‘I brand therefore I am’. The brand and its creation is bread and butter for any marketer.
First there’s the determining the values of the brand, then the creation and its maintenance.
Job done, some might say.
Bob Bayman of ‘i-am’ associates explains, “A brand is not just a logo or a marque. These may be the branding irons, but they are not the brand itself.
“Brands are wonderful things. The best sum up the many things the ears have heard, the eyes have seen, the hands have touched and life has experienced.”
He adds, “They are held in the minds of the beholders – not in an ad man’s script or the brand manager’s marketing plan.
“What the advertising team does is only one small component of a brand; the main part is what the customers experience themselves, what they read from objective sources or hear from friends, family or colleagues.”
But times change, consumers demands change and markets change.
That customer base that was once there might have moved on to a competitive product or service.
Time to all it a day? Instead, it’s time for some clever thinking and to re-assess your brand.
Now don’t get confused, were not talking about necessarily changing the product. What we’re about more is about how it’s perceived by consumers and the market.
Change those consumer perceptions and hey presto you’ve reinvented your brand.
It takes bravery to break unto unchartered territory but if the strategic planning is right, the results can be well worth it.
Example One - Experiential
Walkers crisps, the nation’s favourite brand, was suffering an unprecedented decline in sales. OMD needed to reinvigorate the appeal of Walkers and get the audience to connect with the brand afresh.
Insight showed that lunch is the key time when people eat crisps – over half of all Walker’s sales are at lunchtime. However, research showed that 16-34 year olds were losing their lunch breaks.
Phase 1: Creating a movement: OMD got the nation lamenting their lost luncheons, with the biggest media channels championing the cause. Normal online/at desk behaviour was disrupted with online activity timed between 12pm and 2pm.
Phase 2: Lunchtime liberation: All activity culminated in a massive, nationwide event celebrating the right to lunch, ‘Lunch Happy Friday’. Lunchtime destinations were created, covering 111 sites at iconic locations in eight major cities with 6,000 Walkers branded deck chairs.
The deckchairs were liberated at the end of the lunch, turning each one into a moving billboard for the brand
In a media first OMD got local radio stations out to lunch too. They only played music and Walkers ads across the hour while the DJs entertained the crowds on site.
The campaign reached 25 million people and nearly two million people took part in the lunch events. Some 66,000 packets of new flavours of crisps were trialed.
Core customers were won back and there was marked shift in positive attitudes towards Walkers crisps. Key lunch retailer, Boots, had its biggest-ever sales day on Lunch Happy Friday.
Walkers enjoyed an 18 per cent increase in sales over the period. An additional 10 million bags of crisps were sold in the promotion week alone.
Example Two - Creative advertising
Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy cabin was a success story for the airline but soon was losing ground to British Airways and other competitors.
Manning Gottlieb OMD was faced with the challenge of launching a new refitted cabin and changing the personality of the brand to make it distinct from the others – with just one fifth of the spend of BA.
“Not roomy, but more room.” was a key outtake from research carried out. It was decided the strategic push wasn’t about selling a bigger seat, but the luxury of time and space.
National press supplements out-performed all other media opportunities vs. ABC1 transatlantic flyers.
Given BA’s dominance of spend; it was important to concentrate resources into the most profitable environment. The Telegraph readership is dominated by Virgin’s chief rival, BA.
The newspaper came up with a unique proposal - a bespoke edition of Saturday’s UltraTravel magazine. Rebranded, under the title Space, this was editorial not advertorial, a true partnership.
Throughout, a core team comprising Telegraph journalists, Virgin Atlantic in-house writers, agency people and Telegraph representatives worked closely together to create content with a subtlety and tone that worked for the Telegraph editorial and sold for the client.
With the client about to sign off, disaster struck. The Ultratravel issue date had to be moved, no longer coinciding with the crucial cabin launch date.
The core team worked hard to evolve the original idea into a reversible issue of the Daily Telegraph Saturday Mag, leading to a final result that exceeded all the original expectations.
As a result, there was a 20 per cent uplift in brand awareness. Some 70 per cent recalled seeing the ‘Space’ feature in the Telegraph. Over a third of those that recalled seeing the feature visited the Virgin Atlantic website.
Example Three - Connectiong with a hard to reach audience
Car manufacturer Vauxhall was facing problems. It was perceived as stuck in a rut and lack lustre compared to the competition,
Instead, it wanted to be seen as a cool urban brand and build up its brand equity amongst young Londoners aged 18-40, in particular influence shaping under-30 bracket.
Key messages they wanted to convey include the style and design of the product, and the excitement of driving, in an attempt to build compelling brand values for the Vauxhall marque.
Resonate PR created a series of exclusive invitation only events under the ‘Vauxhall Tribes’ banner. They were designed to generate word of mouth and were a vehicle for generating traditional media interest.
Events included, ‘Going Underground’, an exclusive, hidden and forbidden London event feel brought together in an underground car park. It featured new urban sport ‘Parkour’ demonstrations from Urban Freeflow (stars of the Channel 4 documentary ‘Jump Britain’) with and opportunity for guests to learn fundamental moves.
’Vauxhall Tribes Unsigned’ was an urban music competition held in association with Music Magazine ‘Touch’, while an exclusive one-day female only workshop was held to introduce girls into the world of Parkour.
The project was linked to a bespoke non-corporate website that was both relevant/appealing and boasts style, design and driving excitement to target audience – all communication drove people to the website.
The design was a first for Vauxhall, breaking the corporate mould. The result was simply and unquestionably a step in the right direction for the brand.
Some 92 per cent of feedback from the events was positive – 64 or participants rated them very good and 82 per cent of feedback regarding Vauxhall’s involvement was positive.
Most critically, some 79 per cent said events had a positive effect on their view of Vauxhall as a car brand.
The UK Vauxhall Tribes concept has been used as an international model for both Europe and the US
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