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John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?
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John Lewis Case Study - How does a company's brand communication strategy perform in a digital world?

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Case study takes an in-depth look at John Lewis, a British brand who recently celebrated their 150 year anniversary. …

Case study takes an in-depth look at John Lewis, a British brand who recently celebrated their 150 year anniversary.

Subjects of brand strategy, digital, communications, social media and consumer journey experiences are discussed with two senior industry figures.

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  • 1.   How does a company’s brand communication strategy perform in a digital world? Rupinder Dosanjh / S11734461 MA Design Management / Placement / Case study Module / DES7028 / April 2012 Word Count: 3578  
  • 2. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 1 Contents List of Figures 2 Introduction 3 Literature Review 5 Research Methodology 11 Primary Research Findings 13 Conclusion 25 Appendix 27 References 40 Bibliography 43
  • 3. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 2 List of Figures Fig. 1. Mind map of digital communication activities as recommended in Interbrand’s ‘Digital Mastery to Brand Mastery, Strategizing for a post-digital age’ (2012) Fig. 2. Mind map of digital media. Generated from Interbrand reports (2012), Young (2012) and FT Digital Media Conference (2012). Fig 3. Mind map of traditional media. Generated from Interbrand reports (2012), Young (2012) and FT Digital Media Conference (2012). Fig. 4. Consumer Decision Journey, Eldemen (2010). Fig. 5. An adapted version of Beuker’s ‘Design Layer’ model (Beuker & Abbing 2010) Fig. 6. Interbrand’s ‘Brand Quadrant Model’, (Interbrand 2012). Figure 7 & 8. John Lewis desktop website. Fig. 8. Image of iPhone application with QR code links to iPhone application and mobile website). Fig. 9. John Lewis’ Twitter profile (Twitter, 2012) Fig. 10. John Lewis’ YouTube channel (YouTube, 2012) Fig. 11. Young’s theory on how media planning has moved towards a more holistic approach of communications planning (Young 2012). Fig. 12. John Lewis Facebook Brand Page 2012). Fig. 13. Using the timeline feature, John Lewis, like many brands, have been able to go back to when the business was founded and establish a ‘brand story’ detailing it’s brand values and evolution (Facebook 2012). Fig. 14. Consumer enquiry (Facebook 2012). Fig. 15. Complaint lodged to John Lewis and swiftly dealt with (Facebook 2012). Fig. 16, 17 & 18. Shots from live Q & A session with John Lewis experts about laptops and tablets. (Facebook and John Lewis, 2012).  
  • 4. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 3 Introduction This case study will investigate branding and digital communications and the role it plays in creating a presence for a brand in a digital space. According to Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand a brand is a ‘living, breathing, asset’ (2011) and has moved from being a creative tool to express product values, to expressing a company’s value, ethos and it is now possible to attach a financial value to it. Recently, there has been a trend for companies to increase their advertising investments in digital media. WPP increased their client advertising spend in Google from ‘£1.6billion to £2billion’ and their Facebook advertising spend to ‘£400mil’ (BBC 2012). WWP’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell stated that ‘30% of (WPP’s) business in now digital’ (BBC 2012). The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate why there has been a shift towards digital media. By taking an in-depth look into primary research interviews and conducting consumer journey mapping analysis of a retail brand’s brand communications strategy in a digital world. Definition Brand communications strategy has been created to promote the ‘aesthetics’ of the brand. Brand communications strategies seek to: • Create perceptions and sensory experiences • Motivate action • Enable learning • Make connections, create conversations and form relationships with consumers (Macrae 2007)
  • 5. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 4 Research Questions 1. How does a company effectively implement an existing brand communication strategy into a digital environment? (Means and processes) 2. What can a digital communications strategy do that a traditional communications strategy cannot? 3. How does a company’s digital communications strategy engage with its audience in an online and offline capacity? 4. What influence does a digital communications strategy have on the company’s overall business model?  
  • 6. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 5 Literature Review The purpose of a literature review is to reflect and identify theories or observations already in existence within secondary sources. This case study will attempt to build upon the already existing knowledge that has been published (Denscombe 2007). A variety of resources were collated such as books, podcasts, journal articles, videos, website articles, blogs, commentary from the recent FT Digital Media Conference 2012 and references from panel sessions from the conference. The findings began to address the research questions and areas of further investigation leading into conducting primary research: • Business Strategy • Brand Strategy • Communication Strategy • Digital Strategy • Consumer Engagement 1, How does a company effectively implement an existing brand communications strategy into a digital environment? The Internet has been in existence for at least fifteen years and Social Media has been active for approximately eight years (FT Digital Media Conference 2012). Today’s communication environment has extended beyond traditional brand communications of ‘telling a brand story’ and one way conversations (Edge and Milligan, 2009). Interbrand’s Podcast, ‘Brands in the Social Network, Part 2, Demand and Desire’ (2011) – explains how brands must go back and examine their ‘brand values and ideas’, create an effective digital strategy that reinforces a company’s brand idea and begin a dialogue with consumers. Interbrand’s report ‘Digital Mastery to Brand Mastery, Strategizing for a post-digital age’ (2012) finds that consumers are living in a ‘post-digital age’ and ‘digital is part of our daily life, as the air we breathe.’ The report addresses how a company’s overall brand strategy encompassed with a solid digital strategy will help drive companies to connect and engage with audiences. It also explains how viewing a digital strategy as a ‘tool to integrate into a larger brand strategy’ with a list of digital activities that
  • 7. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 6 companies can use to help adapt and implement their brand communications strategy in a digital environment (figure 1). Fig. 1. Mind map of digital communication activities as recommended in Interbrand’s ‘Digital Mastery to Brand Mastery, Strategizing for a post-digital age’ (2012) The TNS Digital Growth Strategies Report (2012) comments on mobile platforms, social media, mobile technology trends and areas of implimentation for companies to explore. The report also highlights the use of digital less as a ‘blunt broadcast instrument’ and more of as a platform of creating ‘one to one engagement’ with consumers (2012). Adobe’s ‘The Impact of Tablet visitors on Retail Websites’ report (2012) addresses the question of what types of technology a company's target audience use. Both reports identify three types of platforms: Smartphone users, Tablet users and Desktop/laptop users. Interbrand’s ‘I’ll be your Mirror’ (2011) report explores at a deeper level how consumers use these three platforms. The report, discusses how companies can develop digital brand communication strategies to that engage with the audience via channels to give them a more emotional ‘deeper and personal level’ of interaction. 2, What can a digital communications strategy do that a traditional communications strategy cannot?
  • 8. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 7 It is important to identify the differences between digital and traditional medias. Briefly, traditional uses ‘TV, radio, print, outdoor’ and digital uses ‘web, SEO, social media, tablets and apps’ (Edge and Milligan 2009). There are many differences between the two, due to constraints, this review will highlight the main points. Digital can ‘reach out’ and offer ‘real-time reactions’ (Interbrand 2011) whereas with traditional communications is used to create awareness of a brand (Young 2012) (figure 2 and 3). Fig. 2 & 3. Mind map of digital and traditional media. Generated from Interbrand reports (2012), Young (2012) and FT Digital Media Conference (2012). Digital gives the opportunity for companies to use metrics to measure a campaign’s performance. Online measurement tools such as Google Analytics. Google Insights (Google 2012) can track a campaign’s ‘owned’ media strategy. The use of Social Mention and Twitrrati can help companies track any positive or negative comments about their brand being communicated through ‘earned media’ (e.g. social media, third party blogs, review sites) (Young 2012). By using metrics, digital campaigns can be measured and adjusted in real-time. It also allows for communications to be targeted better towards a growing segmented market of consumers (e.g. Geo locations, platforms, user profiles) (Rollins 2009).
  • 9. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 8 To summarise, digital and traditional communication strategies use different ideas, tactics and processes to deliver a brand’s idea and both need to form ‘part of an overall communications strategy.’ As both medias cannot do everything separately, they need to have an integrated approach to a company’s brand communication strategy (Young 2012). 3, How does a company’s digital communications strategy engage with its audience in an online capacity? Rollins (2009) suggests that there are four levels of experiences that users engage with, these are described as ‘on-demand, personal, engaging, networked.’ These levels of experiences, along with appropriate use of platforms can help companies to understand how their digital communications strategy will engage with consumers and consumer thinking (Hess 2009). Eldelmen (2010) suggests that companies should put consumers at the core of establishing methods of engagement by conducting a ‘Consumer Decision Journey.’ This model can help companies understand that consumers have moved from selecting products based solely on brands, to taking a more ‘iterative’ approach of product selection. The model states that a consumer’s journey moves through four stages as illustrated in figure 4: ‘Consider,’ ‘Evaluate,’ ‘Buy,’ ‘Enjoy, advocate and bond’ (Eldelmen 2010). Fig. 4. Consumer Decision Journey, Eldemen (2010). Interaction and engagement brings the digital brand communications back to putting the consumer at the centre of the experience and aligning with the brand idea. Young
  • 10. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 9 suggests planners need to ‘deliver more engaged communications, fuel brand conversations and target more relevant messages to audiences’ (2012). 4, What influence does a digital communications strategy have on the company’s overall business model? Borja de Mozota states that: ‘modern marketing emphasizes customer orientation, required coordinated efforts by all departments…to provide customer satisfaction as a long-term profit goal.’ (2003) Young (2012) suggests that the key is to ‘translate the business goals into communication goals’ in four steps: • Break down the business goals into specifics • Identify how and where media can help • Quantify what success will look like • Prioritise the goals Young (2012) At the FT Digital Media Conference 2012, a panel discussed how companies can develop multi platform, multi device strategies and realign their strategies to fit into a more connected world. Much was discussed about advertising across devices and a conversion to digital advertising. All panelists agreed that essentially ‘consumers and user experience is above all devices’ (2012). Another key theme from the talk was the importance of getting the content right. This echoes various reports, podcasts from Interbrand and articles have discussed about using content to engage with the consumer and build a relationship. In The Brand Gap, Neumeier explains that that: ‘All brand innovation, whether for a website, a package, a product, an event, or an ad campaign, show be aimed at creating a positive experience for the user. The trick is in knowing which experience will be the MOST positive…’ (2003)
  • 11. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 10 The digital strategy combined with the overall larger communications strategy can help a brand ‘increase market share and grow the bottom-line’ (Interbrand 2012). From a business strategy point of view, investing and promoting its brand values, customizing those values via the various platforms and channels will influence consumer relationships and reinforce the brand’s value propositions.
  • 12. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 11 Research Methodology Denscombe (2007) suggested that case studies tend to focus on one or two instances and provide an ‘in-depth account of events, relationships, experiences or processes occurring in that particular instance.’ Brand strategy is a broad subject, and after an interim review, this was further narrowed down again to focus on digital brand strategy communications. This reinforced the research aim of ‘how does a company’s brand strategy perform in a digital world’ in what Denscombe suggested by using a research strategy to ‘illuminate the general by looking at the particular.’ Data Collection Methods Data was collected through interviews. A visual analysis using the Design Layer model constructed by Ralf Beuker (Beuker & Abbing 2010) on selected channels of digital brand communications of the John Lewis brand was also performed. Qualitative data collection methods were employed as the research questions dealt with understanding the meanings, processes, the creation of strategies and ideas. Interviews Three 45 minute, semi structured, face-to-face interviews were planned. It was important to generate a narrative from figures that worked in marketing, digital communications and branding. All three interviews were successfully conducted. However, due to busy work schedules, Lincoln Fan (Marketing Executive of Laney) was interviewed via email and Rupert Faircliff (Brand Strategist at Interbrand) was interviewed over the phone. The final with Jacob Dutton (Client Partner Director at 383 Project) was a face-to- face interview. The interview with Dutton was the most successful as it was possible to read body language and control to flow of the interview. The telephone interview with Faircliff was insightful and descriptive. He was sent a brief overview of the research description and research questions to be investigated. Due to this being a telephone interview it was not possible to record the interview and notes had to be written during the interview. This led to gaps during the interview and disrupted the natural
  • 13. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 12 flow. The interview with Fan went into greater detail and expanded beyond strategies to discuss media consumption, lifestyle trends and the current state of the retail sector. Design Layer model This method was selected because it was a suitable way of analyzing a consumer’s experience of using various digital communication channels that John Lewis uses. The original method was used to analyse the aesthetics, interaction, performance, construction and meaning of the channels (figure 5). The aesthetics and interaction layers were focused on as this case study was dealing with ‘communication design’ (Beuker & Abbing, 2010). Fig. 5. An adapted version of Beuker’s ‘Design Layer’ model (Beuker & Abbing 2010) Sample Due to the short nature of this case study, two platforms were analysed. Smartphone and Desktop/laptop. The channels chosen that were investigated were the John Lewis’ retail website and one social media channel, Facebook (see figure. 1 for full list). Facebook was chosen as the brand engages with consumers using this channel most often.
  • 14. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 13 Primary Research Findings and Analysis 1, How does a company effectively implement an existing brand communication strategy into a digital environment? (Means and processes) Faircliff (2012) explained how Interbrand use its ’Brand Quadrant Model’ (figure. 6) and would not necessarily adapt a company’s existing brand communication strategy. Interbrand would to go back to looking at the brand’s policy and values, work through the quadrant and develop a digital communications strategy. This strategy would then be implemented across platforms and channels that the brand’s target audience uses. Fig. 6. Interbrand’s ‘Brand Quadrant Model’, (Interbrand 2012). Fan (2012) explained that Laney has been established for around ’45 years’ and its ‘expectations and values of the brand communication policy’ is firmly set. The case for Laney is to ‘update and translate’ to appeal to its audience. Dutton pointed out not all platforms and channels might not be suitable for some clients and it is important to use the right ‘tools’ to convey a brand’s message (2012). John Lewis has developed their digital brand communications strategy to span across desktop/laptop, smartphones and tablets. The company’s app (available on the iPhone and iPad) offers all the functionality of their corporate website, with added in store benefits of scanning barcodes for product information and availability.
  • 15. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 14 Figure 7 & 8. John Lewis desktop website. Image of iPhone application with QR code links to iPhone application and mobile website). Their strategy conveys the brand values through a well-executed digital experience (figure 7 & 8). John Lewis established its social media presence across YouTube (figure 9), Facebook and Twitter (figure 10) in 2010 according to their Twitter profile (Twitter
  • 16. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 15 2012). Their iPhone application was launched in 2011 (John Lewis Retail 2011) along with their mobile site. The John Lewis in-store shopping experience has been thoroughly translated into a digital environment. Aesthetically, through its use of branding, layout and simple interface it communicates the unique atmosphere that consumers of John Lewis are accustomed to (Borja de Mozota 2003). Figure 9 & 10. John Lewis’ Twitter profile and YouTube channel (Twitter and YouTube, 2012)
  • 17. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 16 2, What can a digital communications strategy do that a traditional communications strategy cannot? Dutton explained that digital should not be seen as an ‘advertising’ vehicle. It should be seen as a tool to create and promote ‘experiences’ that push the brand’s ideas (2012). Faircliff believed that it was not a question of what digital and traditional can and cannot do, it was more about creating ‘seamless experiences both online and offline’ (2012). For John Lewis, its digital strategy has enabled the brand to engage in two-way conversations with consumers via social media. This real time interaction creates a ‘deeper relationship between consumer and brand’ as mentioned in Interbrand’s report ‘Digital Playback, I’ll be Your Mirror.’ (2012). Faircliff also commented that ‘traditional media talks ‘to’ and digital talks ‘with’ consumers’ to ignite a ‘two-way conversation’ (2012). This point made by Faircliff tied in with Young’s statement about how digital ‘expands brand communications’ and leads to ‘interactivity and opportunity to personalize communication.’ When asked about growth areas in traditional communications, Dutton stressed that there was a: ‘bigger need than ever for great, big audacious ideas that lead to everything else’ and that ‘If the idea is great, and it works well then let’s use online as a part of it. If not, use TV, experiential; use everything that’s available to us’ (2012) His view could be interpreted as a reflection of Young’s idea where he explains that ‘innovation is the very essence of the medium’ (2012) to be used, be it digital or traditional. All interviewees agreed that digital and traditional communications form part of an overall ‘integrated marketing communications strategy’ (Dutton 2012). This correlates to Young’s theory that the approach to media communications has gone from the ‘Media Planning era’ to the approach of ‘Communications Planning’ as detailed in figure 11.
  • 18. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 17 Figure 11. Young’s theory on how media planning has moved towards a more holistic approach of communications planning (Young 2012).
  • 19. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 18 3, How does a company’s digital communications strategy engage with its audience in an online capacity? By using Rollins’ OPEN Framework (2009), it is possible to assess John Lewis’ level of openness with its audience. Their Facebook Brand Page was analysed in greater detail to see which quadrant of framework this type of brand experience fitted into. Also, it’s aesthetical and interaction layers to see how the brand engages with its audience. Aesthetically, all Facebook Brand Pages are a generic template that brands customise using brand guidelines, applications, photographs and events. John Lewis have done this in their cover photography by using their brand colour of green in the behind a laptop, that is shot at an angle to make it appear as if it is floating in mid air (figure 12). They have also used photographs, store locations and the ‘About’ section contains information about the brand and contact information. Fig. 12. John Lewis Facebook Brand Page 2012).
  • 20. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 19 Fig. 13. Using the timeline feature, John Lewis, like many brands, have been able to go back to when the business was founded and establish a ‘brand story’ detailing it’s brand values and evolution (Facebook 2012). With 374,000 fans of John Lewis, there is a high level of interactivity. Due to the open nature of the page, consumer behaviour has to be closely monitored. It is possible for consumers to ask questions in real time. These are managed by the ‘John Lewis Facebook team’ (Facebook, 2012) in a prompt manner. An example is a complaint that was dealt within then hour after it was posted (figure 14). Fig. 14. Consumer enquiry (Facebook 2012).
  • 21. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 20 This quick responsive time reassures the customer that they are being listened to. From a brand point of view this limits the possible damage to the brand image (figure 15). Figure. 15 Complaint lodged to John Lewis and swiftly dealt with (Facebook 2012). Dutton spoke about the use of metrics and social media. He explained that social media campaigns should be used to drive sales and design to ‘convert people to sale’ (2012). He believes that social media conversion rates stem from good design that is a ‘joy for people to be able to use and easier to use’ (Dutton 2012). During the analysis of the Facebook page, John Lewis was hosting an interactive session offering users a chance to ask questions to experts about laptops and tablets. Experts responded with acknowledging the user, offering a tailored product recommendation for the users requirements and direct links to the product on the John Lewis online store and optimised mobile website (figure 16, 17 and 18). This is a good example of how John Lewis are using a social media channel that can be accessed via desktop/laptop and smartphone platforms that could lead to a direct sale.
  • 22. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 21       Fig. 16, 17 & 18. Shots from live Q & A session with John Lewis experts about laptops and tablets. Experts would respond with tailored recommendations of products with direct links to purchase on the John Lewis website (Facebook and John Lewis, 2012).
  • 23. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 22 With reference to the ‘Consumer Decision Journey’ developed by Eldelmen (2010), John Lewis has successfully managed to put the consumer at the centre of the engagement by ‘understanding’ their needs, determining suitable ‘touch-points,’ allocating resources to listen to these needs and offering input for consumers to engage with to reach a final decision. John Lewis managed to control the four states of ‘consider, evaluate, buy, and enjoy, advocate, bond’ (Eldelmen 2010) within an online capacity.
  • 24. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 23 4, What influence does a digital communications strategy have on the company’s overall business model? Fan commented on the ‘general acceptance’ by businesses that digital acts as a major platform to reach consumers due to a change in ‘media consumption and lifestyle trends.’ Fan pointed out that businesses that ‘failed to embrace effective, brand and business strategy that reflect contemporary lifestyle and consumer trends’ (2012) have struggled to keep up with growing online businesses. When Dutton was asked: ‘How do you justify the cost of a digital campaign to clients? For example, if a client doesn’t understand digital strategies, the outcomes and the ROI – how do you explain those costs?’ He replied with explaining that depending on the size of the client, there are two routes to take: ‘One is that campaigns can make brands famous, and as a consequence of that you’ll see a rise in desire and action around sales. The other view that we take is that actually clients without the kind of budgets that can make them famous, need to see some fairly immediate results.’ Dutton (2012) Dutton went on to explain that they are ‘agents of sales’ and only present metrics that mean something to the bottom line’ (2012). An example he gave was an online campaign to drive consumers from enquiring about the product, to the official Polar website, to finally purchase. He said the original ‘conversion rate from visitor to site to purchase was 5%’ and after the agency researched the communications architecture, user journeys and redesigned the website the conversion rate for sale was ‘15%,’ a 10% increase in conversions (Dutton 2012). This example correlates with Young’s recommendation to ‘translate business goals into communication goals’ (2012). 383 Project identified Polar’s business goal of increasing product sales and the agency translated that into creating an online campaign.
  • 25. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 24 As emphasized earlier in the study, a solid integrated brand communications strategy, particular with an emphasis on the diverse use of digital media can help a brand to embrace a ‘trans-media’ approach to ultimately innovate and drive sales.
  • 26. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 25 Conclusion To conclude, the fundamentals of traditional and digital brand communications strategies are similar. The key differentiators between the two are tactics, logistics and implementation. Digital platforms and channels essentially form part of the wider communication landscape that make up a sophisticated media environment. For example, with options to fast forward through television advertising campaigns consumers can now decide what they choose to view. Much of the research findings about communications and relationships was a parallel with the ideas of Marshall McLuhan’s ‘The Medium is the Massage’ (1967) broke down the effects of TV and radio and how these mediums form relationships with consumers by provoking sensory experiences. Brands have to work harder than ever to communicate messages of desire and motivate audiences to purchase. Brands that were quick to try new digital formats have now slowed since the ‘post-digital age.’ Companies are taking a more strategic approach to digital communications. With the use of metrics, brands are aligning digital campaigns with the bottom-line more than ever. Also, a greater awareness of having a solid core idea to apply across various communication mediums forms part of a more holistic approach to an integrated, experiential marketing mix. Recommendations The trends predicted this year in the various reports analysed indicate that mobile commerce should be an area of focus. Their online website already has a good level content and the brand could easily build upon that to expand into sub brands or cobranding. As bricks and mortar businesses fall victim to online businesses that out price them, John Lewis has reinvented its business model to provide itself with new channels to provide their audience with a seamless experience online and offline. One of its core assets is its unique personalized, customer relationship that online businesses find difficult to replicate. Further areas of research Further direction of investigation could have been conducted into customer relationship management and how that impacts developing a brand communications strategy. A deeper level of research into this particular area could have revealed
  • 27. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 26 more about the technological habits of the John Lewis target audience and if there were any trends within demographics. Highly detailed consumer journey maps across all social media platforms and the iPhone application could have been used to compare and contrast touch-points. A consumer map was conducting during analyzing the mobile website (see appendix 4), however this approach was abandoned as due to its high level of detail and time constraints.      
  • 28. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 27 Appendix 1 Interview with Lincoln Fan What is your job role? What does it involve? Principle graphic designer and marketing executive for Laney Amplification, a £60+ million multinational guitar amplifier manufacturer and Headstock Distribution, a sister company of Laney Amplification that exclusively market and distribute premier music instrument brands in the UK – Tama, HH, Ibanez and Zildjian. In a nutshell I look after the visual communication strategy and brand identity for 5 brands. My duties often involve working with different heads of department to plan and produce coherent creative communication solutions to support product launches, marketing and sales activities. Does Laney have a digital strategy? Yes. As an international business, digital strategy forms part of our overall marketing mix. In what capacity are digital platforms and channels used? (E.g. Web, TV, Facebook, Twitter etc) Due to the cliché nature of our market, mainstream advertisement is not conducive, thus the use of social media digital platforms such as youtube, twitter, facebook enables us to identify and reach out to our audience. Another important point to note is the use of digital platforms to garner further brand engagement through third-party channels. For us, we work closely with international musicians who very often have their own fan-page and fan-base that we can communication through. Through this kind of contextual association, we recently achieved 1.2 million viral reach with a mini promotional video that was produced in less than 2 hours. We managed to reach so many not because of high creativity but by being contextually relevant and inclusion of a well-known international celebrity and having the video mentioned and linked established and highly-subscribed digital platforms. Finally, pertinent editorial industry press coverage and sponsorship of musicians that enable our brand and products to be featured at gigs and music festivals and music videos via various distribution platforms is another key strategy we deploy. You can see examples here: www.laney.co.uk www.facebook.com/laneyamplification www.youtube.com/laneytv How does this integrate with their existing brand communication strategy? Seamlessly, brand communication strategy is about how best to communicate to our market, thus there is no fence between print and digital. Distilled down,
  • 29. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 28 irrelevant of whatever platforms, it is down to cost versus return on investment. It is all purely dependent on the ‘communication landscape’ the company and brand operates in. Have you noticed any changes in the Business’ attitudes towards digital media? General acceptance of digital media, notably, social media as key channel to reach the market. This is lead mainly by changing media consumption and lifestyle trends. You can see the digital trend changing the social and consumer landscape; take for example the recent demise of GAME group and looking further back, numerous demise of ‘brick and mortar’ shops, Woolworths and HMV… The above demises are mainly caused by out dated business models that did not respond positively to changing consumer trends due to the emergence and growth of digital economy in the UK… This is a global trend that is being replicated other economies. How do work out what relevant digital platform is appropriate for the brand message or idea? Communication Landscape; by thoroughly understanding the customer journey and pulse of our market and looking at trends that are being set by leading competitors and markets, It is a dedicate balance of osculating between a being a trend setter and trend follower when it comes to digital platforms in our market as we’re not a wealthy agency with multi million budgets. What does this mean… lets just say when possible, we often experiment with new digital platforms and see whether it is viable. Example of this is our quarterly digital company magazine. The platform enabled use to condense and distill all our international marketing activities into a simple digestible format that our B2C and B2B audience can readily consume. Finally, due to positive uptake of this new digital magazine, it has now been translated to 5 different languages to better service individual markets. http://www.laney.co.uk/justplayit.php What is the brand’s spend ratio on strategies? Traditional brand communication VS digital? 5 years ago there was such distinction, but not anymore, as mentioned above, the budget is decided based on merit of cost versus return on investment. Other aspect that affects digital communication is manpower (resource). Have you identified any growth areas in digital strategies whilst working on communication strategies? (e.g. mobile commerce, AR etc) With the uptake of tablet computers and smart phones, in particular ipad, the format of media consumption has changed. We recently began producing digital company magazine that fuse our social media apparatus and digital assesses. From the feedback thus far, it’s been pretty positive. But again, irrelevant of format, ultimately, it is pertinent content distributed in the most widely accepted and available platforms that drives appeal. Where do you think the role of traditional advertising and promotion will go in this post digital age?
  • 30. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 29 Digital has already become the dominant channel but there is still a place for traditional advertising and promotion. Individual platforms are merely tools within a toolbox for marketing communication professional. An integrated marketing communications strategy is simply a must. What do you think of digital media’s role in brand communications strategy as a whole? Same as above Is it a question of ‘adapting’ or ‘integrating’ an existing brand communications strategy to/with digital media? A somewhat outdated question that was relevant perhaps 5 years ago. How do you go about designing a brand’s digital experience? Is this kept in-house or outsourced? For a brand that has been around for more than 45yrs, the brand’s expectation and essence of the brand’s communication policy is already set. The task is to update and translating these ‘values’ so that is up to date and appeals to the masses. In terms of production of digital assess, to minimize cost, we like to do things in house, but we also understand the need for external expertise and resource. Thus our upcoming website will be produced by an agency but closely directed by us to ensure brand continuity. How do you demonstrate the link between the benefits of a solid digital strategy, the brand and their business strategy? Digital, brand and business strategy go hand in hand, an integrated approach is key. If you are looking how this join-up approach can be a success, I recommend you look in the opposite direction, look at major businesses that have fallen because they failed to embrace effective digital, brand and business strategy that reflects contemporary lifestyle and consumer trends. Social Media is embedded into our daily digital lives. How does the brand use social media to engage with consumers? The simple answer is that social media enable us, as brand to engage and interact intimately with individual, easily. This is unique to social media, by scale, reach, speed and scope. Does the brand have a Social Media Policy? Or a guide to how to best use social media to promote their brand? We don’t have a written guide as such, being a close and small team with a diverse mix of marketing communications experience. We rely on, and augment previous policies and PR experiences as well as keeping up to date with best social media practice to tackle social media activities. It’s a continuous learning curve.  
  • 31. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 30 Appendix 2 Interview with Rupert Faircliff Due to the nature of the telephone interview, the field notes have been summarized. 1, Rupert said that Interbrand use a ‘Brand Quadrant Model’ and wouldn’t nessarrily ‘adapt’ an existing brand strategy. Interbrand would go back to brand values, use the quadrant model and build a digital strategy. 2, ‘Every brand has different touch-points’ – use quadrant model to implement and measure success. Tailored approach. Does the message match the brand? 3, Communicate, influence customers at a deeper level. Brans as a whole influence behavior and people. It’s what ‘type’ of behavior and people we want to influence through digital. What do we want them to do. The desired effects. 4, Always ask, ‘how do we ensure a seamless brand experience online and offline?’ 5, Next new trends to investigate are: internal engagement within brands. How do you design internally and externally? Healthcare, hospitality, luxury. 6, Technology: Agencies must ask ‘is it relevant to our client’s message?’ 7, Always think ‘efficiency and experience’
  • 32. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 31 Appendix 3 Interview with Jacob Dutton RD: If you can give me a background into what your job role is and what it includes please? JD: I’m a Senior Client Partner at 383 Project. What we realized about 6 months ago was that when it comes to complex digital campaign delivery and digital builds, what we were actually asking account people (account execs, account managers etc.) was to be both left and right brain. So we were asking them to have real technical understand of digital platforms and technologies and deliver campaigns and platforms based on those. We were also asking them to have really good strategic understanding of clients businesses’, client sectors, to be good sales people and good relationship builders. Those two mindsets don’t exist in one person. Around 6 months ago we split the functions into project management (technically delivery, campaigns and platforms etc.) and client partners (represent the clients interests within the agency, be obsessive about their business and sector). The difficulty of clients on a day-to-day basis is having the ability to zoom out and look at the broader sector and look at what competitors are doing. RD: The wider landscape of business JD: Absolutely, from a client partner point of view is what we should be is a ‘clients window’ on a wider world. Be there investment manager in terms of budget they allocate to various things and to be a counsel and confident in terms of marketing strategy and plans. RD: A client can come to you and you’ll be able to look at efficiency and value at the same time? JD: exactly. It gets delivered technically by a project manager who is the most detailed and meticulous minds in our business but strategy is shaped by strategic minds, which are the client partners. On one hand, they get someone who understands that sector as well if not better and in more of a digital context than the client does, and they also get fantastic delivery. That’s been working particular well for the last three months. RD: that’s a very forward thinking way of conducting business. JD: we could have carried on with account managers and execs trying to fulfill both functions but ultimately that would lead to a loss in business. It’s adapt or die for a small business or agency of 22 people. It doesn’t take us a lot of time to make that change. It happened overnight. What we’re really focused on is getting processes right when we’re this size so when we’re bigger they don’t have to be retrofitted. RD: is that a hint that the agency could be expanding? JD: Potentially, we’ve seen an average 75% year on year growth as an agency since 2009. Its huge. RD: That’s big. The Design Council reported a small growth within digital and even smaller growth across the board of traditional design businesses.
  • 33. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 32 JD: Yeah, it would be far to say we’re probably the fastest growing regional agency. RD: did you originally start out as a digital agency? JD: No, the agency was founded by John Newbold and Sukhi Dehal. They both worked at large agencies including Euro RSCG. They ultimately felt that some of the processes were broken and that the agency was happy to be instructed and do as the client wanted. Rather than what the agency thought was best for the brand. They also felt that the agency didn’t have a viewpoint on many things. It was just what the client wanted. When they started 383 Project it was purely as a creative agency in a design based business and wanted to have a viewpoint and to stand for something and for clients to buy into that and do great work off the back of it. They hired a developer, quickly became famous for digital work and its gone from there. From 2009/2010 we got really famous for digital work very quick. We hired a lot of developers and a lot of the output was digital. Now what we’re seeing and this taps into what was said at the start of the interview is that actually client spend is going back into integrated shops with a digital offer. That happens for various reasons, A) the client is very much in thinking digital doesn’t live on its own and it should be integrated with the rest of the marketing mix. Or its cost efficiency things. Either way we need to adapt to that change in thinking, so while we are positioned, as a digital agency the reality is that we are doing a lot of integrated work globally. For Polar (brand specializing in heart rate monitor watches) and for Chevrolet. What you’ll probably see over the next 12 months is the reposition or the realignment of the agency. We’ll have a digital centre for what we do. But actually what we create is meaningful reasons to love brands, that can happen in any channel, anywhere that good creative thinking can be applied providing you have great idea. Many channels can work together. RD: Do you feel that with the change in socio-economic climate that consumers have more power and that brands now, especially agencies we have to take a step back, and think more experientially, go back to the basics (I refer to Paul Arden) of communications and tapping into people’s desires and what people want? JD: Mmm. I think in this kind of climate, the biggest shift we’ve seen from the consumer in my point of view is towards bargain hunting and deal based behavior. That deal-based behavior has implications for clients outside the media that they own. So that the distinction that we make between ‘owned media’ – that might be a client’s website, print material, magazines or social channels. The ‘earned media’, which is earned, are third party, bloggers, and review sites talking about that client. All of a sudden you’re into a PR area in terms of relationship management and blogger outreach. The important thing to say is, to compare costs and to compare deals when times are tight, household budgets are stricter – there are more tools for people to do that. So I think the key thing is, this has been true since day one, as an agency the only thing you can do is market a great product. If the product isn’t there to start with, the marketing is really inconsequential. Marketing’s role is to make people aware of things. To create interest in that thing, and to create desire and to create action off that thing and to ultimately to go buy it. Quite simply that’s how we distil marketing
  • 34. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 33 down. I think if the product and price point isn’t right, then the promotion is inconsequential in the long run really. As an agency what we try and do is rather and going out for working for clients that we’re not massively passionate about or don’t believe in the product, we’re able to work with people like Chevrolet who have just released a new electric volt vehicle, like Polar who invented the heart rate monitoring category, like Antony Collins Solicitors who have built a law firm based on really strong values and social conscious. We are in a privileged position as we’re an agency that can work with clients where we believe in the product. As an agency unless we can believe in the product, how can we promote it? RD: It’s very hard to get under the skin of the brand if you don’t gel with the client. JD: Absolutely. Going back to the initial point of the socio-economic climate is that it’s more important than ever for the product to be right first and for the price point to be correct. RD: How do you justify the cost of a digital campaign to clients? For example, if a client doesn’t understand digital strategies, the outcomes and the ROI – how do you explain those costs? JD: Ultimately, there are two routes to take. My view would be marketing has gone too far down the road of bean counting and immediate ROI. There are two views that we take. One is that campaigns can make brands famous, and as a consequence of that you’ll see a rise in desire and action around sales. The other view that we take is that actually clients without the kind of budgets that can make them famous need to see some fairly immediate results. The way that we demonstrate ROI is really simple. As an agency I don’t know if we’re unique in this or not, we don’t present the client with a set of metrics that are based around intangible KPI’s. We’d never present back to Chevrolet after a Social Media campaign and say ‘your likes have gone up by 1000’ because that doesn’t mean anything. What we’d do meticulously is putting in measurement tactics in place from day one so that we can see what that campaign generated in terms of test drives and car sales. As an agency, its fairly business limiting to not tie everything that we do to sales KPI because we’re here to sell more stuff. We’re agents of sales. Personally, we don’t present fluffy metrics we present metrics that mean something to the bottom line and the bench mark for that is would we be comfortable presenting this in from of the chief executive or the managing director, outside of the marketing function and them to be happy with it and them to retain us going forward. If we weren’t happy with it, we wouldn’t present it. RD: I think it’s very difficult to put a value on design, especially in this day and age when we have click through rates, Facebook likes, retweets etc. You can’t put a value on that – can you? JD: I think to an extent you can. The way that we view design is that design should be a joy for people to be able to use and easier to use. Design is user centric. The reason that design is user centric is because its there from a marketing point of view to convert people to sale. If the design is confusing, irrational, or isn’t a joy to use then those conversion rates drop. So the value that I would place on sale is actually driving conversion rates. To use an example, an online campaign drives customers who want to buy a heart rate monitor watch to the Polar website. Before we got our hands on it, we worked
  • 35. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 34 the information architecture and user journeys. The conversion rate from visitor to site to purchase was 5% and after we redesigned that site it was 15%. The value that we place on that design was the 10% increase in conversions. RD: You’re looking quite closely at the consumer journeys and mapping those? JD: Yeah and the distinction to make is creative is an ideas function and thinking function. The design function is to create order out of chaos that the creative brings to the table. The function of design is to make things people want to use and interact with. RD: Again through design you’re creating value for your clients? JD: Absolutely. Design makes things more attractive for clients. It makes things better for consumers. I came across the UK Governments set of ‘Digital Design Principles’, which echoes design for the user. Don’t push pixels around a screen. Use data to design and influence rather than aesthetics. RD: That’s interesting, have you seen the ‘TNS The Impact of Digital on Growth Strategies?’ That reports talks about using data to design, platforms and where best to use it. JD: Send that to me. Sounds interesting. The whole purpose of design is to make things that people want to use. Whether that’s a website or a Facebook application or mobile site or app or an outdoor ad. Its things that people take joy and pleasure from – that’s what design is to us. RD: What do you think of Social Media? When you’re advising clients on that, do you draft a Social Media Policy for them? How do you tell them what’s the best way to use this to build relationships and increase them with consumers? JD: The first thing to say is that social media is important to some clients not all clients. The reason for that is because the things that people within social networks tend to engage with, the brand that they engage with are brands that portray an extension of that individual’s personality. I’d like Aston Martin on Facebook because that says something about me that I’d want other people to know. It’s a brand extension of my personality. I wouldn’t like loo roll because what does that say about me as a person? Do we attach much aspiration or desire to Charmin or Andrex? Probably not. Firstly, does the client have a brand that the people want to engage with on social networks or would engage with as an extension of their personality? If they don’t can we create an angle for that brand which would mean that they would. Secondly, social media is not as fluffy as people make out. The conversation around brands is going to happen whether its there or not. There’s two parts of it for me. There’s the PR element of it in terms of managing consumers, customer relations and feedback in which we put in place guidelines for e.g. how to respond to people, the tone of voice to use etc. The other side is the more marketing focus and campaign side. We’re actually asking people to interact with applications on social platforms. To use people’s data sometimes in a way that creates a joyful experience in the things that are around them in their social network. Those are the two separate parts. RD: I’ve been looking at digital technologies. One of the sectors that I’ve looked at in a greater detail is the premium and luxury sector. I’ve looked at
  • 36. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 35 Mercedes and they have used augmented reality to promote one of their cars and a campaign last year. Escape the Map. What do you think about using particular technologies like that to promote brands? JD: To make brands famous let’s use whatever technology we can to delight and wow people. To create sales, that are attributed to that activity let’s do things that are less experiential. I think that from Mercedes point of view as a digital native I look at that campaign and think ‘that’s quite cool and I like that they’ve done that! They’re clearly cooler than what I gave them from credit for’ and so that in my mind would move Mercedes around a little bit that Audi and BMW occupy too. I wonder at the end of it at when the Account Director reports against sales, what the impact of that was. There are brand-building techniques, there are things that we do to generate incremental and fairly instantaneous sales and it wasn’t for the latter. It was very much positioning Mercedes in the mind’s of the target audience. I would question whether it had a massive impact on sales. RD: The car that they were promoting was a C63 AMG. It’s selling aspirations? JD: See, you had to think about the car. You recalled the model of the car. If you can’t recall the model of the car that was being marketed during that campaign then that says to me that it was more about the brand than the car. RD: What’s your opinion on QR codes? JD: It’s a technology that can be employed. The key thing to say is it is an area where there are little or no take up, and that is the reality. It’s because a QR reader doesn’t ship with a smartphone. Everyone with a mobile phone, then narrow that down to a smartphone, then narrow that down with a QR code reader which is a very small percentage of people. They are used in ridiculous places. Transport for London used in them in an advert on the underground, and a, there’s no network coverage on the tube and b, the advert was about not getting your valuables out in public and protecting them. The key reason why it’s not great for marketing purposes is that it relies on the user having that technology on the smartphone. There are some occasions where they are valuable. The ability to go around Ikea instead of taking a pencil and paper around with me, to be able to scan the product using a QR code, store it into a list and go to the checkout is quite valuable. That improves my experience as a customer. From a marketing point of view, point a link online to the product, scan it, and go to the store. It’s easier than me to find it, write it down and go to the store. RD: It’s an incredibly long-term fad. JD: It very much so is. It’s the same way clients felt about smartphones and mobile applications a few years ago. Everyone needed one but they didn’t know what for. It was a buzz thing at the time. RD: Do you see any growth areas in traditional advertising and PR? JD: there’s a bigger need than ever for great, big audacious ideas that lead everything else. I think that’s the way it should be in terms of advertising because of all the great things that we can do online. The big leading factor is how great the idea is. If the idea is great, and it works well then let’s use online as a part of it. If not, use TV, experiential, use everything that’s available to us. In terms of PR I don’t think there is growth in traditional PR. The growth in PR agencies and professionals is in that second strand of social media I was talking about. Which was about community management and engagement online. If I was starting a PR agency tomorrow that’s
  • 37. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 36 all I would focus on monitoring social media, conversations and a really great social media agency. RD: What brands really stand out to you in regards to their great use of digital media and their digital strategies. JD: Old Spice from Wielden + Kennedy. That works really well because it’s a really great idea which can naturally live online. Brands that do well online, tend to do that. Brands that don’t do well online, are brands who have no leading idea or proposition and try to retrofit campaign ideas into online. That is why the need for big ideas is bigger than ever. Old Spice do it well. Chevrolet are doing well particularly in the States because the ATL is very strong there. In terms of the stuff they do around Superbowl was very good indeed. Automotive do a good job of online as a sector. Other web based business such as Asos have got a good online presence, not necessarily from a big campaign point of view but actually the consideration and the focus that it places on user experiences, shopper journeys and creating user generated content and advocacy online for that brand is very admirable. RD: You’ve just mentioned consumer journeys and user journeys, when creating a strategy, do you find that it’s very important to go back to the basics and really map out the touch-points that every consumer will interact with. JD: Absolutely and this is why digital agencies will become more integrated and why integrated agencies have to become better at digital because ultimately, it has to start with the customer. If that customer is for Saga Insurance for example, they’re 60+, live in the North East of England and income is limited. Why would it be necessary to create an iPad application for that customer? The key place to start is to take that customer, develop a persona, understand the demographics of that customer and map out the kind of things and places they might do or visit and where they might interact. This is why research is so important. There are assumptions we can make about customers. As a digital agency for now, what the digitally interesting area is something called Technographics. It’s the study of how people of certain demographics use technology and entertainment devices in their day-to-day lives. What you’re effectively able to do is to look at a boy who’s 18-25, who lives in a country and map against that his techno graphics so his graphics might be iPhone, laptop, TV, dual screen viewing watching TV and tweeting at the same time. In terms of the technology and then we look at the platforms that exist e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and for the digital aspect of the campaign that’s really important. As important as getting a traditional media-planning point of view e.g. what TV shows and TV channels do they watch? RD: So from using Techno graphics you can really narrow down the digital platforms and channels that a target audience uses to target campaigns? JD: Yes, the key thing to say is brands need to start with the customer, look at what that customers life is in terms of consumption – it used to be TV, outdoor and newspaper. Now it’s multiplied by 100. Its more important that ever to get that right, so this is ‘our’ customer, this is ‘everywhere’ that customer can choose and out of those places, this is where its most important for us to be and to interact for the best results. If that’s not online for that Saga customer then fine. Let’s start with the customer for everyone’s sake. There’s nothing more frustrating seeing campaign ideas launch Facebook applications. A campaign idea is to have a great idea or proposition or story around a certain product and to look at what that user’s landscape looks like and see if it flows as a story into those various digital devices
  • 38. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 37 and platforms they might be on. It’s not good enough to create platforms and fit it back into something the user might be doing. RD: Do you think that’s very lazy approach? We have our last jigsaw piece and will fit it into any shape. However it won’t. JD: Yes. Absolutely RD: Earlier in the interview you made a point about smartphones. Is that something that the agency is looking at right now and thinking this is a growth area? JD: Yes. We spotted that as a key consideration. We do a lot in terms of web analytics and interpretations. We looked at a client where 8% of the traffic in 2009 came from mobiles. By the end of 2011 that was 18%. We’re getting close to a quarter of the traffic. This is why as an agency we’ve evangelized mobile accessibility and mobile web over applications for a lot of the time. Apps are great if they are entertaining and useful. It’s actually another job to market an app in what is now a busy app store. The key thing is to get right is to get mobile web presence sorted. Think about the user experience and usability of that design. What is essential to have there, what isn’t and how do you tap into the functionality of the hardware i.e. the smartphone within that design to make things integrated and easy to do. RD: You’re looking at a variety of devices, android, apple, blackberry, and opera JD: What we tend to do is use a piece of code that has a mobile web view that will direct users to the right mobile view for their device. It will recognize the browser it’s using and serve them the view to that. The big opportunity is to use the platforms and hardware within those device. To ignore mobile in particular, especially mobile web and mobile advertising I think is a big mistake. RD: We live in an incredibly digitized society. 15 years ago we would be using a Yellow Pages to take our time to find a number. Nowadays we’re tapping into our phones via Google. Do you find that with applications on mobiles and tablets those consumers have to really sit down, take their time with that? It could be an indicator for the decrease of application? That’s where mobile web will grow. One of the reasons it could be successful, or growth found within that is its because its so fast. People are after real time reactions. JD: Especially with 4G looming. Yes we are a very digital society now. As an agency, we’re digital people. Some of us need a ‘data diet’ but the reality is outside of this agency, outside this industry we have to remember, from a consumers point of view there is no digital or offline. It’s just an experience that consumers have with that brand. The key thing to say is if advertising has always been bombarding people then now branded content, entertainment and messages coming from everywhere. Its natural that the multiplication of places to consume media. There’s a multiplication of methods to digest. We’ll start seeing people going on ‘data diets’ and going to places where the choice architecture is offers them something straight away. I saw a site called ‘Justbuythisone.com’ – and did away with all the reviews. It was a website with pictures saying ‘this is the best toaster’ and says that 49,000 ratings across the whole Internet gave it 5 out 5. This is the best microwave; this is the best TV etc. So the research is already done for you so go and get it. That tells a story about the fatigue people are getting keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Checking In. we’re fast-forwarding through TV, Radio and magazines. The role that digital can play is to create better brand experiences for consumers. It’s not always about digital as an advertising medium.
  • 39. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 38 RD: Do you have much input into the business strategy side when it comes to brand strategy and the product? JD: For clients? The Creative Director has a lot to do with brand strategy; I have a lot to do for marketing strategy for clients. There’s lots of involvement and the role of the client partner is to help to shape that strategy to help the client to zoom out of the day to day and understand the wider landscape and the options available. We have to make sure the investment goes into the right places.
  • 40. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 39 Appendix 4 Consumer Journey Map of John Lewis Mobile Site Orange notes indicate the main pages clicked from logging onto the John Lewis website to adding purchase to basket. Yellow notes indicate sub information (e.g. special offers, reviews etc).
  • 41. MA DESIGN MANAGEMENT / PLACEMENT / CASE STUDY / DES7028 / 2012 / RUPINDER DOSANJH 40 References Abbing, E R. (2010) Brand-driven Innovation: Strategies for Development and Design. Switzerland: AVA Publishing. Adobe, (2012). The Impact of Tablet Visitors on Retail Websites [pdf] Available at: http://success.adobe.com/assets/en/downloads/whitepaper/13926_digital_index_soci al_report.pdf Bbc (2012) BBC News - Today - Sir Martin Sorrell: WPP London return likely. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9701000/9701197.stm [Accessed: 23 Apr 2012]. Borja de Mozota, B. (2003). Design Management: Using design to build brand value and corporate innovation. Allworth Press, New York. Collins, H. 2010. Creative Research: The Theory and Practice of Research for the Creative Industries (Required Reading Range). AVA Publishing. Denscombe, M. (2007). The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects. Open University Press. Berkshire. Dutton, J. (2012) Interview on Digital Brand Communications Strategies. Interviewed by Rupinder Dosanjh [in person] Birmingham, 03/04/2012. Edge, J. and Milligan, A. (2009) Don't mess with the logo: the straight talker's bible of branding. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall. Facebook.com (2012) John Lewis - Retail and consumer merchandise - London, United Kingdom | Facebook. [online] Available at: http://www.facebook.com/JohnLewisRetail [Accessed: 23 Apr 2012]. Faircliff, R. (2012) Interview on Digital Brand Communications Strategies. Interviewed by Rupinder Dosanjh [telephone] Birmingham and London, 25/03/2012. Fan, L. (2012) Interview on Digital Brand Communications Strategies. Interviewed by Rupinder Dosanjh [e-mail] Birmingham, 20/03/2012. Ft-live.com (2012) FT Digital Media Conference 2012. Delivering value in a multi platform world Part I. [online] Available at: https://www.ft-live.com/ft-events/ft-digital-
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