Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?

Discussion
Source: “home, happier” - Bed Bath & Beyond
Apr 13, 2021
George Anderson

Bed Bath & Beyond has launched a new ad campaign that stands out right away simply because the opening commercial doesn’t include any mention of coupons or other form of discount. The new spot — “Home, Happier” — is part of an integrated marketing effort tied to the company’s effort to recast its brand image in the minds of American consumers.

“We recently conducted a study and discovered that a large majority (69 percent) of Americans agree that their home impacts their overall happiness. More than 80 percent of people agree that when they are happy with their home, they feel happier in general,” Cindy Davis, executive vice president and chief brand officer of Bed Bath & Beyond, said in a statement.

“With these and other key findings as inspiration, we are re-imagining our brand by helping customers unlock the magic in every room with everything they need to ‘Home, Happier.’ This is not only a promise to our customers; it is the building block of how we are transforming our business — so that everything we do is focused on helping our customers realize each room’s potential so they can embrace the possibility in every day,” she added.

Bed Bath & Beyond will kick off the effort with the airing of the 30-second spot beginning tomorrow. The integrated campaign will reinforce the retailer’s brand proposition through placements on national broadcast and cable TV, streaming online video, paid social, print, in-store, email and display.

A press release to announce the campaign’s launch sought to be clear that this rebranding is not just about a change in tagline, but that “Home, Happier” will play a critical role in building on other initiatives such as Bed Bath & Beyond’s plan to improve customer experiences in its stores and as part of its “omni-always” approach to business. The campaign, the retailer promises, “is about everything Bed Bath & Beyond stands for as a brand in its relationship with customers’ homes.”

Bed Bath & Beyond, which has announced plans to remodel 450 stores over the next three years, said that associates will play a key role in reinforcing the campaign’s messaging in their interactions with customers. The retailer plans to carry the messaging through aprons, name tags, branded face masks and more. A new uniform has been designed so associates will be more comfortable and also more easily identifiable on store floors.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you see Bed Bath & Beyond’s new integrated “Home, Happier” campaign working with the chain’s other efforts to transform its business? Do you expect the campaign to be successful in rebranding the chain in the minds of consumers and stakeholders?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Optimizing their real estate is the key here. Ads are nice but ultimately, people are looking at their screens too much for them to move the needle."
"Once people have enough things, the next level of purchasing power unlocks a profound desire to connect with and support a better mission."
"The trick is to now turn this promise into a 360-degree customer experience."

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28 Comments on "Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

Bed Bath & Beyond’s “Home, Happier” positioning is perfect for the times, and beyond! There’s little doubt that the pandemic has caused consumers to reflect on their surroundings and think about the ways they can make them better. This new campaign speaks directly to this. The new uniforms are also an important move. More than just window dressing, these new uniforms will help convey the new experience shoppers should enjoy and provide a visual cue that something has changed. But ad messages are a dime a dozen and new uniforms are easy, the real test is, can they deliver the brand promise when a customer enters the store? Given the direction Bed Bath & Beyond is going, I’d say they are well on their way.

David Naumann
BrainTrust
David Naumann
Marketing Strategy Lead - Retail, Travel & Distribution, Verizon
22 days 5 hours ago

The “Home, Happier” tagline and campaign is a smart strategy and the TV ad evokes peaceful and comfortable emotions. The trick is to infuse this emotion into the store layouts and associate services. Traditionally, many Bed Bath & Beyond stores were anything but peaceful and happy. I hope Bed Bath & Beyond stores reduce the clutter and make the shopping experience happier for customers.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

Hi David,.
From what I have seen from the remodeled stores in my area, they are very clean, uncluttered, and have better lighting. Their pricing is still a little higher than Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, etc. but they still have those coupons I get every week for so much off one item, etc. I think there is a chance as long as they can provide a good customer experience and support their new initiative.

Zach Zalowitz
BrainTrust

New stores look good but they are few and far between, and I’m not sure where the new rebranded stores are or why I’d go there out of the blue. Good points, Richard!

Rick Watson
BrainTrust

Optimizing their real estate is the key here. Ads are nice but ultimately, people are looking at their screens too much for them to move the needle.

Stopping discounting and promotions so much didn’t work out so well for J.C. Penney. You can make the right theoretical moves from the outside and still miss YOUR consumer. I predict a long road still ahead. Why do I walk in here instead of Target, Lowe’s, or Walmart?

Zach Zalowitz
BrainTrust

100 percent agree with you, Rick.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I like the direction Bed Bath & Beyond is taking, especially that it is integrated and is using product development, digital investments, store refurbishments (where more effort is still needed), and marketing to move the dial and change perceptions. Hopefully this cohesive strategy should start to deliver results and continue the momentum that the company built during the pandemic. I am sure that there will be some initial choppiness and the loss of some coupon-driven customers, but that’s a necessary shift to build a better, more sustainable business.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Outstanding! Engaging emotions — the opposite of race-to-the-bottom price promotions. Which is not to say that I expect coupons to evaporate. I am sure they will have an ongoing role. But this is a multi dimensional, comprehensive rebuilding of the customer engagement and experience. Sounds like they are building a truly top-of-mind destination shopping experience. And coming on the heels of the pandemic, a lot of people have a whole new level of desire to uplift and refresh their home experience.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

The ad campaign, investment in new technology, and new uniforms are all good moves. There is a decisive effort here improve on many fronts, in a coordinated approach. I would like to see more effective training of associates and customer assistance on the sales floor.

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust

Loved the ad. And I totally agree with the positioning and message. Retailing in the age of Amazon is about creating the connection, and all kudos to Bed Bath & Beyond for stepping in the right direction.

Of course that does not negate the need for proper merchandising, store experience, or promotional strategy. But all of these when devoid of emotional connection will not be effective.

Zach Zalowitz
BrainTrust

Agreed Suresh – the ad “feels good” but it’s only as good as their execution against the new vision which is more than just a new branding and advertising, right?!

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

After seeing the commercial will the viewer ask, “where is my 20 percent off coupon?”

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Of course they will, Gene.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Perfect timed rebranding. Whereas pricing was paramount before, Bed, Bath & Beyond now seizes the opportunity to sell domestic bliss.

As its promotions evolve from pricing to people, Bed, Bath & Beyond warms up its relationship with consumers. The marketing resonates more by changing the relationship from transactional to connecting on an emotional level.

Showing the variety and sensory appeal of its assortment can help Bed, Bath & Beyond stand out as the home category booms.

Laura Davis-Taylor
BrainTrust

I love the brand platform of “Home, Happier.” As a former ad executive, I think the execution could have been a bit more compelling — but it’s still on the right track. The trick is to now turn this promise into a 360-degree customer experience. Like my colleagues share above, they need to bring it to life with the store and associate experience, but also with the support, inspiration, design and decision tools that surround the shopper’s journey. Sounds like a really fun challenge and I wish them luck!

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Bed Bath & Beyond has produced a beautiful commercial, but it’s not one that I would tie to the current in-store warehouse experience. This type of commercial is so popular right now that if the viewer misses the last few seconds of the spot they may not even know who it is for.

I like the tagline. It’s easier to put together a lovely commercial than it is to rebrand an entire chain, but it’s a start. Rebranding will take a lot of time to make it stick, but if Bed Bath & Beyond is consistent it will get there.

The stores that I have visited recently have not begun re-merchandising so I am looking forward to seeing one that has. In the meantime, some of the “pile it high and watch it fly” gondolas in the old footprint could be replaced with feature displays that tell a story. Target is doing this and it has changed the ambiance of the entire store.

Di Di Chan
BrainTrust

Once people have enough things, the next level of purchasing power unlocks a profound desire to connect with and support a better mission. Changing the message is the first step, in the beginning, to articulate a value position that shoppers can buy into.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Bed Bath & Beyond has a great idea and is perfect for the times. But if that coupon isn’t there, it isn’t going to do much good for their base shoppers. This isn’t a one-year project, it’s a generational effort.

David Adelman
BrainTrust

Bed Bath & Beyond’s new television commercial is all about branding and only branding. It will definitely reinforce that a happy home means a happy life, but it will have no impact on their merchandising or pricing strategy unless they integrate it. The pandemic has already reinforced the value and benefits of a comfortable home; perhaps Bed Bath & Beyond should focus on their integrated marketing strategy and not just a fluffy IKEA-like commercial.

Coupons have become a crutch for Bed Bath & Beyond in trying to grow sales. I feel they must initiate a new omnichannel loyalty program and phase out their old antiquated coupon strategy if they intend to move forward and grow revenue.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

The “Home, Happier” campaign should be successful as the pandemic has driven people to spend more time at home, and they are wanting to make changes to their home to make time at home happier. However my experiences with Bed Bath & Beyond have not been very successful due to stock and limited inventory availability in stores. This situation will need to be fixed for the “Home, Happier” campaign to work.

Venky Ramesh
BrainTrust

The “Home, Happier” campaign is a great emotional hook connecting the shopper’s needs across all five levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the “Bed Bath & Beyond” branding! Transformation at the customer interface is exactly what Bed Bath & Beyond needs. They have the right team in place now to carry it out successfully.

Zach Zalowitz
BrainTrust

As the resident Millennial(ish), I can tell you that my generation is kind of geared more towards going to Target or The Container Store for home needs. While the new message is spot on, this has more to do with their ability to convert existing stores to the new layout and merchandise mix, and I don’t see that happening at scale in the near future. For now, we’re still likely to look at Bed Bath & Beyond as the heavy promotion company and Target as the more upscale home center (pronounced: Targét, with an accent). It’s going to take them a while to rebrand away from the heavy discount company that they’ve built their legacy on.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

It’s a fine advertisement but I don’t think it’s what Bed Bath & Beyond needs right now. They have made dramatic changes to their stores. For their business to increase, they need customers to come to understand that the stores are different.

Instead of this ad, they need an ad which surprises us, somehow, in a way which might bring us to visit their stores again. What is that?

As part of a long term brand campaign this ad is solid. But for bringing us back for a fresh look at what had been stale stores, it fails.

Liza Amlani
BrainTrust

The brand messaging and campaign is relevant. It can be successful as long as this messaging translates to the store’s brand ambassadors and store staff.

Advertising and telling the world to be happier is one thing but if the journey is not a happy one for the customer, then it’s another retailer making claims with their advertising dollars that don’t translate down to stores.

Cynthia Holcomb
BrainTrust

“Home, Happier” is a great paradoxical sentiment coming off COVID-19. Home has never meant more to people than in the past year. COVID-19 created a new opportunity for many to really enjoy the comforts and security of their home. Or not, as evidenced by remote workers moving from cities to the suburbs of states with room to roam. Bed Bath & Beyond is tapping into and reflecting the years-old adage, “home is where the heart is” at this, the exact right moment in time to be embraced emotionally by consumers. Funny thing — emotion creates demand, demand creates innovation. Bed Bath & Beyond is at the exact right place at the exact right time to execute “Home, Happier.” Sure there will be bumps, but few will really care if in the end their personal result, whether accessed online or in-store, fulfills the promise of “Home, Happier.”

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Unsurprisingly “home” is the “in” word right now — one lender telling us it’s “everything” and the ad does pretty well at giving us the warm fuzzies; but maybe a little TOO fuzzy. Will it send people shopping at BBBY … or just shopping in general? We’ll just have to see, and while I wouldn’t call the spot bad, I wouldn’t say it was particularly impressive either … sort of a “term project”-level generic effort.

storewanderer
Guest
21 days 23 hours ago

I like the ad. However, it does not make me necessarily want to go to specifically Bed Bath & Beyond. It makes me think of the home goods category in general and the various other retailers out there who are kicking the heck out of Bed Bath & Beyond’s understocked and overpriced stores right now — Target, TJX Home Goods, IKEA, etc.

Better approach here would have been to wait until they were done renovating their stores (none within a couple hours of me have renovated yet despite a couple being large high volume stores) and then mixed this clip with a clip showing the renovated stores and all they have to offer — if the renovated stores are actually good enough that they would fit in with the ad.