Karine in the business section of the Evening Post
Evening Post - Business section
European designer products website BODIE and FOU has attracted countless plaudits in the years since it was set up. Karine Kong, who launched it, attributes its success to the quality of the household goods and furnishings on offer. She said: "The media loves to write about our products. Many of our ranges you simply cannot get anywhere in the UK." But building this media interest is also the result of considerable hard work. When she launched her site, Karine invested considerable time in meeting and briefing journalists, showing them products and buidling relationships. The result has been a cascade of free media exposure that has firmly established BODIE and FOU in the contemporary interiors market. Between the first and second years, turnover leapt by 180 per cent. The company, based at the Paintworks in Bath road, Arnos Vale, is continuing to build sales strongly. Karine launched BODIE and FOU with her sister Elodie following a 15-year career in marketing. "It was when I had a baby that I decided to change direction", she explains. "Although I did return to marketing consultancy for a short time after my maternity leave, I decided to dedicate myself full-time to establishing my new business". Karine drew on her marketing background to develop a strategic promotional plan to support the launch of BODIE and FOU. In addition to the concerted editorial campaign, this involves online marketing, including google pay-per-click promotions, competitions and online advertising. Karine also produces a monthly electronic newsletter for her growing customer base - which increases in frequency to become a weekly publication in the run-up to Christmas. She said: "Business Link has been a valuable sounding board in developing my business. "Although marketing is my core skill there are a number of areas where I very much welcomed input from my Business Link adviser"