John Lewis brand ‘not as loved as you might think’

John Lewis is seen by customers as a rational brand but people want it to be more fun, says its head of marketing for brand Rachel Swift.

John Lewis
John Lewis marketing head says it is seen as rational but not fun.

Speaking at Mumsnet’s Mumstock conference yesterday [23 April], Swift said that while the retailer is seen by its audience as authentic and scores highly on quality, value and trust “they don’t love us quite as much as you’d think.”

“They want more inspiration and fun [from the brand],” she added. 

In recent John Lewis research, customers were asked about whether they would ‘hang around’ with the brand if it were at a party, added Swift, with the answer being ‘not necessarily’.

But a recent study of 1000 Mumsnet members’ favourite brands put the retailer top, followed by sister company Waitrose. Swift said this is due in part to its new my John Lewis loyalty scheme, which provides relevant recommendations to mothers.

It is also enjoying growth – revenue increased 6.6 per cent to £9.03bn in its last financial year.  

John Lewis is set to celebrate its 150-year anniversary on 2 May, with an exhibition at its first store on Oxford Street telling the story of the brand’s development and partnership ethos. An advertising campaign will break on 3 May.

Swift added that the retailer is finalising this year’s Christmas marketing campaign, something that is traditionally not pre-tested with audiences.

Read an in-depth interview with John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.

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