How Harrods is owning its media
Harrods is a unique brand – the epitome of luxury retailing, its global fame eclipses the fact that it’s one store in London. Just one. There are few shopping experiences that come close to that of Harrods. The sanctity they place on their customers is second to none, which is in part why Harrods has developed a sophisticated (and lucrative) approach to owned media. This flies in the face of some people’s view that leveraging owned media can only be done at the expense of customer experience.
Harrods has built a powerful suite of owned media assets, from large format digital screens, in-store exhibitions, window displays, visual merchandise, sponsor events, loyalty communications to publishing – there’s something for any brand to connect with the vaunted Harrods customer. Which is appropriate when you consider Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which is Latin for “all things for all people, everywhere”. In the case of owned media, replace “people” with “brands”.
We recently spoke to Guy Cheston, Director of Media Sales at Harrods, who pointed out that “it’s been over a decade since Harrods, in 2004, recognised the value and commercial potential of its own estate and customer base as a media opportunity.” Since then, the store has set up its own in-house media sales and marketing division.
Guy told us, “The world’s leading luxury brands recognise the effectiveness and influence of the media portfolio on their retail sales and continue to invest significant marketing budgets directly with our media division.” So, clearly it works for brands looking to connect with shoppers, but it also works for Harrods, Guy explained, “Harrods-Media delivers an important contribution to Harrods Group bottom line with the added benefit of driving retail sales in-store.”
Harrods is a compelling example of a business that cares deeply for their customers experience, whilst utilising owned media to improve the customer experience AND drive retail sales AND increase revenue. A genuine triple play that, some might think, sounds too good to be true. Others go out and create sustainable owned media assets.