Ed Cotton: How One Of The Oldest British Retailers Has Managed To Stay Relevant

John Lewis, the iconic British department store has kept itself in the game despite out-dated technology through powerfully emotional TV spots.

UK department store retailer John Lewis was crowned marketer of the year, for the second year running, by The Marketing Society.

It’s just reward for the brand’s commitment to re-engineer itself to be relevant to today’s shopper.

The brand has been determined to re-position itself in a world where it’s challenged on all sides and its Marketing Director openly admits its internal CRM systems are 15 years behind the leaders in the retail space.

What’s so interesting about John Lewis’ success is that it’s been primarily driven by television and a couple of iconic and very powerful TV spots; last year’s focused on women and this year on kids.

While the brand runs a bunch of retail TV, it’s these brand spots that have shifted the perception, they demonstrate the brand gets people and take an elevated stance to play on higher order emotions, well beyond on what you expect from most retailers.

Always A Woman- 2010

Christmas Campaign 2011

It’s surprising that in the day of sophisticated new media options John Lewis used the power of an “old fashioned” medium to present themselves in a new way and leveraged social media to give their TV buy more power.

What’s worth admiring is how this has all been calculated and planned; the brand has taken a well-thought out, dare one say, strategic, approach to re-positioning itself.

(Continue reading here.)

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

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