01 August 1998

MANDATORY FLAVOUR of the month within WPP’s global fiefdom is Brandz, a new brand analysis methodology. Martin Sorrell is eager to foist the Brandz concept ‘from the centre’ on his worldwide portfolio of agencies and marketing specialists, although ‘foist’ is not the term used by Marty’s mouthpiece, WPP strategy director Eric Salama: ‘We’ve worked [on Brandz] with people from the operating companies in the past year and it’s been a very co-operative effort’, he insists. Brandz draws on interviews with around 70,000 consumers in seven countries including the UK, USA and China. The $6m study explores perceptions and attitudes to some 3,500 brands, examining consumer loyalty and predicting changes in market share. It claims not only to identify brand strengths and weaknesses, but also indicates how consumers will react to changes in a brand’s positioning or use of media. Brandz, which covers fifty product sectors, identifies eight brand categories, citing such arcane examples as ‘olympic brands, fading stars, cult brands and little tigers.