Technique 3 minutes, 8 second read Mark Johnson, Editor, Just.Marketing
Dyson, the company behind the best-selling bagless Cyclone vacuum cleaner and Airblade hand dryers, has become a household name. But last year, challenger brand SharkNinja had higher sales volumes for its corded upright vacuums than Dyson for the first time in 15 years. And with so many of us working from home during the lockdown, doing more cleaning and cooking than before, its indoor grills are doing quite well too.
From its base in Leeds, SharkNinja’s Jess Levy, VP Marketing EU, says that during the pandemic, marketing investment has not been slashed but increased, investing heavily in TV and digital ads.
“With everyone spending more time online and watching more TV, maintaining out budget here was an easy decision,” she says.
The brand is also continuing its partnership with Nadia Sawhala, with an online grill-along planned in the coming months.
Products with videos
The marketing strategy has been to create online content that is both fun and engaging backed up by innovative products designed to attract all-important five-star online reviews.
Jess says, “Our company DNA is made up of an unrelenting, passionate and dedicated focus on solving consumer pain points to make products that positively impact people’s lives and strive to secure five-star ratings.
“Having a 24-hour engineering cycle between the UK, London and China also enables us to launch five-star products at speed. Last year, we launched five new Ninja products seeing our Soup maker and Foodi Pressure cooker rise to number one in market share in a very short space of time. This year, we have a number of new and exciting launches planned for the Autumn.”
Join the cooking circle
The lockdown changed the way we all cook. While some people have had more time to cook, others have felt pressured while juggling home schooling with housework and working from home. In response, the brand has adapted its strategy with the launch of a new online cookery platform cookingcircle.com (see main image).
Filled with enticing recipes from veggie Indian burgers to soft-cooked eggs, it uses digital video to not only inspire cooks but also show customers how to get the best from Ninja products.
“Investing in this new area has seen great results as our customers have more access to recipe ideas and cooking tips and feel more engaged with the brand,” says Jess.
Customer-centricity also seems to be one of the keys to the brand’s success. It launches each new product only once it has been through the hands of at least 300 customers and customers are involved at every stage of the design process.
With content becoming more important than ever before during the pandemic, the Marketing team has benefitted greatly from having its own in-house production team.
Jess says, “By having our own in-house production team, we have been able to make new, reactive content very quickly. This has been especially important over the last few months where our customers haven’t been able to go in-store and even though the high street is opening up now, many more shoppers will continue to shop online going forward.”
Video is vital for retailers
Enabling customers to scrutinize products through its content will continue to form a core strand of the marketing strategy.
“First-class, up-to-date content is imperative for this purpose and we’ve placed a great focus on supplying online videos to retailers, so consumers have everything they need to make the right selection,” says Jess.
The UK subsidiary in Leeds provides 50% of the company’s global growth. SharkNinja’s business expansion into Europe is being launched from Leeds and although it has operations in Germany and France, sales and marketing efforts are currently streamlined from its UK headquarters.
The business is aiming to replicate its UK growth across Europe.