News and Case Studies

Read news and articles on the progress of the superfast broadband rollout in Scotland and more.

Fusion Flowers

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Alison Bradley and her husband Denis run a multi-award winning magazine about contemporary flower design that sells to customers in 75 countries across the globe. They run the business from a home office in the rural village of Kippen in West Stirlingshire. Since founding the business in 2001, the couple have established an enthusiastic following on every continent, including over 200,000 fans on Facebook and other social media.
“Fibre broadband transforms what we can do with our massive social media following… and has speeded the development of a fabulous new business”

Alison says: “I can hardly describe the phenomenal difference that fibre broadband makes. It changes everything and has opened up fantastic new avenues that were previously closed to us.”

Incredible time savings

Alison says: “We send artwork for the magazine to our printers by email. Before we had fibre broadband, our upload speeds were so slow that this would take over seven hours. Now we have upload speeds of 20 Mbps, it takes moments. The difference is incredible. We have contributors based around the world and they send us their articles and images by email. Again, we can download these instantly now, thanks to our superfast download speeds of nearly 80 Mbps.

“We run an annual competition, the Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year, which attracts hundreds of entries. Our old broadband connection was so slow that entrants had to send their photographs by international parcel courier. Now, they can email them to our cloud application DropBox and we can download them instantly from there. Entrants from Australia were previously paying up to £90 for a courier. Eliminating these costs will boost the number of entries and increase the profile of the competition still further.”

Transforming customer engagement

Alison continues: “Fibre broadband also transforms what we can do with our massive social media following. We run competitions on Facebook and attract huge numbers of entries. Our last competition, which invited people to design a bridal bouquet, generated over a million engagements in a week. With this kind of level of engagement, our Facebook page would often crash five times a day. Now we have fibre broadband, our Facebook connection is robust and reliable and we can continue to grow our levels of customer engagement.

New business development

“Fibre broadband has also speeded the development of a fabulous new business. With such a large community of followers, growers are increasingly asking us to use it for their own market research. Recently, growers in Holland streamed a series of images of different variants of lily they were breeding onto our Facebook page and then were able to measure feedback from our community. This helps growers identify which variants of plant have most customer appeal as well as which countries to target. At present, use of our social media channels for third party market research is in its early stages but now we have fibre broadband, we can develop this further and have already begun to commercialise it.

Using the power of video to sell

“Another really exciting new avenue is that we can make far greater use of video, now we can upload new videos to the internet at superfast speeds. One previous attempt to upload a video to YouTube took us all night. Now all that frustration is over. We will be able to make more use of video on our website too, which will also help with engagement. We sell books, DVDs and accessories as well as magazine subscriptions from our website, so use of more online video will help bring it all to life and is likely to lead to more sales.”

Innovative ways of working

Alison adds: “Uploading all our data to the cloud for back up storage has become so easy! That job used to take all night and was a living hell as it would slow the whole system down. Now it’s quick and straightforward and my frustration level has gone from sky high to zero.

Alison concludes: “Fibre broadband has made a dramatic difference. Now, at last, we can continue to innovate and grow, without being held back by our connectivity. Thanks to fibre broadband, our business is really blooming.”