Feelings trump thinking for MyDeal CMO as he institutes a brand refresh

Recently appointed marketing chief for ASX-listed marketplace details how he sold in the rebrand strategy and the key elements of his approach

Feelings often trump rational thought when it comes to many decisions we make in our lives. And it’s this very insight that’s behind the rebrand strategy employed by MyDeal CMO, Ryan Gracie, to kickstart a new era for the 10-year-old online retail business.

The ASX-listed online marketplace has taken the wrappers off a new brand identity built on three pillars: Confidence, approachability and simplicity. The refresh includes a new logo with a smiling ‘Y’, updated typography, a more vibrant new colour palette and change in brand tone of voice.

According to Gracie, each element of the new brand has been designed with the aim of emoting a ‘MyDeal feel’ and the emotive experience of finding a great product and brand at a great price. The work was created by the MyDeal team in collaboration with creative studio, Christopher Doyle & Co.

“When I started this new role and dived into the brand, it became obvious very quickly the task ahead was not just to make MyDeal different from other online retailers, but truly distinctive,” Gracie told CMO. “There’s this great saying ‘that feelings conquer thinking’. MyDeal does the rational benefits of shopping - the ease, range and price - really well, and that’s a basic expectation from customers. But in order to be distinctive, these rational benefits can’t be the basis of the campaign.

“These very binary reasons why people choose where to shop aren't truly unique to anyone; what can be unique is a personality. What we need to do is make the audience truly feel something, and for MyDeal to prompt a positive emotion. To achieve this, we’ve tapped into those emotional aspects of shopping, the thrill of the deal and that exhilaration and happiness we know shopping can bring.”

MyDeal has been around for 10 years and over the last 12 months chalked up $218.1 million in gross sales. Active customers also increased 83 per cent to nearly 900,000 as at 30 June 2021.

Yet as Gracie pointed out, there is still relatively low awareness of the brand in market. He pointed to his appointment as CMO in May as coinciding with a pivotal moment in the history of the founder-led company.

“I feel really fortunate I’ve been given a relatively blank canvas because I love nothing more than the chance to build a brand platform through personality. I get to inject it with a sense of energy,” he said.

“I joined MyDeal at a time where the business is going through significant growth. I knew one of my first tasks was a total brand refresh in order to give us the solid foundations that will allow us to really build this brand and take MyDeal to the next level.”

Selling in a rebrand

That didn’t mean selling in a big rebrand program of work was an easy one, however. While a rebrand was on the cards before he started, Gracie admitted there were high expectations, many stakeholders to please and “plenty of opinions to work through”.

“Like all rebrands, this was a massive one-way door and we didn’t take it lightly. We also don’t have any time to waste, so we kicked off work on the re-brand on my very first day,” he said. “We cut out most of the fluff, worked closely with the designer and things came to life fairly quickly.” 

Gracie said he felt confident the new logo and smiling ‘Y’, revitalised colour palette promoting positive energy, and a refreshed tone of voice with “just the right amount of cheek” was a winning formula.

“But just to make sure and to give the team a little extra reassurance, I decided to bring in some industry experts, including an advertising hall of famer, to give their candid, unprompted thoughts on the style,” he explained. “Thankfully, the feedback was all very positive. This gave the team the reassurance they needed to hear.” 

The rebrand will be supported by an extensive above-the-line campaign incorporating traditional media channels such as TV, radio and out-of-home. Creative production is due for commencement at the end of September and expected to go live in the critical Christmas trading period. LED signage kicked off this week within AFL and NRL games, and premium outdoor billboards are planned across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

“I don’t believe any mass appeal brand can be completely built through digital channels only. I firmly believe using above-the-line channels adds a great deal of credibility, authority and authenticity to any brand,” Gracie commented.

“Anyone can spend some money on Facebook, Google and YouTube but subconsciously in the mind of the consumer it takes a ‘big brand’ to get on TV, radio and on billboards and bus stops. As well as being a credibility play, ATL is a way to hit the masses effectively, it allows us to join the dots between all of the channels and the various formats means we can get creative and really make the campaign hum.”

There are also several consumers insights from the last 18 months of the Covid pandemic Gracie has also brought to bear on his rebrand and creative approach.

“Pre-pandemic, shopping online was a choice. Now though, while consumers might not have the choice of how they shop and are forced to shop online, due to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores and lockdown restrictions limiting movement they still have the choice of where they shop online,” Gracie said. “We need to make sure MyDeal is on that shopping list.

“Every retailer promises the cheapest products, the fastest delivery and the biggest range, so relying on promoting just the rational purchasing points as a point of difference is no longer enough. We know awareness of MyDeal is still relatively low in the market, so our strategy is to embrace and create distinctiveness and let the rational proof points exist as a given.

“The pandemic has accelerated that transition to online, and that increased demand is there to capture, but just existing is not enough. We’re in a land grab right now and that’s why the brands that make themselves famous for all the right reasons and show true customer obsession in this moment, are the brands that will come out of this the strongest.”

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