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Harrods fetes Diamond Jubilee with product line, store celebrationsBy Tricia Carr
London-based department store Harrods is tapping into locals’ affinity for Queen Elizabeth II to market a product line and a series of in-store events to mark the Diamond Jubilee, the British monarch’s 60th year on the throne.
The retailer is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee with a clever digital campaign aimed at local consumers. Harrods used email and Pinterest to market its Diamond Jubilee-themed product collection and will host in-store events that complement the occasion.
“The Diamond Jubilee is a hugely-important moment for the entire nation, so the brand could benefit greatly simply from associating themselves with the event,” said Vic Drabicky, New York-based premium and luxury brand digital strategist.
“It is a moment of national pride and associating Harrods with the event should give the brand a boost,” he said.
“If Harrods is able to associate itself with the event in an inventive way that is more than just ‘we made a special product, spend money with us,’ it has a chance to further engrain the brand as part of the national culture, which is invaluable.”
Mr. Drabicky is not affiliated with Harrods, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Harrods could not comment before press deadline.
Fit for the queen
Harrods marketed its in-house Diamond Jubilee collection with a dedicated email that was sent to its database yesterday.
Harrods Diamond Jubilee email
The email contained the text, “Celebrate this historic occasion with our iconic collection: from signature totes and china pieces to must-have kitchen accessories, our latest additions are sure to make for a very patriotic summer.”
The retailer’s Diamond Jubilee logo that appears on some of its products was displayed at the top of the email in full color. Products were displayed below.
Consumers can click on the logo to go to the Diamond Jubilee 2012 section of its ecommerce site or click on a product to view details in an Internet browser.
Harrods Diamond Jubilee ecommerce site
Diamond Jubilee products by Harrods include plates, mugs, pillows, keychains, food products, tote bags and towels.
Apron from the Diamond Jubilee collection
Some products are adorned with the Harrods logo and a British flag, while others are offered in Harrods’ signature prints.
Harrods posted a selection of its Diamond Jubilee collection products on its Pinterest page. The board on which the items were posted was also the place where Harrods held a contest that allowed users to design their own store window.
Harrods Pinterest page
Consumers who “pinned” inspirations for the window around the theme “Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party” had a chance to have a Harrods window inspired by their mood board. The winner will be brought to London for the special unveiling (see story).
The contest was open to only British residents.
Harrods drew attention to the Pinterest contest via its active Facebook and Twitter accounts. It is expected that the retailer will use these accounts to promote its Diamond Jubilee collection as well.
The use of digital marketing is no surprise for the Harrods brand, since it seems to be concentrating its most recent efforts in digital channels.
It is possible that its Web site attracts many local consumers and the retailer sees it fit to market its new collection primary through digital means.
“In this case, I think the more digital Harrods can do, the better,” Mr. Drabicky said. “There is no better way for a huge, historical luxury brand to show that it is still adapting to meet the needs of its customers than by embracing the digital channel.
“I think the digital channel as a whole is the best way to reach luxury consumers,” he said. “Affluent consumers spend more time online than most other demographics.
“Digital advertising for the Diamond Jubilee would not only benefit Harrods from a brand perception standpoint, but also because more of their customers are there, which means higher interaction and revenue rates from the advertising.”
See what’s in store
Harrods is planning some in-store events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee occasion and to attract locals to its retail store.
The retailer seems to be positioning itself as an ideal place to celebrate the holiday. It is certainly bolstering its status as a historic London landmark.
For instance, Harrods will host a Diamond Jubilee Party May 31 in its food halls.
Guests will get after-hours access to the high-end cafeteria that will serve British fare such as fish pie, toad in the hole, potted shrimps and mini fish and chips.
Tickets to this event are $128 and include all food and drink. Guests must book a spot at the event by phone.
In its on-property pet spa, Harrods will offer the Doggy Diamond Spa Treatment beginning May 1, a nod to the queen’s corgis.
Dogs can experience a John Paul Pet Royal Awapoochi Deep Shine shampoo treatment, customized blow dry and a diamond sparkle treatment. Shoppers will get a limited-edition Union Jack Harrods bow and a Union Jack ‘pupcake’ for each pet.
The treatment price is $48.
In addition, the store will carry a horseshoe necklace created by London-based jewelry designer Theo Fennell that recognizes the queen’s passion for horses and horseracing.
Mr. Fennell created the necklace to mark the first event of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Investec Derby Festival horse race.
Harrods is offering the limited-edition piece in its ground floor find jewelry section.
Horseshoe necklace available at Harrods
Overall, Harrods’ combination of digital and in-store efforts is the best combination for success, per Mr. Drabicky.
“Online is strongest when there are offline efforts to support your digital efforts,” Mr. Drabicky said. “We know the vast majority of shoppers research online before going to stores, so in-store events must be supported digitally as well.
“I do not think there are many scenarios where doing just online or just offline is a winning strategy,” he said. “The most successful strategies are those that combine online and offline efforts to form a more seamless marketing message and experience.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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