With an ambitious target to reach, London’s Oxford Street is aiming for £6bn in annual sales by 2020. Repositioning its brand and communications in a bid to align it more strategically with the environmental factors surrounding it.
Can this target be achieved and what will a re-position of the brand look like for consumers?
Oxford Street currently generates £5bn a year in sales. In 2018 with the introduction of the Crossrail line (which will connect more towns to the famous street and has already estimated a 30% increase in trips to the West End), Oxford Street are of course incentivised.
They’re aiming to change its status in the marketplace in order for it to keep up with its consumer’s wants and demands. But to also help increase retail sales on the street by £1bn.
Their re-positioning sees them focus the brand exclusively on partnerships and “moments” for consumers. They want to build on the big named brands that are currently located on Oxford Street. Such as Dyson (who has opened its first ever store here) and such differences as the Shakespeare theatre at Selfridges. Making it a `hotbed` for these “moments” to be created and only ever experienced on Oxford Street (well at least first experienced on Oxford Street).
Agency Wasserman (who pride themselves on creating unforgettable brand experiences) has been appointed to widen the current sponsorship strategy.
Oxford Street will now see their brand communications and messaging proudly display the slogan “First seen on Oxford Street”, to represent their re-positioning strategy. Using this to connect them to their objective of `exclusive experiences` and `moments`.
This strategy is to support their new brand focus. Also working alongside their business-led strategy which focuses on lowering pollution on the street over the next four years.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Luciana Magliocco, Marketing Manager at the New West End Company commented: “We want to grow Oxford Street by making it a hotbed for world first’s. Whether that’s the Shakespeare theatre at Selfridges, Dyson opening its first-ever physical store here or John Lewis’ Smart Home only being in its Oxford Street store, we believe the key to growth is to give people things they can’t get anywhere else.
“Businesses have a real growth to open their flagship stores here and we are confident that will only continue.”
3) Target Market
Oxford Street have to take into account consumer perspective and business perspective – as in this instance they speak to both.
Their brand communication strategy and planning should of course be communicated with businesses on Oxford Street. They also need to be able to plan ahead and align their marketing activity accordingly.
Consumers also need to understand why this is happening. Why it’s important and why they should be shopping on Oxford Street. Not simply because that’s where the train stops.
4) Not all plain sailing
Oxford Street now has the opportunity to shake off some of the negative brand associations it has with consumers. Such as the most pollution heavy street in the world. Hence their current business-led strategy, which they’re currently working with the current retailers on.
Such things cannot be changed immediately. This is not something which is going to go away overnight but new invigorated brand messaging can help.
Of course there is also the implications of Brexit to build into their strategy. There may be a negative effect on consumer spending over the coming years and like any business, contingencies must be put in place.
However, Magliocco, is quite confident, “Oxford Street will become the first shopping stop from Heathrow, so there is a great opportunity to attract tourists. There is a strong strategy in place and we’re confident we’ll see increases in footfall, investment and flagship stores over the coming years.”