Carpetright has overhauled its marketing to focus on “emotional engagement” rather than just price as the retailer achieved its first like-for-like sales growth since the fourth quarter of 2007/08.
The floorings retailer has revamped the look and feel of the ads in order to broaden its appeal. The shift follows a decision earlier this year to change the mediums it advertises through to concentrate more on TV campaigns as opposed tabloid newspapers.
Its newspaper campaigns, which began last week, feature Carpetright ads that use tactile, high quality, cleaner pictures that focus more on the carpet, with fewer associated products – such as furniture – cluttering the background.
Group commercial director Martin Harris said the retailer planned to up its ad spend by 15 per cent.
The move comes as the retailer revealed a better-than-expected trading update in the 13 weeks to August 1, when UK and Ireland like-for-likes increased 1.4 per cent and total sales jumped 6.6 per cent. Group turnover rose 7.5 per cent.
The new ads will run in quality newspapers, weekend supplements, consumer magazines and TV sponsorship deals, as well as brochures in the winter. Carpetright will still run its more familiar price-led ads in the tabloids. Harris said: “This is a perfect opportunity to raise our game, which we have to do now more than ever. People are expecting to pay less but price isn’t the only thing they are interested in.” He insisted he was not trying to push Carpetright more upmarket.
“These ads are fresher and more engaging. They are totally focused on the carpets and on a more emotional viewpoint, rather than just price, although price will still be there,” he said.
The retailer is also changing the look of its stores, with an emphasis on communicating its certified fitting service to customers, while giving more guidance on new trends.
Harris added that Carpetright’s new high street stores are trading well and that it will “probably be expanding that model”.
Carpetright will relaunch its website in the autumn to put Sleepright, the chain it bought at the end of 2008, “on the map”. The new site will be transactional for beds, and for the Carpetright business a “few months after that”.