A changing rental culture
Generation Rent is a thing — with over one fifth of the UK population now living in rented accommodation. And with up to a third of millennials renting for the rest of their lives, MADE is mindful about speaking to this growing audience. Because even if you don't own your home, you can still proudly own the design of the space.
New audience insights
To get a clearer understanding of the MADE customer, our marketing teams conducted a representative study in early 2019. A key finding: UK households in the millennial demographic (aged 18 to 35) have excellent awareness of the MADE brand, but traffic from this group converts below average. Why? Renters specifically didn't want to invest in furniture when their next move might be just around the corner.
In response to these insights, we created Owning It: a content series featuring creative tastemakers who don't own the home they live in, but still wanted to make their homes unique to them. We shot and interviewed four renters across the UK: entrepreneur Jes Toole from Manchester, creative director Zeena Shah and influencer Kristabel Plummer, both from London, and Pati Robins, a mum and full-time carer to her husband living in Wales.
We started this project with two clear goals.
1. To spark a (quantifiable) social buzz
The majority (67%) of MADE audiences on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are urban millennials – exactly the demographic with low conversion rates. With that in mind, Owning It was designed to trigger a strong response and above-average engagement by:
Increasing the number of conversations under Owning It content (from an average of 65 comments per post)
Increasing the average likes and saves per post on Instagram (from 3.4k and 618 respectively)
Increasing Instagram story impressions (from an average of 30k per story)
2. To drive brand consideration among renters
MADE has built a loyal customer base of affluent homeowners. However, we wanted to make the brand more accessible to those outside of that demographic. With Owning It, we wanted to see the following change:
Grow the incremental revenue and share of millennial renters shopping with MADE.COM, by a minimum of 5%.
The main challenge was establishing a content format that could work across all of our channels. We needed to:
- Introduce readers to the renter and establish not only an emotional connection and communicate key facts like circumstances and location
- Explain how the renters were ‘owning’ their rented space, and the challenges each faced
Present useful, actionable advice
To address this challenge, we used the following format across all Owning It articles:
- A bio header, listing key stats about the renter
- Digestible Q&A-style body copy
- A sign off with four to five actionable tips, which could also easily 'translate' into snackable formats for our social channels
Since publishing Owning It in August 2019, we saw a noticeable change in our customer base: a comparison of our all-time base vs. Q3 and Q4 2019, saw an 8% increase in the proportion of millennial renters – both in our audience, as well as revenue share.
The greatest impact of the Owning It content series was on our social channels:
- 42% increase in new followers throughout the duration of Owning It stories being published
- 74% increase in comments received for Owning It posts
- 69% increase in average likes per post on Instagram, and +59% post saves
- 33% increase in Instagram story impressions
- Jes Toole Pinterest content shortlisted for Best Interior Inspiration for the Pinterest Awards 2019
A new format for the MADE fans
Owning It sparked a response. One that was so strong, we're developing the concept into a regular series, with new stories coming out later this year. The objective: tapping into a cultural conversation that's close to our fans' hearts, and providing ongoing support to renters.