Springmaid Brand in Major Revival Push
By Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, 9/14/2008 12:00:00 AM
New York —
The Springmaid brand re-launches this week with an ambitious agenda: revive itself as a national brand that crosses multiple retail channels.
Packaging, colorways and design details will vary by channel, while supporting the overall consistency of the brand message. Springs Global has developed assortments for channels from mass to online retail to department stores — and in between — covering fashion bedding, sheets, "core" (utility) bedding, towels, bath accessories, throws, blankets, decorative pillows and curtains. Some items, particular dec pillows and curtains, are being constructed for indoor/outdoor living.
The Springmaid consumer is a married woman with children, average age 35, who likes entertaining, decorating her home and spending time with family, according to Mette Odom, director of marketing for the Springmaid brand.
"The good news is they have a strong awareness for Springmaid. This consumer shops cross-channel. They spend money," Odom said.
While retailers will have the flexibility to choose between elements within assortments, Springs Global will not treat Springmaid like a do-it-yourself program, according to Edward Cardimona, chief global creative officer, who put up signs around the office reading: "Brand = Discipline." The Springmaid consumer "does believe in brand," Cardimona said. "Brand really is an emotional promise made with the consumer." Retailers will have the opportunity to customize about 20% of the overall assortment, he remarked.
The brand positioning is "trustworthy, familiar, pure and simple," according to the company's marketing materials. The palette consists of 20 shades Cardimona described as "clean, simple, democratic, understandable." Springmaid will also use a lot of white, he said.: "It's light."
Springs Global will launch a consumer brand-building campaign as product arrives in stores next spring. The new logo depicts a conceptual flower in a watermark design and a warm red color. The idea is to convey the contemporary, while maintaining a sense of heritage.
The Springmaid brand will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2009. Springmaid was originally used for fabric produced by Springs Cotton Mills. As Springs shifted into finished goods in the 1940s, Springmaid was the subject of an advertising campaign deemed so provocative at the time that initially publishers including Hearst Magazines, The New York Times and The New Yorker refused the ads on moral grounds.
The most recent twist in Springmaid's history took place in 2000, when Springs Industries — predecessor to the current company — shifted the brand into the mass market at Walmart. While Springmaid was never exclusive to the biggest mass merchant, it had vast distribution there. Although still sold today at Walmart, its prominence in the assortment has diminished in recent years.
Odom and Cardimona noted that under new ownership, Springmaid has the opportunity to "wipe the slate clean" and reintroduce itself to the market. That includes longer-term thinking about adding accent pieces such as trays and picture frames to the brand, launching shop-in-shop concepts, and placing the brand in the international market.
"This is a consumer-based assortment," Cardimona said, one based on "following macro-trends and being inspired by what consumers want."
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