As we head into autumn and peak selling season, Helen French finds out what Westcoast's 'Accessorise with' campaign means for the channel...
Can you tell us more about the rebrand of the ‘Accessorise with’ campaign? What brands can we expect to see?
The rebrand offers a whole new look and feel for the campaign, bringing the aspects
of high end fashion and IT accessories closer together. This initiative now incorporates a staggering 19 accessory brands which include: 3M, Fellowes, Griffin, HP accessories, Kensington, Maxell accessories, Microsoft Hardware, Port Design, Sweex, Targus, Transcend, Veho, Yarvik, Durable, AF, Belkin, Monster, iON, Palo Alto and Rocking Residence, and we’re still looking to expand.
What is the thinking behind the rebrand?
The thinking behind the rebrand was to take the current campaign to the next level and instead of just listing available products, offer solutions and environments that the accessories fit best into. We also wanted to get resellers to think more about how to attach accessories sales and communicate that, much in the way a man or woman would add accessories to their outfit, so too should accessories accompany a piece of computer hardware.
How much is this reflected by market trends?
In the market, the idea of harmonising fashion with IT is becoming the norm. Take Beats by Dr Dre for example, this is an ideal piece of IT fashion. Not only does it serve an IT purpose for listening to your favourite music but the style it exudes and the way it is portrayed in the marketplace makes it become a fashion accessory to everyday living.
In terms of marketing activity, how will you be promoting and supporting the rebrand?
We will be launching two whole new brochures – one with the main bulk of the accessories and a second that is an insert within the main brochure, which details all the Apple accessories Westcoast has to offer. There will be a new website to accompany this as well as various pieces of marcomms within the channel to generate a buzz and interest with resellers.
For this campaign we also wanted to keep things local and have used a Reading-based marketing agency and fashion designer for the pieces created for this campaign and have also done our own bespoke photography to represent each of the new categories: ‘At Home’, ‘On The Go’, ‘In The Office’, ‘Essentials’, and ‘Fashion Forward’.
Can we look forward to any new products?
Westcoast has taken a whole host of new vendors on board to strengthen and broaden our accessory range, whilst the company will continue to grow this range in the future as well.
How will you be engaging with retailers to explain and promote the changes?
A lot of people are already familiar with the Accessorise with Westcoast brand, so it will not require too much explanation. The way we have set out our marketing activity and brochure help to show the reseller the perfect products that fit into various categories, so they know the best products for them and their customers.
What else does Westcoast have up its sleeve for this year and the next?
We will be looking to launch a 2013 calendar that will use imagery of Westcoast staff for each month, presenting a more personal aspect to distribution and putting faces to the channel. Also, for each calendar requested with the new brochure, Westcoast will donate £1 to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Westcoast has also had a bespoke piece of clothing produced that incorporates IT accessories into the clothing and will be the front cover of the brochure. The company will subsequently auction this piece of clothing off, with all of the proceeds going to Great Ormond Street as well.
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