Thursday, May 26, 2016

I really hope you are going to "cherish Mrs M&S”. Right now they don't cherish you

M&S's CEO has a five point plan to revive the brand. Every heard that line before?

Mmmmm sounds like a a classic bit of PR speak.

I was listening to Mr Rowe, on the radio, talking about his plans for M&S and he came out with line about cherishing Mrs M&S. I could hear the interviewer taking a gulp and getting reading to ask him just who this lady might be when the interview was concluded.

All has been revealed in Marketing Week. I quote.

M&S has been accused in the past of chasing younger customers and ignoring its core market. Yet Rowe promised he would “cherish Mrs M&S”, who he described as female, 50 and who shops with the retailer about 18 times a year.

Yet Rowe pointed out that M&S “does have other customers”. He said 42% of customers are men and 22% are aged under 25. The issue is that these under 25s only represent 10% of sales and that is mostly (although not exclusively) in food.

Many years ago (six to be precise) M&S started a campaign using Twiggy. It was great and illustrated just how to produce multi-age advertising. I wrote lots and lots about the subject.

After a few years the decision was made to try a more radical type of advertising and M&S launched what I reckon was one of the worst campaigns I have seen. 

You could see that the marketers at the company were embarrassed by their older customer group and desperately trying to 'reach out' to a younger demographic. Of course the result was to p**s of both age groups.

It will be interesting to see how Mr Rowe goes about engaging with Mrs M&S. I will keep you informed. To be honest - I am not holding my breath for outstanding results. Dick Stroud

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