Roberts Radio: Combining Tactile Design With Cutting-Edge Technology

By CTH Editors

5 months ago

Stylish, hand-built tech

Roberts Radio is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Roberts Radio: Great British Brand 2024

‘There has always been a great affection for radio in the UK but during the pandemic we saw a huge uplift in listening as those who were isolating wanted not just news and entertainment but also companionship. Although radio listening is at an all-time high, device sales have declined over the last few years, in no small part down to the fact that people are using voice assistants to access content.

We try to find a balance between the comfort of a familiar radio design with the latest technology so that customers can stream their favourite playlists. We haven’t got the might of the big global heavyweights but we drive innovation. We’re about to launch new products that will incorporate voice-operated technology into our radios, so that they blend into homes seamlessly.

Three blue Roberts Radios

We’re probably most famous for the leathercloth Revival model and it is still hand-built. The printed circuit boards are made by machines but the assembly is done by craftspeople and always will be. AI will never be able to replace the tactile experience of picking up an audio device, or its excellent sound quality, which is a key part of the proposition when listening to a radio.

We spend the majority of our time focusing our efforts on relationships, not just with our own team, but also with consumers and retail partners. We are slowly building our online presence but continue to focus energy in maintaining strong and fruitful direct relationships with upwards of 500 independent retailers, many of which have been stocking Roberts for years. We still do things the old-fashioned way. I get lots of handwritten letters from customers and we always respond by picking up the phone and speaking to them. Those relationships are the most important, and they are at the heart of Roberts.’

Owen Watters, CEO

Claw bathtub with shelf above it, on which an orange roberts radio sits

Five Proudest Moments

  1. When we were founded by Leslie Bidmead and Harry Roberts in 1932 – the start of an amazing journey creating one of the UK’s most loved brands.
  2. Being awarded our first Royal Warrant to HM The Queen in 1955. The company was subsequently granted warrants of appointment by HM The Queen Mother and HRH The Prince of Wales.
  3. Being acquired by Glen Dimplex in 1994. This investment and a continued nurturing approach enabled the business to thrive.
  4. Launching the first DAB radio in the UK in 1999, innovating in the field, and driving the latest technology trends.
  5. Launching in 2008, the world’s first solar-powered DAB Radio, playing a role in transitioning to a more sustainable world.

What I’ve Learnt

  • Protect your brand and never compromise on core values.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Always care: for your business, your customers, your employees and your suppliers.


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