Bed Bath & Beyond keys into homes’ evolving role with new positioning

Bed Bath & Beyond is kicking off one of its biggest brand campaigns to further solidify its position in the $180 billion home market. “Home, Happier” debuts in the retailer’s 50th year and is designed to evoke the important role that home plays in people’s lives.

Anchoring the campaign is a 30-second commercial featuring real families that hits national and connected TV on April 14. A suite of creative assets will support an omnichannel media plan, including streaming online video, paid social, print, email and in-store. The work is part of Bed Bath & Beyond’s strategy to reorient its business around the customer, while laying the groundwork for a three-year transformation roadmap that also encompasses the in-store shopper experience and customer journey.

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“Home, Happier” and the broader brand positioning stem from a survey the retailer conducted last year showing a link between people’s “sanctuaries” and overall happiness. The findings around home’s evolving role within people’s lives pushed Bed Bath & Beyond to ground its new positioning in that customer truth, according to Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis.

“Not only is home more important to us than ever before — it’s the center of our lives now with school and work — but there is a direct link between the way you feel about your home and the way you feel about your life and your happiness,” she said.

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69%) reported their home impacts their overall happiness, per the study. Sixty-six percent of respondents said their happiness in negatively impacted when they dislike the way their home looks and feels.

“This is our 50th year, and we really think of this as an invitation to the new Bed Bath & Beyond for current customers and for new customers,” Davis said.

Connecting thread

The initial launch campaign, developed with lead brand agency Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer, rolls out over the course of four to six weeks on digital and social media but will continue throughout the back-to-college and holiday seasons.

“It will be the thread connecting everything we do from a marketing standpoint,” Davis said.

The campaign is more comprehensive than Bed Bath & Beyond’s work in the past, according to Davis, who joined the company in May 2020 as part of a C-suite overhaul by CEO Mark Tritton. It will also lay the foundation for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to be announced later this spring, she added.

“One thing we’re excited about is the way the whole organization is embracing this,” Davis said. “It’s not just a marketing campaign; it’s really more of an ethos for the brand.”

For example, store employees will play a key role in bringing “Home, Happier” to life through everyday interaction with customers. They will sport fresh uniforms that reflect the brand’s updated identity, including new aprons, name tags and branded face masks.

Private label push

The campaign’s unveiling arrives two days before Bed Bath & Beyond reports its earnings and one month after the company revealed it would introduce the first of eight new private label brands. Prior to launching “Home, Happier,” the retailer initiated a significant technology upgrade and announced plans to invest $250 million in renovating the 450 stores that produce 60% of its revenue.

Now, it is lining up a big push around in-house “owned” brands — a move that has helped competitors Target and Kohl’s boost margins. Bed Bath & Beyond rolled out bedding and bath brand Nestwell in March to strengthen customer loyalty and inch up profits. The retailer plans to launch at least eight private labels in 2021, reaching 10 total by February 2022 as it looks to appeal to younger consumers and carve out a larger slice of the growing home goods space.

“The stores are fired up. We’re all really energized around this,” Davis said.

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