Prénatal Forever Young

The location: Italy (with plans to extend across Europe)

‘Forever Young’: A Guaranteed Future Value promotion, giving customers the opportunity to claim a gift card of up to 50% of the value of a designated product returned in a 12-18-month timeframe.

The challenge

Prénatal was launched in France in 1947 and opened its first Italian store in Milan in 1963. Having provided a trusted service for over seventy years, Prénatal is now the reference point for all parents in Italy, Spain and Greece, as well as reaching further afield into the European market.

The retail group, Prénatal S.p.A., controls 100% Prénatal S.A. (Spain), Prénatal Lda (Portugal) and Prénatal Aebe (Greece) and has 253 stores, including 148 directly-operated stores.

In addition to an extensive selection of the world’s top childcare product brands, Prénatal also offers a wide range of dedicated specialised clothing for new mums, and bespoke clothes for newborns and children: all these exclusive creations are sold under the Prénatal brand.

With the second-hand market in childcare products taking a sizable share of the customer wallet, predictions forecast that this was soon to become Prénatal’s biggest competitor. Working with Prénatal to increase their market share and optimise the value of their customer relationships, Opia was challenged with designing a cost-effective promotion that would appeal to customers looking to the second-hand market.

Making their high-value products, which included the modular system, stroller, car seat and crib, the focus of the campaign, we aimed to drive sales in these lines while also strengthening customer loyalty for future purchases.

The Solution

The ‘Future Value’ Promotion

Opia took its ‘future value’ mechanic and designed a campaign around it to build customers’ buying confidence and overcome any purchase barriers; namely price and the environmental concerns around ordering new children’s products, as well as optimise customer loyalty.

This ‘future value’ sales promotion offers customers, who purchase a children’s item (the modular system, stroller, car seat or crib), a 30-50% residual value in the form of a Prénatal gift card when the product is returned within a 12-18-month window.

All returned products are sent to our Opia recycling team, who is managing the second life process of these used assets

Addressing the market challenge

Run across Prénatal’s main European markets, this innovative promotional tactic was designed to appeal to customers of the second-hand market in two ways. Firstly, it highlights the saving to the customer, creating a compelling reason for purchase, but without the need for upfront, costly discounting. And secondly, it removes environmental concerns around resource wastage by giving customers the opportunity to return their children’s products for a ‘second life’.

The message throughout the campaign uses the idea that children’s products no longer need to be thrown away while still in good condition or end up stored away in boxes. Instead, they could be returned to the store, either to be given a new home or to be recycled.

The smart use of a Prénatal gift card as a reward not only provides initial customer motivation to take up the offer but also builds loyalty by encouraging them to return to the store, delivering a further boost in sales and an increase in the market share.

The impact so far

While still waiting for the conclusion of this sales promotion to evaluate its full impact, so far it is certainly making waves with feedback being very positive. The high-profile, Italian news agency, Adnkronos, acknowledged the promotion as ‘the first of its kind’. Meanwhile, News & Customer Experience recognised the widespread problem of unwanted children’s products, still in good condition but gathering dust, and applauded the promotion as ingenious; offering financial support to families while also guaranteeing recycling.

Marketing Prénatal as a retailer that cares about the future of its communities and the planet is a compelling message at a time when environmental concerns are very much at the forefront of people’s minds, and we anticipate excellent results to be accumulated when this sales promotion is complete.

Find out how Opia have created innovative sales solutions to deliver greater volume at a lower cost for more leading brands