your business objectives. He then gets on with it. Steve understands value and is motivated by giving you a return on your investment by using him. Steve has been a valuable asset for our business and we will continue to deploy him in the years to come.” Visit Blockwalls


Frimpeks is a global packaging substrate, ink and wood coatings manufacturer with sites in Turkey, Russia, USA, Germany and the United Kingdom. My brief was to project manage the website design and content development including copywriting and image, and video editing. Working in partnership with website developers and designers from a local creative agency my sector knowledge was a real advantage in producing a practical, clean site with strong branding and lots of technical content. The next stage is to produce 4 language options for global marketing purposes and accessibility. Visit www.frimpeks.com


Dr. Jason Dale – Director of Menatech

“Stephen provided highly useful and pertinent strategic marketing advice and support at key moments in our company’s development. The seminars he delivered at the High Growth Centre were high quality, varied and very useful to a new company. Stephen is highly professional, courteous and explains marketing in a concise, simplified and effective way and I would have no hesitation working with him again or recommending him to others.”


Paul Young – Director of Anmaleve Calibration

“I attended Stephen’s ‘Marketing Fundamentals’ Seminar at the High Growth Centre and was most impressed with the content and well thought out approach condensed into what was a relatively short session.

Subsequently I have invited Stephen to advise on the marketing approach for my company. Stephen was quick to identify the key issues and to provide a very valuable contribution to our marketing strategy and programme. Stephen has a depth of theoretical knowledge and delivers very practical, implementable solutions. I would have no hesitation in giving Stephen a glowing recommendation.”


Waste & Resources Action Programme

rHDPE Liquid Milk Recycling Project

View full report

Stephen Lloyd was the project manager for a consortium project team consisting of Systems Labelling, Alpla a leading bottle manufacturer and Robert Wiseman Dairies. He authored the full report which was published in 2011 and summarised the aims, methodology and conclusions of an 18 month project resulting in a groundbreaking development for the dairy industry. The WRAP funded project set out to identify the root cause of colour contamination in rHDPE pellets in order to increase the proportion of recycled material used when producing HDPE liquid milk bottles. The combined solution encompassing packaging design, methods, materials and recycling processes has delivered a potential increase from 10% up to 50% rHDPE content in blown liquid milk bottles. Given the Milk Roadmap Target to reach 50% rHDPE was set for 2020, the results were seen as a major step forward. The consortium engaged the leading HDPE reprocessing plants in the UK, recycling equipment manufacturers and chemical suppliers in Europe to conduct a series of laboratory and medium scale trials to develop workable solutions through a process of elimination.

Brendan Cowey – Group Director of Americk Group

“I have worked with Steve on several large and beneficial projects for our business and have always found him, knowledgeable, informative and valuable in the service he can provide. He always follows through with anything committed to and i always feel I can rely on him for good honest marketing strategy and advice.

A complete rebrand exercise pulled together 5 established packaging brands from across the UK and Ireland. Each with their specialist field the brief was to create a new group identity but at the same time keep the link with the heritage and reputation each site had already built. The result was a 2 stage brand strategy that incorporated a co-brand and umbrella branding approach respectively.

Further work on developing value propositions delivered through the use of infographics in conjunction with Freshsocks Media has helped this new entrant make a grand entrance into the packaging arena across Europe. We also created a simple virtual tour (see video to the left) and an informative value proposition around an innovative product”

Click to view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HTl9jeqUV4&feature=youtu.be


Stuart Davies – Director of Sustainable Supply Chains Limited

“I have worked with Steve on several occasions over the years and currently on a Social Value project in Liverpool. Steve has brought a strategic Marketing and Business Development focus to the project and is “as ever” very keen to make a success of the venture. Steve is very credible and knowledgeable in his field of expertise and at the same time bring fun and humour to the table.”


Systems Labelling

Stephen Lloyd produced the content direction, copywriting and photography for this website. Functionality also included an extranet facility for secure customer stock control and procurement.

High Growth Project

University of Chester

As the Marketing Advisor Stephen Lloyd supported pre-start, new-start and SME’s operating in the engineering, automotive, environment and advanced manufacturing sectors in the North West of England. Specifically offering one to one marketing support and consultancy. However the role included the promotion of the centre and support available. One example is the infographic video Stephen developed with freshsocks media.

The High Growth Centre Project was a co-funded by the ERDF and completed on 30th June 2015.


Bristol Equity Release

The equity release market is a growing sector in the personal finance world. This website project took a localised approach centred around paintings of the area with content outlining the complexities and considerations of equity release products in a simple, jargon free manner. View www.bristolequityrelease.co.uk and www.cheshireequityrelease.co.uk


Nikki Haworth – Sales Director at Ingard

Ingard offer compliance support and product services to mortgage intermediaries. Their consumer facing arm provides access to a nationwide network of consultants providing independent advice on mortgage, conveyancing and insurance protection services. Vision Consulting Group had previously developed both the consumer and intermediary websites and delivered email campaigns, database management, graphic design, exhibition stands and effective sales presentations. www.ingard.co.uk



University of Chester Market Research Project

Sex and drink – highlighting the links

Student projects have delivered engaging and creative solutions for clients including Blyk and Warrington Primary Care Trust who set a brief to research and develop a marketing concept to counter the current attitudes of 16-24 year olds towards alcohol consumption, the link to their behaviour, and the risks associated with sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). The students were taken through the full marketing research process and conducted street surveys amongst the target audience under the guidance of Visiting Lecturer Stephen Lloyd.

Programme Leader David Rutherford commented; “Stephen has demonstrated the ability to explain and to engage students in the essential aspects of developing an appropriate brand narrative has been a major factor in the success of the BA Advertising programme at the University of Chester.”

“Stephen was great to work with at the University of Chester. His extensive and detailed knowledge and understanding, of market research and current industry techniques in advertising and marketing, enabled him to become a valuable member of the team. He was always very supportive and encouraging of the students, who appreciated having an industry expert on hand.” added Senior Lecturer Kate Sillitoe.