A brief History of Ann Summers 1970’s 4 sex shops in London aimed at men clinical white closeted spaces. 1980’s 3 shops closed and 1981 party planners recruited all women 500 of them. 1990’s Ann summers went back into storefront retailing again. In the 2000’s early on Knickerbox was acquired and this added 26 stores in the high street. Web based online retailing and retail is now the biggest part of the Ann Summers Business (1). The change started when Jackie Gold (one of the owners daughters) took a Tupperware party idea to the board. This change was really a new business rather than a change it took the existing inventory of the sex shops and utilised a new format for distribution. Throughout the decades Ann Summers has changed as detailed above the reasons for change would seem entirely driven by customer needs and wants. Gold states “Ann Summers continues to be a customer-led business and it is customers again who have driven the latest rebrand” (1: 19). It is clear that Ann Summers as a brand have a wealth of engagement with customers defined by interaction with staff in the stores and the face to face engagement they have with customers who might not like to discuss or share with friends in the party plan atmosphere, together with the 8000 party planners who make there income from arranging 200,000 parties in customers homes per annum (2). These 8000 party planners see and listen to women in a comfortable and relaxing environment (possibly a drink or two is involved) but understanding the customer needs and wants has probably never been easier a ready made focus group which earns you money. The communication to customers about change or rebranding has never been easier Ann Summers have a captive audience to communicate changes to but best of all the changes are actually driven by the customer. Do they understand their customer - the answer is yes. The customer completes their empathy map for them.
There has been an integrated communication strategy...
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