Turning DFS from a value brand into a brand that people value

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

To hit growth targets, DFS needed to attract a more affluent sofa shopper by broadening its appeal. It was critical, however, to address the balance between the competing needs of short-term sales driving activity and long-term brand health goals of increasing brand consideration and love. A multi-year strategy positioned DFS as a more realistic, revealing, popular, and likeable brand without downplaying the price offers it was famous for. Advertising campaigns featuring animated characters celebrated the production and quality testing of its sofas, with British Heart Foundation and Team GB partnerships used to build affinity. Following the activity, there was a 28% increase in consideration and penetration, amongst the more affluent sofa shopper, rose by 32%. The approach delivered an estimated £109m of incremental sales over six years and a 64% increase in profit ROI.

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Over the last 6 years, we have been evolving our approach to marketing. With a clear strategy of broadening our brand appeal with a key growth customer segment (Quality Seekers), whilst maintaining our core customer segment (Value Seekers), we have continuously learnt our way towards a communication model that is less reliant on short-term sales activation tactics and that is better equipped for long-term growth. During this period we have learnt that key consumer segments are more likely to consider the DFS brand, when they are made aware of our vertical business model (especially that all our sofas are handmade to order with many crafted in our own UK factories), as opposed to our historical one-dimensional promotional based communications. Value will always be important to our customers, but what our communication evolution and strategic brand manoeuvres have taught us is that price is just one part of the value equation. We have been building value by growing the nations trust, affection, and belief in the purpose of our brand - that DFS exists to deliver what consumers really need and want from their sofa – the joy of comfort (physical, emotional, aesthetic and of course, financial comfort). We are committed to a future where we develop a deeper understanding of our customer and what role comfort (and therefore DFS) will play in this ever changing sofa buying landscape. Looking to the future, we have more confidence than ever before in the strength of our brand to drive sales and we will continue to review the balance of our communications investment.

Toni Wood, CMO DFS

Winners 2018

Gold Winner


Turning DFS from a value brand into a brand that people value






krow communications

Principal Authors

  • Aileen Ross - krow communications

Contributing Authors

  • Joy Talbot - MediaCom

Credited Companies

  • -

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