Case Study

A long term partnership to power growth and international expansion for Empire Engineering


Offshore Wind Engineering Consultancy


The full works

Length of engagement:
48 months+

Successful because:
The team share the vision

  • Brand confidence, highly visible in market
  • BD processes on point
  • A grip on the numbers to drive international expansion
  • Double digit year on year % revenue growth

Problem: Hampered by existing brand perception. And where do you start fixing it?

About Empire Engineering

Led by MD and founder Karl Davis, Empire is an engineering consultancy supporting offshore wind developers with headquarters in Bristol UK and offices around the world. Empire started in 2014 and has been undergoing rapid growth over the past three years.

“Before working with Make the Break, I used to find myself starting new business meetings by reading out a list of services we provide. It made me feel like I had lost the room.”

Karl Davis, Founder & Managing Director @ Empire Engineering

How did the project come about?

Karl is self aware. He knew that to grow market share, the business had to do more than what he could return from his own network.

Karl had invested in people, hiring in engineers and an operations professional who could deliver high quality work. What was missing was the skills to develop a go to market strategy that would see Empire move from niche consultancy, through market disruptor, to leading player in the sector.

Empire wanted to be in a position where potential clients were short listing the team as an option before even picking up the phone.

Solution: Research and brand update, bring the behind-the-scenes sales and marketing processes into line and then take all of this back out to the market.

Persona research and branding

After initial discussions, we agreed that the best way forward was to create the right foundations (pun intended) for the future growth of Empire Engineering.

We went back to basics and asked a number of key questions. Who is the customer? What are we seeking to accomplish? How do we differentiate in the market? And… how will we quantify future success?

We looked long and hard at the brand itself. We identified weaknesses, pulled out the inconsistencies and questioned the non-compelling statements.

How did this translate into early wins?

An early milestone was a complete Brand Guidelines. We swiftly turned theory into practice and briefed a new website and accompanying set of commercial collateral. The deliverables covered a range of assets for the team to use in pitches and meetings.

“Make the Break has been an integral part of the success we’ve had at Empire Engineering. Knowing there is an expert resource to call on gives us the confidence we need.”

Louise Coles, Partner @ Empire Engineering

EE team strategy session<br />

Empire team strategy session

The bigger picture

We knew that simply handing collateral over wasn’t going to have the desired impact. The goal was now to embed good processes. We trained the team on a range of soft skills and we organised on-going monthly 121s with the team. We ran regular BD pipeline sessions focused on managing deals through the newly defined ‘EE deal stages.’

For a prospective customer, the whole Empire Engineering experience is coherent and expert. Every communication has been tightened up: from the way the team introduces the history of the business, to the key pain points they can help with, to the proof of their expertise and examples of a good job done for others, right through to how quickly and swiftly they could jump into action on a given project.

The team feel comfortable with the commercial conversations.

They’ve had the lightbulb moment of realising that the best ‘sales people’ are the subject matter experts themselves.

EE team strategy session<br />

Louise to camera as part of video series

networking drinks<br />

Networking drinks at the Foundation Ex

Creating momentum

Despite the increased profile, Empire was finding it tough to make it on approved supplier lists. A small number of target accounts were not really engaging. In competitive head to head tenders, Empire still wasn’t getting its fair share. There was more work to be done.

When the competition Zigs, you Zag. We crafted a content strategy, set KPIs and measurement trackers, chose our initial platforms and made just enough room for some ‘test and learn.’ And so we embarked on campaigns, from organising online debates, producing short form technical video content, hosting an in person conference for 200 people, to writing the book of Offshore Wind Foundations.

In the background we built up a highly valuable industry dataset. Several thousand people with whom we can now build working relationships. Our early work started to pay dividends. Domain authority steadily rose, content became highly visible and ‘evergreen,’ still generating serious traffic months after posting. The number of inbound enquiries went from a trickle to a steady stream and crucially, the quality of those enquiries also went up.

Samples for the Empire Engineering floating foundations brochure
AI generated images of offshore wind by the Empire Engineering team<br />

Success: High visible brand being taken seriously, being invited to tender, winning contracts

cheeky conference selfie

Cheeky selfie at Foundation Ex

EE team on a boat in the harbour

Day out with the Empire team at Rampion OWF

The facts speak for themselves. Empire Engineering has gone from a handful of people in Bristol to a growing consultancy with a global presence. Empire is now a recognised brand. Through our combined efforts, Empire is being asked to join approved supplier lists, is being contacted by requests to tender and is winning business in the open market.

An added bonus is recruitment. Engineers (often off the market) reach out to the team because they would like to know more.

We’re not done yet. To support the next phase of growth we’ve helped the formation of a new strategy agenda. We’ve set lofty goals that seemed beyond our reach – a few months later and we are tracking ahead. Here’s to the next chapter.

“Stuart’s understanding of the whole marketing / branding / sales process is comprehensive, but his strength lies in being able to apply this into real organisations. We’ve seen immediate results and couldn’t recommend him highly enough.”

Karl Davis, Founder & Managing Director @ Empire Engineering


Increase in website visits 2018 - 2022

Prospect records added to HubSpot


Sustained Y-o-Y revenue growth

NExt step

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An opportunity for you to talk through where your business has got to and where you would like it to be. We can look to see if we have common ground and if our skills are relevant for what you need.  Together we can spec out a project and get going.