Smart50 Awards 2017

8 BrandLink

Revenue

$5.7 million

Growth

369%

Founders

Mark Livings, 37 and Mick Hall, 41

Head office

Sydney, NSW

Year founded

2012

Employees

23

Industry

Manufacturing, transport and logistics

website

brand-link.com.au

Speed and accuracy are now key drivers in the world of retail success, and BrandLink founders Mark Livings and Mick Hall looked to get in on the ground floor while running another business.

The pair has extensive experience working with consumer brands including Coca Cola and spirits producer Pernod Ricard. Having seen significant opportunities to create tech solutions that would let businesses with their promotional logistics spend, the pair started work on BrandLink as a side project while running another marketing business.

Juggling two businesses proved to be an all-hours proposition.Brandlink

“Much of this business we got off the ground after hours and on weekends,” Livings says.

“We would run our marketing agency during the day, then whiteboard software, workflows and systems long into the night.”

BrandLink offers a range of services to fast-moving consumer goods businesses, including technology to help these companies track and execute marketing strategies.

“Keeping in mind our end-vision as we burned through cash until we secured our first client was very difficult,” Livings recalls.

When the company did secure its first-ever client, though, it made sure it was a big one. Coca-Cola Amatil came on board with BrandLink, confirming the founders’ belief that the world’s biggest consumer brands needed what they had to offer.

It was a fight to find clients, but BrandLink has managed to book revenue growth of 368.9% over the past three years in part because of its ability to stay small and nimble.

“We learnt that we could out-manoeuvre [others] on price, as we were more efficient, and performance, as we were more agile,” Livings says.

The company is focused on growing customers and revenue beyond its current $5.7 million, explaining its next stage of growth will involve getting access to more capital.

“Our ability to scale presently is hamstrung by access to capital to allow us to expand on the infrastructure front. We are presently working to secure credit and are considering taking on new shareholders to enable further growth,” Livings says.

From there, the business can continue to focus on “new revenue streams that we’re capable of unlocking”.

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