NASHVILLE: Drinks giant Diageo has adopted a common tracking model in order to keep an eye on how different brands are performing under different conditions at different times of the year, a leading executive has said.

"It's the first time we've had one universal model" across all brands, Ellen Zaleski, Diageo director of consumer planning, told an audience at The Market Research Event (TMRE), a conference run by the Institute for International Research.

She pondered how people could be encouraged to try a typically low-incidence-usage brand. "A lot of that is with marketing communication – planning and building a brand purpose – to understand what a brand means and [how] we deliver that [message] so that other people can love the brand, recommend it, and build up the loyalty ladder," she explained.

"It's a different journey with each of our brands," Zaleski added.

Diageo is employing a Millward Brown brand equity model (Warc subscribers can read more here) which uses metric score-carding and progress-tracking to determine value share and the ability to demand different price tiers.

And Nigel Hollis, chief global analyst at Millward Brown, argues in a new book that brand owners should focus less on volume sales and small shifts in market share, and instead create experiences that will turn them into category leaders and allow them to charge a premium.

"There are a million and one ways in which you can make a brand meaningful," he told Research. "The problem is that people tend to end up defining a category by a set of parameters and they don't think outside of the box."

Back at Diageo, Zaleski was excited by the new development and outlined how work on brand value had been ongoing and "now the commercial side is saying, 'I want to see your equity. I want to understand how it interplays [between brands]'".

Now that information was on the table, she said, "it's huge in what very much has been a sales-driven organisation".

She advised anyone attempting to bring marketing and brand metrics into different parts of the management ecosystem to make sure that key stakeholders were on-board as "it sometimes is a mindset shift".

Data sourced from Warc, Research