Neil has spent most of his commercial life in the top global brands of Nestle and LEGO and has built his career on innovation and success. He is a character that is happy to challenge the conventions of the corporate culture and truly work outside the box in seeking solutions, culminating in partner activities with EON, Shell, BP and Siemens.
With a passion for education, Neil has focused his latter career on the commercialisation of learning resources and, as a result, became sales and marketing director Europe for the LEGO Education business.
To experience greater freedom and embrace new challenges Neil embarked on setting up the DACTA company with his colleague Graham Farrow. The company soon flourished and became an attractive acquisition, thus presenting the opportunity of a sale to a FTSE company. Neil remained in the business and added further growth and experience for the new owners over a three-year period.
Once again, feeling the need for fresh experiences, Neil embarked on setting up TOLO Learning where he could utilise his skills in product development, distribution, sales and marketing.
After the sale of this company Neil created B4L with a focus on supporting new and established companies wishing to enter or grow in the Education sector. In this role he has become a STEM specialist.
Graham FarrowFinance and Strategy
Graham describes himself as a lapsed Chemist, having graduated from Exeter University with a PhD many years ago. After a valuable learning experience in pharmaceutical production, industrial engineering and marketing, Graham successfully managed the medical device business, Davis and Geck.
After being headhunted by LEGO to manage LEGO Education in the UK, he ultimately became senior director for sales and operations for the global LEGO Education business.
After success with LEGO Education, Graham formed DACTA Ltd with Neil to manage the marketing and distribution of LEGO Education products into Europe. A period of rapid growth followed and the acquisition of new brands, including TOLO Education and VELCRO Education.
Following the sale of DACTA Ltd to RM PLC, Graham and Neil continued to grow and develop the business. Seeking new challenges, they started a new business, TOLO Toys Learning Ltd, to help develop this brand in Europe.
Now having formed Brands 4 Learning Ltd, Graham is looking forward to using the expertise he has gained in the education market to support new companies wishing to participate in the industry or companies who wish to grow their present offering in education.
Matt Martin-RhindDesign and Innovation
Naturally curious, creative and imaginative, Matt is your man for product development and branding consultancy.
Having graduated with a BA Hons in Product Design & Technology from Loughborough University, Matt kicked off his professional design career by moving to Denmark to work for the LEGO Group. In this capacity, he specialised over the course of nearly 10 years in working with internal and external partners to design and co-develop world class products and play experiences that were not limited to the construction toy industry.
Matt loves to solve design and branding challenges. He is passionate about “good design” and absolutely can’t stand bad functionality, no matter how good it might look. He offers a fresh open approach to problem solving, with a keen eye for spotting the business opportunity.
We are happy that Matt has decided to move back home to the UK and join our B4L team, although we do sometimes worry a little about his passion for fast motorbikes! In his spare time Matt likes to remain active playing numerous sports, and tinkering with motorbikes and cars. In the summer months you might even spot him down the racetrack participating in some amateur motorbike racing.
Richard FarrowDigital Marketing
Richard is our marketing consultant and go-to person for all things digital. He spent four years studying at the University of Birmingham, attaining an undergraduate degree in Ancient and Medieval History (which has yet to be useful but he assures us it will be), and a postgraduate MSc in Marketing. Not only has this given him a strong theoretical knowledge of marketing concepts and strategies, but also keen analytical skills.
Combining his interest in technology with his marketing qualifications, Richard went into digital marketing at a local agency. Here he developed a wide range of skills, such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), email marketing, content generation, social media marketing, and website development and management.
Brands 4 Learning presented a fantastic opportunity for Richard to develop a deeper understanding of business and bring his digital skills to a vibrant industry.
Richard is focused and passionate about delivering great results to all our clients. He wholeheartedly believes in a holistic approach to business, that incorporates a range of online, offline and relationship marketing strategies.