While the makeup and specifications of a brand's product/offering are key to its value proposition, a brand cannot rely solely on these to influence the buying decision. A brand needs also to look at the core need(s) it seeks to fulfil. Understanding its market in terms of the ‘why of the buy’ so to speak. Almost every purchase has an emotion at its core and while that can differ from person to person, connecting with that emotion while making a great offer is key to growing a strong brand.
Curves is a very successful international franchise with some 6000 clubs in 85 countries. Locally the brand was entering its 10th year and was faced with the question of its relevance in the local market. The exponential growth of the black middle class and a very challenging economic climate meant the market landscape was very different to when the brand first launched in South Africa.
Having done extensive research and introspection before approaching us, they had come to the conclusion that yes the brand needed to do some work operationally, but it’s offering was fundamentally relevant to the local market as it was all over the world. Yet it had been labelled, branded even, as too old and too white for it to speak effectively to the new local marketplace.
So the challenge was in repositioning the brand without a fundamental change in offering while maintaining the necessary sales focus for it to be sustainable.
- To position the brand as relevant for a younger multiracial market.
- Stay true to the core of the brand.
- Seek to create real emotional connections with the market.
Looking deeply at the brand itself and what we found quite compelling was how strong and unique the Curves USP (unique selling proposition) at its core actually was. Women only, 30 minutes, scientifically formulated program, coaching and support, etc. So ‘Strengthening Women’, the brand's slogan, was very much still a strong proposition.
What we did find though when looking at previous campaigns was that the offering was presented in an almost technical, matter fact way, often lacking the emotional hook or connection. The focus being on the product or offering itself versus the core needs to which it speaks. So we needed to bring this back to the brand to reposition it effectively.
When we looked at the market we found to no great surprise, that most people struggle to maintain an exercise program and healthy lifestyle. The reasons vary endlessly, but what is universal was that people that were successful didn’t exercise for the sake of exercise, they did it for a deeply personal and powerful reason. They did it to have a better life. We also find that these reasons change during life but that the results of Curves could work for them regardless of what stage of life they were in.
From this, we grouped the most common reasons into categories that could speak to the varying target market. We then looked at creating a campaign mechanic that would encourage engagement and get users to talk about the brand and hence #MYWHY was born.
The campaign encouraged users to share their why through a competition mechanic they could choose across 5 different categories, which spoke to varying reasons from family and self-esteem to health and empowerment. We combined this with a fresh and edgier look to the branding with a bright colour palette, images that spoke of lifestyle, not just exercise, and an appeal to young and old alike.
- Increased social media following over the 3-month campaign, an increase of 236% over the previous 3 month period.
- The campaign received 4,800,000 impressions and 40,000 engagements. For a spend less than 4 tv placements.
- 344% increase in engagement in the 18-24 market segment.
- 92% decrease in male reach (33% increase in female reach).
- A wealth of great content and data about brands market and what drives it to be used for future campaigns.
- Curves experienced it's best winter sales figures in many years.
- Winner of the Most Effective PR Campaign Worldwide (Curves Master License Awards 2016).