The Shop Direct story began way back in Liverpool in the 1930s, with the Littlewoods catalogue. In 2003, Littlewoods joined forces with Manchester’s Great Universal Stores to create Shop Direct.
Today, they’re behind Very.co.uk, VeryExclusive.co.uk, and Littlewoods.com. They’re the UK’s 2nd biggest pureplay retailer with sales of £1.7bn, and the country’s number one online credit retailer with five million customers.
Their ambition is to become a world class digital retailer, and in 2013 they kicked off a £150m+ transformation programme, which includes a new hub in the heart of London and new, agile ways of working across their Liverpool HQ.
Our brief was to bring together the good things Shop Direct stand for under one clear, exciting and consistent employer value proposition (EVP) that can be used to communicate across all touchpoints, break through the clutter, and create brand awareness.
Specifically, we had to deliver a London-centric campaign with the key goal of recruiting around 60 Data Science and Software Engineering staff in an over-marketed sea of data and tech people who have lots of choice in the South and little loyalty to their employers. Additionally, we needed to move fairly quickly, so that media and infrastructure were in place at launch.
We developed the ‘HEY London!’ brand concept, which introduces the idea of a personal relationship with Shop Direct, captures the entire 360/24hr environment, and begins a conversation you can have anytime, anywhere, against the backdrop of real people, daily lives, and the new hub in London.
Visually, it uses a strong graphic device which works as digital navigation point on screen to identify the people we’re talking with. And it also drives a powerful video style which lifts the lid on what it’s really like at Shop Direct.
PPC across the Google Display Network, Youtube and Reddit was a quick and effective way to connect with digital natives. We also made a splash at tech fairs, meet-ups and other events - all using the ‘HEY London!’ brand.
The Shop Direct careers site and ATS were fairly restrictive, so from our innovative Tumblr site, shopdirectlondon.com, we share social content, videos, stories, quotes, event updates and job info, and encourage candidates to engage with the brand further.
Finally, we used Beamery, a powerful recruitment CRM tool, to keep the audience warm, make it easy for candidates to apply, and enable recruiters to harvest info with minimum hassle. These email campaigns allow us to deliver highly personalised comms in line with the ‘HEY London!’ brand, and include virtual office tours, team introductions, and more.
So far, the campaign has more than delivered the results Shop Direct were looking for.