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Since the start of the year, if we removed any mention of Brexit, there is a strong possibility the discussion regarding the state of the high street would top the list of domestic news stories. The fortunes of our retail industry remains a ubiquitous talking point. Over the past months, we have seen Debenhams – one of Britain’s most famous department stores – announce the closure of multiple stores across the country and the world’s biggest Primark open in Birmingham to a crowd of 5,000.  

In many ways people are always on a journey to buying something and constantly exploring the brands and products they may like to buy in the future. In an age where there is seemingly endless choice brand association, loyalty and salience are more critical now than ever before. Findings from Newsworks’ ‘How People Buy’ research lend credence to this, with 2/3 of people choosing between just one or two brands and of those who have just one brand in mind, seven in 10 of them do not even consider another brand.  

Despite this, there are still many opportunities for brands to stand out from the crowd – largely attributed to the fact that people don’t always feel the need to buy a product right away. 57% of people say they could have bought a product at any time and less than half of retail products are planned purchases. This gives brands time to become more salient before the purchase journey begins. 

57% of people say they could have bought a product at any time and less than half of retail products are planned purchases

Brand preference gives people more confidence. For instance, just 39% of people who start out with one car brand in mind are worried about the decision they make and 43% feel very confident, even at an early stage – rising to 63% when they’ve made the final decision. For people who start out with no brand in mind, worry is high (54%) and confidence low (17%). While confidence improves to 41% at the buying stage, it is still outweighed by worry (43%). 

If you want to see which channels have the greatest influence at the different stages of the purchase journey and how newsbrands compare, try our “How People Buy” planning tool.

Newsbrands have long been a popular and fruitful advertising space for retail campaigns. Not only this, the latest TGI data shows that customers of some of the country’s most famous retailers frequently consume newsbrands. 75% of Argos visitors, 81% of John Lewis visitors and 86% of Harrods visitors read newsbrands every week. So there is ample opportunity to influence and reach shoppers by using newsbrands in the marketing mix. 

75% of Argos visitors, 81% of John Lewis visitors and 86% of Harrods visitors read newsbrands every week.

Newsbrands can help play a key role in the journey to purchase. They help build brand salience and awareness. They excel at providing a moment of inspiration to kickstart the process. Newsbrands are ideal for providing information that tests assumptions, to ensure you are not missing out on crucial information and won’t regret the decision. 

Recently we have seen some really effective partnerships in the case studies from our 2018 Planning Awards – John Lewis’ ‘Off to University’ campaign with The Telegraph and Halfords’ ‘Unplug and Reconnect’ campaign with The Mail. Newsbrands can be used in different ways as well – 2018 saw Specsavers utilise print newsbrands to build awareness of National Eye Health Week while KFC famously turned to newsbrands to apologise for a nationwide chicken shortage.   

Retail campaigns including newsbrands are more effective than those that don’t. Spending at the right level can reap dividends. Our ‘Planning for Profit’ research shows that with an increase in average newsbrand investments from 16.1% to 25.2% brands could release an astonishing £1.3bn in potential profit. In addition, whilst retail campaigns have traditionally invested sparingly in digital newsbrands, further research we have conducted with Benchmarketing show that just a 0.5% increase in digital newsbrand spend would yield a £2.40 improvement in digital display PROI (profit return on investment). All of which shows newsbrands to be a very viable investment for retail campaigns! 

With an increase in average newsbrand investments from 16.1% to 25.2% brands could release an astonishing £1.3bn in potential profit.

If you want to find the right level of investment for both print and digital newsbrands to drive the best profit for your campaign, try our PROI optimiser.  

For more detail on how newsbrands can drive advertising effectiveness in retail campaigns, check out our category deck

More insight for planners