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N Brown to ramp up marketing spend by £10m

The owner of N Brown, a fashion brand has promised to invest £10m in marketing over the coming year as part of plans to drive sustainable growth, awareness, consideration and acquisition.

Marketing features prominently as a key focus for the year ahead in the fashion group’s latest results for the year ending 2 March released today (6 June). The company behind fashion brands Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo posted a £13.3m pre-tax profit over the 12 month period, £8.4m higher than last year.

Having seen customer acquisition costs from performance media rise “significantly” over the past year, N Brown now plans to build on current initiatives and invest more in awareness to “foster brand recognition.”

As part of its marketing strategy to date, the group has been working to create a differentiated brand portfolio with three multi-brand and category platforms: one for women (JD Williams), one for men (Jacamo) and one for young women (Simply Be).

Key plans over the coming year include a new mobile-first website for JD Williams, a “refined” proposition for Simply Be and a focus on “bigger moments in [Jacamo] customers’ lives” through its ongoing partnership with media company LADBible.

While customer acquisition costs have risen, N Brown has seen a decline in both website sessions (down 17% to 183 million) and orders (down 16% to 7.3 million), which it attributes to broader macroeconomic challenges.

Against a tough backdrop, N Brown claims to have remained focused on transforming the customer experience. This includes improving conversion at the checkout, which has remained steady over the past year at 3.7%.

The company highlighted the impact of its newly-developed Product Information System (PIM) for Simply Be as a “fundamental” part of its marketing strategy. N Brown claims the system has enabled a better customer experience through more detailed product descriptions, as well as improving marketing efficiency through improved SEO.

As N Brown shifts towards a greater focus on brand, data-driven decision-making will continue to drive the strategy, with an increased focus on marketing analysis to “ensure optimal channel mix by brand” and deliver efficiencies in spend.

Notably, the retailer attributes improved data-driven insights to a 20% year on year increase in customers enrolling in its loyalty programmes.

Looking ahead, N Brown says its communication with opted-in loyalty members will be more “engaging and personalised” to specific groups. This means reducing usage of discount and promotional activity, instead focusing on brand-specific content which will “fuel more desire” for its offer.

“Our customers are now seeing tangible benefits from our transformation, with an enhanced experience being delivered by our new websites and recently launched PIM,” said N Brown chief executive, Steve Johnson.

“Looking ahead, our strong liquidity position allows for continued investment in our strategy, positioning the business for sustainable growth whilst always improving the customer experience.”

Credit: Marketing Week

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