The Situation 

Let’s face it. American women have a lot of different fashion options. J. Crew. Anthropologie. Banana Republic. Ann Taylor. The options seem to be endless. But with a little primary research, we learned one very important thing: while she is interested in fashion and trends, she is not a slave to them. Instead, she chooses clothing and brands that fit her individual style and make her feel happy and good about herself as a person and a mother.

Enter the opportunity for Boden, a $500MM UK-based clothing company. Boden hired AMP to better understand the US women’s wear shopper to break into the US market. When Boden found AMP, they were spending the vast majority of their dollars in catalogue. They asked us to help them build a multi-year growth strategy focused on re-visiting the media mix and shaking the category up a little bit.

The Research

To assess where we stood, we conducted a national online survey that evaluated the current state of Boden’s brand health, measuring brand perceptions, purchase intent, likelihood to recommend, and competitor perceptions. We also conducted exploratory research with Boden’s target consumers that sought to deeply understand what drives and motivates their purchase decisions and emotional connection to Boden and competitive brands. The two studies served as the foundation for the creative and messaging strategy as well as media recommendations.

Creative & Messaging Strategy

Based on our knowledge of the audience, we were convinced that a colourful attitude to life gives you a head-start on happiness, whether you’re getting dressed or doing the things you love. So, we put a creative platform with the aim to focus on the feelings and experiences that make us feel most fulfilled.

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Media Strategy

Instead of trying to compete with the media war chest of Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, in traditional media vehicles, we focused hyper-locally where Kate lives. By hyper-targeting, our efforts had a national feel but with a localized, impactful, virtually waste-free approach.

Critical to growing awareness of the brand is Kate’s ability to see the clothes and understand the Boden brand essence. Our recommended media channels allowed her to get a close look at the quality and the stitching that keeps the brand together. Wherever Kate was, we were too. We were:

  • Where she discovers the delightfully new (via magazines like Real Simple and InStyle)
  • Where she stays on trend (via the New York Times Fashion & Style Section,, and
  • Where she seeks inspiration (via popular style blogs like, Hi Sugarplum and Sugar & Charm)
  • Where she vacations (reaching Kate through event activation in desirable destinations)
  • Where she shares (on Instagram)

Where She Discovers the Delightfully New 

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02. Boden InStyle Fall Print AdWhere She Stays on Trend

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Where She Vacations 

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All brand media was negotiated to allow Kate to truly understand the brand essence: ‘We are more than clothing. We are a state of mind. And nothing would make us happier than to make you happier.’

This approach allowed us to reach Kate with a strong share of voice via high impact, exclusive and custom executions and ensure a sustained presence that reinforced our messaging throughout the year.

The Results 

With brand awareness and sales serving as primary objectives, the Splash of Happy campaign delivered in a big way. In a tough year for retail growth in the US, when competitors had flat and even declining awareness and sales measures, Boden made significant strides.

We increased brand awareness 71% among our target audience. Sales increased 8% year over year- making 2014 Boden’s best sales year in the States.

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