EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Anna Stark, head of marketing for Sloggi Northern Europe

Anna

For many years, everyday comfort brand Sloggi has been operating in the shadow of its world-famous sister brand, Triumph.

As parent company Triumph International pulled out all the stops when it came to marketing Triumph as a global lingerie label, collaborating with A-list celebrities on successful campaigns, launching new product lines and engaging with consumers on every available platform, Sloggi slowly slipped under the radar.

But change is afoot. Triumph International is currently undergoing an exciting global transformation that will see Sloggi come into its own.

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In an exclusive interview with Lingerie Insight, Anna Stark, the new head of marketing for Sloggi Northern Europe, tells us more.

You moved over to Sloggi five months ago, after heading up Triumph’s marketing team in the UK and Ireland for two years. What inspired this move?

The Triumph group is going through a global transformation, whereby brands Triumph and sloggi will operate as separate business units moving forward, with their own dedicated sales and marketing teams.

What are your main responsibilities?

The Sloggi business is now organised around geographic clusters, which are managed at a regional level. I am responsible for overseeing the planning and day to day marketing activity across the Northern region, which encompasses the UK, Nordic countries and the Benelux.

A bra top and hipster from the ZERO Feel range.

A bra top and hipster from the ZERO Feel range.

What have you been up to in your first few months in the role?

My focus has been two-fold: At a trade level, the sales and marketing teams have been working hard to embed the new brand vision and strategy amongst our key stakeholders. Needless to say, we have longstanding loyal relationships with our customers who are on this journey with us. We really value the positive feedback and encouragement that we have had from them over the past few months. At a consumer level, we are reinforcing the Sloggi brand DNA, which is built around true comfort and innovation and bringing back the light-hearted free spirited brand personality for which Sloggi has always been known.

What strategies have you put in place?

Ultimately, our overarching focus is on becoming one global brand with consistency of message and brand presentation across all of our markets. Our launch of Wow Comfort this SS17 marked the first milestone in this strategy as our first pan-European launch. In SS18, we will launch our new product innovation, ZERO Feel, to market, which will be our first global launch. We have a number of new product concepts launching during the course of 2018. Alongside ZERO Feel we will launch two new sub-labels, S by Sloggi, which will elevate our brand into a more premium category and Sloggi Move, our new athleisure range. Our new product development is designed to appeal to our core target consumer. She is a 25-35 year old millennial woman who is savvy and wants to feel supremely comfortable and also look good.

A bralette from the new ZERO Feel range.

A bralette from the new ZERO Feel range.

What was your opinion of Sloggi before you joined the company? Have your initial perceptions changed?

I’ve always loved the Sloggi brand (I grew up in New Zealand where the brand was popular amongst the younger age group). On joining the Triumph group I saw huge potential to reinvigorate the brand in this region. It is therefore fantastic to be a part of it, with the guidance of a strong group leadership team.

Why was there a need for change at Sloggi?

Sloggi has always been positioned as a young, light hearted and fun brand, but in many of our markets, including the UK, we were no longer properly servicing our younger consumer nor actively marketing the Sloggi brand. In order to capitalise on the brand’s growth potential and build one global brand, a new senior leadership team and sales and marketing teams have been put in place to service the brand.

You also have a new CEO, who joined the company 18 months ago, how has he settled into the role and what are his visions for the company?

Ludovic Manzon (Ludo) has brought tonnes of energy and leadership, and a very clear vision and strategy to Sloggi. He previously worked for Nike and Puma in senior leadership roles across the world and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has built a very competent senior leadership team, with Nick Taschi overseeing global marketing. Alongside becoming one global brand, Ludo has implemented a differentiated product strategy, committed to bringing to market one new innovative product concept each year, alongside the introduction of two new sub-labels; S by Sloggi (with a more premium positioning) and Sloggi Move (positioned in the athleisure segment). Ultimately, his vision is for Sloggi to be the world’s most revered everyday comfort brand.

How have retailers reacted to the trade launch of S by Sloggi and ZERO Feel?

We have had a fantastic response from our customers to the new collections. They have consistently commented on the high quality fabrication, accessible pricing and marketing support. The customers see S by Sloggi as a great addition to the brand architecture and have commented that this will serve to elevate the brand with a halo effect into the core lines.

The Serenity bra and low-rise brief from S by Sloggi.

The Serenity bra and low-rise brief from S by Sloggi.

What else can you tell us about Sloggi Move, your new athleisure brand?

Sloggi Move doesn’t seek to be a performance-led athleisure brand, but will still incorporate the product technology which we are known for. Our ethos is to deliver very wearable, super comfortable and high quality everyday athleisure wear at accessible prices. The range will comprise three segments: Relax, Balance, and Move, depending on one’s level of activity and will target consumers with an active lifestyle.

What other plans do you have for Sloggi over the next 12 months?

We are currently updating our brand look and feel at point of sale across all of our channels of distribution to ensure our consumer sees a uniform brand at every touch point. We are also looking at new distribution opportunities and, from a product point of view, we have a number of new innovations in the pipeline.

How is Sloggi performing financially versus last year? How do significantly do you hope to grow the company in the next year?

In view that we are a private company, I am not in a position to disclose our financial performance. I can, however, say that we have seen some remarkable growth over the past few seasons, notably driven by the launch of ZERO Feel in Japan, which has been a huge success. In the UK, the Wow Comfort product launch has performed very well. As we continue to expand our product ranges and open new distribution, we are excited by the future growth opportunities for the brand.

How do you plan to expand your presence on the high street? Do you have any dream stockists?

We hope to develop a stronger presence in premium retail and believe that the introduction of S by Sloggi will permit us to achieve this. Sloggi Move will also facilitate our entry into more lifestyle-driven high street retailers.

 

 

 

 

 

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