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Class of 2002: The Key To 20 Years of Business Success 

 

 

Victoria Brocklesby, Founder and COO at Origin, the UK’s leading door and window manufacturer, discusses building a successful business during the 2000s amidst financial instability, the 2010s during Brexit, and the 2020s during a global pandemic, and offers her advice to aspiring business owners. 

There was a touch of magic in the air for new businesses in 2002. From ground-breaking spacecraft and technology companies, such as Space X and GoPro, to pioneers in fashion and home design, including Crocs and Wayfair, it was a year that produced some of the world’s most cutting-edge organisations. 

When I established Origin alongside my cousin, Neil Ginger, little did we know that 20 years later, we’d be among an incredible line-up of brands that continue to lead their industries today. 

We often look to the future in business, but it’s the past – and specifically companies with proven longevity – that hold the key to success. In a time of economic uncertainty, we can learn so much from the ‘class of 2002’ on building a business that will weather financial instability, political turmoil, and industry challenges. 

Dare to be Different

Offering a unique product or service will set your business apart from the competition. Global brands have grown from humble beginnings after spotting gaps in the market and daring to break the mould.

Origin was established when we couldn’t source high quality bi-folding doors for our building projects. Our ambitious solution was to start a company offering the best quality bi-folding door alongside exceptional customer service. Today, we are one of the most successful British manufacturers in the world. 

We share this boldness with other brands founded in 2002. Wayfair was set up as the first interior brand to sell exclusively online and offer an unrivalled level of choice, while French designer, Cecile Reinaud, started her maternity clothing brand, Seraphine, after tailoring outfits for pregnant friends. 

Invest in Innovation

Continuing to invest in innovation is vital for success. 

Crocs launched as one of the most unusual footwear brands we have ever seen and stays at the top of its game by continuing to develop its styles using new materials, while Tyrrells has established itself as one of the world’s biggest snack providers by launching new flavours to meet consumer demand. 

Since introducing the iconic Origin Bi-fold Door, Origin has invested heavily in product innovation and now offers an extensive range of bi-folds, doors, windows, and sliders that transform homes, inside and out. We are constantly updating designs to exceed building standards. For example, Origin was the first in the industry to offer Aerogel, a powerful insulator used in spacesuits, in its windows, and now offers some of the slimmest frames on the market.    

Nurture Partnerships and Strengthen Brand Reputation 

At Origin, we support our sales partners by introducing new, innovative ways to make their lives easier. The first manufacturer in the industry to remove lead times with our ‘Your Lead Time, Not Ours’ guarantee, we also offer a revolutionary ordering system, ‘Origin Sale Safe’, so our customers, door and window installers, can accurately quote and order for projects in minutes. Our extensive range means they can order products for the whole house from one manufacturer. Our market-leading service has led to significant growth, and we now have over 1,200 sales Partners in the UK.   

This approach has also been taken by GoPro. The camera brand empowers amateur creators by encouraging them to see the world in new and exciting ways. Through a partnership with Red Bull, athletes at global events capture immersive, point-of-view content on GoPro cameras, making the brand synonymous with sport, outdoor travel, and adventure. 

British watch manufacturer, Bremont, joined forces with adventurers and military personnel to communicate its tagline ‘Tested Beyond Endurance’. Today, the brand has made watches for over 400 military units around the world and is the exclusive luxury watch provider to the Ministry of Defence. 

Futureproof Your Business 

All businesses should invest in futureproofing against economic uncertainty. 

For Origin, a robust supply chain is vital, which is why we have taken steps to take control of our stock availability. A new 55,000sq ft warehouse facility, known as ‘The Ark’, has increased our storage capacity by 82 percent. Materials and components are stockpiled to ensure we always fulfil our ‘On Time, In Full’ delivery promise. 

Last year, Origin integrated its internal IT systems to improve efficiencies and protect our zero-lead-time promise. Processes are now automated, so when an order is placed, production is triggered, and new stock is ordered automatically.  

We are honoured to sit alongside this incredible line-up of trailblazers, all established 20 years ago, which continue to inspire today. With revolutionary new products and services already in the pipeline for Origin, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the ‘class of 2002’. 

 

Download the full Class of 2002 report