wilko’s brand values are very much a part of their business as usual approach. However, as we all know, 2020 was anything but business as usual. 

Our content strategy and schedule always has customer-mindset at heart; but all of the usual indicators, events and key-insights were no longer relevant. 

We wanted to do things right, to really be helpful for customers at this confusing time - we knew that going quiet, even temporarily, wasn’t the right thing to do.

Customers were suddenly facing new challenges. We wanted to find a way to:

  • Understand their needs and react accordingly 
  • Communicate effectively and reassuringly with them
  • Help to tackle some of their challenges
  • Provide practical steps to show that they can continue to depend on us.


‘Little Wins Together’ was our way of bringing British community spirit to the fore and supporting each other through a rough patch.

We consulted strategic resources to understand changes in consumer attitudes and behaviours, ran our own research panels with wilko customers, used social listening to compare current conversations on wilko social channels, and more broadly across social, vs the same time period in 2019 - as well as using it to identify where and how wilko customers (and nine competitor-brands’ customers) were talking about their homes - AND we manually reviewed and tagged thousands of individual pieces of content to understand differences in how people spoke about wilko and their competitors in relation to their own homes. Phew.

This gave us a clear picture of customer behaviours, mindset and intentions as well as specific topics and the tone of voice that would be helpful from a content perspective.

We focused on how we could build a true, authentic relationship with our customers using these insights. We tweaked our tone of voice, mapped and engaged influencers and ensured our changes to social content were reflected in other relevant customer communications channels, such as email. 

Influencer features included an Instagram live making Easter nest cakes, a Q&A with a small space gardener and healthy home school snacks.

The results

Using available research and data from our own communities helped us to nail the approach.

As our tone of voice is well established in social, we were able to turn up reassuring, supportive tones and dial down any sales messaging, to suit the mood. We received a high-volume of peer tagging and consistently positive responses to our new features, which delivered 95% positive engagement. 

10% uplift in engagement rate across our social channels
New followers gained organically
Uplift in our content impressions

Sales data in terms of pure figures is confidential, however, website sales increased 200% year-on-year for the comparative period (while physical wilko stores also remained open and accessible throughout the lockdown period). Site traffic driven through our social and email content was increased by 28% year-on-year for the same period. 

We’re proud that we took the decision to be led purely by customer need; and believe our results show that doing the right thing does pay off.

Puzzle were an exceptional partner throughout the early lockdown period. Along with all other retailers, wilko faced never before seen business challenges - and it was more important than ever that the whole business and all agency partners came together to deliver what was right for our customers. We had to work at pace, and Puzzle met the challenge, producing excellent strategic planning and creative ideation to help us come through the period in a very strong position.

Senior Digital Comms Manager, wilko

We’re proud to work with partners as ambitious and creative as we like to be – so if you’d like to chat to us about your engagement goals, drop us a line on hello@puzzlelondon.com - we’re a friendly bunch.


Making Little Wins Together

Using real-time analysis, segmentation and online behaviours to determine customer need and mindset during the COVID-19 lockdown, we were able to bring wilko’s brand values to life whilst yielding exceptional business results.

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02074012162 hello@puzzlelondon.com