Amidst all the new content we've recently added (like Esomar Congress papers, Jay Chiat case studies and the shortlisted cases to our own Innovation Prize) here are my must-read picks – five stimulating, enlightening articles on topics as diverse as hybrid consumers, total video and winning boardroom-backing for brand investment.

The Brand in the Boardroom
What's it about and why is it interesting?
In Warc Editorial, we are huge fans of the Atticus Awards – clever thinking from across the WPP network on all kinds of topics. The Grand Prix winner from Ogilvy RED is lengthy but provides extremely useful instruction for valuing brands and demonstrating the real commercial benefit of marketing – essential reading for any marketer fighting for investment. As well as introducing the different methods of brand valuation, Ogilvy & Mather go beyond them to highlight the necessary principles and the steps that should be followed when valuing brands. As well as defending and increasing marketing budgets, brand valuation can also help decide where to allocate budgets, determine brand strategy development and develop brand benchmarking.

I'd recommend browsing the other Atticus papers if you get a chance but a few other highlights include:

  • Hungry for familiar foods: Five principles for international companies wanting to create a successful food brand in India.
  • Confessions of an Adaptive Marketer: How brands can put the right processes in place to allow them to adapt quickly within a consumer-driven, data-fuelled marketplace.
  • Your Health, Yourself: How brands can help consumers make use of personal data to manage their health and wellbeing, with specific recommendations into five key areas – fitness, nutrition, adherence, over-the-counter (OTC) and personalised medicine.

Sharing and owning: The rise of the hybrid consumer
What's it about and why is it interesting?
In the latest issue of Market Leader, the feature article examines the emerging 'hybrid' consumer, who combines a willingness to spend heavily on the latest Apple product but also saves money on their weekly grocery shop by going to discounters such as Lidl and Aldi. This has combined with the 'sharing economy', which recognises the rise in renting products and services that were previously owned. This new approach to consumption calls for new kinds of segmentation and targeting – address the two people within one.

The Hybrid Consumer

How success stories from the past can inspire future innovation
What's it about and why is it interesting?
Congress, ESOMAR's biggest market research conference of the calendar, brings together some of the latest developments in MR. This paper examines successful fmcg innovations from Europe and the US, from Bud Light Lime Ritas in the beer category, to Ariel 3in1 Pods in laundry care. It then investigates the key factors that led to this success and derives a model for the best approach to product innovation. Marketers are advised to think ahead to breakthrough initiatives, instead of playing it safe with tactical, uninspired, no-risk and no-reward new products.

Other ESOMAR Congress highlights include:

  • Going to the edges for inspiration: Speak to people with more interesting and unusual experiences, attitudes and backgrounds to unlock insights. Includes a 'live' case study from Pepsi.
  • What inspires the curious generation: The research methodology and findings from MTV's annual youth study in India, finding that Indian youth are happy and curious; relationships are becoming more important and meaningful to them; and they are returning to old-school values.

From TV to Total Video
What's it about and why is it interesting?
We all know that video viewing habits are changing, with more people watching digital video on different devices. In response, this article from comScore recommends a 'total video' model for more strategic planning and effective advertising. This approach is viewer-centric, as it provides the ability to report granular details about niche audiences and platforms.

Multicultural approaches in the US from the Journal of Advertising Research
Two papers from the latest issue of JAR focus on ethnic minorities in the US:

  • Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy in Sync with Latino-User Behavior? is a wake-up call to identify and strengthen strategies for targeting this swiftly growing demographic segment. Marketers need to explore the vast variety of publishers available for reaching young, bilingual Latinos, create targeted content designed to be viral, and make mobile media the top priority.
  • Are You Reaching the Black-American Consumer? criticises marketing for not representing the experience or cultural insights of Black-Americans. Despite a $1.03 trillion (and growing) buying power, often they are merely tolerated. Tired of being ignored, dedicated television networks are springing up to fill the 'black void' and marketers need to support these endeavours or risk their brands being passed over by others that are committed to representing the Black-American voice.