King Retail Solutions (KRS) designs retail spaces for some of the most successful brands in the world, including Safeway, Kroger, Starbucks, Whole Foods and more. Although one of the top firms in the industry, they are by far not the only player. All of their competitors are targeting the same handful of companies, so there are a limited number of projects up for bid at any one time. With a long sales cycle (2+ years), it is difficult for the KRS sales representatives to get appointments and keep building the relationships they need to stay in front of prospects. KRS asked Bozell to develop a focused effort that would help them build awareness of the benefits of KRS’s integrated design-through-build approach, as well as create a welcoming environment for the sales representatives.
The audience was grocery chain decision makers in the area of store planning, layout and design. This is a group of about 2,000 individuals, mostly male. Titles range from senior manager to C-suite. For the most part, they are split into either “design world” people or “purchasing world” people. Both groups feel the stress of planning and implementing a multi-location, multi-department store redesign, from aesthetics and permits to managing budgets and timelines. It’s a demanding job.
So we built a campaign around the emotional stress that our audience faces. It featured a fictional manager, Timothy Walsh, who, while appearing to be close to 90-years-old, was actually just 43 and had just completed a 70-store redesign. Direct mail postcards carried the image of Timothy Walsh, as well as the message “Stay young. Work with KRS.” It also included an invitation for a free white paper.
Online banners carried the same message to the places where our targeted executives visited frequently for industry information.
Additionally, two waves of email blasts carried the same image and message – each with the promise that working with KRS can keep the stress of store redesign from taking years off of your life.
The results were fantastic. Average open rate for the email campaign was 25 percent – well above the industry average. Phone call and email follow-up by KRS sales reps demonstrated a high level of recall for postcards and banner ads, as well as an appreciation of the humorous approach and an acknowledgement of the stresses in the job. The audience was now receptive to hearing KRS’s sales message, because they effectively demonstrated that “they get it.”