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It has been quite a while since Jack Trout, one of the most influential marketing’s gurus, wrote his book on survival in the era of killer competition. Nevertheless, his advice is still very useful, if not even more important due to appearance of new communication channels and hundreds of messages we and our potential clients are exposed to everyday.

Therefore, when we were briefed to create a Polish market launch strategy for Harris – the leading UK’s decorating brand, we knew we had to follow Mr Trout’s advice and our brand promise of ‘communicating beyond the obvious’.

Situation

L G Harris & Co. Ltd, founded in 1928, is a world class manufacturer of decorating products. In 1961, the company was awarded the Royal Warrant in recognition of their product excellence. Today, Harris is the UK’s No. 1 preferred paint brush and roller brand for home decorators being rated as the best and most reliable paint brush brand. This renowned company decided to enter the challenging Polish market, where a wide range of budget, medium and high-end brands is already present.

Task

Our task was to create a ‘stand out of the crowd’ integrated communication campaign aimed at business partners first (B2B), followed by a B2C campaign aimed at professional decorators and high-end users.

Bald painters at the BUDMA fair

Approach

In developing our communication strategy we decided first to ask for feedback representatives of our target audience. We have conducted many one-to-one interviews and found out the most important feature they look for in a perfect paintbrush: no bristle loss. This finding was a key to our communications campaign and creating key visual and other marketing materials, including design of L G Harris & Co. Ltd stand at the BUDMA fair in Poznań, where the Polish launch was planned to take place.

In fact, BUDMA – the biggest construction fair in our part of Europe – is the best example on how our ‘communicating beyond the obvious approach worked. A part of our brief included the following: ‘An exciting launch event to launch the company in to the market and also introduce our latest range’. As the answer to this requirements we have created a simple, but very engaging mechanism. Since a vast majority of companies usually employs beautiful hostesses to promote their brands and generate traffic to their stands, we dared to be different and hired… bald painters. Dressed up in branded professional outfits with a claim ‘you will lose your hair sooner’, carrying a ladder they were walking around the BUDMA fair and handing out ‘no loss’ brush shaped invitations to the Harris stand and UK’s flag painting competition. This mechanism provided tons of interest as well as a great opportunity for interaction with the Harris brand.

Results

Our communication strategy has generated a very heavy traffic to L G Harris & Co. Ltd stand at the BUDMA fair held in the beginning of February in Poznań. The visitors included new business leads and professional decorators as well as journalists, who provided coverage both on TV (including live broadcast) and in print. The first stage of launching the Harris brand in the Polish market has been concluded. As evidence shows, it is highly advisable to follow combat proven advice: differentiate or die!

Hubert Zawadzki

PS See TV coverage

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