Husqvarna Viking (HV) is a Swedish manufacturer of high-quality sewing machines. Until the late 90s, HV machines were sold exclusively to a network of privately owned sewing retailers located throughout the world. HV reached out to Rosenberg Advertising with an interesting idea: to open Viking Sewing Gallery “stores” within Joann Fabrics superstores. At the time, they were testing the concept in one 600 sq.ft. store in Hudson, Ohio and engaged Rosenberg to take the concept and grow it nationally at a rapid rate.
We tested several marketing tactics and messaging strategies as the store count grew. Initially we ran advertisements in local newspapers, sent very targeted direct mail to known sewers and crafters, and ran cable TV on stations with programming targeting sewers in our target geographic locations. All messages were promotional in nature, always giving the audience a reason to act quickly. We closely monitored results from each media channel, and then developed a model to build on — we would continue to reach the target audience using the most effective channels, while always spending a fixed percentage of gross sales on marketing.
With this plan firmly in place, HV became even more aggressive, opening stores in many states across the country. At this point the media mix was solid and predictable — we would spend a small percentage of the budget in traditional newspaper advertising and the remainder in very targeted direct mail campaigns. Locations grew from a single store to 12 by the end of year one, and to over 200 by year eight.