Baby Bunting refreshes iconic brand

Iconic brand looking to personalisation for better CX

Baby Bunting has undergone a brand refresh to facilitate a better emotional connection with customers through increased personalisation.

Baby Bunting has been around for 40 years through 54 stores nationally, but like many iconic brands, needed to change the way it connects with a new generation of customers, who communicate and shop in different ways.

With this top of mind, Baby Bunting has unveiled a new, fresh, modern brand which will be rolled out to all customer touchpoints over the coming months. It has also brought on Emarsys as its EDM platform, and is redesigning its website and content strategy.

This comes after the brand brought in Sitecore last year to transform its online retail platform with Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 (Sitecore XC 9) to drive growth online via its digital investments in mobile, customer relationship management and engagement technologies. The company now also has access to in-built analytics, helping it deliver consistently positive customer experiences throughout the entire customer journey.

In its FY19 results, it seems the dedicated investment in online, particularly click and collect, has paid off and resulted in sales growth of 46 per cent, or 11.8 per cent of total sales. Click and collect sales grew 55 per cent in the same time, total sales growth was up 19 per cent with gross profit growth of more than 25 per cent.

General manager of marketing at Baby Bunting, Sue Dawson, said the way in which new parents shop and engage with Baby Bunting has changed dramatically since the brand first launched 40 years ago, with more online research, ordering and social media engagement. So while its core purpose of supporting new parents has not changed, recent research and customer engagement showed there was a clear need for the brand to update both how it presented the brand, and the way it communicates.

“We did a lot of research with our customers, and received great feedback, but we were lacking an emotional connection and part of this is how we speak to customers. People don’t shop the same way anymore, so we needed to modernise the look and feel so it’s more in step with the current generation of parents,” Dawson told CMO.

“Our online presence needed to be bigger, and click and collect is a growing area for us. Most of our first-time parents will still come into a store, but the way we speak to them in terms of EDMs and catalogues was looking a little dated. We’re looking at whole lot of elements moving forward, like our loyalty program, we needed to catch up.

“We invested in an EDM platform, so soon we can start personalise messages, which is something we haven’t done much of until now. We are investing further in our loyalty program, we will have a new website, with our overall aim to be more personalised.

“We are luck as we have a distinct customer journey, and it’s similar for most customers, so we want to talk to them in the stage they are up to in their journeys. We only have our audience for about four years unless there’s another child, so we want to offer the right products and advice for the stage they are up to.”

Key to this personalisation is knowing which customers not to target, plus informative content to create a better emotional connection.

“We’ve invested in a lot of content and articles on our website to support customers, and we want to provide a lot of more of that moving forward, not just sales messaging, to create an emotional connection by helping customers through their parenting journey.

“We’ll be undertaking A/B testing, segmentation moving forward also, and learning who not to target - we want to know who wants to be communicated with, and how, so we are helpful and not annoying spam. We only get a few chances to capture the customer, and we need to be in the right place and the right time to do this well. We may also need more tech as we move forward." 

Dawson noted Baby Bunting's good social media presence, but said more also needed to be done in this space.

"We are also seeking partnerships that provide content and information for our customers. We are branching to radio, but of course like most businesses now we are heavily invested in digital channels, and in search and digital and affiliate marketing in the digital space," she said. "The digital area is where we have increased our investment over the last few years."

For now, Baby Bunting’s new branding and look and feel is being rolled out in two stores initially, with the rest of its stores hopefully being completed within this financial year. Next month will see the new branding rolled out on the website and in catalogues and on social media.

“The feedback on the new branding has been great. One big positive was customers liked it is gender neutral. The colours are more muted, the font is modern, and now we own our own photography for brand imagery,” Dawson said. 

The brand has been developed with the modern family in mind and has had customer input at every stage of development. The new brand has been developed by creative agency Girl/Wunderman Thompson.

The first store to showcase the new Baby Bunting brand is in Westfield at Doncaster in Melbourne, having launched on 5 October.

Baby Bunting is Australia’s largest specialty retailer of baby goods, aiming to provide customers with the widest range of products, high levels of service and low prices every day. For 40 years, Baby Bunting has been proudly supporting new and expectant parents in the early years of parenthood, with a strong vision to be the most loved baby retailer for every family, everywhere. In October 2015, Baby Bunting listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

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