Positioning Johnson Tiles as an industry stalwart amidst market uncertainty

Client: Johnson Tiles

The brief

Stoke-on-Trent based Johnson Tiles has been a key player in the ceramic tiling industry since 1901, enjoying success in both the consumer and commercial markets.

Insight-led strategy

In January 2019, the collapse of a major competitor left Johnson Tiles as the only remaining manufacturer of ceramic tiles in the UK. Keen to further cement its prime industry position and amplify its existing reputation for quality and innovation, the tile giant enlisted the expertise of Hattrick for a six-month content marketing campaign.

“All of our team were really impressed with this campaign. Not only were the end results fantastic, but Hattrick took a careful, insight-led approach, which allowed Johnson Tiles to leverage our market position.

“The initial research informed the messaging for the entire six month period, which focused the campaign for its duration and meant all channels were in perfect sync.” – Nigel Stannard, Commercial Director, Johnson Tiles

Kensington range


  • Highlight the unique market position of Johnson Tiles
  • Champion company history of a rich local heritage, committed to investing in communities both in The Potteries and beyond
  • Drive interest in Johnson Tiles’ products and the business as a whole by increasing web traffic and social media traction
  • Communicate the message that, against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, Johnson Tiles continues to be stable, prepared for Brexit and dedicated to investing in British industry

Target audiences

  • UK manufacturing & industry peers
  • Local community
  • A&D specifiers
Tile design from Victoria Baths collection


Discovery & understanding

To build a solid campaign platform, Hattrick carried out desktop research to understand and map out the current conversations in the marketplace around British businesses and Brexit.

The insights helped shape the messaging and the outreach plan built around the business’s blog, social media platforms and editorial opportunities in relevant business and sector media, as well as local and regional papers.

The team developed content around three distinct themes, each with its own activity:


  • Key message: Johnson Tiles is investing in the business with £650K on machinery, apprentices and Brexit-proof strategy
  • Core activity: thought leadership features and interviews with the business’ managing director Stephen Dixon
  • Channels: leading manufacturing and industry magazines
  • Highlight results:
    -Two features and an interview in industry titles Tile & Stone Journal and Tomorrow’s Tile & Stone
    -A feature on investment in British Manufacturing
    -10 further news pieces in top tier industry titles
Symmetry range

Local & regional

  • Key message: Johnson Tiles is a business with heart. Emphasise its continued investment in The Potteries and its local community, and the business’ involvement in philanthropic projects across the UK.
  • Core activity: media relations campaign both in the Stoke-on-Trent area, and to other regional media where relevant
  • Channels: particular focus on the Stoke Sentinel (print and online) as well as other local media outlets
  • Highlight results:
    -Four detailed pieces in the Stoke Sentinel, including coverage of the investment in the local community
    -Further coverage for other charity projects across the UK

Architects & designers

  • Key message: Positioning Johnson Tiles as a leading UK manufacturer that is here to stay. One that’s at the forefront of the design industry and leading the way with trends and inspirational content for the A&D community
  • Core activity: trend-led, SEO blog content developed to drive organic search to the website, particularly focused around events in the architecture and design community such as Milan Design Week and Clerkenwell Design Week. Regular engaging content posted across social media platforms.
  • Channels: Johnson Tiles website and social media channels including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & LinkedIn.
  • Highlight results:
    -Coverage secured in leading A&D magazine Mix Interiors
    -Average time spent on blog page increased by 23%
    -Organic web traffic increased by 9%
    -LinkedIn following up by 22%, referrals from LinkedIn to the website increased by 700%
Glasgow mural, Queen’s Park


Hattrick’s campaign activity resulted in meeting all of the initial objectives, from championing Johnson Tiles commitment to investment by securing 2.5 times more media coverage than the initial KPI in a mixture of local, business and trade publications, to driving interest in Johnson Tiles’ products by increasing website traffic and social traction.

Summary key results:

  • 21 pieces of editorial coverage secured in relevant sector and local titles (2.5 times more than the KPI) including two long-form features in heavyweight industry publications, conveying all key messages
  • Total reach of 450,000+ opportunities to see (print and digital)
  • Average time spent on blog pages up 23% vs previous year
  • LinkedIn following grown by 22%, website referrals from LinkedIn up 700% vs previous year
  • Overall web traffic up by 5.9% vs previous year

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