Transforming Value to Quality

DFS has always been a well known British brand, but not always well loved. In fact many people were actively irritated by DFS. Over 5 years we’ve increased ‘brand love’ by 71% whilst improving ROI by 32% for one of the UK’s largest advertisers.


Change is hard when people have a deep rooted perception of what you stand for.

For dfs, growth meant moving beyond their value for money image and appealing to a more upmarket, aspirational customer. They needed to achieve all this without putting off existing customers who are mainly attracted by price and finance options.


Seek out sofa shoppers motived by style and provenance, not just value for money.

MediaCom carried out a segmentation that told us an uncomfortable truth about a valuable new audience, the ‘Quality Seekers’. This group weren’t just not shopping at dfs but were actively irritated by dfs’ advertising. To attract these ‘Quality Seekers’ alongside the traditional dfs customer base of ‘Value Seekers’ meant a radical change in strategy. However we also knew we had to maintain proven media ROIs established from 46 years of advertising (no pressure, then).


Using customer profiles to track switching in real time.

Over five years we have changed everything that DFS does, reached a new audience and consistently improving ROIs thanks to a rigorous test and learn strategy.

2011: We radically shifted both TV channel mix and print title selection to reach our new Quality Seekers audience – while ensuring we still hit enough value seekers. We didn’t lose a sale.

2012: We introduced a new ‘Reasons to believe’ strand focused on quality, using econometrics to show that longer time-lengths more than paid back in terms of ROI.

2013: To add a premium touch to the Exclusive Brands range we created DFS’ first cross-media content partnership with The Telegraph, followed by a Daily Mail and You partnership.

2014/5: We continued to maximise effectiveness, connecting online and offline; re-targeting those exposed to OOH with mobile, increasing Outdoor ROI by 16% YoY and optimising AV plans in flight, syncing mobile with TV spots programmatically.

2016: We got Telegraph readers to tell us what quality meant to them, with the responses building a Newsworks award-winning content partnership. We use programmatic to identify and serve tailored messaging to both Quality and Value Seekers throughout the purchase journey. MediaCom Sport negotiated an official partnership with Team GB ahead of the 2016 Olympics, with full integration at ‘British House’ in Rio.


Over the last 5 years ROI has increased by 32%.

The brand has also been transformed. ‘Brand love’ grew 71%; ‘sells high quality sofas’ +61%; ‘is for someone like me’ +75%, & all without losing its traditional strength – ‘value for money’ grew +48%.

“Our challenge to MediaCom when we appointed them in 2011 has been simple: move DFS from well-known to well-known AND well liked without dropping a sale. MediaCom have not only met this challenge, but delivered innovative media solutions and engrained a rigorous test-learn-implement programme. It’s a long journey we’re on but more people like DFS than before and we haven’t dropped a sale.”

Nick Ashworth, Head of Media, DFS