Finance

North East plans national advertising campaign after six-figure investment


An incontinence product supplier is planning a national advertising campaign after securing a six-figure investment from a North East jobs fund.

Durham-based Lylalife supplies a range of urinary incontinence products which are delivered directly to customers, with a monthly repeat order service available alongside one-off purchases.

The company, which was founded 18 months ago, has grown orders through Facebook adverts but is now planning a major radio and TV advertising campaign after securing a £100,000 Small Loan Fund investment from the North East Fund.

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The company hopes to increase its customer base of 5,000 to around 50,000 over the next two years, with the aim of creating 20 jobs at its Durham and Newcastle offices.

Lylalife was developed by a team of directors who combine experience of supplying similar product ranges to the care home sector and the NHS with financial and marketing experience.

Managing director Wayne Dobson says: “The products we supply are quite expensive to buy in the shops and experience shows that the quality can be variable, while some customers can naturally feel a bit awkward about being seen taking them off supermarket shelves.

“My existing commercial relationships with manufacturers in the sector meant we were able to source quality products very economically and allowed us to assemble a best-in-class initial product range.

“Our expert e-commerce marketing team then developed our website and digital marketing strategy to see if we might be able to create a business. Customer response has been extremely encouraging and the challenge for us now is to scale up our operations, increase awareness of our brand and make sure that the maximum number of potential customers understand the quality and scope of what we offer.

“Our new year marketing push is the starting point for this drive and we’re confident that we’ll be able to increase our customer base tenfold over the next two years, with the added benefit of new North East jobs set to follow as we grow.

“Being able to access capital from within the region was an important factor for us. When we looked at what was available here, the scalable model offered by NEL was the obvious choice and we’re already considering how we might use further growth investments in the future.”

The Small Loan Fund is part of the wider North East Fund, and is administrated by NEL Fund Managers. The overarching £120m North East Fund aims to provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “Lylalife has already demonstrated customer demand for its high-quality products and its business plan shows a clear path for how it will be able to scale up significantly over the next couple of years.”

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