Customers aren't for Christmas: a whitepaper from Cherry London

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This Christmas, brands will spend millions trying to entice customers to action – to choose their particular product or service over another, to get their message across, to get their Facebook post …

This Christmas, brands will spend millions trying to entice customers to action – to choose their particular product or service over another, to get their message across, to get their Facebook post liked and shared...

Each will be trying to carve a unique space in people’s hearts “guaranteeing” their share of the Christmas buzz and spend. This year it has started earlier than ever – the blockbuster ads have been out for what feels like weeks, the mince pies are on the shelves and your Christmas ‘essentials’ could be found as early as August on some retailers’ shelves.

But just how important is marketing activity in getting customers to act? Is it even worth it or are people’s minds already made up? What can brands do to really connect? Does investment in a long term loyalty programme help?

And how can Brand Partnerships be used to help cut through in this increasingly over-whelming cluttered world?

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  • 1. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE © Copyright Cherry London 2013
  • 2. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE OVERVIEW Executive Summary 3 INSIGHTS The survey and its results 4 How can Brand Partnerships make a difference 5 Insight 1: Create a meaningful truth; O2 Priority; Topshop and Google+ 7 Insight 2: Tell a story; John Lewis; Gillette and Movember 8 Insight 3: The big idea; Western Union; Coke 9 Insight 4: Right place right time: O2 Priority; Malibu 10 SUMMARY Brand Partnerships as complement and catalysts © Copyright Cherry London 2013 | November 2013 11 2
  • 3. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Executive summary This Christmas, brands will spend millions trying to entice customers to action – to choose their particular product or service over another, to get their message across, to get their Facebook post liked and shared... Each will be trying to carve a unique space in people’s hearts “guaranteeing” their share of the Christmas buzz and spend. This year it has started earlier than ever – the blockbuster ads have been out for what feels like weeks, the mince pies are on the shelves and your Christmas ‘essentials’ could be found as early as August on some retailers’ shelves. But just how important is marketing activity in getting customers to act? Is it even worth it or are people’s minds already made up? What can brands do to really connect? Does investment in a long term loyalty programme help? And how can Brand Partnerships be used to help cut through in this increasingly over-whelming cluttered world? Charlie Hills Strategy director, Cherry London © Copyright Cherry London 2013 3
  • 4. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE The survey We started off by asking 1,000 people what they think will influence their Christmas shopping. The good news for all of those with ‘Marketing’ in our job description is that two thirds of customers said that we do have influence on what they buy at Christmas. Thank goodness… deep sigh of relief… However, it isn’t all good news. It turns out that the millions we spend, the thousands of man hours we invest, the gallons of coffee we consume isn’t quite as effective as we think. Of those surveyed, only 15% said it was ‘very likely’ that marketing activity would influence their Christmas shopping – just under half the amount of people that said we have no impact whatsoever – and exactly the same amount of people said they weren’t influenced by marketing activity, but by recommendations from someone they know. We just have to hope that this trusted advisor IS impacted by our activities. We also learned some things that shocked us to our core – did you know that as people’s income increases the influence of marketing activity on their Christmas shopping decreases? 45% of those earning over £40k said marketing activity had no effect. Did you know that as people get older the same thing happens? © Copyright Cherry London 2013 4
  • 5. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE So how can marketers cut through? We thought that having a long-term loyalty programme fuelled by Brand Partnerships would help with cutting through at Christmas. It turns out that only half our survey agreed. That’s pretty good, but it’s not good enough for us. 49% of people told us that demonstrating you care about and understand them influences them. 47% of them told us that rewarding them for their custom had an impact. 36% of people said regular contact through-out the year makes a difference. So, we know that a good loyalty programme rooted in insight is important to people, but what else do brands need to do to really connect to their customers? We have conducted a number of explorations to see how we can make a difference – we have live case studies from the work we do with our clients including O2, Aviva, Malibu and Western Union and we have looked outside our sphere to see how other brands are doing it (such as the great partnership between TopShop and Google+ for London Fashion Week, or the Movember and Gillette partnership). We haven’t just looked at Christmas either, we’ve looked at the whole calendar year and the whole customer lifecycle to draw our conclusions. So what did we learn? 49% want us to show we care 47% say rewards influence their decisions Our survey said... How likely is it that your Christmas Shopping this year will be influenced by a brand’s marketing activity?  Very likely 15%  No influence whatsoever 35% What factors will make you more likely to buy from a brand this Christmas?  The brand demonstrates it cares about and understands them 49%  The brand rewards them for their custom 47%  The brand has regular contact through-out the year 36% 1,000 UK adults surveyed online, Cherry London, Nov 1st 2013 © Copyright Cherry London 2013 | November 2013 5
  • 6. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE We learned that in today’s marketplace, marketing activity fuelled by Brand Partnerships is ideally set up to make the difference. Customers want big ideas and they want them now. By working together brands can create big stories, big ideas and big executions that inspire and motivate customers to action. They can also deliver them in meaningful ways, just where, how and when their customers want them. Then they can harness their complementary strengths to create things that will inspire customers, things they could never achieve on their own. Like the O2 Priority and Caffe Nero partnership – O2 can offer all its customers a free coffee on a cold rainy morning, and Caffe Nero can get people who were walking past to come in the door. We found 4 key things that Brand Partnerships can add to a marketing strategy to help brands cut through. A hot coffee on a cold day © Copyright Cherry London 2013 | November 2013 6
  • 7. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Meaningful truth Help a brand to really and credibly own a meaningful human truth. Most brands today understand that emotion is a powerful driver of loyalty and a very important driver in the purchase decision. Most are trying to find a relevant, powerful and meaningful human truth, and own it. This is where Brand Partnerships comes into its own. A powerful truth is often complex to own as a single brand and we have all seen a lot of force fitting. However, when complementary brands work together they can credibly own a truth – they can leverage their complementary strengths to own the right passion, the right moment and the right space. Find complementary brands that can help you own an important human truth and work with them to demonstrate your ownership through action. O2 Priority was founded on the simple insight that customers want to feel important; we all want to be a ‘priority’. O2 Priority works with its partner brands to give its customers unique access and rewards linked to the things they love, things it couldn’t offer them on its own. It understands its customers’ passions (music, sport, fashion, film, eating out, shopping) and then works with partner brands to give As O2’s CEO Ronan Dunn said, Priority customers amazing moments and rewards against those paswas about changing things – to create sions, harnessing the power of O2 technology to deliver them in a loyalty programme so compelling just the right way. O2 have stuck to this powerful truth - conthat 99% of O2 customers didn’t want sistently innovating to make their customers feel more of a prito go anywhere else. ority. And it works. O2’s churn rate is less than half that of its competitors, meaning millions more customers stay with O2 than they do with its rivals. That benefit is worth millions of pounds to the business. Another great partnership, the TopShop and Google+ London Fashion Week collaboration, leveraged a softer human truth – inclusion. They worked to bring the catwalk into customers’ lives, enabling customers to take part and to translate the excitement and aspiration of the catwalk into their everyday. From the ‘Be the buyer app’ to the instore ‘Be the model’ photobooth, the entire partnership worked to bring Topshop’s fashion credentials together with Google+’s technological and social expertise to create a campaign that really worked. Over 200 million people saw content from the show in the first three hours, and Topshop was the most talked about brand during London Fashion Week. © Copyright Cherry London 2013 | November 2013 7
  • 8. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Tell a story Telling a compelling story in an engaging way is the next piece of the puzzle. M&S’s Christmas ad has literally taken the world’s most famous fairytale stories and turned them into a product advertisement, and in the most hotly anticipated Christmas ad of the season, John Lewis have gone step further – just telling an enchanting story about the Bear and the Hare, foregoing any product advertising at all. And the results speak for themselves - John Lewis has reported £101m record takings thanks to the Christmas ad and their new loyalty programme - 10.7% up on last year’s figures; the story and the emotion have been given licence to be more powerful than the product. When brands work together they can harness their assets to create a powerful story, but critically tell it in a more interesting way than they could on their own. We’ve already looked at how TopShop and Google+ created a compelling story around London Fashion Week – with Topshop providing the content of the story and Google+ facilitating the story-telling. Gillette and Movember play similar roles – they worked together to create a powerful “story experience”. Topshop and Google +: ‘Be the model’ Topshop and Google+: Cara Delevinge At its centre was a themed vintage barbershop and Gentleman’s clubhouse just off Carnaby Street in London that transported customers into a ‘place that time forgot’. Movember brought the purpose, content and the moral to the story, Gillette facilitated it and told the story through an interactive experience, yielding the important benefits of cut through and of course, reach. On their own, neither brand could have achieved something so powerful. Gillette and Movember © Copyright Cherry London 2013 8
  • 9. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE The big idea Create a big simple idea that is new and unique. As marketers we are all guilty of getting bored of our own stuff before our customers do, or working by committee to evolve and iterate campaigns, increasing complexity by channel and through-out the marketing calendar. We are also guilty of erring towards the things that are tried, tested and safe, rather than those things which are new and risky. But the best don’t do this, when brands work together they can be braver. With Western Union we have a big new idea – the idea to celebrate Dual Belonging: “When your heart belongs in more than one place, when you’re as proud of your heritage as you are of your future, when you impact societies, cultures and economies as much as they impact you, when you make a difference in multiple places at once. Be proud of your dual belonging. We are.” We work with Western Union and multiple global brand partners to bring this big idea to life through a central loyalty programme called “My WU”. It connects their 200 million customers to their homeland and the people they love through products, services, experiences and rewards that matter. On its own Western Union could only deliver one part of this big idea, but by working with multiple brand partners from across the globe, they can deliver on this big promise; they can be more than a money transfer service. Coke’s share a coke campaign was another great example of a big simple unique idea. Coke took the idea of “I am unique” and sharing happiness and created a campaign that will go down in history. Named bottles, user generated content, #shareacoke, an online partnership with Ocado to enable customers to order bottles with their name on it direct from their website, and an offline partnership with Tesco dispensing limited edition Share a Coke bottles printed with any given name on, all contributed to delivering this big idea. In this campaign, the partners have enhanced the delivery of the big idea, made it a richer customer experience. In Australia, which was the first market to run the campaign, they saw young adult consumption increase by 7% and an 870% increase in their Facebook traffic. They have achieved significant cut through in a cluttered market and we all expect this campaign to run and run and for Brand Partnerships to play an increased role over time. © Copyright Cherry London 2013 9
  • 10. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Right place, right time Be in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. This has never been more relevant. The exponential growth in technology and the ever increasing dependence on our smartphones means that customers demand contact in the way that they want it, when and how they want it. We are all multi-screen multi-channel consumers – it’s not even about getting the right message in the right channel anymore, it’s about getting the right combination of messages in the right combination of channels and listening to and acting on the messages you get back from your audience. No one brand can do it all – when brands work together they can use their entire toolkits for mutual benefit. With O2 we have used the power of the mobile phone to always be in the right time in the right place. The location based loyalty programme offers customers relevant rewards from brand partners in just the right moment: the Halfords deice your car reward on the first day of the Big Freeze, the Walls Ice-Cream on the hottest day of the summer. The TopShop and Google+ Fashion Week partnership also harnessed the power of Google technology to be timely and bring the fairytale excitement of the catwalk into their customers’ everyday – the fashion show was streamed direct via Topshop’s website, Google+ and Twitter and HD microcameras were even fitted to the model’s outfits and accessories to give the model’s eye view. Then Topshop used its amazing retail footprint to bring the campaign to life in the real world as well, not to mention its own powerful digital arsenal. Malibutique pop-up dressing room .with Malibu we created a multi-media ‘Malibutique’ experience for customers. We worked with brand partners GHD, Toni&Guy, ASOS and Nails inc to create the ultimate ‘getting ready for the big night out experience’. We hosted a roadshow in shopping centres in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. Nearly 20,000 people visit the pop-up Malibutique events each year and we’ve quadrupled the Facebook fan base year on year. By carefully selecting the right brand partners and leveraging their multiple strengths, we created a campaign that shifted brand perception amongst a demanding female customer base – to do the same through traditional advertising would have cost over £4m. It doesn’t all have to be about technology though, © Copyright Cherry London 2013 10
  • 11. CUSTOMERS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; HOW BRAND PARTNERSHIPS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE So what? If we apply all those 4 learnings can we really cut through and connect with the increasingly savvy customer at Christmas? Half of our survey told us that good long term loyalty programmes based on insight do make a difference. That isn’t enough. That’s the starting point. At Cherry London we believe brands need to be brave and bold. Brand Partnerships can help brands to identify and own meaningful human insights that matter, tell compelling stories, create big new ideas and be in the right place at the right time, in the right way. Brand Partnerships is all about brands acting as complements and catalysts for each other – harnessing and leveraging their mutually beneficial strengths and enabling each other to think and be bigger. It’s like mince pies and brandy butter – on their own they are great, but together they are extraordinary. © Copyright Cherry London 2013 11
  • 12. GET IN TOUCH Phone Twitter Website In person © Copyright Cherry London 2013 0203 111 0500 @cherrylondon www.cherrylondon.com Cherry London Third Floor 7-9 William Road London NW1 3ER