Millwardbrown the keys_to_brand_success


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Millwardbrown the keys_to_brand_success

  1. 1. Millward Brown: Point of ViewThe Keys to Brand SuccessStrong brands drive the financial performance of many successful companies. Howdo brands become strong? By virtue of the relationships that consumers developwith them. These relationships are the end result of all the experiences that consumers have with brands through direct contact, marketing communication, news, or publicity. All of these experiences contribute to the formation of brand associations that are called upon when a consumer is considering a purchase. The decision to purchase one brand over another will depend on the strength and quality of those associations, which determine what an individual knows, thinks, and feels about a brand.Gordon PincottChairman, Global SolutionsMillward Brown The associations from which brands derive their value are stored in our brains, they are organized and saved in one of three clusters according to what they relate to: knowledge, experience, or emotion. Some brands succeed by establishing very strong associations in just one of those areas, but it is highly desirable for brands to have well- developed associations across all three. On average, the market shares of brands that have rich associations in each of the three areas are four percentage points higher than those of brands with less balanced associations. The essential task of marketing is to create and strengthen the brand associations that build and support market share. Which Key Opens the Brand Cupboard? In his book The Advertised Mind, Erik du Plessis likened brand memories to items in an overstuffed cupboard, which, when the door is opened, come tumbling out. When the When the door to one door to one of our mental brand cupboards is opened, of our mental brand what falls out is a cascade of brand memories. Those cupboard is opened, that were most recently accessed will spill out first, a cascade of brand followed by a stream of other memories that will continue to flow until the cupboard door is closed. memories spills out. So what key unlocks this cupboard of associations and allows us to retrieve those memories? And what makes the key easy to use? If brand associations are going to influence a purchase decision, they need to be accessed quickly. For many brands, the main key is the brand name — Nescafé, Walmart, Red Bull — whether that name is seen, heard, or conjured up in your mind. For an uncomplicated brand with a highly distinctive name, like Facebook, little else may be needed to unlock brand associations. However, some categories, such as smoking
  2. 2. Millward Brown: Point of View The Keys to Brand Success 2cessation products and drain cleaners, include a number Starbucks logo would be recognizable even if the Starbucksof competing brands with similar sounding names. When a name were in an unfamiliar script.brand name is not obviously unique and distinctive, additionalcues help to access the correct associations. Color is also a distinct association for some brands: blue for IBM, red for The Economist, gold for Kodak, copper and blackAdditional cues will also be needed when the brand name is for Duracell. Evidence of the importance of color is apparentone that has been extended across a number of products. For on most grocery store shelves, where the packaging of storeexample, the brand key “Dove” will unlock something different brands invariably copies the color scheme of the leadingthan “Dove Shampoo” or “Dove Beauty Bars. ” The key “Toyota” brand in the category.will access different memories than “Toyota Yaris,” and the key“Tesco” opens a different door than “Tesco Metro.” Managing The shape of the packaging can also identify a brand. Thesuch portfolios of brands is one of the most complex marketing Toblerone box and the original Coke bottle are two distinctivetasks, and minimizing confusion is crucial for brand success. If examples. The shape of the product itself can also be a cue,associations with an umbrella brand are not clear and distinct as it is for Volkswagen Beetle or Pringles snacks. A soundin every context where the brand name appears, it will be can be a distinguishing feature for a brand, as it is for Intel.harder for people to access the most relevant memories. Smell and taste can also identify a brand, but at the moment of decision, those sensory associations are rarely availableVisual Cues Can Be Crucial as triggers. It is interesting that although strong brands often have associations that are multi-sensory, the key to releaseEven where a brand name may be distinctive, other cues are those senses is nearly always visual.also extremely helpful. If it were all just about the name, thenpresumably huge sums of money would not be plowed into The Face of the Brandeye-catching design features such as logos and packaging.But for many products, these factors are just as important to In reality, the process of unlocking brand associations is morebrand recognition as the name. For example, brand names complex than simply matching up brands with words, shapes,like Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s are associated with a distinctive or colors. In many cases it is not the individual elements ofscript, and the logos of BMW and BP may be at least as a brand’s presentation that are important, but the way thesepowerful as the names themselves. The wavy green and white work together. Recognizing a brand may be analogous to recognizing a face, and research has shown that we identify faces not by scanning and identifying individual elements (eyes, nose, mouth) but through recognizing the unique combination of features that make up the face as a whole. The most easily identified “faces” unlock the brand cupboard fastest. Marmite has its uniquely shaped dark brown jar and bright yellow cap. Gordon’s Gin is known by its distinctive logo and label on its green bottle with a white cap (though in some marketsAd reprinted with the kind permission of Kellogg’s. ©2009 Millward Brown
  3. 3. Millward Brown: Point of View The Keys to Brand Success 3Gordon’s appears in a completely different guise: clear bottle, and its ability to be associated with that brand. Nor does theyellow cap, red-and-yellow label). Neuroscientists have a time when the brand first appears in the execution have anyterm for this type of instant recognizability: super-familiarity. bearing on the branding.A brand that has become super-familiar to consumers hasa big advantage at the point of purchase when people are What turns out to be crucial is the integration of the brand intolooking for a brand and drawing upon the brand associations the idea. In a TV execution, this has to do with the brand beingthat have built up through their experience and marketing central to the creative aspects of the execution. In a print ad, itactivity. may have more to do with the eye flow through the execution.So do you know what makes your brand identifiable toconsumers? What is the configuration of features that helpsto unlock the associations? How can you engineer some ofthose features into your products to maximize the chances ofrecognition? Though these are crucial questions, we suspectA brand that has become super-familiar toconsumers has a big advantage at the point ofpurchase, because memories of that brand will Photo provided with kind permission by Think Eyetracking. The circles depict eye movements that correspondcome to mind faster. with the cognitive processes occurring in the brain as an ad is viewed.that most brand marketers are not certain of the answers — But whatever the ad format is, the brand needs to be relevantyet it is essential to know these things. If, for instance, you to the surrounding creativity. A great deal of creative energyare thinking about changing your brand’s packaging or logo goes into dramatizing the message of a creative execution;(perhaps to make it look more modern), you need to be typically much less effort goes into dramatizing the brand. Yetaware of the boundaries of your brand’s configurable identity. the brand is no less important.If those boundaries are misunderstood or overstepped, youmay jeopardize assets that took years to create. The brand name can have an important role in the branding of advertising, but other ways of creating brand identificationMarketing Communications: Stocking the Brand Cupboard may be even more powerful. Some of the strongest campaigns around the world rely on the use of a consistent device forThe fact that branding is more complicated than it first appears branding. For example, the striding man of Johnnie Walkercomes as no surprise to us, as we have worked for years to allows the brand to be the center of the action without thehelp clients understand and perfect the complex task of need for a pack shot. Branding in marketing is about puttingensuring that marketing communications are well branded. In the brand at the heart of the communications, not necessarilyorder for marketing communication to be of value to a brand, in a literal sense but certainly in a dramatic, creative must build brand memories and associations — that is, itmust add to the contents of the brand cupboard. Therefore, it Standing Out from the Crowdneeds its own key to gain access. Marketing activity that works from an understanding of theWe have long known that branding communications is not “face” of the brand is not only more powerfully branded, but itabout putting a pack shot on the end of an execution. An can highlight and enhance the features that allow the brandanalysis of our database shows that there is no relationship to be identified at the point of purchase. Toblerone is a classicbetween the number of times a brand appears in an ad example of this. Not only is the brand instantly identifiable in- ©2009 Millward Brown
  4. 4. Millward Brown: Point of View The Keys to Brand Success 4store, but the triangular mountain-shaped chocolate is playedup throughout their communications.Thinking about your brand in this way may help you tobetter align your out-of-store communication with your in-store activity. Your communication should help create andstrengthen the link between the brand and its accumulatedassociations so that when shoppers encounter the brand atthe point of purchase, those associations will come to mind.Your in-store activity should take account of the cues thatyour advertising has set up in people’s heads in associationwith the brand.Branding is a relatively subtle art that goes well beyond memories can be quickly and easily accessed. Making it easyshouting out a brand name or sticking a pack on the end of for your buyers to identify and use that key is a fundamentallyan ad. What can you do to maximize your branding impact? important part of the marketing role.You can make your brand’s face stand out from the crowd.Creating distinctiveness that can be used both at the point ofsale and in communications will pay rich rewards. Established To read more about the keys to brand success, visit in marketing is about putting thebrand at the heart of the communications, not If you liked “The Keys to Brand Success” you may also be interested in ...necessarily in a literal sense but certainly in adramatic, creative sense. Putting the Shopper Back into Marketingbrands need to do this without destroying the recognizable Whose Brand is it Anyway?characteristics they already have. New brands need to be How to Change a Brand’s Name Successfullygenuinely creative and establish their own unique identities.Understanding the keys that provide access to your brand’scupboard is critical to success. It ensures that communication Share this POV:memories are properly stored for future use and that those ©2009 Millward Brown