How PrettyLittleThing became a PrettyBigThing

The Specialist Works / PrettyLittleThing


Brothers Umar and Adam spotted a gap in the market for a fashionable, yet affordable, online accessories brand. PrettyLittleThing was born – and quickly expanded into clothing. Like most start-ups, media investment had to deliver an immediate return – if it didn’t, it would be pulled. In a fiercely competitive category, PrettyLittleThing's closest rival was Missguided - who were spending 5x what PrettyLittleThing were on ATL media. We outmanoeuvred competition through spot-level planning, testing and learning, continual optimisation and flexible buying. We negotiated bespoke deadlines that allowed us to buy at a week’s notice, created a new TV planning model to reignite plateauing response and even convinced Channel 4 to create an extra ad break (just for us). As PrettyLittleThing evolved from a trend follower, to anticipator, to trendsetter, TV developed from chasing response, to driving associations, to making PrettyLittleThing a household name. Now, PrettyLittleThing are the most googled brand in their subcategory. From 2014-18 Missguided’s share of search fell 41 percentage points. PrettyLittleThing’s grew by 33, despite spending less. PrettyLittleThing now have 5m active customers. That’s 40x the number they had when we began working together. Not bad for a pretty little accessories brand.

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