Best practice from SASS
Since 2001, Venture has been pioneering the portrait photography category, with an ambitious objective of forcing re-consideration by making it relevant to modern day consumers.
The Venture core consumer was not only defined demographically – ABC1 women with children 0-9, but also psychographically, as a ‘state of mind’’. Namely, disconnected families living in a world full of risk (9/11, Tsunami, BSE, Iraq, drugs, MRSA) leading busy, stressful, hectic lives, where time is a precious commodity, and who are seeking ‘valves’ to let off steam.
Consumers who respond by ‘progression’, throwing energy into the new, and seeking to validate their lives in an emotionally positive way; consumers increasingly feeling ‘out of touch’ with themselves, and craving for shared experiences.
Venture was able to tap into the mindset - ‘the only way to live life is to meet it head on and experience all it has to offer’, whether it is young families who are ‘celebrating mum’ or mature families who are ‘reconnecting’.
Our challenge was to achieve a five per-cent increase in prompted brand awareness nationally, and pro rata increase in brand consideration and 7,500 conversions to voucher sale (conversion is defined as volume of sold vouchers attributable to media campaign). As a franchised business, Venture also faces many communications challenges.
SASS’ brief was to also look at the company’s internal communications to investigate the franchisee base’s understanding of the brand values, identifying any gaps and putting measures in place to create a raft of internal brand ambassadors.
Our communications strategy positioned Venture as an aspirational brand concept that was ideally placed to take advantage of the key consumer trends of Individualism and Self Expression, Customisation and The Cult of Celebrity
Our campaign strategy built on the three core components of the brand: Venture as a shared experience (studio session), as a retail experience (post-session service), and as an icon on the wall, (end product), all of which were encapsulated in what we called the ‘Venture Experience’.
Venture’s brand proposition was defined as ‘a visual icon that reveals the real you’ and its tone of voice was encapsulated in the following brand character - Cool, confident and stylish. Passionate, bold and challenging. Irrepressible.
Using specialist discipline input from SASS in-house ‘centres of excellence’, we developed phase three of Venture’s integrated brand communications campaign, which, in 05, had launched Venture’s new identity (Venture New Generation Portraits) and brand promise (Every Venture Tells A Story).
The £1.5m campaign encompassed internal communications to the franchisee studio network, and external communications using advertising on television and in women’s magazines, parenting titles and weekend supplements, PPC search campaigns, in-studio window display and POS programmes, retail/mall exhibition units, PR and advertorials and collateral development including print, video and website/SEO.
Awareness / Recall
- Spontaneous Brand Awareness increased from 16% to 19%
- Prompted Brand Awareness increased from 36% to 43%
- Spontaneous Brand Consideration increased from 13% to 15%
- Prompted Brand Consideration increased from 25% to 31%
- Spontaneous Advertising Recall increased from 9% to 10%
- Prompted Advertising Recall increased from 19% to 23%
Source: Alchemy Research Quantitative tracking study
- Venture’s 06 KPI matrix recorded a sold voucher conversion of 7,300 (20%) on total leads of 22,300 attributable to comms activity.
- Web traffic:
- 64% increase in web traffic to 437,000 unique visitors during 06 – average 36,000 uniques per month, and 13,000 repeats
- ‘You Write The Script’ internal communications programme successfully introduced across 90 studios and Venture Head Office. Positive feedback via ServQual study through Leadership Factor.
- Launched Reveal – an internal magazine which was issued to all UK and international studios.
- Venture awarded Superbrand status
- Reveal achieved finalist status at CIPR Excellence Awards 2007
- Reveal achieved finalist status at CIPR Pride Awards 2007
- EVTAS campaign used to support launch activity for studios in Hong Kong, Dublin, Seoul and Westport, Connecticut
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