No 7 - the relaunch of a brand
A Boots case study

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Page 6: Conclusion

The counter is crucial in the projection of the No 7 brand image. Before relaunch the counter was perceived as drab, uninteresting, poorly sectioned and dated. The merchandising units were cheaply manufactured and did not promote the intended premium image.

During 1993 a brief was written for the design of new counters, which resulted in the new No 7 counter becoming revolutionary. All premium counters display testers and consultants sell from beneath the counter. This was impractical for No 7 due to the vast number of customers shopping everyday, thereby making it impossible to serve customers individually. Customers had to be able to select some items themselves. The new No 7 counter was designed to display all the products and colours without looking cluttered. Its layout had clarity enabling customers to find their way around it easily and being able to choose what they wanted. This was a significant challenge given the amount of stock on display! Customers purchasing cosmetics need to be able to test with ease and so it was important to lay out testers to encourage trial.

A huge logistical exercise resulted with 1200 stores being fitted with new counters overnight. These ranged from a small self selection unit to 12 modules of counters, with 52 variations in between. The result was an appealing premium looking counter. By Saturday 20th February new products and new counters were in situ nationwide, enabling the changes to be made in all 1200 stores on 22nd February. No 7 was featured in the windows of every Boots store and heavily dominated the gondola end displays.

The new TV advertising began on 24th February. This drew customers to stores to see ‘What had happened to No 7.......’

The Results

Following the launch, claimed usage by the target market increased by 7% to 40%. It was important to understand how individuals responded to the new image created by the brand. The re-launch changed the brand’s personality and is now perceived as more seductive, independent and individual.
Prompted responses to the changes to the brand were:

  • modern and up to date - 63% of target sample
  • fun to wear - 59% of the target sample
  • confident about yourself - 45% of target sample
  • best choice for today’s women - 27% of target sample.

The image of the brand as ‘really modern’ doubled from February 1995 to March 1996, with the brand performing equally well with 20 to 30 year olds and 31 to 54 year olds. Research revealed that the target market found the advertising extremely modern and exotic. No 7 has now become the most bought brand. It is purchased by 27% of 20 to 30 year olds and 33% of 31 to 45 year olds. Sales in 1995/96 increased by 40% in volume over 1993/4.

This case study illustrates how Boots reacted to changes in the market-place to re-launch its major brand of cosmetics. The marketplace had moved on and, in recognising these changes through its re-launch strategy, No 7 was provided with a marketing opportunity to become a premium product in an expanding market sector.

Boots | No 7 - the relaunch of a brand