Du Pareil au même: « Made for kids! »

Born from the imagination of theatre designer Simon Bénarousse, who found children’s clothes too simple and boring, the brand “Du Pareil au même” (translation: “six of one, (and) half a dozen of the other”) has always been defined by fun and colourful products. After the brand’s first store opened in 1986, the French success story is now really taking shape. A baby line was launched in 1994 and then a line of shoes in the 2000s, the club card (loyalty program) was launched in 2004 and events take place regularly. By 2013 the brand was present across 32 countries, had 2.5 million subscribers to its loyalty program and opened its 600th store. (1) How has the brand changed the clothing market? How has it developed its strategy? How does it communicate to mums?

The children’s clothing market

As the fastest growing sector of the apparel market, the children’s sector is supported by positive structural factors, including a growing target population, the fact that children change size and shoe size every 6 months until they hit adolescence, the rise in the average age of women when they have their first child (stronger buying power), etc. However, according to the Xerfi institute, it seems to be struggling in the economic context of 2013. Specialists brands are competing with extensions of adult brands (Zara Kids, Mexx Kids, Gap Kids, etc.) who are trying to gain customers from the child sector. (2) This is why DPAM re-launched its marketing strategy, expanding its digital offer amongst other initiatives.

The word- of-mouth marketing strategy

Since its origins, the brand has set itself apart from its competitors by its lack of media coverage. No TV spot, very little advertising, the brand store relies on “its outlets, the most important means to express the DPAM values,” outlines Christine Pourcelot, marketing director.

DPAM establishes itself as an online brand

Being very attached to the close link it has with its customers, it’s only natural that DPAM’s marketing strategy went digital in 2001 with its first online store. Thanks to the internet and social networking, the brand knew how to keep up a relationship of trust with its customers.

When asked « Do you think the internet has changed parents’ lives, specifically mothers? » 95% of mothers responded “yes” without any hesitation (study conducted by the Junior & Co research institute in 2012). (4)

According to the same source, certain sectors are more suitable for online shopping. While young mums are happy to buy anything to do with entertainment and clothing for their children (fashion, books, holidays , games, etc.), they are much more reluctant when it comes to buying food and school equipment online. When it comes to clothes, mums are no longer reluctant to go online and even finalise their purchases online. This is confirmed by a recent study of the book « Connected Moms » (JDN Premium Collection) conducted by Global Market Insite using a survey of 1018 cyber-buying mothers. In the three months prior to the survey, 33% of digital mums bought children’s clothes and footwear online, whereas only 14% of them have previously purchased everyday food and household products online. (5)

It is largely down to this new service that Du Pareil Au Même has based the fundamental aspects of its marketing strategy on a successful newsletter. From 2006 to 2011, the company doubled its annual web turnover. “By 2015, we aim to realise up to 10% of our annual turnover from online shopping. ‘Digital mums’ are very comfortable with smartphones, tablets and and aren’t afraid to buy online,” explains Christine Pourcelot, marketing director.

Meanwhile, the brand, who knows the heart of its target audience very well, is launching a display advertising campaign, at important times such as the new school year, on sites which have a strong affinity with their clients such as aufeminin.com and Journal des Femmes. To strengthen brand awareness, DPAM chooses to buy keywords on Google, which is a particularly effective tool.

Social networks make up a community of loyal mothers

In 2010, the clothing brand turned its investments to social networks. A Facebook page was opened as the key medium to advertise new products, promotions or events (it now has 105,701 fans). As for bloggers- the most influencial mums- it’s via the Twitter account that the brand establishes an important relationship with them (1,584 followers). DPAM has not skimped on digital means; a youtube channel was also created to provide further qualitative content such as ‘the making of’ videos with children which got almost 50,000 views. Finally, an editorial blog has been launched to create a means of exchange with blogging mums and especially to strengthen the brand’s culture.

Through digital technology, DPAM has become part of the daily lives of its clients by answering their needs for continual promotions, information on new trends and the convenience of online shopping. Women are happy to exchange with one another about the brand and are fast becoming  DPAM’s most effective advisors to an AB+ professional target audience who are always looking for trends and quality.


Sources :
(1) http://www.dpam-corporate.com/histoire.php
(2) Xerfi, étude 2012
(3) Les échos, article, 2006
(4) Juniors and Co
(5) Journal du Net, Connected Mums
(6) http://www.e-marketing.fr

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