Good stuff, White Stuff!

It’s not that often that a direct mailer comes through my door that I am genuinely impressed with. Or that I feel compelled to blog about. i don’t know about you, but most things that pop through my door from companies are far from inspiring. It’s all about them, nothing about me. They are merely full of ‘look at this and buy it’ type of information. Sigh.

So what’s so great about the one I received this morning from clothing company White Stuff?

So I will say from the off that to my mind the only failing of this mailer is that at first glance it looks like any other type of sales mailer from White Stuff or other companies. From the front there is no real hint of the loveliness that is within. To my mind a mistake as this could so very easily have been popped into the recycling basket without me cracking the seal. But I did.

So what’s so great about it?

Well, it’s far from your usual direct mail piece. In fact you might be fooled into thinking that they’re not trying very hard to sell you anything at all. They are of course trying quite hard indeed but it’s all very subtle with a great ‘feel good’ factor.

The overall look is pretty, designed creatively within the existing White Stuff brand and their look for the spring season with the hallmark illustrations and muted colours.

Firstly, when we start to unfold, we have two panels giving us guidance on nature and how we can help by building a habitat for bees or a sanctuary for birds. Cute! And so far no photos of pretty dresses or cardigans that they know I might want to buy… maybe they will be coming up next when I unfold some more…

Nope. Instead you open it up and, pop! The mailer turns into a great poster about British Birds. Again, lovely illustrations, very on brand in style, colour and execution. This poster was also well received by our five year old, who’s keen on a bit of windowsill twitching with his junior binoculars. He has already pinned it to the fridge with magnets for us to look at.

So as White Stuff customer I feel valued. I feel like they care enough to send me something really nice and that they think I will like rather than trying to tempt me with cute prints and the latest knitwear.

From this mailer it’s clear that White Stuff understand their customer base and what they connect with. White Stuff is a slightly vintagey, slightly outdoorsy, practical yet pretty brand. This mailer reflects just that feeling and also combines it with something practical, about a very accessible part of nature, garden birds, which they think will appeal to their customers. They are dead right.

From a practical point of view, their average customer probably lives in an urban area and garden birds and bees will be around even in the inner cities so this is useful rather than merely aspirational. However, speaking of aspirations, I would imagine their average customer likes to feel connected with nature and more than a small percentage dream of a more rural, natural lifestyle. So it wins on both scores.

Yes they are clear that they have a 20% off sale on and yes they have a section highlighting new stores they have opened but about 80% of the mailer is just taken up with fun, useful stuff, all beautifully designed as something that you want to keep and use.

And from a marketing budget point of view, best of all, this brilliant mailer is created using one single sheet of A3 paper, folded down to create a very neat mailer which has merge customer details and is then folded and sealed to go simply and easily through the post. It’s a very cost effective and efficient size and format. No costly trimming and stapling, no envelope or polywrap required. Ok you might not have found this paragraph that exciting. That’s just my not so inner marketing efficiency geek coming out!

So, in conclusion, this succeeds because;

It looks great and attracts attention but in a sophisticated, inspiring way
It contains useful information that will appeal to the target market
It is something people are likely to keep, even pin up in their home
It makes the recipient feel valued by the brand
It still manages to convey a good promotional message to drive sales

Well done White Stuff. A triumph of clever branding and clever content and a unique and quite lovely way to announce sale. We salute you!

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