When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

PZ Cussons readies digital push across brand portfolio

PZ Cussons is rolling out responsive design websites across its global brand portfolio as part of portfolio-wide focus on digital marketing activity aimed at increasing e-commerce sales.


The FMCG firm’s sites will switch to using HTML5 code, meaning the site performs equally well on both fixed and mobile devices.

Waseem Haq, PZ Cussons’ digital strategy director, told Marketing Week it is hoped the switch will grow sales of high-end brands Sanctuary Spa and St Tropez in particular, typically bought by active users of tablet and smartphones.

Meanwhile, it is to try and index cheaper personal care brands like Imperial Leather and Original Source more prominently with third-party retailers such as the big four supermarkets by forging closer ties.

He adds: “We also want to increase our search and social presence but also see the need for individual [branded] websites that people can use to compare different product types.”

Anthony Duffin, PZ Cussons digital solutions manager, says the company will use the process of the digital overhaul to improve the targeting of its online marketing.

He adds: “We will also be using the digital data we mine during this process for targeted marketing opportunities and business intelligence.”

PZ Cussons reported a 4.7 per cent increase in revenue last year. The company said it had delivered a robust performance in the UK, crediting brand innovation, but did not strip out numbers.

Web development agency Inviqa worked on the site redesigns.

View Point

Ronan Shields

Many digital marketing ‘experts’ question the wisdom of having standalone websites for specific ‘smaller purchase brands’ -  such as Imperial Leather or original Source -  in terms of branding.

Such marketers would favour a Facebook page over having an unique URL for each brand. But Cussons’ Haq does make a strong case for the contrary when he says that many products within its personal care and beauty portfolios are often researched extensively online before purchase.

Whatever side of this argument you adhere to, with such a varied portfolio of brands, across multiple different product categories and price points, maintaining this delicate balance will be a must if its efforts are not to be in vain.

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