American Marketer

Events / Causes

Fortnum & Mason targets locals via long-term Chelsea Flower Show partnership

May 1, 2012


London-based home goods retailer Fortnum & Mason will use its long-time commitment to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show to build brand awareness and align its values with those of affluent attendees.

Fortnum & Mason’s branded presence in the food and beverage sections will host the Hospitality Village at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the President’s Marquee, the spot that will host British Queen Elizabeth II when she visits the showground. The brand is encouraging private and corporate attendance at the event by marketing its partnership to local consumers.

“The primary goal for any brand partnership should always be to build or enhance the business, creating relevant and positive associations for both brands,” said Karen Kreamer, president of K2 Brand Consulting, Overland Park, KS.

“Fortnum & Mason’s presence at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is likely designed to go beyond a simple event sponsorship by creating a branded experience outside the walls of the store,” she said.

Ms. Kreamer is not affiliated with Fortnum & Mason, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Fortnum & Mason could not comment before press deadline.

The Chelsea Flower Show is May 22-26.

Full bloom
The Chelsea Flower Show will mark the first time that Fortnum & Mason will bring its brand out-of-store through an event partnership.

In addition to its Chelsea Flower Show presence, Fortnum & Mason will also appear July 18-22 at the RHS Flower Show in Tatton Park.

Fortnum & Mason's Chelsea Flower Show section of its Web site

Fortnum & Mason will provide food and beverages throughout the day to show visitors at the Hospitality Village and the President’s Marquee.

The brand called on London-based event caterer DO & CO to assist in providing high-quality fare, per Fortnum & Mason.

Menus will include the brand’s signature tea blend served in silver teapots during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Afternoon Tea, breakfast, canapés and a four-course lunch with Champagne.

Fortnum & Mason has designed each pavilion to be an elegant, welcoming haven, per the brand.

Each pavilion can be reserved by guests on a daily basis.

There are four packages available that Fortnum & Mason has displayed on its ecommerce site. These include the dinner Jubilee Package and the Champagne and canapés experience called the Royale Package.

The President’s Marquee, which will host the Queen’s visit to the showground, is available to corporate attendees. Companies can host seminars or presentations in the space.

Prices per person range from $322 to $803 for members-only days.

“The partnership has the potential to layer newer, more modern perceptions to an established brand by connecting with new audiences in an engaging and entertaining way,” Ms. Kreamer said.

Budding interest

Fortnum & Mason is marketing its contract with the Chelsea Flower Show via in-store demonstrations, its ecommerce site and email.

The brand will host a series of presentations at its retail location in London that will outline the Flower Show packages that are available.

Fortnum & Mason has devoted an opening slide on its homepage to the flower show. Consumers can click the photo of a floral garden to get event details.

In addition, Fortnum & Mason sent out an email that positions the Flower Show as a place for businesses to bring clients as well as for individuals to enjoy.

Flower Show email

“Beyond the expectations of quality, I believe luxury consumers are drawn to a sense of discovery and new experiences,” Ms. Kreamer said.

“The strategic use of event placements will work for luxury brands as long as it does not cheapen the brand and undermine its value,” she said. “The event must be a good fit and have relevance to the brand’s core positioning to be successful.

“Both the Fortnum & Mason and RHS Chelsea Flower Show brands are experiential, making this partnership an excellent opportunity to reach luxury consumers with targeted efficiency.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York