It was termed a 'national beauty disaster' when Shiseido decided to discontinue their iconic Moisture Mist makeup brand, an iconic New Zealand favourite for decades. For Farmers, it meant putting significant annual sales and the loyalty of tens of thousands of customers at risk.
Knowing the beloved brand's exit would hit fans hard, customer retention became the focus for Farmers. With just three months to prepare pre-announcement, they embarked on a customer-led direct marketing initiative to ensure customer and sales retention strategies were in place.
This systematic process informed a multi-layered campaign across retail catalogues, DM, eDM, social media, website communications and in-store experiences. Importantly, it provided Beauty Sales Managers and frontline teams with a tailored in-store support approach to help customers deal with their sense of loss and transition to an alternative product.
A key research insight was the need to acknowledge the feelings of loss customers were experiencing, so that frontline teams could build rapport with customers and support as they looked at new options.
Research revealed customers could fall in love with something new after trialling alternative brands - ones carefully selected to match the attributes they loved most about Moisture Mist. While price was a consideration, it was not as important as first thought.
Farmers showed Moisture Mist customers that they cared through a strategic and layered approach. All objectives were nailed, with huge volumes of remaining Moisture Mist product sold through in the first month, together with a corresponding sales' uplift for recommended alternative products. Ambitious customer spend and retention targets were comfortably exceeded.
This is a story of genuinely empathetic marketing. Powerful emotional insights provided a platform from which Farmers could empathise with the sense of loss felt by a key customer group, and help them transition to a new alternative.