How an inside-out retail marketing strategy redefined an iconic national brand
In 2014 there were more photographs being taken than ever before, the problem was you no longer needed a camera to take them. Smartphone innovators like Apple suddenly weren’t competing against specific camera brands but the notion of cameras as a whole, and Henry’s – by then one of Canada’s largest specialty chains – needed a new retail marketing strategy.
Henry’s had undergone a radical restructuring and updated their logo and store designs, but it wasn’t moving the needle. A new generation of customers just wasn’t interested in a hard-sell marketing approach, and social and content failed to find an organic audience.
Over 14 months I worked to bridge the gap between Henry’s marketing, purchasing, and retail sales teams. I researched customer preferences and cultural trends, built corporate tools to make it easier to make decisions across departments, mentored creative sales associates, and developed strategic planning and reporting capabilities.
In the end, Henry’s had a roadmap for the future and all the tools they’d need to make it a reality.
We Are All Creators
We Are All Creators leveraged the talent of real Henry’s associates from across Canada, not only paying them to appear in advertising, but licensing their work for use in magazine ads, out of home, digital advertising, video content, social, and direct marketing.
We Are All Creators had nothing to do with great prices or selection – the cost of entry in a world of Amazon and standardized pricing – but rather put one-on-one conversations and relationships at the centre of Henry’s mass communication strategy, creating a companywide anchor for their powerful brand promise.
Henry’s was spending millions designing, printing, and distributing flyers, without any real indication that they were driving purchase. Even more challenging, a sales-first mentality meant customers were being hammered with “buy now” messaging at every turn.
I helped Henry’s develop a new integrated approach to product marketing that aligned it with their brand values of creativity and real-world expertise, all leveraging resources they already had. The result was powerful sales-oriented marketing that felt welcome and valuable.
The Lens Magazine
Carefully curated and beautifully designed, The Lens helped photography enthusiasts deepen their awareness of the techniques, technology, and trends driving lens-based arts in Canada, so they could feel inspired, improve their craft, and connect to a larger creative world, while connecting Henry’s traditional customer segment to the depth and story-driven purpose of content.
I helped unify Henry’s retail marketing strategy under a single, integrated approach consisting of meaningful campaign plans that stretched across all channels, with clear goals, audiences, and metrics, and built a dedicated content team that helped Henry’s realize explosive growth on YouTube.
I collaborated at every level of the organization, including leading a monthly research and content group for creative associates, consulting with executives to develop a new corporate culture platform, and working with cross-functional teams to improve internal process and communication.
I helped Henry’s determine their customers’ lifetime value and introduced outcome-oriented campaign planning and meaningful KPIs, taking the guesswork out of spending and helping to grow market share by 18% year over year.
I helped Henry’s build a brand platform from the inside out, starting with the creative associates who bring the real value of their expertise to work every day, and the thousands of engaged enthusiasts who now interact with the brand at community events and online.
More client stories
Discount Car Rentals
Started in an empty steel-town parking lot with guts and half a dozen cars over 40 years ago, Discount had grown into a thriving family-run organization. Sales relied heavily on local promotions, however, and management felt they could never take their foot off the gas. Discount needed to find a way to modernize their marketing in a way that made sense for them.