How Bloom & Wild is using TV to drive brand fame

By introducing brand-focused TV advertising into its marketing mix, online florist Bloom & Wild has recorded significant improvements in awareness, consideration, and even in its share of search.  

Bloom & Wild had a problem. While the online florist was blooming into the leading player in its market through its activity on performance channels, the business had identified that its brand awareness was “way off” compared to its competitors.

So in 2020, the business began to invest in brand-building TV, in hopes of both closing that gap and driving brand consideration by better communicating its story.

“There was a really big opportunity to invest in our brand more broadly and we know that TV drives that broader reach that it’s difficult for us to get with more targeted audiences on social,” said brand and communications director Charlotte Langley, speaking at Thinkbox’s ‘TV in Focus’ event this week.

“It also allows us to tell a story of who we are. So it’s driving that awareness piece, but it’s also really important for driving consideration. In search and social conversion I can tell you a very short bit about us, but you can’t really get a sense of who we are and what we’re about,” she said.

The ecommerce business broadcast its first brand-focused TV campaign in October, a launch pad for its new brand platform, ‘Care Wildly’. The advert presents a woman writing a message to her sister, thanking her for being both a sister and a stand-in mother, while reflecting on their memories together.

There was a big opportunity to invest in our brand more broadly and we know that TV drives that broader reach.

Charlotte Langley, Bloom & Wild

At the close of the ad, it’s revealed that the message was sent with some Bloom & Wild flowers, as a voiceover asks viewers to ‘care wildly’ and reveals the brand name.

“That was really important for us on two fronts: telling people what we’re about, being champions of care, but also strategically building that brand name fame by having it within the tagline,” Langley said.

Asked whether, as a marketer at an ecommerce business, she faced any resistance towards using TV advertising, Langley claimed she had not. In part, because Bloom & Wild had used direct-response TV in the past. These ads were focused on driving an immediate response, often with a special offer, and proved its success as a performance channel.

“We knew that we were going to measure it completely differently and we’d have different objectives for brand TV, but it was certainly a channel that we had success with elsewhere. I think that helped,” she continued.

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It’s not unusual in ecommerce businesses for brand and acquisition to sit as separate teams with different marketing directors, as is the case for Bloom & Wild. But Langley worked “hand-in-hand” with director of acquisition marketing Gary Taylor in building out a media strategy recommendation that brought brand and performance together.

“For us it was really important that we did that together, we went to the board together, and presented a united strategy,” she said.

The results

Before the launch of the Care Wildly ad, Bloom & Wild ran a brand tracking survey to provide a baseline to measure against. As a result of the TV campaign, Bloom & Wild’s top of mind awareness more than doubled and brand consideration, “which can be really hard to move”, improved by nearly 50%, Langley claimed.

On top of that, Bloom & Wild has taken a higher share of search over the last two quarters, which Langley also credits as a success of the campaign and the new platform. Embedding the brand name within its tagline and driving its fame is “really important” in terms of driving search costs down over time, she said.

“I think that’s an important point for an ecommerce brand, because you know that within your marketing mix, search is one of your major costs.”

She continued: “It’s really pleasing to see it working from both a softer sense, in that we know people are remembering us and considering us, but also then that’s coming through in actual behaviour and search as well.”

We know that we will cap our growth if we don’t continue filling the top of the funnel. So we definitely see [TV] as an investment and I think our board are very behind it.

Charlotte Langley, Bloom & Wild

Langley added that from an acquisition perspective, TV’s cost has been comparable to Bloom & Wild’s other acquisition channels, which gives the brand a “very clear rationale” for investing in the media the same way it invests in search, social, affiliates and other direct response channels.

But she still considers TV as a long-term investment for the benefit of Bloom & Wild’s brand health and the growth of its customer base.

“From a brand point of view, we know that we will cap our growth if we don’t continue filling the top of the funnel. So we definitely see that as an investment and I think our board are very behind it,” Langley said.

However, when it comes to brand building, marketing directors and their teams have to ensure that from the start they set themselves up for people to judge their success correctly, she advised. For Bloom & Wild, that meant being clear from the beginning that its brand TV campaign was not going to be measured on immediate response.

“I think seeing the brand metrics really shifting is a great first signal that this is doing the job that we intended to do, and we’ll continue to track those over time,” Langley said.

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Over and above measuring brand health performance, Bloom & Wild has made the decision to invest in econometrics so it can best track ROI as well. “We’ve had our first results, it’s very positive, and it gave us the confidence to continue investing [in econometrics],” Langley added.

“Clearly we need to do so over the long term – there are things we can’t know now that we will have to wait another six or 18 months before we can learn. But at least we have that in place so we can continue to optimise over the years to come.”