Best practice from Lawton
Since opening in September 2000, WestQuay has performed well against plan. In fact, turnover and footfall have become so significant that it would be fair to say WestQuay has truly become a major part of life in Southampton.
At the beginning of 2007, WestQuay’s business plan called for significant growth - the marketing team were required to develop a strategy to deliver this growth.
Lawton investigated to what extent WestQuay had successfully established itself as a brand in consumers’ minds, and to what extent this was motivating compared to the competition.
Research revealed that the marketing tools (particularly advertising) were unfocussed - the lack of a compelling position for the brand had led to a communication strategy that lacked a clear goal.
WestQuay wanted to emotionally engage with its consumers in order to increase shopper loyalty. It wanted to position itself as a place in which consumers can be pampered and as a magical world of delightful escape.
Lawton’s objectives were two-fold: Firstly to communicate this newly-defined positioning to target consumers - establishing then building the WestQuay brand, and secondly to launch the new brand campaign for the critical autumn/winter trading period, to help drive footfall in the run up to Christmas.
The communications strategy was honed with both media and creative working hand-in-hand to ensure delivery of message was appropriate, timely, impactful and engaging to the target audience.
The channel mix was tailored in accordance with the key Mosaic groups and to reach the 60-minute drive time audience. Communication was phased to maximise impact and exposure, and build campaign momentum in the approach to Christmas.
The single-minded proposition and consumer take-away from communications was ‘at WestQuay there are endless temptations to treat yourself’. Stepping away from traditional shopping centre advertising, the idea was to create a wonderland of pure indulgence; somewhere you can Escape the everyday. Every day.
Leading with the campaign line 'Escape the everyday. Every day' Lawton positioned WestQuay as a wonderland which promises a journey of discovery - where there are limitless opportunities to indulge. The execution was purposefully rich and decadent but also enchanting and welcoming.
Designed to engage through trick-of-the-eye, a first glance reveals rich, expansive landscapes where upon second view the audience notice the landscapes are made from a clever montage of products and fashions - all of which are available at WestQuay. The TV soundtrack was specifically composed to be mystical and inviting, enhancing the sense of journey.
The ‘Autumn/Winter’ campaign broke early November and ran until late December. An integrated campaign, activity led with weighty TV (Meridian) and Outdoor (regional 96, 48 and 6-sheet) media and was supported by in-centre communications and online activity.
The brand campaign creative was also employed to deliver tactical Christmas opening hour messages, ensuring that visual synergy was delivered across all communications. These tactical messages were executed on radio, in press and in-centre via posters.
· The eight week TV campaign had a reach of 75% of ABC1 women and delivered 9.7 OTS.
· Outdoor covered 17 x 96 sheet sites, 51 x 48 sheet sites and 216 x 6 sheet sites over a four week period, located across regional sites identified to reach their target audience.
· Radio: adverts were on five regional stations for a five week period, generating 1,255 30-second ads. This reached 69.9% of catchment households with 20.8 OTH.
· Press: there were 20 adverts across five publications for a four week period, reaching 323,000 households, within the core catchment.
To launch the new campaign to customers and media, Lawton supported an ‘Indulge’ event which was held in the centre, where shoppers were invited to indulge their senses. Various complimentary treats and promotions were available communicating the new positioning, including a sneak preview of the advertisement.
Throughout the duration of the campaign, footfall in the centre increased by an average of 22% compared to the previous year.
Qualitative research demonstrated that the campaign was highly effective in communicating a magical, mystical, inviting world and that the advertisements engaged consumers leveraging the planned psychological dynamic.
There was a 19% improvement in people agreeing WestQuay is a great place and 82% agreed that WestQuay is a place ‘where you can really spoil yourself’.
Consumers also felt that the quality of the advertisements raised their perceptions of WestQuay as a brand – no longer as just a regional shopping centre, but a place of stature and maturity and 84% of respondents agreed they ‘really like WestQuay’.
Andrea Fudge from Office said, “The advert truly encompassed the WestQuay indulge yourself campaign with a Christmas feel. The use of products available to purchase within WestQuay was inspirational.”
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