What can independent retailers learn about marketing their businesses from Back Market’s guerrilla marketing campaign?

As experts in digital marketing for independent retail businesses, we’re committed to uncovering strategies that not only disrupt the norm but also drive tangible results. It’s not good enough to just do the same-old, same-old anymore. So how can you create marketing campaigns that not only get you noticed, but drive impressions and social shares, further amplifying their reach.

Before we get stuck in. In the interest of demystifying the marketing jargon, guerilla marketing is a term used for a marketing campaign that subverts the rules. They often utilise unexpected customer interactions with the campaign or an element of suprise.

Side note, we’re no strangers to the power of Guerilla marketing. Our Director, Charlie, was part of the team responsible for sneaking around London and projecting their guerilla campaign onto the iconic Marble Arch.

So, Back Market’s genius campaign has just won most awarded retail campaign in The Drum’s World Creative Rankings 2024. We love it not only for it’s creative genius, but for it’s rebellious nature that totally aligns with our brand.

Watch the Campaign: Hack Market by Back Market

Agency: Marcel Paris France.

Unpacking the Guerrilla Genius of Hack Market

What marketing lessons can small business owners learn from Back Market’s bold marketing tactics?

Let’s face it, we’d all rather have a shiny new iPhone than a refurbished second hand model. So Back Market are already facing an uphill battle to persuade consumers that what they’re selling is what they really want. This is where I feel the ingenuity, personality and disruptive nature of this campaign really helps improve the opinion and reputation of something refurbished as ‘old’ or ‘daggy’. Instead, positioning the brand and it’s product range in such an eyecatching, forward-thinking campaign is the antithesis of boring and outdated.

1. Embrace Creativity and Innovation

At the core of Back Market’s success lies a daring creativity that set them apart in a crowded marketplace. By ‘hacking’ Apple’s technology to broadcast their message, they demonstrate a willingness to push boundaries and think outside the box. Independent retailers can learn a thing or two from this by embracing innovation in their marketing strategies. Whether it’s through unconventional campaigns, unique partnerships, or out-of-the-box promotions, creativity can be a powerful tool to capture consumer attention and differentiate your brand. There are so many examples I can think of. What’s more, it doesn’t have to cost you a tonne of money. Whether it’s as simple as sticker bombing a competitor’s advertising, airdropping your promo to relevant audiences (see how Donald Glover gave out free shoes at Coachella) or even creating a business card or retail swing tag that does more than just what it’s designed for.

2. Champion Sustainability and Values

In an era where sustainability and ethical consumption are paramount, Back Market’s emphasis on their eco-credentials struck a chord with consumers. By transparently showcasing the environmental impact of their products, they not only appealed to a growing segment of environmentally-conscious consumers but also aligned with their core values. Without greenwashing (which is a big no-no) independent retailers can improve their marketing campaigns by leveraging their brand values and commitment to sustainability to forge deeper connections with their values-driven audience.

If you’re a business that is genuinely living their values this is the perfect opportunity to jump on a point of differentiation from your industry competitors and develop long-lasting, genuine relationships with your customers.

3. Disrupt with Purpose

Timing is everything in marketing, and Back Market strategically disrupted the consideration stage of the purchase journey with their Hack Market campaign. By really understanding their customers and targeting consumers at a crucial decision-making moment and presenting a compelling alternative to traditional offerings, they succeeded in making an impact and prompting consumers to reevaluate their choices. Independent retailers can learn from this strategic approach by identifying key touchpoints in the customer journey where they can disrupt consumer expectations and introduce new and exciting propositions. Whether it’s through guerrilla marketing tactics, surprise activations, or disruptive messaging, purposeful disruption can capture attention, spark curiosity, and drive engagement with your brand. Psst! Our marketing strategy will help you to better understand your customer journey and how you can present yourself perfectly to your customers at a precise moment.

Whilst you might catch yourself thinking, well I don’t have a bunch of dollars to create a fancy pants campaign with a zillion dollar agency like this. Back Market’s Hack Market campaign offers so many insights to for independent businesses looking to learn how to do retail marketing better. By embracing creativity, championing values, and disrupting with purpose, retailers can carve out a unique position in the market and engage with consumers in meaningful ways. Learn how to do your marketing better. Get in touch with Dear Charlie today and we’ll help you understand where the wins are in your business, give you the insights to do it better and the confidence to say no to what doesn’t best serve your business.