The retailer unveiled details of its home own brand yesterday (4 June) at an event in London after Marketing Week revealed details of the plan earlier this year. Marketing director Stephen Vowles said the launch is a “major new brand” for Argos and a big push into the furnishings market, which already accounts for around 20 per cent of Argos’ sales, that will be “very important in the marketplace”.
“It is very important for us that we invest in [Heart of House] to make sure its here to stay. We are putting a significant chunk of spend behind this, enough to make sure it lands with customers and there is real awareness behind it, that customers are seeking it out both online and on the high street,” he adds.
Vowles says the launch of Heart of House is a direct response to extensive customer research that revealed a gap in the market for a homewares brand that was designed for modern family life, was accessible and offered high quality in terms of the look, feel and durability of the range. It forms part of one of his main areas of responsibility since joining Argos eight months ago to make the retailer’s marketing “more consumer centric”.
“We found customers were looking for something designed for the way life actually happens – rather than glossy magazines. Something that look good but also felt good and was designed to last. Heart of House aims to make the centre of family life – the home – a little more inspiring, a little more durable and little bit better looking,” he adds.
Vowles said the campaign would convey the essence of the brand as “being designed for modern life” and its key pillars of look, feel and durability. It success will be judged on “more classic brand metrics” such as brand awareness and consumer understanding of the proposition, rather than sales alone.
“We are looking to establish real awareness for the long term of the brand and to begin establishing a brand image around its position in the marketplace, that will be success. Sales on its own won’t be success,” he adds.
The launch is the latest push by Argos into exclusive own brands as it looks to widen its consumer appeal. Vowles says Argos is also supporting its other brands, including toy range Chad Valley, “more energetically” and is planning further own brands in future, including a launch in the toys category.