Winning Public Contracts: Learn from John Lewis Christmas Ads

how to win public sector contracts

John Lewis wins the hearts of the nation every year when they release their Christmas advert. The brand is set to do it all again this year when they release their next festive treat in just a few days’ time.

You may not think it, but if you are looking to win the attention of public sector buyers, there are a few things you can take from the current portfolio of John Lewis Christmas ads.

Preparing Public Tenders

The creative process behind a John Lewis ad will most likely begin on 26 December. Planning matters and it seems that this year’s Christmas advert has been in the works since Christmas 2016! It is predicted that the retail giant will pay homage to George Michael with a version of his festive anthem, Last Christmas.

Preparation is just as important when it comes to winning public contracts. Your business must have key documentation in place before bidding starts. An example of this is DCI Cyber Essentials. The MOD has made this requirement mandatory since January 2016 for suppliers looking to do business in the defence sector.

The process to become Cyber Essentials certified is straightforward and only takes a few days to complete. This is an investment that must be made to prepare your business for public sector bidding.

Promote Your Business

John Lewis had a huge demand for Monty the penguin in 2014, when they featured their cuddly toy product in the Christmas advert. Monty the penguin was a sensation and attracted bids of nearly £150 on third party sites like eBay. The brand was not shy in shouting about this success and they even released another batch of the toy.

When you are tendering, make sure that you too are showing off what your business offers. You may think that filling in public sector contracts is just a box-ticking exercise; however, you would be wrong.  You will need to use your creativity to sell your services.

What is the best way you can do this? Include any relevant experience that you’ve had working with the public sector. Highlight what your business did well previously and demonstrate how you would approach things with that organisation.

Think about the social and environmental impact winning this contract will have – you might need to employ more staff to deliver the contract or demonstrate how your company’s products are environmentally sustainable. These are the types of areas that can really swing the contracting authority’s decision so make sure you check out the weightings.

Include Your Local Credentials

John Lewis was praised by the public for working with Age UK when creating their ‘Man On The Moon’ ad back in 2015, as they helped raise awareness of loneliness in elderly people. The range of products that were designed with Age UK in mind did incredibly well, with a portion of the profits going straight to the charity.

If your business gives back to the local community, keep in mind that councils are looking for suppliers with strong local ties. Include this connection in your application, this will show that you are assisting the Government in its efforts to increase its spending with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) further by 2020.

Seek Expert Procurement Advice

Every year John Lewis works with advertising masterminds, Adam&EveDDB. The agency has worked with some of the biggest names in retail including H&M, Fosters and Marmite.

Just like the world of advertising, getting started with procurement, can seem daunting. If you are looking for advice on how to win public contracts, BiP Solutions can help you identify opportunities and put a bid together.

We’re proud to work with some of the world’s most recognisable companies, international government bodies and customers large and small from all levels of the public and private sectors worldwide.

To find out more about BiP’s products and services, please visit our website.

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