Helping Oak Furnitureland grow from eBay trader to retail mogul
When Oak Furnitureland first approached MNC in 2011, they were a little-known, predominantly ecommerce operation with just a handful of bricks-and-mortar showrooms. Guided by our rigorous media strategy, they became the UK’s fastest-growing retailer of the decade, and today boast a nationwide network of over 100 stores and counting.
Scaled from an unknown business with 8 stores to a household name with over 100.
Founded in 2006, Oak Furnitureland evolved from an eBay trader to an ecommerce-only offering, before moving into multi-channel retailing with eight stores. Growth had been fuelled purely by digital performance marketing but by 2011, when OFL was pursuing an aggressive store expansion programme, this approach was hitting the ceiling of efficiency. To reach a mass-market audience and drive customer acquisition, OFL needed to explore the potential of an above-the-line media strategy. But it wouldn’t be easy for the relatively unknown brand to compete in a saturated market against well-established rivals with the advantage of sizeable media budgets.
The market context
OFL engaged MNC in 2011 to execute an initial test campaign which, if successful, would provide the springboard for ongoing above-the-line investment. We applied our understanding of the furniture category, which is characterised by infrequent purchase cycles of big-ticket products, a high degree of seasonality, and multiple promotions and events. In parallel, online competitors were posing a growing threat, as Google Shopping gave smaller players a shopfront for inferior “oak style” products at lower price points. We recognised the need to build OFL’s brand equity to differentiate their offering as affordable yet high quality.
Armed with clear ROI targets to meet, we executed a successful TV test campaign on a modest budget, informed by analytical insight and based on creative produced under our management. As media investment scaled, we have consistently met OFL’s number one priority to deliver on short-term ROI goals while simultaneously growing brand awareness, proving that they are not mutually exclusive.
In the early years of our partnership, OFL’s media strategy was a significant departure from that of its high-spending competitors: it was our job to out-think rather than outspend the competitive set. Today, while OFL’s investment is broadly in line with that of its rivals, our differentiated media strategy continues to enable OFL to outperform the rest of the sector: for every media pound spent, we deliver higher frequency of message and greater share of voice.
The journey continued
We have successfully introduced regional radio, tactical press, VOD and TV sponsorship into the media mix, with all channels playing a specific role within a vast integrated campaign. OFL has now grown into a household name, and we continuously fine-tune their strategy to reflect the evolving retail customer journey both in-store and online. Our enduring partnership has enabled the furniture retailer to maintain its stellar growth trajectory over the years, and achieve its brand ambitions.
Climbed Campaign Magazine‘s Adwatch of the Year league table from the 11th place in 2015, 5th place in 2016 and claim the number two spot in 2017 and 2018
- Scaled from an unknown business with 8 stores to a household name with 100.
- Named on The Sunday Times’ Fast Track list for six years running.
- Higher brand awareness than established competitors that have been operating for decades.
- Applying our marketing blueprint for success to support OFL’s expansion into the US market.
- Climbed Campaign Magazine’s Adwatch of the Year league table from 11th place in 2015 to 5th in 2016, and claim the number two spot in 2017 and 2018.
“Oak Furnitureland turned in an incredible performance and, on a TV budget of less than £30 million, deserves a special mention as the best-value TV advertising of the year.”
Campaign Magazine, Adwatch of the Year, 2017