Williams-Sonoma, Inc. launched retail stores and e-commerce for Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm in Australia in 2013 in the first stage of the company’s global expansion. Baker Brand were appointed to provide cultural counsel and develop and execute the communications strategy and all media relations within the Australian market. There was no advertising budget so public relations outreach was the sole means of media exposure.
• Stage 1 (One year prior to launch) - Baker Brand worked with the US team to provide market insights and develop marketing communications strategy and product mix to suit the Australian market - so similar and yet so different to the US market.
• Stage 2 (Six months prior to launch) - Brand awareness and education. This involved mass media outreach via magazine, newspaper and TV to educate the media and consumers about the four Williams-Sonoma, Inc. brands in preparation for the brand’s launch as well as launching e-commerce. There were also briefings to media and trade (interior designers, architects and chefs) to act as brand advocates and for trade sales.
• Stage 3 (Launch). This involved outreach to short lead media including bloggers, TV, print and digital media as well as the launch of an Australian-based social media campaign which was adapted from the US model for the local market. There were a series of media previews and events in-store and outdoor experiential.
$4.7m EAV delivered at launch. This included feature stories in all major interiors and food magazines and digital media as well as 9 TV segments on Current Affairs and TV news. A further 18 stores were rolled out across 2013-15.
“Partnering with Baker Brand was the most strategic decision we made about our entry into Australia. Tracy Baker and her team crafted a marketing and publicity plan that introduced our brands into the market whilst also localising our voice and our messaging. As a result, our launch in Sydney could not have been a bigger success and the impact on sales was evident. Tracy consistently provided us with her sage advice and world class service and we are better because of it. With many agencies you don’t get the engagement from the principal of the business but that was not the case with our relationship with Baker Brand. Tracy was with us on every call, every meeting, every step of the way, ensuring that we stayed on course and delivered against our plans. What a privilege and journey it has been”. - Leigh Oshirak - Senior Vice President Brand Marketing and Public Relations, Pottery Barn.