Launching and positioning a pioneering new UK retail brand


A strategic and highly-focused approach is needed to build the pillars of growth for any entrepreneurial start-up – brand awareness, brand positioning and brand credibility – but when the competition you face is the likes of the mighty Amazon and eBay, it’s absolutely critical.

OnBuy, a new marketplace based in the UK priding itself on low commission fees and partnerships with sellers, required a PR and marketing plan with short, medium and long-term aspirations for the business to grow and flourish.


The brief 

Launch a new UK-based online marketplace and initially raise awareness in the retail B2B sector – across a huge range of industries, including technology, electronics, toys, books, fashion, jewellery, pets, beauty, gardening, DIY and others. Regular updates across multiple platforms about the growth of the business in order to build seller confidence in the brand. This would be followed by a high-profile and targeted consumer campaign across television, national, sector and social media to drive audiences to the marketplace.


The Polymedia solution for innovation brand PR

Messaging, tone and branding were reviewed in precise detail before reaching out to any sector. Once the messaging was anchored to the OnBuy brand, a highly strategic campaign delivered the launch of the website to the various retail sectors, entrepreneurial and start-up markets. A consistent, purposeful and targeted content plan built the credibility of the brand until it was ready to launch to consumers. The team helped to devise an eye-catching and innovative advertising campaign, featuring the “Get On It” slogan, that featured in primetime slots across ITV and reached more than 20m viewers. This has been followed by a month-by-month content strategy, drilling into the challenges and opportunities of the various retail sectors and driving awareness through influential traditional, social and online media.


The results 

From just a handful of items, OnBuy hit the 1m milestone of live products within six months and 2m after just one year. As the fastest-growing marketplace in the UK, the brand has attracted major industry names, including Vivo Technologies, Amazon’s seventh biggest seller, World of Books Ltd, the fourth largest Amazon seller in Europe, and Chalky’s, a major UK seller of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray movies. The platform is enjoying its highest ever traffic, with more than half a million visitors logging on to the site. The success of the site is seeing key partnerships formed within the e-commerce sector, including Channel Advisor and Linnworks.