Revitalising a Heritage Brand – “Carr & Westley”
Brand Strategy / Brand Identity / Web Design / SEO / PPC / Integrated Marketing
In the face of declining revenue, a shrinking customer base and relevance in the modern market, Carr & Westley came to me with the challenge of revitalising their heritage brand.
The family-owned and run business designs, makes and supplies classic clothing to women aged 65+ in the UK and abroad. Whilst having a rich history dating back to 1919, they felt their existing brand and product range was suffering due to changing needs and tastes of modern audiences.
Their predominant channel for sales and distribution has traditionally been via mail order catalogue, however, they felt that increasing printing and mailing costs were now making this model unmanageably expensive and less influential for reaching new prospects.
They were also experiencing the negative effects of smaller circulation in traditional advertising media. Cost per customer acquired was getting more expensive each season and they wanted to better access the opportunities presented by new online channels.
The main objectives of the project were:
a) Revitalize the brand’s image and positioning to appeal to a modern audiences.
b) Increase brand awareness, engagement and build new customer lists through new digital and traditional marketing channels.
c) Drive sales growth and achieve positive ROI from future marketing campaigns.
The Target Market:
Conducting a strategy workshop with the leadership team, I learned about the company’s strengths, the nature of the market they operated in and what their competitive position was within it.
For further insight about what they ‘thought to be true’ against reality, I commissioned a market research project with existing customers. We wanted to determine why they were loyal to the brand, what they liked about their products and their changing needs and wants.
We created a profile of a typical ‘Carr & Westley Customer’ to visualise them in the market place, what influenced their decision making and how they liked to shop.
Once we understood the profile of the audience we were trying to reach more of, we needed to update the brand to reflect their needs and better appeal to them.
We reviewed the positions of the competition, the messages they were trying to send and where C&W could fit in.
With a rich heritage in clothing manufacture, it would have been easy to adopt a position solely on that message. However, we didn’t feel that reflect the whole story or the real position. The heart of the task was about modernisation. Staying true to the brand’s history yes, but very much about moving forward and reflecting the customer needs of today.
In light of this, we decided to claim the word ‘design’ in the marketplace.
The company’s expertise in making clothing for their demographic is almost unparalleled. No other manufacturer could say they knew more about the design features and fabrics suited to this particular market. The objective then was just to stay true to these meaningful features whilst modernising styles to meet the needs of target audience.
With this in mind, working alongside our partners Lark Design, we created a new logo and brand identity – using the brand statement of ‘Thoughtfully-designed clothing’ as a central vision. This reflected the fact that the target market had slightly different needs to younger demographics (in terms of fit, fabrics, wearability etc) but certainly didn’t yet what to give up on looking nice in stylish, attractive clothing.
This core position then served not only as a message to the market, but also a flagstone for all future internal decision making on product ranges and customer touch points.
We updated all existing collateral (brochure design, photography, packaging, labelling, email templates, etc) to reflect the new updated visual identity.
Due to the growing influence of the digital landscape on sales conversion, we designed and built a new e-commerce website that seamlessly integrated their existing mail order management database.
We migrated their entire product inventory and customer data from a Magento installation to Shopify. With this we accessed Shopify’s large library of UX extensions that provided significant improvements in average order value (AOV), cart abandonment recovery and visitor conversion rate.
To create a more personalised shopping experience, we implemented data-driven marketing automation, tailoring product recommendations and exclusive offers to each customer’s preferences and purchase history.
We also made extensive use of on-page and technical SEO, optimising key category pages for high traffic keyword phrases and leveraging social media for link building focused on driving new organic traffic.
With a realisation that traditional advertising media (newspapers/magazines) was becoming less influential and cost effective, we planned and launched campaigns across paid media channels suitable to the demographic.
We leveraged Google Ads and Facebooks Ads to reach and engage new prospects, presenting the brand’s product catalogue to relevant audiences across shopping channels and re-marketing to existing customer lists to increase life time value (LTV) metrics.
We also commissioned the production of brand videos that could tell the C&W story in a compelling and differentiated way, utilising them across social channels to drive prospect engagement and memorability.
The project’s outcomes were satisfying:
Overall sales growth
15% INCREASE in total revenue after the first 12 months.
Online sales growth:
65% INCREASE in online sales within the first 12 months.
300% INCREASE in website visitors within the first 12 months.
New customer prospects added:
73% INCREASE in new customer names added within the first 12 months.
With a thoughtful, data-driven marketing approach, we successfully revitalised the Carr & Westley brand and repositioned itself in the competitive classic clothing marketplace.
This is a good example of how a well-reasoned and researched marketing strategy can deliver successful outcomes – influencing decision making across the entire business, from product development decisions, to pricing strategy and promotion techniques.
We simultaneously embraced C&W’s heritage and modernised their message to deliver significant sales growth, attract new prospects and retain the loyalty of existing customers.
“We’ve worked with Harry for many years where he has helped us in all manner of roles – from strategy, to e-commerce management and online advertising. He is extremely versatile, with a vast knowledge of marketing practice and methodology. His expertise has been a great asset to our business. To top it off, he’s great fun to work with.”