LONDON: Online retailer Very grew steadily over its first five years, but it was a shift in perspective in 2015 that accelerated its expansion to become a £1.2bn business.

Created by Shop Direct in 2010, the brand was designed as an alternative to Littlewoods, an old catalogue business offering a financial product to help buyers that had moved online.

The new entity would be a beacon of innovation which would attract a new generation of savvy consumers, who were comfortable with a range of online shopping options and using comparison sites to get better deals.

“We didn’t just want shoppers who needed us because of the credit,” Kenyatte Nelson, group marketing director at Shop Direct, explained to an audience at the IPA’s recent Effectiveness Week.

“We wanted to create a proposition that would attract shoppers who wanted to shop with the brand.” (For more details, read WARC’s report: How a pink cube built a £1bn online retail brand.)

The original pink square logo helped build brand awareness but a 2015 redesign which saw the perspective shift from 2D to 3D has not only boosted brand metrics, it has also opened up a whole new world of options for marketing and advertising.

“The square becomes a box and the box becomes a delivery box – and this has real meaning since delivery is an essential part of being online,” explained Neil Henderson, CEO of the St Luke’s agency which developed the idea.

“Since the cube launched 18 months ago, spontaneous awareness [of the brand] has almost doubled,” he added. “Prompted awareness ... exceeded prompted awareness of Next at Christmas 2016.”

Brand consideration among the target audience, meanwhile, has increased from one in ten in 2014 to one in three in 2017.

Stakeholder perceptions have also shifted, with 500 more suppliers coming on board in the past four years, including major brands like Jigsaw, Bose and Samsonite.

And employee engagement has seen a 35 point improvement across the group to stand at 84% in 2017.

“The cube is the gift that keeps on giving,” Nelson said.

Sourced from WARC