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marketer of the week

Beyond Techspectations: How Dan Rubel Is Helping Currys Find 'Customers For Life'

Currys' brand-led platform ‘Beyond Techspectations’ - created with AMV BBDO - has accelerated the growth of the retailer and is a testament to brand-building effectiveness

By conor nichols

The debate over what ‘marketing effectiveness’ truly means is a perennial industry conversation. However, there is one definition that is undeniably satisfying - it’s all about sales. Just as electronics retailer Currys.

Last month, the brand spotlighted a successful peak trading update for the 10 weeks leading up to 6 January, with its services deals increasing sizeably - the number of iD Mobile subscribers rose by 29 per cent to 1.6 million - and its credit offerings growing to a record high - more than a fifth of Curry's UK and Ireland customers borrowed money to finance their purchase.

More significantly, Currys chief executive Alex Baldock publicly put the retailer’s recent trading success down to its shift from product-focused to brand-led marketing to create “customers for life”.

Together with long-term collaborator AMV BBDO - which has worked with the retailer for an impressive 10 years - last year Currys launched its first brand-led platform ‘Beyond Techspectations’ with the aim of highlighting the ways in which the company and its staff go above and beyond to deliver the best expertise, service, and prices for customers.

The campaign, Baldock believes, has increased the amount of long-lasting customers as opposed to those purchasing on the odd occasion. “Our strategy is delivering a consistently improving customer proposition,” Baldock said on a call with investors.

Brand and marketing director Dan Rubel is the driver behind this marketing boost. Five years into the role, the marketer - who has led marketing departments for the likes of the RAC and The Very Group in the past - has helped push the retailer to the front of customers’ minds when they require high-level expertise and low-level prices for electronics. Not only this, but striving to highlight Currys’ customer service by deploying humour and focusing on staff is a confident move away from using celebrities such as Peter Crouch and Jeff Goldblum in the company’s campaigns of the past.

Rubel attributes the success of Currys recent trading period to his “gang of brand and marketing heroes” - a department of more than 130. “Two words spring to mind when I think about the traits that spike in my team: ‘Relentless’ and 'Game-changers' (is that three?),” Rubel wrote on LinkedIn.

“Results like the ones we’ve delivered recently don’t come about without HQ departments and superhero frontline colleagues all having the same hungry mentality, working miracles and collaborating brilliantly to bring a supertanker business like ours home.”

And that they have. The brand and marketing team have increased Currys’ brand preference at a rate that Rubel “has never seen” in his whole career and it is largely down to an increased focus on brand building and “USP-centric advertising”. “Well done Aisling Lancaster [head of brand and advertising] and Martin Burke [senior advertising manager]. Thanks for being brave and holding firm when it would have been easy to retreat to safer, less effective work.”

On top of this, as a result of the newly adopted ‘Beyond Techspectations’ platform, the retailer’s organic social engagement has generated almost triple the number of likes year-on-year and the sales impact of Currys’ Perks loyalty club has increased by 20 per cent.

“All clients expect work that will cut through the category clutter, especially clients in retail, in what can often be a sea of advertising sameness. Standout work is paramount," Alex Bird, managing partner at AMV BBDO said.

"Exceptional clients recognise this type of work and invest in, champion, protect and promote it. Dan exemplifies this calibre of client – a true partner who embraces the unexpected, whether it’s Currys colleagues growing beards, popping up in a vat of baked beans or munching on manuals."

Together, AMV BBDO and Rubel and his team’s tenacity have created a campaign that is marketing effectiveness personified.


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