Brent Cross

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The Challenge: As a long-established brand, what do you do when you’ve been around for many years and are facing ever increasing competition from new, vibrant competitors?

This was exactly the problem faced by Brent Cross, the oldest indoor shopping centre in the UK, who was not just under pressure from the recession, but faced the challenge of two strong competitor sites, Westfield in Stratford and in Shepherd’s Bush. Both sites had developed a strong presence in the market place. Brent Cross risked losing shoppers to these newer, all encompassing, modern offerings.

The Solution: Building on our expertise in understanding consumer behaviour in shopping centres, a tailored approach was designed to reach out to diverse shopper typologies.  A programme of groups and ethnographic research was devised to better understand both the rational and emotional drivers. This research was undertaken in three key areas geographically, and targeted a number of different ACORN segments which were required to source participants.

The research examined the existing perceptions of this shopping centre versus competitors and was designed to illustrate any gaps in the perceived offer versus the actual offer. A new advertising campaign was also evaluated, with a view to understanding which messages, and which media channels, were most appropriate for the desired consumers.

A number of shoppers took part in ethnographic ‘guided shops’, a one-to-one research technique designed to understand whether people notice indoor and outdoor brand communications 

The Outcome: The research identified key touch points of the current proposition, which could be addressed via advertising, in order to re-engage shoppers with our client’s offering. For Brent Cross, it was crucial to be able to differentiate from its new competitors in a meaningful and different way, and the research helped them to understand exactly what it was that their loyal customers cherished, and what their non-loyal customers desired.

Where competitors had the edge was in being able to offer more of a holistic shopping ‘experience’, which was felt to be worth the extra investment in time and forward planning, due to an ultimately better payoff. Our research demonstrated the need to use existing positivity associated with the brand; the nostalgia, the heritage and the convenience, teamed with a more proactive, multimedia approach to promotion of the extensive retail offering, in order to really highlight the benefits to consumers.

Testimonial from Phil Drinkwater, Regional Marketing Manager: 

“Good value for money. Speedy response. Good retail insight. Fun and useful reports. Strong team who are good with respondents and articulate presenters”.