For føtex and Bilka, textile is an important part of their business, but over time the number of labels had grown out of hand. At its peak, there were more than 50 different labels for all the clothing, shoes and accessories offered in store. This created unnecessary confusion, both internally and externally, and made building brands an impossible and expensive task.
The competition within affordable fashion is intense with players like H&M dominating. In order to tackle the competition, it was crucial to develop a new stronger and unified voice in the market.
Together with Kunde & Co, Dansk Supermarked set some ambitious objectives. First, it had to merge 51 labels into one brand capable of covering all customer groups and clothing categories. This brand would then be rolled out through a new marketing system to increase awareness amongst the target groups and help increase store traffic.
Insights as the foundation
The project started with a thorough review of data from Dansk Supermarked on the textile business, its sales figures and category performance. This was uncovered through data analysis and pre-interviews with key stakeholders to ensure buy-in and a full understanding of the market. On top of this, Kunde & Co not only visited føtex and Bilka stores across Denmark, but also went to the UK to investigate best practices from other retailers. These activities enabled the development of a series of hypotheses that could be tested.
The external brand test
Looking internally is not enough. This is why the hypotheses were used to develop a questionnaire and creative test material for an online survey. Over 1,000 respondents across Denmark were taken through an extensive test bar comprising clothing trends, brand names and descriptions, creative concepts and visual tonality. The test also considered current and future value drivers as well as channel and media preferences.
A new customer segment uncovered
The test revealed that there were two main target groups: core supermarket shoppers, who largely buy all their clothing in store; and non-core supermarket shoppers, who sometimes buy supermarket clothing. Føtex & Bilka have traditionally focused on core supermarket shoppers, but interestingly the test revealed that the non-core supermarket shopper is not only a larger segment, but also has a larger consumption, making them very valuable. Furthermore, the test uncovered differences in what drove the segments when making clothing decisions.
These results created the foundation for a strategy that focused on retaining and expending core supermarket shoppers, as well as focusing on recruiting more non-core supermarket shoppers.
Creating the new brand
Across the two segments, there was a strong test preference for one brand name – VRS. The VRS logo had the strongest fashion connotation and respondents didn’t immediately associate it with a supermarket brand, which made it more appealing to the non-core segment.
To build recollection, the name was activated by playing on how it sounds when pronounced: Vi er Sammen, (We are together in English). This play on words was used to attribute the right brand values: for everyone, playful, fashionable and empowering.