What price brand desire?
Peter Walshe, Global Account Director, Millward Brown
As I start the process of reviewing new findings from the BrandZ research on the trade-off consumers make between their desire for a brand and its price – what we might call the value proposition – I am struck by how important obtaining value is with consumers around the world.
The top 10 global 'value' (or price driven) brands achieve more than twice the market share of the average brand and have growth prospects that are also twice as favourable (as measured by the BrandZ 'voltage' metric). The 'clarity' of what these brands stand for is also significantly higher than average. In times of recession, even a double dip, the equity (or level of brand 'bonding' that consumers achieve with a brand) of these most price favourable brands is nearly three times the average. The guarantee of a good deal is quite seductive.
Why freedom's an infectious idea
David Penn, Managing Director, Conquest
Things are moving so fast in Egypt that it’s hard to get any sort of perspective on events. News studios are filled with pundits comparing it to the fall of the Soviet eastern bloc at the end of the eighties, the fall of the Shah in ’79 or even the Russian Revolution.
The role of social media such as Twitter and Facebook seems central (as in the recent Tunisian uprisings) and the Egyptian authorities virtually admitted as much by blocking the internet and mobile phone networks. Yet this only had the effect of intensifying the visibility of the protests as people simply took to the streets instead. The speed with which the protests have since spread and the revolutionary fervour of the protesters both indicate that Egyptian society is in the grip of a socially contagious phenomenon too powerful to contain. What does it tell us marketers about how ideas take root and spread?
Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc
As the story goes, a man hungry for a snack went down the street to the
24-hour grocery. When he got there, the manager was locking up. The
would-be shopper said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." And
the manager replied, "Yes, but not in a row."”
So if you always
suspected that the drivers of engagement and loyalty for grocery
shopping involved Convenience, Range of Merchandise, Value-for-Dollar,
and Free Delivery, you’re going to love this news: Amazon.com is
starting a new service as an online grocer.
After testing the
service – called “Amazon Tote” in Seattle, named for the reusable,
weatherproof tote bags your order gets delivered in – the
online-bookstore cum retailing website is in the process of creating a
free, no-minimum-purchase-necessary, weekly, you-specify-the-day, home
delivery service. Right – just like the on-line grocery purveyor Fresh
Direct, but not as convenient. Not yet anyway.
service is designed to encourage customers to use Amazon as their main
retail destination for regular household purchases as well as, well,
everything else. Likely it hopes to strengthen its position as a
challenger to Wal-Mart, which is currently the largest retailer in the
United States—and is reported to be developing an on-line strategy for
groceries and household goods, expanding its same-day, in-store
Keeping up with consumer expectations is
always a challenge, driven exactly by brands reaching beyond
satisfaction to delight, and changing the category as they do so. Having
watched Amazon become, well, Amazonian in other categories, this is one
story where consumers may write a totally new ending.
Buzz without the BS - effective word of mouth is useless, not useful
Every now and then I come across 'learned' marketing papers that are so wide-of-the-mark that I feel compelled to speak out. There's plenty of half-baked material around that is not worth the effort of comment, but true 24-carat nonsense is more rare. Before this starts to sound like a self-opinionated attack I should define what I mean by 'nonsense': that which contradicts consistent case study evidence of success.
My 'opinion' is principally shaped by the almost 6000 case studies from around the world in the Warc archive. It is relatively simple to test theory against this body of evidence - but clearly the authors of real nonsense do not trouble themselves to do so.
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved: more profitable, too!
Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc
What’s the first thing that a consumer thinks of when they hear the
phrase “product recall?” “Danger?” “Peril?” “Injury?” “Doesn’t Cousin
Jerry handle class action lawsuits?” Whatever particular thought ran
through your mind, it likely wasn’t good, right? So what would you do
Thomas Carlyle would have said, ‘the thought is the parent
of the deed.” Brand Keys would say, “Uh oh, this is definitely going to
affect customer loyalty, sales, and profitability.” We’d say that
because our metrics are leading-indicators of consumer behavior and
always play out in the marketplace. Currently our 2011 Customer Loyalty
Engagement Index is in field and we’ll know for sure how J&J brands
will rank in the OTC Allergy and Pain Relief categories in a couple of
weeks. But we can tell you now it’s not likely they’re moving up from
where they found themselves at the end of last year.
(and many of their other brands) was a brand consumers loved. It headed
up our loyalty and engagement lists in January 2010. But recalls of
Tylenol allergy, cold, sinus. 8-hour, arthritis pain, extra strength,
PM, children’s, infants, meltaways, Rolaids, Rolaids softchews extra
strength, Adult Benadryl, Children’s Benadryl, Sudafed, Sinutab, Motrin
Jr., IB, children’s, infant’s, Children’s Zyrtec, and Zyrtec itchy
eye-drops set off a rankings avalanche that we hadn’t seen since BP
tried to single-handedly kill the Gulf of Mexico. No, it’s pretty much a
sure bet that these recalls guarantee that J&J brands, at the
bottom of the end-of-year 2010 lists, won’t be moving up in the
standings when we post the 2011 rankings.
Last year, ‘Brand
Trust’ made a really high contribution to category engagement, loyalty,
and profitability. Much, much more than ‘Product Efficacy,’ which is
seen to be ‘table stakes’ these days. And, as we’ve often pointed out,
consumers with aches and pains, coughs and colds, watery eyes, and wonky
stomachs aren’t sitting around suffering waiting for J&J to get
their act together and for drugstores to re-stock shelves with J&J
products. No, they’re buying something else.
And, because most
well-known products (in most categories) have turned from “brands” into
“category placeholders,” i.e., products of which consumers are aware,
but don’t really stand for anything in their minds beyond category
efficacy, drugstores are taking advantage of the situation to highlight
generic, usually drugstore-branded alternatives that turn out to be seen
to be just as effective as any “branded” product. But cheaper with the
added-advantage that it’s not part of a massive national recall and an
Experts have suggested that the diversity and scale of
the J&J recalls are either due to a systematic failure in
manufacturing quality control or the result of cost- cutting—unlike the
Tylenol poisonings, which was not the brand’s fault and to which the
brand reacted swiftly, keeping consumer trust. And while it may take a
lot of money to ensure quality products, trying to buy back brand trust
is a near-impossible and awfully expensive proposition.
Everything you need to know about Brazil before investing there
Worldwide Partners, Inc.
If you think this is just another cliché about the characteristics of Brazil, don't! I am not going to say anything about what you already know (samba, carnival, natural beauty), but EVERYTHING about "what makes Brazil Brazil", as the Brazilian anthropologist Roberto da Matta has already said.
I'm referring to the economic class that kept Brazil from entering the list of countries that fell in the global recession: the C class, which represents 85% of the Brazilian people and which is made up of those with monthly incomes between R$912 and 1,500. Before, this economic class was simply held in contempt by the country's economy; today, it is at the top of the list in terms of its importance to businessmen. Why? Purchasing power.
How Objective is Neuromarketing?
David Penn, Managing Director, Conquest
The world of marketing and advertising is full of competing theories about how consumers make decisions, process information and so on. Neuroscience has challenged head-on much of the conventional wisdom about how advertising works, yet the debate continues… and continues. So why can't neuroscience (and neuromarketing) help us settle once and for all some of these thorny issues?
A few years back, I became concerned about the usefulness of many of the recall – based metrics commonly used in advertising evaluation. I wrote a series of articles in which I argued (from a neuroscientific basis) that advertising which relies mainly on emotional content should be capable of creating brand engagement without people necessarily being able to recall the ad itself. My conclusions were inspired by some aspects of Robert Heath’s theory of Low Attention Processing, (which argued that emotive advertising can be processed independently of (visual) attention). The counterblast to this view came (perhaps predictably) from Millward Brown’s Erik Du Plessis, who in his 2005 book, The Advertised Mind, argued that we naturally seek out the positive – the pleasurable – rather than things which make us anxious or unhappy. Hence we pay attention to ads we like, and what we pay attention to we remember. He sees no reason why emotive advertising should be processed at a low level of attention (which is more or less a restatement of the view that prevailed prior to the so-called neuroscientific revolution). So who is right?
What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? Oh, and Your Brand was Apple!
Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc
Steve Jobs, CEO, Chief visionary, and Showman Extraordinaire of Apple
announced he was taking another medical leave, elevating anxiety levels
of industry watchers and investors who seem to feel it raises critical
questions regarding the state of the world’s most valuable tech company.
worth noting – with absolutely no disregard for Mr. Job’s creative
drive, vision, and force of personality – that this isn’t the first time
Mr. Jobs has taken time off to address health issues. It’s happened
twice before and the company has prospered despite those sabbaticals.
Mr. Jobs may be the face, and even the heart of the company – much like
Richard Branson, the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur of the Virgin brand –
but, happily, from a management perspective, he isn’t the only talent
Outside of the tech and investment arenas, names
like Tim Cook, Phillip Schiller, Scott Forstall, Jonathan Ive, and Ron
Johnson (COO, Worldwide Product Marketing, iPhone engineering,
Industrial Design, and Retail respectively) may not cause techies’
hearts to flutter, but they are the management team that drives the
company. But in this instance it’s important to remember that what
drives the consumer is the brand.
When it comes to brand
loyalty, Apple generally leads competitors in better meeting – even
exceeding – customer expectations. According to our Customer Loyalty
Engagement Index, they were far and away the strongest brand in the
Computer Category. When we supplemented the mobile sector with the then
newish Smartphone Category, they led there too. We dropped the MP3 Play
category because despite the actually brand consumer owned, they
persisted on call them “iPods,” which made accurate assessments really
See, people may admire CEOs, but they buy brands.
Today real 21st century “brands” are products or services that are so
strongly imbued with values and articulated meaning that they are easily
differentiated from the competition. Or in the case of the Apple iPod,
just plain out own the category, (because really, when’s the last time
you saw somebody listening to their Zune or Archos?).
Russian maxim that goes “visionaries are leaders with a poorly developed
sense of fear.” And while there may be only one Steve Jobs, the fact
that there’s also only one Apple brand should help allay shareholder
The 50% of advertising that is wasted makes the other 50% more valuable
Judie Lannon, Editor, Market Leader
I am by no means the first person to quote this old chestnut about advertising waste and I am sure I will not be the last. But it came to mind when I read a study by Booz &Co and Procter and Gamble on the subject of how 'whole new marketing systems must be built to accommodate the new media and the dramatic shifts in the industry'. The survey pointed out that in the US the shift from traditional television and press advertising to online and other digital platforms is 'shocking' and that both online and mobile phone advertising held up well during the recession in contrast to traditional media.
The 'model in the mind' of how advertising works that is behind this study needs to be examined: it is direct response. Target the exact person, shoot them the message privately and watch the sales roll in. Super efficient, no wastage.
One to watch: Johnnie Walker in China
David Tiltman, Head of Content, Warc
There's an interesting new campaign from Johnnie Walker in China, which uses online branded content to extend its 'Keep walking' strategy. The brand, in conjunction with BBH and Ogilvy Shanghai, has produced a series of documentary-style videos featuring 12 prominent businessmen and other successful individuals from China talking about their stories. Branding in the videos is remarkably restrained.
In China, the 'Keep walking' activity has sought to reflect the lives of Chinese 'yuppies'. In a previous campaign (full APG case study here), a series of ads depicted four men, who supported each other as their careers and lives developed. The target has been the '80s generation' (aged around 25 to 35).