INDUSTRY Q&A: New-look CEDA connects with foodservice operators

CEDA stand

The Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA) recently refreshed its branding and corporate identity in a move that it believes will make it clearer for operators to understand the value its members offer. FEJ spoke to director general Adam Mason to find out more.

You undertook a six-month branding exercise. What was the purpose of that project and did the outcome meet your expectations?

In the first instance, the purpose of the project was to ensure that as an association we were reflective of the membership and industry that we serve. Further, to ensure that we had relevance in who we were, what we delivered and how we projected ourselves. There were no pre-determined ideas and we quite deliberately used third party expertise from outside the industry where necessary. That coupled with the robust, comprehensive and considered nature of the project means that it absolutely met expectations — because we followed the facts, feedback and data that was unearthed.

You’ve unveiled a new logo and straplines — what is the aim in terms of this new collateral?

The aim is to be more contemporary, more professional and, again, more reflective of our membership. The logo and straplines are one thing, but the real value will be in how we create and develop the brand — the messages we deliver and the manner in which we deliver them. We believe we connect our industry and we want to enhance that for all areas of the supply-chain.

Did the report challenge any perceptions that end-users have about CEDA members and what they stand for?

I think when you are called the ‘Catering Equipment Distributors Association’ the natural thoughts are that members buy and sell equipment and little else. This couldn’t be further from reality and while supplying equipment is absolutely a fundamental part of what they offer, so is design, so is project management, so is installation, training, advice, service, repair and maintenance. It’s what sets them apart from companies who sell boxes of equipment with little or no added value. A good percentage of the end-users that responded to our surveys had heard of CEDA — but the majority did not know what we did.

Adam Mason

Adam Mason: “The aim is to be more contemporary, more professional and more reflective of our membership”

What surprised you most from the results of the report?

Not a lot in all honesty. I’m still very new to the industry in relative terms and so my pre-conceptions are not deep-rooted at all. I was pleased with the increase in recognition of CEDA over the last couple of years. But probably the most surprising is that only 4.1% of members promote themselves as ‘distributors’ on their websites.

What would be your message to end-users following the rebrand?

This can give operators an opportunity to understand what CEDA is, what it does and more importantly what our members do. We are the only body that unites design, projects and equipment in the industry and the expertise, professionalism and creativity that our members offer is quite outstanding — we will communicate that message because we absolutely believe it.

What benefits are there for end-users to work with a CEDA member?

As a representative body, we sit behind the members to underwrite them as quality, professional and established businesses. That should provide a comfort factor for the quality and professional end-users and operators. The whole range and quality of the services that CEDA members provide to their customers is outstanding.

For more information about CEDA or to find a CEDA member visit: www.ceda.co.uk

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