Marks & Spencer's repositioning strategy
In 2004 M&S was facing a possible takeover by Phillip Green. The management team led by Chairman Paul Myners, and the Chief Executive Stuart Rose, decided to turn down the offer given by Phillip Green and instead engineer a rejuvenating turn-around for M&S with a new marketing strategy.
Stuart Rose and M&S's executive director of marketing, Steve Sharp saw that M&S had gained an unpopular image through the "I'm normal" advertising campaign and knew it needed revising (it featured a British woman of average size and weight running naked up a hill). Kicking off the turn-around they introduced the "Your M&S" tagline as the bedrock of the store's campaign. The idea was to focus on reinstilling M&S's core historical attributes of quality, service and value. (which can be seen in the advertising). Twiggy was chosen as one of the faces for its womenswear campaign - a perfect metaphor for a stylish national treasure making a spectacular comeback. A blouse worn by Twiggy in one ad sold more in a week than any other product in the history of M&S. The food campaign used the strapline "not just food, M&S food", with a "look behind the label" endline. (When hot chocolate puddings appeared in one of the commercials, sales increased 288% )
Since summer of 2004 the Board was heavily involved in the development of the look behind the Label campaign, which launched in January 2006. It was an integrated communication campaign to explain their position on the CSR issues of most concern to their customers. The management team wanted to focus and display the company’s commitment to its core values and has actively used CSR as an integrated part of improving their commercial performance. This is the first time a major high street retailer has engaged its stakeholders on these issues on such a scale and is delivered through national advertising, in-store décor, employee communication and the Marks & Spencer website.
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