For Queen and country: small firms seek out Royal Warrant during monarchy celebration » SMEInsider

For Queen and country: small firms seek out Royal Warrant during monarchy celebration

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With Queen Elizabeth getting ready to celebrate her 63rd year as head of the British monarchy, small businesses are battling it out to receive the Royal Warrant, a certificate that could increase the sales of companies nationwide.

Her Majesty’s not-so-secret service

The Royal Warrant dates back to medieval times, with British tradesman gaining the honour to place the royal coat of arms within their branding and product materials.

In the UK today, over 800 companies use the Royal Warrant, allowing them to ‘show off’ the high level of quality that exists within their business. Once presented with the warrant, companies then have to re-apply for them every five years in order to continue its association with the royal family.

‘‘It makes a statement about that business that it has achieved a certain level of quality,” said Richard Peck, secretary of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, in an interview with Reuters.

‘There is no hierarchy

2015 is a special year for Queen Elizabeth, as on September 9th, she will become the nation’s longest serving monarch.

Every year, 20 businesses are selected and are presented with a Royal Warrant, an accolade which the employees of Gieves and Hawkes, a London-based tailor, share with pride.

The suit making company received its Royal Warrant in 1912, with its employees making the uniforms of the Royal bodyguards. The warrant stands proudly above its central London store.

‘‘It is a beautiful thing to have,’’ claims Andrew Gomez, one of Gieves and Hawkes’ longest serving employees. Davide Taub, Gieves and Hawkes’ head bespoke cutter, shares Gomez’s sentiment, claiming that the warrant allows regular customers to receive high quality goods. ‘‘There is no hierarchy,’’ Taub said.

Warrants generate £4 billion for UK economy

According to the Royal Warrant Association, the accolades have provided £4.2 billion to the UK economy, with Robert Haigh, marketing director at Brand Finance stating that a small business sees a five per cent profit increase once they receive a Royal Warrant.

There are some businesses however, that aren’t so keen on having ties with the royal family. Chocolate makers After Eight gave up its warrant, with Haigh reckoning that the warrant can affect some brands worldwide appeal.

For many other companies, the warrant has been nothing but a success. Cheesemonger Paxton and Whitfield have received a huge amount of foreign interest since receiving the warrant, particularly from Japan and the United States.

‘‘There is no doubt that in the export market the warrant is regarded highly, in particular in the Far East (and) in North America,’’ Peck said.

‘‘In any country like China that has had some form of dynasty, they recognise what that warrant stands for.’’