This year’s FMBE Awards on the 29th January 2021 had a different flavour, with a Covid-safe virtual ceremony, and for Merseyside based agency Exsellence it was a time to celebrate three Gold awards in three years, this time in the category of Operational Excellence. This year’s award was of special significance as Exsellence have been working with the prestigious brand Pladis (McVities and Jacobs) and in close collaboration with another agency to keep the nation fed during the challenges of the pandemic.


This award means the Exsellence team are celebrating a hat-trick of FMBE Gold awards, having previously won for Most Effective In-Store Marketing for 2018 and New Sales Agency of the Year for 2019. This new Gold award, in recognition of their sterling work during 2020, is being proudly brought home for this agency specialising in field marketing on behalf of consumer brands, led by Huw Davies, Managing Director.


FMBE exists to champion best practice in Field Marketing and Brand Experience disciplines and to help clients select and get the best results from leading specialist and integrated agencies, and their supplies in the sector. These prestigious awards are thoroughly researched and inspected by noted industry specialists and Exsellence, established in 2017, have proved to be a popular and worthy winner.


2020 was an unprecedented year for Exsellence as Huw and his team had to rise to the challenge of lockdown measures, and be proactive in their stance so that they could navigate new ways of operating to ensure their team, their customers and wider community could be best served, and in the most secure manner. Their theme of generosity saw them not only find a way of working efficiently and effectively, it also gained the positive attention of the FMBE judges: Exsellence’s stance of collaborating and sharing their best practice measures to work for the greater good of the industry has been praised and recognised.


This new award comes at a time when Exsellence continues to meet the needs of the market during this new period of lockdown. Their experiences of the last year saw them start with having to react, dynamically within 48 hours, to an entirely new way of working.  As well as having to remap the entire country, they decided to include previously unmapped areas so that no store was left without assistance.  As well as putting in place rapid staff training on safety, they also introduced instantly flexible working measures and protocols to manage staff welfare. In addition to their increasingly encouraging staff rewards, team members who had performed exceptionally were rewarded with bonuses as well as being personally contacted via letter by the MD of Pladis. Exsellence were determined to continue with their fundraising for MIND charity, too, in keeping with their other charitable endeavours.


The result of these efforts became clear by the end of 2020: this market-leading response led to no loss of service during the year.  Scott Snell, Pladis VP of Sales in the UK and Ireland said“The resilience and positivity shown has been exemplary, driving inspiration and from our customer team but also our customers.” 


The buying teams at Tesco, Co-op and Morrisons have also thanked Pladis, whose support from Exsellence has helped protect Pladis during this crisis, enabling them to maintain stock on shelves and outperform other competing suppliers.


Huw Davies, Managing Director of Exsellence says, “I could never have predicted when we won last year’s Gold award, what this year would have in store. This new Gold award is richly deserved for the team I consider it a privilege to lead. Our ethos of entering this crisis with an attitude of working for the greater good has its own rewards, and Exsellence personnel have gone above and beyond their own exemplary standards to make sure they have achieved their goal of helping to feed the nation. This FMBE Gold award is for them.”


Just four years after Exsellence launched, it enters a new calendar year determined to meet the challenges that current restrictions bring to all businesses, safe in the knowledge that it has been able to meet the significant difficulties presented by the pandemic, and that it’s ethos of generosity has laid a foundation for future success based around serving both its clients and the wider community whilst valuing and rewarding its staff.