Moonpig hunts for emotional connection in marketing refresh

The online retailer’s new brand positioning aims to remove the “need” associated with purchasing a card and instead focuses on “celebrating the emotion” behind it.

Moonpig’s renowned jingle has no doubt echoed through the minds of most people in Britain. But despite being the leader in the online card market, with 60-70% market share, the company’s CMO Andre Rickerby says consumers weren’t associating the brand with the emotional aspect of giving a card.

Speaking to Marketing Week at MadFest London yesterday (28 November), Rickerby said the company needs to “put the emotion back into occasion”, which triggered the introduction of a new brand position.

“Research shows people love getting a card so we felt we were in a place where we could move from a needs state to a joy state by celebrating the emotion behind it,” he explained.

“Giving or receiving a card is really heartfelt and warm and as a brand we didn’t fully realise we are actually intermediary in that journey, which gives us permission to move into this space.”

The refresh aligns with the appointment of the company’s new managing director, Nickyl Raithatha, who came in at a time when Moonpig was questioning its strategy and brand positioning.

“When we looked in the mirror… we asked whether we were connecting in the ways we should have been. Though, we weren’t doing anything wrong and in some ways we are the same business we were before,” Rickerby said.

Giving or receiving a card is really heartfelt and warm and as a brand we didn’t fully realise we are an intermediary in that journey, which gives us permission to move into this space.

Andre Rickerby, Moonpig

“We are still the leader of the category. We’re not looking over our shoulder worried [about competition] but let’s not get complacent or rest on our laurels, let’s challenge that and disrupt ourselves.”

The company’s new brand positioning, ‘unleash the caring instinct and cultivate the caring habit’ is designed to intertwine with, and feed off, its previous positioning, which focused on ‘making someone’s day brilliant’.

“Our new positioning gives us a clearer focus. We need to be crystal clear about where we want to be in the future. Our brand purpose should be able to run forever,” he said

Last year, Moonpig underwent a major rebrand that led to the demise of its pig logo in a bid to become less “gimmicky”. But the jingle is here to stay.

It’s so recognisable that the company’s TV presence, which features the popular jingle, has helped propel the brand to top spot in the online greeting card market and to a household name with 82% brand awareness.

“The Moonpig brand was built on a TV jingle. The jingle is something everyone knows. TV helped drive the brand to where it is today,” Rickerby said.

Another area of focus for Moonpig is making better use of its data. It opened its Manchester-based tech hub last month, creating 50 new jobs to help in this area.

The tech team will lead on the development and rollout of a new ecommerce, data and personalisation platform for the retailer. The project is being driven by Moonpig’s chief technology officer, Peter Donlon.

Rickerby admits defining personalisation is a “really hard one to get right” and achieving it is reliant on data and tech.

“What do you mean by personalisation? For us it’s probably one-to-one personalisation. To be able to do that with Moonpig, which has five and a half million active buyers, is the dream. But how do you get there? How do you know inherently what that person is doing and thinking at that exact moment?” he says.

“We’re in the very early stages of exploring what personalisation means.”

Rickerby joined Moonpig a little over a year ago from online retailer Etsy and said the job appealed to him because it offered the opportunity to take a well-known brand forward.

“I’ve been in businesses where people are resistant to change but Moonpig embraces change, which makes everything so much easier,” he added.

And when it comes to success, while net promoter scores are important to Rickerby, so is the happiness of his customers.

“Whether our customers are getting happier over time [is how we measure success]. That’s something that’s embedded in the business. We should be wired around the customer,” he concluded.

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