Case Study- Firefly by Leckey

See how Firefly Friends Became a £6,000,000 Business
Within 1 Year of Launch.


Established in 1983.
Manufacturing and design

Creating postural
support equipment for children with
special needs.

Wanted to transform into
a digital business.

Leckey are a 31-year-old manufacturing and design company who create postural support equipment for children with special needs.

Leckey were a company who were simply “doing digital”, they were creating websites and using social media, but the business was not aligned to the new digital era.

However, the owner, James Leckey wanted a fast paced, innovative “digital business” that was strategically and culturally aligned to the changing business world. 

The Challenges

Leckey are extremely innovative when it comes to product design, but it was clear that the business models they were using within the organisation were outdated.

The organisational culture of Leckey meant that they were averted to risk-taking. This meaning that there was little willingness to change, disrupt and challenge the status quo. They didn’t have the framework, processes or a tested methodology to be able to overcome these challenges.

The Solution

The solution was to create a business strategy, through the lens of digital transformation, using ionology’s unique strategy framework, The 7 Principles of Digital Business Strategy.

With Leckey being an already well-established business, they didn’t have the capacity or structure to transform fast enough. Firefly Friends was then set up as a smaller, agile brand within Leckey and included five new departments; Innovation, Education, Community, Marketing and Operations. Creating Firefly Friends would allow them to experiment and take risks without affecting the core of Leckey’s traditional business.

To ensure business alignment, base technology needs were identified and capability gaps were filled, allowing staff to collaborate and have a constant cycle of new ideas. This included setting up broadband within the office, and making use of Google docs to allow sharing and collaboration. The employees were educated on data and analytics, to ensure business decisions were data driven. Various software platform solutions were also implemented, which all contributed to Firefly Friends transforming into a Digital Business.

Firefly needed to encourage co-collaboration in order to propel their business forward. Co-collaboration would create opportunities for new ideas, allowing innovation to happen more rapidly.

Niall McKewon
Digital Marketing Consultant, Ionology

The Outcomes

Firefly Friends co- collaborated on two new products within the first six months. Their first product was the Go-Too seat, which was developed with the charity Cerebra. The Go-Too seat allows children with cerebral palsy to participate in family life, better than ever before. It meant that kids could now have a go on the swings, sit comfortably on shopping trolleys and go karts – things they could never do before. The launch of this product gained Firefly Friends a lot of online attention. Their website traffic increased from 18,000 views per month to 200,000 views.

It was their next innovation, the Up-See, which received the most attention. The concept came from a co-collaboration with Debbie Alatan, a lady whose son had cerebral palsy and wanted to help him with his physical therapy. Leckey took on the testing, design and manufacturing of the product. When launched, the Up-See was featured as a mainstream news story and covered in over 70 countries.

The les shot up to an estimated £6million within the first year. Firefly Friends disrupted how parents could purchase this kind of equipment. They could now buy Firefly Friend’s products directly from them, without needing a Physio therapist’s prescription. More significantly, Firefly Friends created a new industry wave and became the leaders in ‘Family Involved Participation for Children with Special Needs’.

  • Co-collaborated 2 products within the first 6 months.
  • 18,000 to 200,000 website visitors per month within the first 6 months.
  • Global media coverage.
  • Five new departments created within the business.
  • Created a disruption in how parents purchased physical therapy equipment.
  • Created an industry wave in ‘Family Participation’.