Monday, 31 August 2009

Brand Experiences to get a brand Chosen

Choose is the second stage of the Path to Advocacy and is about the process that the consumer goes through when choosing which brand(s) they are likely to buy.

This stage is about getting your brand onto the consumers’ short-list.

This used to be all about traditional media - using high impact, coverage, frequency, recency, etc. However, the internet now means i) consumers are very interconnected with each other, and ii) the way they behave and use media has changed. They don’t trust traditional media in the same way, they research differently (usually on-line) and actively seek relevant opinion/advice of others (e.g. friends & family and/or independent experts).

To succeed today brand owners must deeply understand their target consumers’ behaviours, particularly:

a) How and where consumers are getting information about brands

b) The consumers’ motivations for choosing. (These can be driven by functional needs e.g. specification, colour, price, etc and their emotional needs.)

The start point for marketers is making sure their brand is providing the right (usually functional) information, at the right time, in the right place. Effective ways to do this is include sampling or a good internet strategy (e.g. search, brand website, etc).

The other critical requirement is about making the brand relevant to the target consumers’ lives. It is where PR (Virgin, Marks & Spencer, Agent Provocateur), experiential (Electrolux), social media (Dell, Wispa, T-Mobile) and advocacy can play a big part.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Holiday time

Back in a week...

Pepsi video ad in a magazine will be deliver a super-charged brand experience

This sounds incredibly smart.

In September CBS magazine Entertainment Weekly will insert a mini screen that plays 40 minutes of TV show clips and an ad for Pepsi.

Wow. Top marks to Pepsi.

This is will deliver a very powerful brand experience that undoubtedly will get noticed and talked about.

I hope I can get to see a copy.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Augmented reality delivers a powerful brand experience

This film does a good job showcasing augmented reality.

It’s pretty cool and relatively new. [I am just starting to get my head round it.]

One thing that is clear to me is that any brand organisation that works out how to incorporate augmented reality effectively into an overall brand experience strategy will get a head start over competitors.

Here are some other films - from BMW, Magic Symbol and University of Tokyo - that help explain it.

Please let me know if you see any good examples.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Consumers want better food labelling

I read at Customer Experience about a new survey from Guiding Stars Licensing Co., which suggests that food grocery shoppers in US are getting fed up with arcane, hard-to-read and misleading nutritional information on the foods they buy.

Surely this information is not new news to brand organisations.

Here is some more (worrying) data:

  • 24% think labels are "difficult to understand."
  • 28% think labels are "exhausting to read"
  • 67% are only somewhat confident, at best, they can select healthy foods from the Nutrition Facts Panel alone.
  • 74% hold negative views of the Nutrition Facts Panel on their food products

So, if you are involved in package design in any category (not just food), please consider the brand experience you are delivering to the consumer when the information on your brand’s packaging is not clear.

Get it right and you should gain a strong competitive advantage.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Has the power of TV eroded?

This engaging film has been created by ThinkBox
to promote the power of TV.

It cleverly highlights some of the famous TV tag-lines from the UK in the 80s and 90s. It ends with the line: ‘Funny how thirty seconds can last a lifetime.’

It works for me because I can very easily conjure-up all these old ads in my mind when I hear their tag-lines.

However, the world has changed so much and how people, particularly the young, consume media has changed dramatically. I therefore wonder whether my kids will remember any of the campaigns they are currently exposed to when they have grown-up. I doubt it.

When I first started in the media and communications business at Saatchi & Saatchi, the model was simple. A brand built sales by delivering sufficient levels of consumer awareness. In those days TV was king.

These days it is a lot more complicated. To compete brands have to deliver relevant and engaging consumer brand experiences across an array of touchpoints. Digital (in its broadest sense) is now king.

My advice to brand organisations is to look at their consumers’ journey [maybe using the PDD and Path to Advocacy frameworks] and identify the types of brand experiences that need to be delivered to delight consumers.

It is worth the investment in time and resource because getting it right will drive loyalty and maybe even get your brand talked about.

So, back to the original question: “has the power of TV eroded?”

Yes and no.

No.... TV ads viewed in the traditional way is not as effective as it used to be [see research by Forrester for the Association of National Advertisers].

Yes....TV films consumed via screens (TV, computer, mobile, etc) can be extremely effective when part of an integrated brand experience strategy.

While I’m on the subject of old TV ads, here are some of my favourites: British Airways 'Global'; BASF 'Dear John'; Heineken ‘Majorca’ :

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Self service machines undermine the shopping experience

My local Boots and Tesco’s have just installed self service machines.

I am not a fan.

I think it is a mistake for retailers to install them as it merely ‘commoditises’ the whole shopping experience.

The best way to win in-store is to deliver a WOW brand experience that shoppers will love. That way they will reward you with further visits; and maybe even tell their friends about you.

I was therefore very interested to get an invitation from Retail Customer Experience to participate in a webinar: ‘Implementing self service to gain competitive advantage’.

They promise to show, among other things, how to reduce costs and deliver a differentiated experience with self service that will create new consumer loyalty.

Okay…. I get that these machines reduce costs (surely the main reason).

But come on….how can they increase loyalty?

I have registered to join this webinar so I will keep you posted.

[BTW, my thanks to Timothy Belmont for his excellent picture.]

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Winning brands understand the power of emotion

It is well understood that delivering winning brand experiences that forge strong relationships with consumers is an effective way to build consumer loyalty and advocacy.

What may not be so well recognised is that emotion is a key ingredient of a winning brand experience.

Marketing & Strategy Innovation blog have just posted hard data that shows that emotional ads work better than rationale ads. However, ads are just one type of brand experience, and only part of the story

To be successful it is vital for brands to deliver: a) the promise [made in the carefully crafted ads] and b) experiences that delight consumers.

Without doubt the best way to deliver brand experiences with meaningful emotion is through the use of human contact.

Brand organisations should think carefully about how their people are dealing with consumers, and look for ways to build elegant brand experiences at every stage of the path to advocacy – particularly in-store and customer service.

There are plenty of brands that do this really well (Zappos, Hyundai, Virgin and Nordstrom). They are a smart place to start if you are looking for compelling examples about how to do it.