Chilled champion

Jun 27, 2007 | Marketing | Charles Gemma.

Richard Tolley has no interest in golf, and has never played on the rather odd mini-course on Dairy Crest's grounds, but did organize club nights at Manchester's legendary Hacienda as a student; he has also cycled around the world, taking in countries such as Thailand while they were still unspoiled. Perhaps what gives the newly promoted group marketing development director the real edge over his peers is that he has enough confidence in his brands that he does not feel the need to pretend that his diet consists wholly of the company's products. Tolley is not an emotionally-driven marketer. He makes liberal use of the word 'passion', but in relation to seemingly dry concepts such as consistency and accountability. His early career reveals the source of his evangelical belief in marketing's worth....

Tolley has overseen an impressive period of growth at the company. Nearly every brand has grown significantly, with sales standing at £123m, up 125% over four years. Cathedral City is an emblem of Dairy Crest's transformation from a commodity- to a brand-led business; worth £16m 10 years ago, it is now valued at £ 130m and growing at a rate of 20% a year in both volume and value. No mean feat for a high-fat food in these health-conscious times.

last updated december 2013