When one of the UK’s biggest pawnbrokers went into administration, they needed a plan to rebuild trust with both staff and customers. Research revealed their unique position in the community and helped us devise a communications strategy that saw Albemarle Bond return to profit and achieve a sale within three years.
Albemarle Bond (AB), one of the UK’s largest jewellers and pawnbrokers, was relaunching after going into administration following the gold price crash of 2013. Beyond its commercial problems, the brand had lost connection with its customers, its messaging was aggressive and patronising, and its retail proposition was muddled.
Post-administration, the brand had a fantastic opportunity to reinvent itself. We conducted internal research with 127 branch managers and geo-demographic profiling to gauge an accurate picture of each branch’s core target customer.
Our staff and customer research highlighted two key insights:
1. AB provided valuable services to help families make ends meet during difficult times.
2. It had a secret weapon – its staff. Many of their customers know the branch staff by name and the company has a unique part to play in the local community.
We developed a strategy that positioned Albemarle Bond as ‘The Family Finance People’ – underpinned by empathic customer service, respect and support for an oft-neglected demographic.
Working to a limited budget, we devised a comms strategy based on digital marketing to drive traffic to a revamped website which became a lead generation tool, sending customers to their local branch.
Given the similar service portfolio and to help budgets work harder, we also unified the Albemarle & Bond and Herbert Brown brands and campaign plan.
After the initial campaign creative was developed, we conducted further research to get feedback on the new positioning and advertising concepts from the branch managers, which was extremely positive.
The Foundry acted as a de facto marketing function as AB had lost their team as a result of administration.
We conceived, produced and delivered all marketing communications, helping them return to profit before the company’s successful sale in 2015.