Halfords preps new brand positioning as boss Jill McDonald revamps its marketing

Halfords is introducing a new marketing slogan, ‘Halfords – For Life’s Journeys’, as its chief executive Jill McDonald moves to revamp the high street brand.

A still from a 2014 ad campaign from Halfords

The bicycle retailer recently filed a trademark for the slogan. Halfords’ marketing director Karen Bellairs told Marketing Week: “As part of our ‘Moving up a Gear’ strategy, we looked at the Halfords’ brand purpose and framework to support our goal, which is to be customer’s first choice for life on the move.

“We are committed to making customers’ journeys better, and we can confirm our new marketing endline ‘Halfords – For Life’s Journeys’. More details of the brand launch will follow next year.”

The news comes after McDonald – who was formerly chief marketing officer at McDonald’s UK and northern Europe before being promoted to CEO of McDonald’s UK and president of North West Europe – admitted she was looking to change Halfords’ approach to marketing.

Speaking at a Marketing Society event earlier this year, she said marketing was not as high on the agenda internally as it should be: “I am used to marketing being much more integral to a business.”

Halfords revealed the ‘Moving Up A Gear’ strategy last month as profits fell 6.5% to £46.4m for the 26 weeks to 2 October. McDonald blamed bad weather for sales also falling below expectations.

The new strategy has five key “pillars”: investing in customer data and insight, focusing on customer service, increasing the number of exclusive products, partnerships and innovations, developing a “seamless” customer experience online and in-store and “moving from fixing the basics to improving efficiency and fulfillment”.

McDonald said of the strategy: “There are a number of significant opportunities for further improvement, which include the leveraging of customer data and analytics, relentless innovation, a better shopping experience, enhanced customer service and services, and a fulfilment infrastructure for modern times. We look forward with confidence to growing Halfords over the long term.”

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