Challenge

Over 40 years of super-heavyweight promotional advertising had built DFS into Britain’s leading sofa retailer with a brand image synonymous with sales and great offers; appealing to lots of people, but not everyone’s cup of tea.

Now DFS wanted to evolve that image, to appeal to a broader spectrum of people, and to become a ‘well-loved’ brand.

The catch? Do so without changing the promotional advertising model behind DFS’ success.

DFS

Solution

If we can’t change what’s being said, why not change the way we say it?

We developed a highly emotive new brand line to signal that DFS is on a mission to help make everyday life at home physically, emotionally and of course, financially more comfortable.

We created a new advertising style which we called ‘celebrating sofa moments’, with a new tone of voice: aspirational reality (not inaccessible WAGs lifestyle).

We then revealed ‘secret’ product and service truths such as ‘every DFS sofa is individually handmade to order for you’ and ‘Free 10 year guarantee’ and weaved them into our promotional advertising.

We also launched DFS’ first-ever non-promotional TV ad, 'Boy'. As one of the online reviewers put it: “DFS in good ad. Shock.”

Results

Volume and value growth has already been generated by huge gains in Top 3 box consideration (+23%), which has been stimulated by DFS being 60% more well-loved, and by the brand now being viewed as more friendly and trustworthy on our watch.

We have also seen strong improvements in brand perceptions amongst the ‘John Lewis-liking/DFS-disliking’ women who had previously been resistant to DFS’ charms.