salt & pepper / Homewares DTC and back again.
The story of salt&pepper’s strategic shift.
Brand strategy, Identity, TOV, Values, Packaging.
Over the past decade, it’s been pretty hard not to notice the rapid growth of the DTC (direct-to-consumer) market. During that time, with obvious improvements in service, delivery, technology, plus the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere, savvy businesses have been eschewing the constraints of physical stores.
Well, why wouldn’t they? ‘Tap tap tap, ding-dong’ and your products are in the hands of happy customers. If you throw the impact of a pandemic into the mix, traditionalist businesses have been left with not much choice but to play catch-up.
Yet, what happens if you’re a wholesale business with a B2B e-Commerce platform at the ready? Surely the smart money would be nudging you to shift everything towards a DTC model? Right? Not if you're Harry Pourounidis, Managing Director of Bambis Imports, owner of Australian homeware brand, salt&pepper… then you do the opposite, and open up a whole network of brick-and-mortar stores.
A bold strategy at the best of times, Harry highlights its new-found potency, “Being a 25+ year old brand, we’ve been looking for the next step forward. Most people would think the move risky, but it’s actually one that reduces our reliance on wholesale whilst building brand presence in the right-fit geographical locations”. Ultimately, the move would also give plenty of scope to scale the salt&pepper business across the vertical, and all on the company’s terms.
With the salt&pepper brand being across every inch of the retail space and buying experience, it would need to be at its best and hit home on every level. Harry’s next move was to reassess the brand, and ultimately how he could change the game.
Now, when reevaluating your brand strategy, the natural inclination is to assess every aspect of the brand and category. However, this type of ‘navel gazing’ rarely delivers any fresh, game-changing insights. Sometimes, a more fruitful approach is to look at complimentary categories. In salt&pepper’s case, this meant digging into food, beverage and entertaining.
Pretty quickly, we noticed that with fewer nights gathered around the dining table and more nights woofing down UberEats or your latest foodbox creation on the sofa, people’s use for homewares had changed. Likewise, so too had the relationship with ‘home’. Formal is out, casual in. Forgetting the perfect nuclear family ‘dinner table’ scenario, people are more interested in items that feel right for the mood and moment.
Whilst the rest of the category fixated on the ‘boxed formal dining set for four’, we developed a strategy and warm identity that leaned into the reality and stories of what ‘home’ really means to us all. And with this, the brand’s simplified aesthetic was brought to life.
Brand Reboot Lessons / Key Takeaways:
- Shifts in strategy impact the business. So think long-term and work through the different scenarios.
- Decisions in the boardroom don’t necessarily translate well to your employees. So take time to bring them up to speed and share your reasons openly so everyone is clear on the new direction.
- Despite what you may read, nothing is easy. The risks to a business can be huge, but so can the rewards. Test your thinking in small amounts first, learn from the results and then iterate as you go.
At Hunter, we can help you with:
Brand strategy, creative strategy, creative direction, art direction, copywriting, brand naming, logo design, brand identity, graphic design, packaging design, project management, production management and execution.