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The pandemic has put a strain on companies of all sizes, across all sectors. However, while some have closed their doors and furloughed staff, others have found their business model perfectly served the needs of consumers in lockdown.
One such business is Not On The High Street (NOTHS). In fact, chief commercial and marketing officer Ella d’Amato describes trading during the pandemic as like “having Christmas, but in the spring”.
The ecommerce site, which features bespoke products from more than 5,000 small creative businesses, has been busier than ever, attracting hundreds of thousands of new customers.
At the onset of the crisis, d’Amato braced herself for a period of uncertainty. The team paused its marketing strategy and devised a Covid-19 strategy within 24 hours. The new strategy was based on several pillars, the key one being how the brand could champion small businesses during the crisis.
Aware that it was crucial to stay top of mind, she approached the board with the idea of creating a campaign to show the public what the NOTHS brand is about. The team collaborated with creative agency Little Hawk on the small business supporter film crafted from user generated content, which was turned around in eight days.
The film was originally only intended for social, but it rapidly became the best performing piece of content NOTHS had ever put out. Such was the response that the team struck a deal direct with ITV to bring the ad to TV screens, despite never normally advertising on television outside the festive period.
Shopping with values
Over the past three months NOTHS has attracted new customer demographics, notably more men and a rise in 18- to 24-year-olds. Traditionally the brand, which celebrated its 14th anniversary two weeks into lockdown, has a broad customer base aged 25 plus, meaning during the pandemic the site has attracted a younger consumer.
D’Amato thinks this shift in demographics could be down to the brand’s increased social activity and the impact of TV exposure. She also believes these younger consumers care more about shopping local and supporting small businesses, which fits with the wider shift to “shopping with values”.
“The conscious consumer is rising and they are going to ask questions of your brand. What type of business are you? Do you do good?”
Ella d’Amato, chief commercial and marketing officer NOTHS
*The article features part of the interview conducted by Charlotte Rogers, editor at Marketingweek