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Award winning Golden Leaves Funeral Plans
Golden Leaves Scoops London Business Enterprise Award
Golden Leaves have won their category for this year’s London Business Enterprise Awards in the southern ward
Receiving any kind of formal award or accolade as a business is of course wonderful, but to receive a “London” business enterprise award (our ancestral home), is something that truly resonates and is particularly special for us here at Golden Leaves.
For any local business like ours to be independently recognized for its achievements and growth not only in London, but nationally, really is extremely flattering.
Golden Leaves began life from very humble beginnings operating out of a tiny back room office situated in Rowland Brothers Funeral Directors (a funeral company that has been serving the local communities since 1870.) based in Thornton Heath, Croydon, South London. Early 1984, the funeral planning product itself was named “golden Leaves” and specifically devised to provide the option for individuals who wished to pre plan, pre design and pre pay for their end of life services in advance. The product provides peace of mind for the purchaser whilst delivering significant financial and emotional benefits for the loved ones they leave behind. Golden Leaves the product, was eventually to evolve into a limited company in its own right a few years later and at that point in the late 1980’s, Golden Leaves, the brand, was born.
Since its formation, Golden Leaves have been at the forefront of the Funeral planning sector in the United Kingdom. Whilst helping establish the NAPFP (National Association for Pre-Paid Funeral Plans) it was heavily involved in launching the first nationally recognized set of quality / service, code of conduct standards which covered correct ethical and compliant sales behavior as well as clearly understandable marketing material. Golden Leaves were also pivotal in the negotiations with Her Majesty’s Treasury and the FSA in 2000, negotiations that eventually led to the formation of the government and FCA recognized sector self-regulatory body – the FPA (The Funeral Planning Authority).
The funeral planning Industry itself, has grown dramatically from what was no more than a handful of operators selling a few hundred plans a year in those heady early days, to what is now a multi-billion pound industry selling over 200,000 policies a year across a diverse and complex set of distribution channels throughout the country. The growth of the industry has seen the market expand year on year, products evolve and offerings diversify, Insurance groups, sales companies, national charities, giant supermarket brands and massive Public Limited Companies enter the sector offering the product: blazing a path of increasing growth amid fierce competition.
In an exploding market, and in the face of competition from companies well over 40 times its size, Golden Leaves steadfastly redeveloped its brand identity, modernized its offices, systems, staff and field partner training, developed a new product proposition and relaunched its suite of products and modernized brand into the sector. It launched a new pricing strategy and flexible partnership style that also saw it emerge as increasingly attractive to funeral directing and affinity sales partners alike. Positioning the brand as a credible alternative to the corporates and Independent competitor base helped maintain the position of the business and over time push it forward from a healthy and consolidated platform. The reputation of the business had now begun to change from one of an old and historic company to a cutting edge, strategic and tenacious one with heritage and pedigree. The company soon began to experience sales figures increasing at an annual rate of 50%.
So, at a point in the sectors evolution when competition is at its most fierce, Golden Leaves has been remarkably resilient. In the face of adversity this south London based company, has grown at a faster rate than any other funeral planning company registered with the FPA. Since 2009 the companies growth has outstripped that of the entire market year on year and the statistics provided by the sector regulatory body. Even with its market share rising to the highest point in the organisation’s history this year, we are proud to say that even during these times of accelerated growth, we have never lost sight of our core principles. We place our clients (our golden leaves) at the heart of everything we do, which is one of the reasons that our brand, that took over thirty years to build, is so trusted.
Finally but I firmly believe most importantly, we would like to thank all of our field and head office staff whose tireless dedication and devotion to the business has made this Award possible.
Without them, battling on through all of those difficult hours and throughout all of those hard fought weeks, months and years Golden Leaves would have never been able to even survive in such a fiercely competitive marketplace and against such overwhelming odds, let alone flourish and continue to deliver annual year on year growth, as it does today.
Barry Floyd – Managing Director – Golden Leaves Group