Brands of Tomorrow | In numbers

Walpole launched its flagship Brands of Tomorrow programme in 2007 with the vision to secure the long-term growth of the UK’s luxury sector by building a pipeline of next-generation brands. Now, more than 120 brands have completed the programme and many that have participated have not only grown significantly, but also found international success – Orlebar Brown, Bremont, Nyetimber, Emilia Wickstead, Miller Harris, Astley Clarke, amongst others.

Overall, Brands of Tomorrow is a story of immense success – a story of growth, in terms of revenues and employment; of meaningful contributions to the UK with a substantial proportion of turnover generated from overseas, and longevity, with the overwhelming majority of companies transcending the start-up phase to become mature, successful businesses.

As we now begin a new journey with this year’s 12 brands, which will be announced on Thursday 27th February, we look at some of the facts and figures behind the programme.

This data is from an in-depth survey of alumni brands from the programme.

Brands of Tomorrow in numbers

– The combined total revenue of Brands of Tomorrow is around £300 million

– Brands who have completed the programme have seen a three-fold increase in total revenue

– Brands now average 23 employees each with a total workforce of nearly 1300

– Of the 120 brands who have completed the programme only six are no longer trading – significantly below the UK average where failure of early-stage businesses can be as high as 50%

– Almost 40% of revenues come from non-UK customers with fashion & accessories the most export-led

Following research with McKinsey & Company which identified that access to the right kind of investment is one of the key growth drivers for early stage companies, Walpole was keen to understand more specifically about the investment journeys of the Brands of Tomorrow. Around half of the respondents to the survey have taken on external funding and on average the funded brands were significantly larger and grew faster compared to those that remained in the hands of their founders. It was found that brands which have taken on external funding have achieved an annual revenue growth of 28%; those which have not taken on funding achieved an average of 8% annually, which highlights the power of the right investment at the right time.

Entrepreneurial spirit goes hand-in-hand with British luxury, whether new brands looking to enter the market or the passing down of expertise through the network of senior executives who given up their time to mentor on Brands of Tomorrow and Walpole’s work to help create a strong pipeline of economic growth for the UK luxury sector through its development programmes is key to its mission.

For the rest of this week and in the run up to the Brands of Tomorrow launch at the end of the month, we will explore the brands and founders behind the brands that have participated in the programme to find out more about the stories, trials and tribulations of being a luxury entrepreneur.

Brands of Tomorrow is supported by international law firm and programme partner  Mishcon de Reya 

Image: Courtesy of Olivia von Halle, Brand of Tomorrow 2013