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Woolworths is still a name that evokes nostalgia. Its demise at the end of last year left customers, commentators and employees shocked, if not entirely surprised. For years they gradually lost relevance and consumer interest as their diversified range could no longer compete with the specialist stores on their doorstep.
But like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes, along comes a re-vamped Woolworths.co.uk to cast aside the smouldering rubble of its former high street glory. This time though, they are listening to their customers. Offering a far more selective range and reintroducing some of their old favourites, including pick n mix, to show that online business is as vibrant as ever; even for those companies that have failed in the real world.
Leaving aside some of the sentimentality, the new Woolworths site is a marvel of modern marketing strategies. New owners Shop Direct have tapped into this famous brand and have used the name to gain extensive coverage, not least on social media.
You can now follow the progress of the brand new Woolworths on both Facebook and Twitter, along with thousands of others. Along with the usual stream of press releases which have now made it into the news, this steady stream of user interaction has afforded Woolworths a distinctly fresher user-orientated feel.
While only time will tell if it is successful, the integration of social media and blogs within the site are a represents a more personable approach to marketing and business in general. There are bugs-a-plenty littered throughout the site still, for example visit the ‘Outdoor’ section and select any of the items within the ‘Woolies Loves’; the images, categories and products barely match up (i.e. Mr. Bump is currently the image for the LG KP500 Cookie mobile phone), but I’m sure these are just teething problems.
The bottom line of all this though is that business can and is still thriving on the Internet. Even if your physical presence has become defunct, there is a future still online. This venture will undoubtedly be initially popular due the household name it’s attached to, but it’s certainly a model of marketing that could benefit smaller, newer businesses too.
Last month, we tuned in to listen to our very own Samantha Noble become a radio star. As a guest on Xan Phillips’ The Business on Voice FM, a programme dedicated to promoting the good news stories about business from the Southampton area and beyond, Sam shared her insights into paid media.
The Drum Network has launched a new initiative called ‘Create Britain’ which aims to show the world that Great Britain is still an awesomely creative marketplace, despite Brexit.
Create Britain is an online interactive map that invites businesses from the creative industry to contribute a short video to claim their own pin on the map that links to their video clip. The video clips need to answer one question: ‘What makes British creativity so great?’.