Martin McLaughlin to lead The Point.1888’s new marketing agency Story.1888

The Point. 1888 has detailed the launch of a new marketing agency, Story.1888, a new business arm that will be headed up by specialists in the marketing and advertising sectors, alongside a line-up of licensing and retail veterans to deliver new services such from product branding and style guides to content creation and brand management.

The new agency will be led by Martin McLaughlin, who joined The Point.1888 in June 2019, having previously delivered communications, advertising, and brand partnership planning for brands like T-Mobile, Cadbury, Amazon, Warner Music, and Ford. Since joining the team, he has grown a book of clients as well as its marketing and creative division.

The Story.1888 offering will include creative services such as product branding and style guides, product marketing, strategy, content creation and campaign management. The agency launches with three clients already on its books, including the retro animated hit, The Raccoons, and Comic Relief. McLaughlin and his team will work to create a global hub for fans around the world to celebrate the animated property, while carrying out strategic and creative work for Comic Relief.

McLaughlin said: “It’s not the norm for a brand licensing specialist to launch a marketing agency but it’s the most obvious next step. The licensing industry is great at creating amazing products, but not always so effective at telling the brand story and connecting the product purpose to the consumer. Connect those dots with a retail hat on and you can create really powerful moments that drive consumer love and revenue.”

The Point.1888’s managing director, Will Stewart, added: “Our business has experienced rapid growth thanks to talent, grit and strategic thinking. Pre-pandemic we saw there was a need for specialist marketing support for our brand licensing clients and we have taken our time to find the right team and approach to make it work. I’m thrilled to be able to reveal this exciting development for our business and cannot wait to see it grow.”

The Story.1888 team will be in attendance at BLE and will be taking meetings with interested parties to walk through their credentials and approach.

The Point.1888 details structural changes amid its leadership team

A company that refuses to sit still, and only a few weeks after the appointment of five new members, The Point. 1888 has promoted three of its senior team members in preparation for the busy year ahead.

Sarah Crimes has been promoted to director of marketing, reflecting the growth of her role over the last 12 months, which now includes marketing for the agency, its clients and the agency’s growing creative division, Story.1888.

Meanwhile, Hannah Stevens has been promoted from head of retail to head of retail and sport, an acknowledgement of the agency’s rapidly growing sports division which includes Team GB and The British and Irish Lions. The agency expects to be busy with both clients this year with the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the South African Rugby Tour.

Finally, Janine Richmond has been promoted from senior commercial manager to head of product and brand, marking an important new role for the agency that will see her take responsibility of the product development team, as well as opening up new category opportunities across the brand portfolio.

As with the new appointments announced in January, each promotion will be crucial for the company’s continued growth. It should also allow the agency to fulfil the many exciting plans it has for 2021 which include international licensing programmes, transatlantic sporting events, and a number of hotly anticipated product launches.

Will Stewart, managing director of The Point.1888, said: “I started The Point.1888 on my own five years ago and while I knew I’d need strong people around me to make the business a success, I never imagined I’d have such an incredible leadership team in place today. This has been a disastrous 12 months for businesses all over the world, but our team has demonstrated remarkable resilience and strength and the promotions are all undoubtedly well deserved.”

Established in 2014, The Point.1888 delivers retail focused brand extension programmes by creating new products based on the gaps it sees at retail, rather than what it thinks the brand’s target demographic might like. This supports a higher chance of retailer buy-in and a better sales performance.

Major expansion at The Point. 1888 sees five new members join the team

The Point. 1888 has detailed its latest major expansion with the appointment of five new employees across its commercial, product development, marketing, and legal divisions. The move comes, according to the firm, as it manages the increased attention and demand driven by ‘an incredible 2020.’

The past year not only saw The Point. 1888 roll-out a calendar of successful Virtual Immersion Events and record-breaking product launches – including a Barratt’s partnership with Iceland which sold 1.3 million units in its first 12 weeks – but it also witnessed its management team take home a pair of the industry’s most prestigious awards when MD Will Stewart won the BLLA’s Brand Ambassador of the Year, and head of retail Hannah Stevens won Licensing International’s Global Rising Star Award.

Now, as the team continues its plans for major expansion, it has welcomes a suite of new employees. Katie Wilkinson has joined as senior commercial manager for publishing, bringing with her 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry. Most recently, she worked in DJ Murphy’s children’s division and last year secured the licensed to launch Blippi magazine.

Meanwhile, Amy Wickham-Hurd has been appointed as creative commercial manager, reporting to senior commercial manager for home, Janine Richmond. She joins from eOne where she managed product development for Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Ricky Zoom, and prior to this she worked as a Buyer for Mothercare, Boots and Monsoon Accessorize.

Sadie Wright joins as product development executive from Santoro Licensing, reporting to product development manager Carrie Sharland, while Ellen Fazakerley has taken the newly created role of marketing executive, working under head of marketing Sarah Crimes and for the agency’s fast-growing Story.1888 division.

Finally, Kate Buitendach has joined the team as contracts manager, making the move from Disney.

Will Stewart, Managing Director of The Point.1888, said: “We’re so excited to be growing our business, creating five new roles to meet the demand from clients and have these incredible, talented legends each bring something new to our team. This is a huge step forward for our business and will allow us to fulfil the many exciting plans we have for 2021.”

Each new appointment will be crucial for the company’s continued growth. In her new role, Wilkinson will be focussed on securing the right partners to deliver new publishing opportunities that resonate with both consumers and retailers and help extend the brands the agency works with into new markets.

Wickham-Hurd’s role will be a hybrid of creative and commercial, allowing her to apply her knowledge and experience across the business while also getting involved in style guides and new collaborations.

As product development executive, Wright will be supporting the team in ensuring all items move smoothly through the development process and assisting The Point.1888’s partners in any way possible.

Fazakerley will be responsible for social media both for The Point.1888 and Story.1888’s clients. She will also be charged with upping the video content across the business and supporting head of marketing, Sarah Crimes.

Finally, Buitendach will be working alongside contracts manager Lynne Chappel, initially focussing on the busy and ever growing Moonbug account.

No stranger to The Point.1888 having worked with them as a licensee for many years, Katie Wilkinson commented: “I always found their integrity, passion, expertise, honesty and ethos refreshing and inspiring.

“When an opportunity to join them arose I was absolutely thrilled… a chance to work with a fantastic team on a diverse and hugely exciting portfolio of brands, exploring and developing products in the space I know and love.”

Amy Wickham-Hurd added: “I chose to join The Point due to the diverse and expanding portfolio of brands, such as the preschool phenomena under the Moonbug umbrella, iconic sports brands including Team GB and The British Lions, classic properties such as Moomins and carefully curated design brands like Miss Print and Jimbobart to name but a few.

“Not to mention a fantastic team that are pushing the boundaries within Licensing to bring innovative new products to market.”

Established in 2014, The Point.1888 delivers retail focused brand extension programmes by creating new products based on the gaps it sees at retail, rather than what it thinks the brand’s target demographic might like.