M&S to tackle ‘growth barriers’ in home by extending ‘Remarksable’ campaign beyond food

The campaign will highlight M&S’s entry price point products across its homeware business, from £1 face towels to £7.50 duvet covers.

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Marks & Spencer (M&S) will be extending its value-focused ‘Remarksable’ food marketing campaign into its home division from next month, to raise awareness of its offering within the category.

The retailer identified its home business as a key opportunity for future growth on announcing its transformation plan in May 2021. Some 22 million M&S customers have never purchased with M&S Home, and taking just 10% of these customers’ spend with key competitors would be worth £150m to the brand, the retailer claims.

However, awareness of M&S home among its customer base and more widely is “low”, which is a “key barrier to growth”, according to the business.

The extension of the Remarksable campaign to home is therefore to raise awareness, particularly among those looking for lower entry price point products. It also hopes to introduce M&S food customers to its home offer through recognition of its value proposition.

Shoppers will see ‘Remarksable value’ for home highlighted across M&S marketing channels, from customer emails to store windows. The campaign will highlight around 30 entry price point products online and in 130 stores, including £1 face towels and £6 bath towels, £1 mugs and a £7.50 duvet cover.

Many of these items were introduced last year when M&S Home reset its pricing architecture to better serve customers through entry and mid-price to the premium end. M&S credits transformation plan for festive boost as loyalty membership doubles

Remarksable has helped drive value perception at M&S Food to its strongest in four years by showcasing low prices while identifying M&S quality as a point of difference. The grocer sells 2kg of white potatoes for 78p under the campaign, as well as two-pint bottles of semi-skimmed milk for 90p.

“We know that for millions of customers the pandemic has changed how they feel about the space they call home, making it an important growth opportunity,” says M&S’s director of home, Heidi Woodhouse.

“Millions trust us for the food and clothing products that matter most – and so we want to highlight to them the incredible trusted value of our home product. Remarksable does just this, focusing on the unbeatable value of our entry price product.”

Remarksable also highlights M&S’s value proposition at a time when consumer purse strings are being tightened by rising inflation and energy costs, the retailer adds.

The Remarksable campaign will run alongside M&S’s ‘Anything but Ordinary’ brand platform for its clothing and home division, which launched in September.

Speaking to Marketing week in November, Anna Braithwaite, marketing director for clothing and home, said the business would be increasing its focus on children, family and home products as it embarked on a three-year transformation period to revive its fortunes.

Certainly, performance across the clothing and home business has been on the up. Sales across the division in the 13 weeks to 1 January rose 3.2% on a two-year, pre-Covid comparison basis to £1.1bn, fuelled by a 45% rise in full price sales. Compared to the 2020/2021 Christmas period, clothing and home sales were up 37.7%.

In a call with press as the retailer announced its results for the quarter, M&S CFO Eoin Tonge confirmed the retailer was working to mitigate rising raw material and supply chain costs, but admitted it is “inevitable” that some of that pressure will result in higher prices for consumers.