Following its acquisition by Spark Etail in 2011, Spirit of Nature, an eco-friendly seller of nappies, clothing and household goods, has reintroduced a catalogue to the marketing mix. On hiatus since 2010, Spark Etail decided it was time to bring back a catalogue for Spirit of Nature, targeting a carefully selected segment of its database. Because the business was so new to Spark Etail, the company had no historical catalogue data to work with, explains head of buying and catalogue production Twanna Doherty. “We know the Spirit of Nature customer is a parent, usually the mother, buying products for baby. Nappies are a best seller, for example. We’re testing response to other products for mum such as fashion, as well as some homewares.”
At the same time, Spark Etail is also testing a new approach for another of its brands, Natural Collection. Having previously mailed eight catalogue editions a year, Spark Etail scaled back catalogue activity for Natural Collection to a more sustainable two editions: spring/summer and autumn/winter. Produced in-house and featuring some of the same products as Spirit of Nature, the new Natural Collection catalogue was mailed to a completely different segment of the database.
The latest catalogue is a lot more “fashion-led” than its predecessors, says Doherty, commenting that the decision to go deeper into clothing ranges was a “gutsy” move. Committing to so much apparel takes Natural Collection outside of its comfort zone, which previously saw it include a lot more eco-friendly gadgets.
In total, approximately 100,000 catalogues were distributed to selections of the company’s total database of 450,000 names in March. The next move will be to analyse the results, upon which the company will carry out a strategic review. The review will look at how to further integrate all its businesses: EthicalSuperstore.com, Natural Collection, Spirit of Nature and the newly acquired Frank & Faith label. Among the considerations, says Doherty, are reactivation of lapsed customers and testing new customer acquisition techniques as well as whether to merge some of the brands. More acquisitions are also not out of the question.
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