Gluing into the Business
Matalan approached Electric Glue in November 2015, realising they were a business where the traditional media model wasn’t working for them. They were facing numerous challenges at that time. Their stores were out of town and felt to be out of mind, with declining footfall over the last two years and low levels of website traffic and online transactions. Brand awareness and consideration were at an all-time low and they had become a discounter – a long way away from a ‘first price right price’ retailer. Consequently, they needed to be disruptive and change perceptions of the Matalan proposition in the eyes of the wider consumer.
Gluing in Media Owners
Electric Glue’s solution was to create and broker an industry leading media and content partnership that would establish greater credentials for Matalan to consumers, with the aim of generating reappraisal of the brand and positioning Matalan at the heart of the fashion conversation. It would mitigate the challenge of not being on the retail high street by owning the media high street and build upon customer centricity, grounded in Matalan’s customer data. The idea was to originate a platform to develop 'next generation' Matalan communications and create inherent value in the Matalan business via a unique and differentiating concept, led by content as opposed to traditional advertising.
Gluing in the Idea - “Matalan - The Show” is Born
Based on the insight that fashion purchases are influenced by three key factors (the brand’s fashion credentials, influencer recommendation and celebrity endorsement), Electric Glue developed a content strategy based on a chat show format, hosted by Denise Van Outen. She was joined by a range of guests from fashion editors (enhancing fashion credentials) to vloggers (influencers) and ITV presenting talent (Tamsin Outhwaite, Kate Thornton, Lydia Bright and many others).
Entitled “Matalan The Show”, the films focused on being ‘there for mum’ – essentially life hacks for all aspects of a busy mum’s life as well as hints and tips on current fashion styles and trends accessible online and in store at Matalan. A series of 17 shows were produced, available fortnightly to view on the Matalan home page and advertised via ‘trailerverts’ – TV commercials created from the shows in the style of programme promotions.
Gluing Together the Ecosystems of ITV/Time Inc and Matalan
ITV and Time Inc were identified by Electric Glue as the ideal media owners to develop this partnership with as their viewers and readers were a sweet spot for new and existing Matalan customers. Additionally, the media partners delivered the best media pricing in the market, in return for exclusivity, as well as the provision of resource and economies of scale in the production of video, photographic and editorial content. “The Show” was produced by experts in creating TV chat show formats; ITV Adventures, the commercial arm of ITV Productions. They were supported by Time Inc fashion editors and photographers to deliver relevant content. This was brought to life via an ‘always on’ communications strategy – a continual presence on all ITV channels with the trailervert TVCs and in magazines via display and editorial content - always relatable and always credible. Dynamically relevant quality content was produced in a simple and repeatable execution, targeting the mass market audience and providing simple access to celebrity culture in tune with the way consumers engage with fashion.
The Business Results
◦ 7 million people have watched ‘The Show’, equating to 178,000 hours of viewing
◦ 45% of viewers visited Matalan on the back of seeing something they liked
◦ Online sales shot up by 69%
◦ 77% of women saw a Matalan advert an average of 12 times, and brand awareness increased by 4%.
◦ A reversal of a previous 2 year decline in footfall and subsequent growth in new customers.
◦ Weekly site traffic doubled within 11 weeks of launch of The Show.
"At Matalan, we always put the customer needs first and the collaboration with Time Inc. and ITV is an exciting step forward for us in our mission to provide great content to customers whilst ensuring our business objectives are being met. Matalan Presents ‘The Show’ and the collaboration are now at the heart of our plans."
Simon Lee, CMO, Matalan