“rewiring the mental associations with the value being offered by DFS without dropping a sale”
The brand challenge
DFS has always been well-known for its aggressive approach to pricing and promotion as well as its ‘act now’ type TV advertising.
In 2010 is was bought by Advent International, the private equity company, who set the ambitious target of growing it into a £1bn business.
The challenge was therefore how to continue having a short-term effect while building longer-term brand value.
To achieve this growth the business plan included:
- Increasing brand penetration among more affluent sofa shoppers
- Growing love and consideration
- Breaking down barriers to choice
The solution was to gradually re-wire the mental associations with the value offered by DFS. There was also a need to move from a short-term activation model of TV advertising to a longer-term brand-building model – all of which needed to be achieved without dropping a sale.
Role for research
Tracking research was needed to monitor progress on the key business metrics and provide guidance and inspiration on incremental improvements to maximise effectiveness and achieve more with every £1 spent.
To maximise the study’s ability to aid decision-making the study was tailored around the brands commercial, marketing and communications objectives. This meant…
- Continuous fieldwork designed around DFS’s annual campaigns, rather than being in more traditional time-blocks
- Use of a combination of consistent measures with individual execution measures to ensure the analysis of each campaign is tailored around its objectives while also allowing comparisons to be made between campaigns
- Inclusion of measures to understand how each campaign is working to influence both short-term sales activation and longer-term brand health
- The speed and design of the deliverables matched to the needs of this fast-moving retail business and its different stakeholders
The tracking was able to inform understanding of how the different campaigns worked which fed into the campaign planning.
The types of things Monkey See advised on include:
- The role of different time lengths and media
- The impact of sponsorship vs. typical campaigns
- Creating differentiation vs. the rest of the market
- Claimed vs. actual call to action
DFS was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2015
They showed that over the course of the study:
- Brand penetration up by 32%
- 28% increase in consideration, including a big increase among the affluent sofa shoppers