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Corksol - Cork

CorkSol Case Study

From a whiteboard idea, transformed into a market leader in just 18 months with a national approved applicator network

About CorkSol

CorkSol are the exclusive distributors of the Thermocork sprayed cork exterior coating material in the UK, distributed and applied through their own approved applicator scheme that trains professional coating companies who have a desire to add a unique, sustainable eco material to their range.

Once Approved, CorkSol work with their applicators to ensure a continuation in the high standards achieved through the training through a wide range of uses from residential homes, commercial buildings, roofs and other structures that benefit from exterior coatings such as wooden buildings and containers.

With applicators from the Shetlands to Jersey, CorkSol are proud to serve the UK and have been selected by Kevin McLoud from TVs Grand Designs as one his Green Heroes.

6teen30 Digital - CorkSol Case Study

The Challenge

CorkSol was a micro business that was trading live, full of potential but unable to make meaningful gains due to the lack of strategy, business model and go to market execution to bring the potential through to revenue.

The key challenges the management team faced were:

  • How to bring the ideas through to a workable business model that could scale
  • How to best commercialise the UK solus supply agreement they had for the cork coating
  • What markets would be best to target for the little known Cork based sprayed coating product

CorkSol had already been recognised by Kevin McLoud from Grand Designs some 2 years earlier as a Green hero, however were unable to fully bring this to market and capitalise on the accreditation.

With no clear messaging or marketing strategy, sales were small and the brand continued to underperform its potential despite extensive commitment and previous work by the management team.


The Process

Starting with a full business and market strategy assessment, the process to take CorkSol out of the mainstream availability was made and supply was to be redirected through an approved applicator program that would guarantee the application standards of the unique product.

The strategy rapidly started to take shape that included:

  • Financial forecasting and market acceptance identification
  • Persona development for Applicators and Architects
  • Design, build & launch of the Approved Applicator Program
  • Brand upgrade with product and applicator program productisation

The new positioning and growth strategy brought the fractured pieces of the previous efforts together, fused it with new innovative ideas and go to market approved applicator program.

With a fully supporting marketing and sales strategy that allowed CorkSol to officially launch with purpose, backed by a new vision and mission that allowed their new applicators to improve trading margins in a controlled sales environment.

The Results

The UK construction market specifically around cement based renders and coatings is well established, the Thermacork environmentally friendly solution was initially received with scepticism from traditional coating and render companies, however the new breed and smaller trade companies started to see the opportunity and applicator programs were initially scheduled to run courses twice a month post launch.

CorkSols new business model was live, revenue generating and included

  • Full Marketing Automation and Lead Generation Funnels
  • Primary Approved Applicator Program
  • Approved Applicator Training Academy in their HQ in West Yorkshire
  • Secondary Approved Architect Program
  • Marketing support through content market, social media
  • Sales support through ABM LinkedIn strategies
  • Executive coaching and management team support

CorkSol Approved over 40 applicators in the first 12 months of adopting the Growth Engine program, generating previously unattainable revenues from training course fees, plus increasing Thermacork bucket sales well in excess of 100% over previous years trading figures.

All whilst establishing a national applicator network and that were also the core sales force supported by CorkSol HQ.

A full approved applicator marketing program was designed to support the point of sale and online representation of the applicators, allowing them to promote CorkSol,  Thermacork and their certification to their own clients.

Further marketing strategy and support was provided to the CorkSol Training Academy with the strategy, design and production of Applicator training materials, slide decks and certification designs. 

Learn more about the approved applicator scheme, and the amazing benefits of cork coatings at  https://corksoluk.com/

Key Outcomes

CorkSol were able to mobilise what was a static business model, that was unable to gain traction and transform it into a licenced distributor operating and business model that was unique in the exterior coatings niche. 

It quickly established itself as the leading cork coatings distributor in the United Kingdom, already recognised by Kevin McLoud as one of his Grand Designs Green heroes.

The Growth Engine Strategy, execution and launch, supported by the exec coaching created the distributor accreditation program that recruited and trained approved applicators using inbound content marketing, social media and LinkedIn ABM strategies.

CorkSol built up an established national network inside 18 months from the first whiteboard session to become a market leader.

Market Leader in 18mths
Kevin Mcloud - Grand Designs Award
Revenue Increase in 1st Year

'Finally, I'm Excited About
Our Business Again'

Joff Ward - Managing Director - CorkSol
"We began working with Mike and his team at the start of our Company's life and journey. What Mike was able to achieve was a company brand which gave us a level of establishment in the market and professionalism which we probably didn't deserve.

The level of detail in terms of the research and copy put together was significantly better than we could have achieved and better than we initially expected.

This ensured that we came out of the blocks at a fantastic rate. The foundations which Mike put in place with us are still those on which CorkSol is based and continues to grow, and I have no doubt that without this we would not be where we are today. 

Mike has a great team and they went out of their way to deliver results, over and above those initially planned."

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6teen30 Digital - CorkSol Case Study - Joff Ward

Mike's ability and experience is second to none, he has a unique manner which I can only admire and attempt to copy.

His solutions and advice for our sales and marketing was a key factor in the success and subsequent successful exit for me. I could not have done it without him and will be eternally grateful for his friendship, support, and genius!


Simon Doderer
Senior Recruiter, Microsoft

Mike’s knowledge of the automotive & leasing sector is very impressive. He has an excellent ability to seek out new products and services even in a mature market sector. He then is meticulous in the marketing delivery and route to market. Finally, his passion and commitment to any project are beyond question.

Philip R Jordan
Non-Exec Director, The Bear Trail

Mike's Growth Engine system has helped KeyFleet transform from a Ford to Ferrari and we couldn't have done it without Mike. If you get the chance to work with Mike you won't regret it.

I feel that Mike's direct assistance and beyond the clock dedication to myself and KeyFleet is a huge reason behind our success.

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Marc McLoughlin
Managing Director, KeyFleet

I highly recommend these guys, I can honestly say we would have not achieved our success if it wasn't for Mike and his team. Their ability to understand the immediate priorities and deliver programs that get results!
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Jason Buckley
Managing Director, LF&E

I would highly recommend Mike and his team for anyone wanting to up their game and take their business to the next level.
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Lucy Barrow
Marketing Director, Mix & Twist

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