Richard Gourlay is a highly experienced management consultant who works with private and public companies developing advanced leadership skills in key people, improving processes improving business performance. Richard works with business leaders to develop their strategic leadership skills to develop and implement their business strategy giving them the competitive advantage in their market.
Biography: Richard Gourlay
Richard Gourlay started is career working at Berghaus in its sales and marketing department. This iconic mountaineering brand was a world-class privately owned premium brand in its market. We simply developed and took to market the best technical products in the world that drove the growth of the outdoor market. That passion and focus on being work-class in every market by the whole company created an iconic brand within the sector.
The brand’s success pulled in non-outdoor high value users which expanded the outdoor market beyond its core market. Like to learn more about what the company does today, then click this link: Berghaus
In 1995 Richard went to join the Regatta Group to set-up a new brand Craghoppers. Richard’s role involved identifying the strategic opportunity for the brand. By identifying the brand’s competitive advantage coupled with changing market demands, the brand became the leading outdoor travel brand.
Craghoppers success was due to its response to changing social, economic and environmental changes within the outdoor market. Craghoppers benefited by identifying the opportunities which these changes created. The demand by outdoor customers to travel and explore was supported by emerging growth of low-cost travel.
This customer demand was matched by new technology in fabrics and permanent performance treatments, enabling improved lightweight products. Retail business demand for new products resulted in a clear market opportunity for the brand. A position which Craghoppers could exploit and own with the outdoor market.
Craghoppers developed its unique service offering of rapid supply and resupply which provided a compelling channel partner relationship. This strategic positioning of the Craghoppers brand enabled it to become the fastest growing brand within the sector. Click here to read more about the development of Craghoppers
Richard was asked to join this stand-alone Sheffield store as its operations and marketing director. Created a vision for the brand identifying the opportunity for a one-stop-shop for the outdoors. Richard set an aggressive programme in place of change. He developed a complete internal programme of operations to deliver a modern cutting edge outdoor retailer.
Through strategically planning we created a unique business model for Go-Outdoors. Customer relationship was at the heart of the business through the loyalty card, the brand was an early adopter of personalised direct marketing. This innovative approach provided the brand with its sustainable competitive advantage in customer management. By using the Go Outdoors buying power and retail size the brand’s value provides a genuine one-stop-shop for all outdoor products.
The discount card created a sustainable competitive advantage by linking all promotions to a simple but effective customer relationship management system. This captured and converted loyalty to a focused strategic marketing of customers. Learn more about how we develop strategy by clicking: Cowden Consulting our approach
Richard also developed the rapid expansion of the Go-Outdoors brand developing the strategic business model which turned this stand-alone shop into the UK’s largest and fastest growing retailer. From strategic planning we developed a clear business plan which succeeded in gaining venture capital backing.
The model is the template for the business today demonstrating the robustness of this strategy, Go Outdoors is the largest outdoor retailer in the country, with stores throughout the UK.
Equip Outdoor Designs
Richard assisted Equip Outdoor Designs strategically develop itself into a market leading brand within the outdoor performance brand. The brand was an specialist product and OEM supplier of accessories. By buying the iconic Rab clothing brand, Equip Outdoor Designs was able to bring its expertise to revitalise this historic British brand.
By relocating the company to a cutting edge Derbyshire HQ, Richard enabled the leadership team to grow the business. Bringing in new people with diverse skills created a leadership team capable of supporting the brand’s growth and supporting the re-development and positioning of the Rab brand. The development of the leaderships mindset of moving the brand into the premium outdoor clothing market was critical in ensuring this plan succeeded.
With the successful acquisition and development of the Rab brand and redeveloping Equip Outdoor Designs to support and expand its retail brand names into 28 export markets.
Cowden Consulting is Richard Gourlay’s business working in partnership with Alison Gourlay a Chartered Accountant. Since 2003 we have provide companies with the support and expertise allowing companies to grow and develop with their plan to succeed.
Cowden Consulting has worked with a wide range of companies developing clear strategic direction for owners and leaders of companies, enabling them to accelerate their growth.
Our expertise enables leaders to move their businesses into new emerging or growing markets, making them stronger, more successful and more relevant to the markets within which they operate.
We also support leadership teams’ to enable them to be successful in achieving their goals. Working with leaders to develop their personal skills in leading their organisations to success, Richard enable leaders to engage and motivate their people to perform to their best ability.
Cowden Consulting works with companies enabling leaders to develop their skills in knowing where they are taking their organisations. Leadership requires clear strategic direction in leading people in the right direction. So successful leadership requires strategic planning skills for leaders to fulfil their role thoroughly.
We work with leadership teams’ in PLC’s through to private companies developing the leadership teams strategy, vision, goals and operations to maximise the business success within their chosen market. Richard has delivered strategic change to both specialist brands and iconic brands such as Caterpillar, Tui and Office Depot.
By identifying market opportunities and company capabilities, Richard enables leadership teams’ to maximise their opportunities within their chosen markets.
Our expertise develops micro-business start-ups through to large public limited companies PLC’s. We provide external expertise and advice to owners and directors enabling them to lead their business to success. Our work includes creating new business models for business owners through to developing people to be more successful in running them.
Developing directors leadership skills to successfully lead their organisations is at the heart of what Richard delivers to business executives. Developing successful interventions are at the heart of Richards management consultancy. From bespoke director development programmes through to mentoring and coaching leadership support, Richard supports directors to develop their leadership skills.
Strategy: The Leader’s Role by Richard Gourlay
Richard Gourlay’s book Strategy: The leader’s Role provides a complete step-by-step guide to developing your leadership skills in creating and delivering a successful strategy, click here to learn more.
Richard Gourlay Interim Director
Richard also acts as a non-execitve director (NED) and interim director, supporting businesses through interim or long-term management consultancy programmes tailored around customer needs. His work is focused around high growth businesses, in market sectors where challenges require innovative strategic thinking.
As an interim director Richard provides external independent advice to high growth companies. External advice and an different perspective provides business leaders with an experienced NED who can add real value to directors.