Holland & Barrett vies to change ‘old fashioned’ perception

Holland & Barrett is overhauling its brand communications to modernise perceptions of the brand and the quality and breadth of its range.

Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barrett ads are total departure from previous infomercials.

Previously the brand has focused on vitamins and supplements through promotional infomercial-style ads.

The retailer’s first TV ad campaign created by RKCR introduces the strapline ‘the good life’ to inspire people to live a healthy life. The animated ads will be supported by press, digital, radio and in-store activity.

Lysa Hardy, recently appointed as the retailer’s first chief marketing officer and former RAC and T-Mobile brand marketer, told Marketing Week the organisation has recognised it must focus more on brand engagement.

Hardy says: “People have quite an old fashioned view of Holland & Barrett and imagine the brand from 20 years ago. The experience in store and what we sell has moved on quite considerably.

“The business is a good retail business. It has focussed on promotions but they have increased sales so when something works, you keep doing it. Now though, the high street is a challenging place and we recognise we need to also focus on brand loyalty and build some empathy and emotional entanglement with the brand.”

The retailer is also increasing its marketing spend with more investment in media, higher profile TV slots and more expensive digital activity in a bid to move the brand more upmarket.

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An internal engagement programme to motivate staff included the head office being dressed with real turf, trees, rabbits and owls yesterday ahead of revealing the ad internally.

Ads launch today (28 February).

Hardy joined from RAC in July last year as CMO of parent company NBTY Europe overseeing the Holland & Barrett, GNC, Nature’s Way and De Tuinen chains.

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