Business Science UK win Bronze for our work with Boots in the 2012 IPA Awards

In 2011, Boots faced a potential crisis. Despite a growing health and beauty market, Boots was experiencing a substantial decline in market share. Its challenge was to avert disaster by focusing on its most important customers. The result was to retain its leadership of the UK health and beauty market with a campaign that increased ROI by 185%. 

The CHALLENGE

In the early part of the 2000's, a host of major retailers had identified health and beauty as a key opportunity for Boots and were gunning for Boots' market share. In just a few years, these competitors increased their communications spend on health and beauty promotions by 45%. The supermarkets ran loss-leading deals on 'everyday' products like nappies, shampoo and personal beauty, trying to convince women to pick up these products as part of the weekly shop. In addition specialist chains ran aggressive promotions in specific categories like medicines, vitamins and fragrances. As a result of this, Boots was quickly losing market share.

The RESPONSE

We needed to find a way to keep people shopping with Boots. To do this, we wanted to know which of the brands levers we should pull to achieve this. We conducted an analysis of five years of tracking data to identify which measures were significantly correlated with shopping transactions. We identified that the key measures were about Boots offering good value and innovative ideas. In addition to this, we delved deeper into the target audience. We found that 93% of the Advantage Card holders were female. Also when we looked into spending habits, 25-55 years olds were the most important. So in order to retain customers, we needed to focus on 25-55 years old females and make them feel good.

The RESULT

November 2007 saw the launch of the 'Here Come the Girls' campaign, featuring a group of office workers preparing for their Christmas party. The signaled the beginning of 4 years of feel good, insight-based creative work that had women all of the UK exclaiming 'I thought that was just me!'.

The campaign successfully kept the most important customers shopping with Boots and arrested the market share decline and in addition increased ROI by 185%.