WATSONS demonstrates the importance of agility and responsiveness amidst a health crisis

The health & beauty store chain won Marketing Initiative of the Year and Health and Beauty Retailer of the Year - Philippines.

“Stay strong and stay beautiful.” Launched in June 2020, this campaign by WATSONS quickly rose to the top of the retail industry in the Philippines even amidst the pandemic.

Featuring 300 influencers using #staystrongstaybeautiful, the campaign reached over 31 million unique users on Facebook, Instagram, and Google to date. WATSONS e-catalogue, which offered various promos and offers, reached 18.7 million users.

In the last year, customers re-prioritised their needs and wants around their and their family’s health priorities. WATSONS’ campaign responded to this shift by highlighting the importance of both health and beauty in navigating difficult challenges.

The company followed through with the campaign by placing massive displays of vitamins, supplements, hygiene and personal care products in-store, together with campaign collateral. 

WATSONS realised early on that customers were hesitant to visit in-store for safety reasons.  The retailer quickly provided alternatives for shopping.  Customers could either shop online via watsons.com.ph or call the delivery service, with the retailer quickly expanding this service from 10 to over 100 store hubs servicing nearby areas.  Customers could also join the WATSONS’ Viber Community, where the company shared content that focused on spreading messages of self-care, DIY personal care and protection. 

The immensely successful #staystrongstaybeautiful campaign led WATSONS to bag Marketing Initiative of the Year - Philippines at the Retail Asia Awards 2021. Not only that, WATSONS is the overall Health and Beauty Retailer of the Year - Philippines.

Opening a total of 67 physical stores despite the pandemic, WATSONS is the embodiment of agility and staying relevant in a VUCA (vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) era.

By moving towards brands that highlighted health, wellness, and sustainability, WATSONS was able to meet the demands of a customer base that had become extremely health- and environment-conscious. WATSONS outlets ramped up their inventories and launched new WATSONSGenerics products like rubbing alcohol, effervescent, generic vitamins, and supplements.

WATSONS’ total average transaction value in 2020 increased despite challenges in foot traffic and store closures during the lockdowns, thanks to an extremely successful marketing campaign and an overall quick response to the challenges of COVID-19.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project:

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