The Myer brand is in the middle of its largest facelift ever and B&T sits down with the department store’s deputy CEO, chief merchandise and marketing officer, Daniel Bracken and group general manager of marketing, Tara Lordsmith, to discuss its new marketing strategy, the colour ‘persimmon’ and which other brands are joining.
Obviously there has been a LOT going on behind the scenes at Myer recently – what new marketing plans have you been implementing and how do you see this evolving?
Tara Lordsmith, group general manager marketing: “One of the major changes we have made is our new branding, which we launched on 1st September, in line with our new strategy. We’ve changed our look to incorporate a fresh new take on the Myer brand. The hint of persimmon you’ll see throughout our branding is already pulling through our Spring/Summer marketing, including the catalogue. The colour persimmon means rejuvenation, and they’re in season right now, so it’s the perfect time to launch!
“In terms of marketing communications, we are re-aligning the entire business to focus on our Primary Customer groups, and so we’ll be heavily weighting our marketing communications channel mix to ensure we connect with this customer in more relevant ways. Initially this will mean a skew towards more digital and path to purchase channels, and over time we’ll be integrating our assets like the Myer One database to ensure we start personalising our messages better.”
Have you or are you taking on any extra marketing staff or agencies to cope with the exciting new changes?
Lordsmith: “We’ve recently undergone a marketing structure change as part of our strategic review, as we re-position the business to create a sharper offer around a more valuable customer. As a result, we have numerous roles that we are currently recruiting. At Myer we have the luxury of attracting great talent in marketing and we’re excited about filling those roles with high quality people.
“Of course, we’re continuing to work closely with our above the line agencies Clemenger, One20, Ikon and Active Display Group. I would also say we’re more open than ever to working with agencies that can go on the journey of change with us, and partner with us on a range of new initiatives across the marketing spectrum, particularly those with digital and technology expertise.”
What can Myer customers expect when it comes to the new user experience?
Lordsmith: “We are now building marketing strategies that align to our Primary Customer groups. That means our marketing solutions – and our offer – will be increasingly omni-channel starting with the customer first. Our Primary Customers are no longer seeing a distinction between bricks-and-mortar and online retail, so we need to make sure our marketing reflects that.”
What other new brands have you launched recently, and how are you marketing these?
Daniel Bracken, chief merchandise and marketing officer, deputy CEO: “We’re currently in the middle of the largest brand overhaul for Myer in recent memory. In the past few months, we’ve been really excited to launch brands such as Nine West, Seed Women’s, Seed Kids, Calvin Klein White Label, Aje, Asilio and French Connection, as well as Jack & Jones, cult online-only brand Tiger Mist, and of course our exclusive partnership with TOPSHOP TOPMAN that we announced on 1st September. We’re also really pleased to be bringing Tom’s shoes to Myer in October as well.
“We are promoting these exciting new brands in a number of ways to attract both new and existing customers – these are brands that our high value customer looks for, but that are aspirational for other customer groups as well. Many of the brands have been featured in our current Spring/Summer campaign, activated at the point of purchase with signage and in centre digital screens. Our digital marketing activity has also been ramped up in a variety of ways.”
Topshop UK customers can have access to their own personal shopper over Skype. Is Myer planning to do anything similar?
Bracken: “Myer already has personal stylists in some stores which you can book free of charge at anytime – in fact, you can even book them online. This sort of initiative is exactly the sort of integrated experience that our high value customer is looking for from retail, so as we roll out more of our Myer Digital Hubs you will see bespoke services that start online, such as Click and Collect, Click and Try and personalised shopping. Our Myer One data will become more important to us over time as we begin to personalise our customers’ experiences in the store.”
How do you think Myer customers currently perceive the store and what are you hoping to change? How will you market this?
Bracken: “In conducting our strategic review, we acknowledged that over time, the forces of globalisation, digitisation, demographic and societal change had combined to decrease our relevance to our target customers, and brought a range of new international competitors into the market. We went through an incredibly thorough and detailed analysis of more than 50,000 consumer data sets to ensure have a clear idea of what our high value customer thinks of Myer and our competition.
“This customer – we call her Eva – is a set of lifestyles, values and aspirations, rather than a specific person. We have structured our strategy to present a more focused offer around Eva, which creates a halo effect for other Primary Customer groups. In order to evolve her perception of us, we need to ensure we evolve our offer in-store and online, so that we have a credible brand promise. We can then communicate more meaningfully with these customers and ensure we don’t break that brand promise when they come into our stores or shop us online.”
What other extra perks would Eva get holding a Myer One membership?
Bracken: “As a Myer One member, the more you spend, the more rewards you receive. This is in the form of reward vouchers to spend in store, access and invitations to events, advance notice on new brands and sales happening in your preferred store. Our customer analysis shows that ‘Eva‘ spends more with us, so these customers are likely to increase their stickiness with us because they will continue to receive more and better experiences from us over time as we continue to improve the way we leverage our Myer One data.”
Are you giving the Myer one cards a facelift too, and if so, by doing what?
Bracken: “As part of our transformation journey, every facet of our business will change. It’s not going to be easy, but we know we have to re-position our business around our high value customer, so watch this space!”
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