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The Forty Winks customer experience: blending the emotional with the rational

Bed and mattress retailer Forty Winks has taken a step into wellness territory, promising improved quality of life to its customers through the benefits of better sleep. Its success is built on a finely-tuned formula of emotional and rational advertising underpinned by careful brand governance that ensures the two advertising styles reinforce  each other.


The result is a combination of brand advertising and retail offers that build brand consistency, create a better customer experience and increase overall marketing effectiveness, according to marketing director Alex D’Amico, speaking at the CXO Leaders Summit event in Melbourne, which was sponsored by Simple. The conference examines the nexus of marketing and the customer experience.

D’Amico said Forty Winks had long had the greatest share of voice in terms of paid media in its category but last year launched a new brand campaign that adopted the tagline line, “Serious about sleep”, which became the unifying vision for the brand.

The campaign, titled “Wake up to sleep”, aimed to persuade Australians how essential a good sleep was to their health by promoting the scientifically proven benefits of a good night’s sleep, including better immunity and improved memory.

“We wanted to tell people how good sleep is for them and how it contributes to your wellbeing,” D’Amico said.

He said the Forty Winks brand created a customer experience cocktail that leveraged both emotional and rational brand promises to boost overall sales.

Long-time retail advertising offers — as the very effective “Any size for the price of a single” mattress promotion — were altered to echo the ‘starscape’ in the brand campaign and end with the “Serious about sleep” tagline.

“When I joined we didn’t have brand guidelines,” D’Amico said. “You’d be surprised how many brands don’t have this.”

The media strategy was also examined closely in a bid to move people along the customer journey from awareness of the need to prioritise better sleep to consideration of Forty Winks.

The brand measures the balance between rational and emotional advertising down to the day of the week, D’Amico said, with the first half of the week devoted to emotional advertising that provides customers a ‘reason to sleep’, and the latter part of the week and the weekend devoted to proven retail offers that gives them a ‘reason to shop’.

“But if you’re running a campaign with the tagline ‘Serious about sleep’, that begs the question: prove it to me,” D’Amico said.

Forty Winks then launched a ‘Bedmatch’ promise, presenting itself as the expert in matching customers to the perfect bed for them.

“You need to understand how the rational plays with the emotional with a particular consumer so you can blend the two together,” D’Amico added.

He said it was an approach he had earlier used at PZ Cussons-owned laundry brand Radiant.

“If your brand connects with one of the five senses, you have a big advantage for making an emotional connection,” D’Amico said. “Radiant was known for its fragrance.

“The effort that goes into developing laundry fragrances equals what you see in the luxury fragrance market,” he said, adding that in consumers’ minds, when it comes to laundry products, fragrance equals freshness.

Radiant launched a brand advertising campaign that promoted an emotional connection by highlighting the unique Radiant fragrance, using the tagline “powerful. in the strongest sense”.

At the same time, the brand also ran Brand Power advertorials to communicate the rational product benefits.

That brand stole the No.1 spot in Coles in 2006 with its particular combination of the emotional and the rational.

Other brands, such as Apple, apply a similar blend of emotive and rational advertising, D’Amico said, citing the product feature-driven commercial for the iPad Pro and the “Share your gifts” long-form animated commercial that returns to Apple’s roots by promoting it as the technology brand for creative people.

Alex D’Amico spoke at the CXO Leaders Summit. Catch Simple’s tweets from the event or follow us on Twitter. To find out how Simple’s intelligent marketing platform can help you increase brand consistency, create seamless customer experiences and improve marketing effectiveness, reach out to one of our representatives.

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