Case Study

By The Drum, Administrator

May 16, 2002 | 5 min read

The Background

In recent years, BBC’s Ground Force must have unwittingly boosted sales for Gossard and Playtex.

It goes without saying then that it has had a positively huge impact on the home improvement market. Across the nation, Sundays are no longer for nursing hangovers and gardens are no longer just a place to sun yourself in the summer months.

A perfectly manicured lawn and opulent, colourful flowerbeds are definitely this season’s black.

Qualcast, the leading name in British garden care equipment, has a history of quality and a strong brand name that has traditionally appealed to the more mature audience.

Qualcast realised that it needed to appeal to a younger audience and wanted a campaign to reflect this without alienating its existing loyal consumer base.

With the launch of the new Concorde range, Qualcast had the opportunity to do this, while at the same time re-establishing itself as the desirable brand with reliable and traditional values. So how did it do this effectively?

Enter The Source.

The Brief

Qualcast has manufactured lawnmowers and other garden care products since the early twenties. With the backing of the Bosch brand, last year Qualcast required a full campaign to raise awareness generally, and also to specifically target a younger, more brand-conscious audience whilst staying true to its traditional brand values.

Through creative and media solutions, The Source had the task of repositioning this market leader. For their creative ideas they could build on the fact that products are lightweight, compact and easy to assemble (no tools required!). The Concorde and Concorde Cordless products, which formed the basis of the campaign, boasted all these attributes. The Concorde range offered great potential and one of the key objectives was to make this model the best-selling cordless mower in its launch year.

The Idea

In order to attract a younger audience the whole Qualcast image needed updating to give it a fresher, more modern and dynamic feel. Qualcast has traditionally ‘owned’ green as its corporate colour so it made sense to maintain this, but it was enhanced and made more vibrant, and visually arresting. It therefore worked very effectively across all promotional disciplines – press ads, marketing literature, website, in-store point-of-sale and internet banners, where the thrust of the campaign saw a heavy focus on the new cordless lawnmower product.

Careful attention was paid to the use of words and illustrative interpretation of one of the USPs –‘cuts twice as much’. These had to be simple, unfussy, clean and direct – a departure from the often cosy, cluttered garden product adverts with their literally ‘flowery’ language, and complicated botanical imagery.

For both consumer and trade ads the name of the product itself became an integral part of the theme. ‘Concorde’ handily contains the word ‘cord’, take it away and it becomes ‘cord-less’.

This was conveyed on the Cordless trade ads by allowing the green background to show, these being effectively ‘erased’ by a user of the cordless lawnmower. The national consumer press ads focused on ‘double-edged’ illustrations, which were created to portray the unique, double dose, cutting power.

The concept also formed the basis for the entire radio campaign, with a series of light-hearted ads being produced where the word ‘cord’ was ‘bleeped’ whenever it was mentioned.

Adding an interactive and unorthodox dimension to the website was an important consideration, as it was appreciated that this medium is a vital tool for communicating with a younger audience.

The Client

Gary King, marketing manager for the Bosch Group, comments: “Having worked with The Source so closely before, we had the confidence that they knew our products, and had good industry knowledge and were best suited to the job of repositioning Qualcast.

“Qualcast has been an established brand for nearly 100 years, and following extensive research we knew that targeting a younger market would not be an easy task, and it was important that we successfully completed the campaign without it affecting our existing customers.

“Over the years our customers have been loyal and have trusted our products – alienating them would be disastrous.

“The Source created a perfect campaign; they overcame the difficult challenge of promoting a new range of products in a traditional sector with tight deadlines and budgets.

“The creative executions across a range of media were superb and the agency certainly met the challenge.

“Not only did they provide great creative but their strategic input was vital to re-establish ourselves as leaders in our field and the market share increase is testament to that success.”

The Results

With the successful launch, nationally, of the new Concorde range in 2001, Qualcast remains the leading British manufacturer of garden care equipment.

Since the campaign began, the volume share has increased from 22.6 per cent to 26.2 per cent, a gain of 3.6 per cent or 15 per cent in absolute terms.

The value share increased from 20.9 per cent to 23 per cent, a gain of 2.1 per cent.

The Source has subsequently produced a special welcome facility on the Qualcast website. With a product tie-in, ‘Trak man’ offers the site visitor an opportunity to not only play the game but also enter a competition to win a Power Trak 34 machine.

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