Print Сite this

Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) tools comprise a number of marketing instruments designed to ensure efficient and consistent communication with the target audience. The tools include advertising, sales promotions, public relations activities, social media, direct marketing, public relation, and sales campaigns (Juska 2017). According to Percy (2018, p. 4), marketing communications planning ‘recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines’. Marketing and retail have evolved significantly over the recent decades, and Harry Selfridge, the founder of a chain of London-based department stores, can be named among the prominent contributors to the development of the industry. As stated by Woodhead (2008, p.3), Selfridge ‘had a deep-rooted belief in the power of advertising’, which became a critical factor of his business success. This paper aims to analyze Selfridge’s business success, study what IMC tools were used as part of his marketing strategy, and identify what role advertising played in growing his achievements.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online
Learn more

The Success of Selfridges and the Role of IMC Tools

Selfridges revolutionized the way shopping was done in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. He noticed the difference in the American and British consumer culture, brought the concept of the department stores in the country, thus, filling this gap and transforming retail trade. Selfridges used marketing communication to gain a competitive advantage, understand customer needs and wants, and be able to retain and attract clients (Scott & Walker 2010). As a result, a competitive advantage allowed for increasing sales and profits, leading the company to success.

Advertising was the primary IMC tool used by Selfridge to grow brand awareness and appeal to various audiences, namely, all social classes and genders. The illustrations used for ads targeted people of different statuses, aiming to eliminate the social gap and offer a safe and pleasurable shopping experience for everyone (Woodhead 2008). In doing so, Selfridge implemented his principle of creating a comfortable space for customers and promoted it through advertising. Indeed, as Woodhead (2008) states, lighting, temperature, cleanliness, and the availability of restrooms, which Selfridge was the first to install in his stores, play an essential role in attracting clients. Large displays of advertisements were an essential part of Selfridge’s marketing campaign enabled by his connections to media outlets. Appealing to the mass market and providing value allowed Selfridge to win customer trust and increase brand recognition.

Another IMC tool used by the entrepreneur was the implementation and amplification of brand stories. Selfridge revolutionized the industry with his window display technique which combined retail and art, offering a unique experience at the time (Woodhead 2008). Such an approach increased visibility, encouraged people to stop and watch, and created a positive image of the store, which, consequently, increased sales and spread word of mouth. Therefore, Selfridge combined the use of paid and earned media, which made up a powerful strategy for promoting his stories. Furthermore, he promoted not only the narratives about products but also stories engaging people to connect with popular opinions; for instance, supporting the Suffragettes movement impacted the store’s image in a positive way (Woodhead 2008). Creating such a unique brand image and offering displays was an effective marketing strategy.

The similarity between the IMC tools used by Selfridge lies in his dedication to catering to customers, which was not common until his stores appeared. Selfridge’s famous phrase ‘the customer is always right’ became the fundamental principle reshaping the retail industry along with marketing strategies. According to Orazi et al. (2017), the IMC tools significantly contribute to the brand identity and image, which influences brand equity. As can be seen, Selfridge’s success is an example of the transformation of marketing and promotion through strategic layout, customer care, and advertising revolutionary at the time. As Outka (2005) claims, Selfridge’s new commercial environment refined the atmosphere for the store’s guests and became a pivotal moment in the marketing industry. The memorable experience influenced people’s perception of the brand in an efficient manner, creating value for the customer.

Selfridges IMC tools in the Modern Context

Undoubtedly, Selfridge’s success was primarily based on his customer-centered approach and smart advertising that appealed to the mass market and extended the target audience. Selfridge & Co., a high-end department store chain, still exists and continues to deliver value for the customer, adapting to the current marketing trends (Woodhead 2008). In the contemporary context, integrated marketing communication tools for the company would include increasing brand visibility and reaching out to the customer through social media, direct mails, and newsletters. Furthermore, offering webinars and seminars is an effective strategy to generate leads and introduce new products.

To summarize, Selfridge was aware of the need to evolve and provide a better experience for shoppers, and his IMC approaches identified gaps, appealing to the customer, offering value, and improving the brand image. A comprehensive marketing campaign needs to focus on numerous marketing channels for the company to remain competitive. The emphasis on pleasurable experience is still of great value in the modern marketing industry, which makes Selfridge a revolutionary entrepreneur whose principles are currently implemented by numerous companies across the world.

On-Time Delivery! Get your 100% customized paper
done in
as little as 3 hours
Let`s start

Reference List

Juska, J M 2017, Integrated marketing communication: advertising and promotion in a digital world. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

Orazi, D C, Spry, A, Theilacker, M N & Vredenburg, J 2017, ‘A multi-stakeholder IMC framework for networked brand identity’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 3, pp. 551-571.

Outka, E 2005, ‘Crossing the great divides: Selfridges, modernity, and the commodified authentic’, Modernism/modernity, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 311-328.

Percy, L 2018, Strategic integrated marketing communications, 2nd edn, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

Scott, P & Walker L 2010, ‘Advertising, promotion, and the competitive advantage of interwar British department stores’, The Economic History Review, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 1105-1128, Web.

Woodhead, L 2008, Shopping, seduction and Mr Selfridge. Profile Books, London, UK.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, October 23). Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, October 23). Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications.

Work Cited

"Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications." StudyCorgi, 23 Oct. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications." October 23, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications." October 23, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications." October 23, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Selfridge & Co.’s Integrated Marketing Communications'. 23 October.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.