The Future of Brands


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A presentation on how the changing consumer and media universe will change brands and how we manage them as marketers

The Future of Brands

  1. 2. The evolution of brand wealth…
  2. 3. Brands have come of age in the 21 st century <ul><li>Brands define the beliefs, icons, images and desires of the 21 st century. They set the agenda of what is “cool”, and what is not. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands represent a universal language that is understood all over the world – in fact, the language of brands is today the most widely understood language on earth. </li></ul><ul><li>In many countries, brands have superseded other institutions in society like the family, the church and social class, in influence. Brands define “a new universal social class” – it is the ultimate equaliser, from Brazil to Beijing. </li></ul><ul><li>As materialism increases in emerging economies, brands express the adoption of a new social order. You are not judged for where you come from, but from what you have achieved, expressed in a visible way by the brands you use. </li></ul>
  3. 4. What is the definition of a brand? <ul><li>“ a trade mark, goods of a particular make: </li></ul><ul><li>a mark of identification made with a hot iron or to label with a trade mark.” </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford American Dictionary (1980). </li></ul>
  4. 5. Brands are defined by individual as well as the collective consciousness <ul><li>Brands would not have had the impact they have had, were it not for the fact that society has formed a collective view of what a given brand represents. And although individuals buy brands, they buy it within a social context. Beyond performing a practical function for the individual (a Rolex is a high quality watch - that from a practical perspective tells the time), it also signifies – to others outside – where the individual “fits” into society. </li></ul><ul><li>It is often said that this surface appeal makes individuals and societies artificial and shallow, where it becomes more important to know what you can afford than who you are as a person. Brands can also charge high prices, often beyond their realistic value, because of the ability to elevate status. </li></ul>
  5. 6. In the developed world brands have less appeal than in emerging economies <ul><li>There are trends suggesting that in the developed world, consumers are becoming less “brand centred” (the No Logo phenomenon of Naomi Klein). </li></ul><ul><li>These consumers can afford what they want, yet have become selective about what they spend money on, so brands have lost some of their allure for them. </li></ul><ul><li>These consumers are often more demanding about the “real” value of brands. When they buy brands, they buy it for what it can really deliver in functional terms rather than just emotional terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Juxtapose this with emerging markets, where emotional reasons for buying dominate. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Brands: the new imperialism for some? <ul><li>In some societies in Europe, an anti-brand attitude has emerged built on the sentiment that society has become too gullible and that brands represent a new kind of imperialism, where brands start to replace indigenous culture (i.e. the protests against American brands like MacDonalds in France). </li></ul><ul><li>This sentiment is also evident in anti-American sentiments in the Middle East affecting US based global brands. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Even if the validity of brands are questioned by some, it remains the store of wealth for most corporations <ul><li>Most of the “wealth” of corporations like large retail banks, fast-moving consumer goods companies, automotive companies, retailers, consumer electronics and many other industries, lie in their brands. Brands enable a higher profit margin than commodities. Where brand stature has been undermined, like for many airline brands (particularly in countries like the US), industry profitability has suffered. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand names are practical – imagine buying everyday items without being able to use brand names that discriminate between competitive offers. </li></ul><ul><li>The brand name itself constitutes a large portion of the nett-asset value of many global corporations like Coca Cola. As globalisation expands into emerging economies, the asset value of brands can only increase exponentially as much of brand value lies in market penetration. </li></ul>
  8. 9. The benefits of brands for companies <ul><li>Strong brands symbolise the ability of a given business to leverage its resources better than its rivals. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands protect an industry and business from commoditisation. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand name gives a product greater credibility. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand gives assurance of quality to consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand is a form of guarantee for customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Once a brand is well established, it is difficult for a competitor to erode its customer franchise. </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers are more loyal to strong brands, so a strong brand acts against churn. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Benefits (cont.) <ul><li>Strong brands tend to retain their customers in an economic downturn. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong brands almost always have better profit margins. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong brands are associated with better quality products. </li></ul><ul><li>Weak brands lose more market share in a downturn. </li></ul><ul><li>When there are many new developments in a market, cosumers tend to stick to the brands they know. </li></ul>
  10. 11. The components making-up a brand <ul><li>A name (i.e. Virgin Atlantic). </li></ul><ul><li>A logo or brand-mark (the way “Virgin” is written). </li></ul><ul><li>Colour (red). </li></ul><ul><li>A typeface (the typeface of Virgin). </li></ul><ul><li>A style (irreverence). </li></ul>
  11. 12. Despite all these developments, the “brand dialogue” in business needs to be increased: how can business leverage brands better? <ul><li>Although the concept of brands has been around for more than a century, only over the last ten years has it become one of the most talked about entities in marketing and business. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands, which were once seen as a sub-discipline of marketing, have been elevated to a discipline in its own right, where the brand takes centre-stage. Business operations are now aligned to brands. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, most of our brand thinking is old and, from industry to academic articles and books, has essentially not changed much over the years. </li></ul><ul><li>Surely, we as practitioners who know the rules can also break the rules? And, are all the rules all still relevant? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Just some of the changes in the brand environment… The brand The emancipation of the individual The internet The growth of emerging economies The acceleration of technology The new retail space The pace of change The brand strategy, name, identity, positioning and external communica-tions. The alignment of staff and other resources.
  13. 14. 1. The changing face of media: the internet and mobile telephony
  14. 15. The internet has fundamentally changed the world <ul><li>Out of 6,6 billion people, there were 1 319 872 109 internet users at the end of 2007 – 20% of the world total – with 4,7% of Africa, and 71% of North America penetrated. </li></ul><ul><li>Africa is now the fastest growing internet region. </li></ul><ul><li>The internet enables fast communication, and provides fast and easy access to information, everywhere and anywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>It enables fast and easy access to disseminate information, from anyone, to anyone and from anywhere, to anywhere. </li></ul>
  15. 16. The internet (cont.) <ul><li>Functional product information is readily available. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional geographical boundaries for shopping, expertise, information and services disappear. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand and product comparisons have become easy. </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretically, this results in a more informed society. </li></ul><ul><li>In turn, this generates a more sophisticated consumer. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Mobile telephony <ul><li>There were an estimated 3,3 billion mobile phones at the end of 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Many countries have more phones than people! (Luxembourg has 157 phones for every 100 people). </li></ul><ul><li>Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone region, growing twice as fast as Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>By 2010, global mobile phone coverage will cover 90% of people. </li></ul><ul><li>The internet and mobile phones have emancipated the individual, and assist the developing world to leapfrog the developed world in economic growth, consumer sophistication and in setting global trends. </li></ul><ul><li>New media is a major force that is assisting the re-contextualising of the global balance of power. </li></ul>
  17. 18. The media landscape itself is changing Are new media simply “conduits”, or potentially more? Is the medium still the message (the brand) (McLuhan)?
  18. 19. 2. The growth of emerging economies
  19. 20. Emerging economies <ul><li>By 2030-2035, emerging markets will constitute 50% of the global economy. </li></ul><ul><li>The BRIC countries will overtake the G7 by 2040. </li></ul><ul><li>China, India, Brazil and Mexico, had a combined GDP of 15 billion USD at the end of 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Samsung is now better known than Sony, it has a higher R&D budget than Intel and its 2005 profits were higher than those of Dell, Nokia, Motorola or Phillips. </li></ul><ul><li>The growth in these economies has been extremely fast and many of the “new-new” economies are leapfrogging the West (i.e. Dubai). Beijing is being “re-built” for the Olympics. The tallest buildings in the world are now all in emerging economies! </li></ul>
  20. 21. Emerging (cont.) <ul><li>These new economies change the way we see things, the way we define things, and the way we evaluate things. They set the imagination free, something that has not happened since the first landing on the moon! </li></ul><ul><li>These consumers are hungry for consumer goods and define their lives with “brand” experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these consumers are sophisticated and demand the best. They can only improve their lives. As such, they are hungry for information and want to be part of the changing world. </li></ul><ul><li>The adoption of innovation is immediate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does this mean anything for the way we think about brands? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. The “new” New World redefines the imagination!
  22. 23. Brands from the new new world will also increase with their own economic emancipation <ul><li>As the size of its population and its consumer sophistication enabled the US to define global brands in the last fifty years, the new new economies will gradually start to define the new order of brands. </li></ul><ul><li>Given the strength of some home grown brands in markets like China and India, it is natural to assume that some of these brands will become global icons in the next ten years. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands like Jimmy Choo is already doing that. The demand for Chinese art is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Already, in an American survey in 2005, 76% of consumers stated that products manufactured in China are of better quality and cheaper than those manufactured in the US! </li></ul><ul><li>And despite brand globalisation, most countries still have strong local brands. </li></ul>
  23. 24. 3. The new retail space
  24. 25. The new retail space is moving way beyond a place to buy which, in its most generic form, may increasingly be taken over by technology <ul><li>The shopping environment is now an emporium to “experience” brands. </li></ul><ul><li>These brands may then be bought from the cheapest supplier on the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>What does this mean for the way that brands are projected and experienced? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can most brands of today be “experienced”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would “a Colgate toothpaste experience” look like? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or “a Cadbury slab” experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will the internet become the “leveller” for many brands that are not highly differentiated? Can some of these brands compete with brands from China or India in these categories? </li></ul>
  25. 26. An “experiential” environment forces engagement
  26. 27. It makes us get into the brand
  27. 28. It makes us enter a magical space that does not “sell”
  28. 29. Moving from objects into environmental spaces Armani Swarovski
  29. 30. To urban sculpture = spaces to interact with the brand on an equal footing – where the brand rewards, rather than demands And again: do any of these factors impact brands?
  30. 31. Brands are now also about engaging all the senses <ul><li>Retail spaces also evolve as places where you can “touch” brands and “smell” brands. </li></ul><ul><li>In food retailing, places where you can taste the food and mix and match flavours, colours and fragrances. </li></ul><ul><li>Retailing also creates environments that surround you: you move “into” the products you want to experience – like with furniture and gardening and garden accessories. Home décor like paint shops, enable you to play with paint colours and techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Retail places now allow you to create the look you want before you buy, like cosmetic enhancement clinics and hair stylists that use interactive technology to simulate the look you want. </li></ul>
  31. 32. 4. Other factors that also impact brands <ul><li>Industry and product convergence. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of the environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The focus on wellness. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The relationship of society with brands. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Convergence <ul><li>Industries are converging: just compare the convergence of MP3s/ mobile phones/ televisions/ cameras/ personal computers, for one. </li></ul><ul><li>Industries are consolidating: natural resources/ banking/ retail, to mention a few. </li></ul><ul><li>Some brands have totally redefined themselves over the last ten years: Apple: from a maker of computers, to a maker of exciting consumer electronics. Toyota: from a Japanese export brand with reliable yet unexciting products, to the largest global automotive brand that now sets the trend in various areas like hybrid vehicles. </li></ul><ul><li>Some historically iconic brands have declined in stature, like Sony, Ford and General Motors. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Industry and product convergence factors <ul><li>Faster </li></ul><ul><li>More convenient </li></ul><ul><li>More mobile/ on-the-move </li></ul><ul><li>Better, yet less expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller </li></ul><ul><li>Easier/ simpler to use </li></ul><ul><li>More personalised </li></ul><ul><li>More accessible (can obtain/ use anywhere) </li></ul><ul><li>More attractive/ better designed </li></ul><ul><li>Endless choice </li></ul><ul><li>More healthy/ better for you </li></ul><ul><li>More natural </li></ul><ul><li>More environmentally conscious </li></ul><ul><li>More multi-functional </li></ul><ul><li>More transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Cheaper options/ greater availability for lower income groups </li></ul><ul><li>Better quality </li></ul><ul><li>Enable people to be in control, anywhere </li></ul>
  34. 35. 5. The emancipation of the individual
  35. 36. The “power-of-the-individual” <ul><li>At the end of 2006, Time magazine voted the individual “Person-of-the-Year”, for the first time in its history – now, “It’s about you!” </li></ul><ul><li>This reflects: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The growing empowerment of the individual through new media and the internet. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns about, and mistrust with the power of governments/ big business and brands. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That the existing brand-world was established during a time of the “average man” as a target of the mass media and of mass marketing, where similarities were emphasised and dissimilarities suppressed. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 37. The internet generation is about “me”
  37. 38. Engagement/ interaction & fantasy <ul><li>Facebook has become a global phenomenon almost overnight, with over 60 million users, 250 000 new users a day, 65 billion page views per month, over 500 million searches per month. Top countries are the US, Canada and the UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook is today the eight busiest traffic site in the world. </li></ul>
  38. 39. Engagement/ interaction & fantasy <ul><li>Sites like Second-Life has created the ultimate fantasy for gamers = here you can create the life you want, regardless of who you are or where you come from. </li></ul><ul><li>The individual remains in control and can decide whether to and how to engage. </li></ul><ul><li>This often undermines personal engagement, and these interfaces are more private, more direct and less personal – it enables people to remain uninvolved, yet in contact. </li></ul><ul><li>This creates “borderless worlds” where brands and people will straddle all traditional boundaries of age, sex, geography, income level or race. </li></ul>
  39. 40. This changes consumers who “listen and do”, to consumers who engage <ul><li>They listen when spoken to. </li></ul><ul><li>They are uninformed (“the consumer is a moron!”). </li></ul><ul><li>They watch passive media. </li></ul><ul><li>They do not like to be engaged. </li></ul><ul><li>They are informed. </li></ul><ul><li>They are exposed to many impulses and choose what they engage with. </li></ul><ul><li>They talk back! </li></ul>
  40. 41. Yet, are we engaging with this new consumer, in the language they understand? <ul><li>Do we really believe sticking to rigid brand rules are more important than engaging the consumer? </li></ul><ul><li>We simplistically keep on reinforcing principles of behaviourism in a time of individual emancipation! </li></ul><ul><li>And although the principle of implicit recognition/ subconscious salience/ latent learning (Krugman) of brand imagery remains important, a far more intense interface can be created by engaging the consumer! </li></ul>
  41. 42. 6. The acceleration of technology
  42. 43. Technology is changing fundamentally – it is changing products, services, media and people interface <ul><li>Technology has changed the branding landscape fast and fundamentally– only the advent of television has had the same impact on branding. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enables faster, more personalised and more cryptic messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, technology is evolving, even if the pace seems to be slowing. </li></ul>
  43. 44. The role of technology – the fundamental enabler in “mass” societies? <ul><li>Started with simple calculations and operations. </li></ul><ul><li>Moved to more complex operations. </li></ul><ul><li>Moved from simple to complex communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Moved to transacting and entertainment. </li></ul><ul><li>Is moving to enabling customised products, services, messages, communications and media. </li></ul>
  44. 45. Products are converging
  45. 46. Technology, space and activities are converging
  46. 47. Super-connectivity is exploding
  47. 48. The era of “omni-present brands” have arrived
  48. 49. Customisation enables “customer-made” brands! <ul><li>Ultimate customisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Fast. </li></ul><ul><li>On demand. </li></ul><ul><li>No two products are exactly the same. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the ultimate consumer: brand dialogue! </li></ul>
  49. 50. Technology also enables the super customisation of products and services…
  50. 51. When we review all these foregoing factors, what will the impact be on branding? <ul><li>Brand integrity has become increasingly important. </li></ul><ul><li>A move from product brands, to idea or concept brands. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands are created faster then ever before. </li></ul><ul><li>A move from differentiated, to iconic brands. </li></ul><ul><li>The increasing importance of authenticity in branding. </li></ul><ul><li>From a consumer monologue, to a dialogue. </li></ul>
  51. 52. 1. Brand “integrity” has become increasingly important
  52. 53. What is “inside” now matters <ul><li>What used to be </li></ul><ul><li>Believe what the marketer says. </li></ul><ul><li>Often extrinsic (like lifestyle advertising). </li></ul><ul><li>Often “puffery” (words like the “best”; the “leading”; the “only”; the “first”). </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly creative but often in-substantive advertising. </li></ul><ul><li>What is now </li></ul><ul><li>What the consumer sees and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>What the product looks like and the functions it perform. </li></ul><ul><li>Inherent design characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Fact based. </li></ul><ul><li>Away from the “void” of lifestyle imagery. </li></ul>
  53. 54. What is “inside” matters
  54. 55. In markets like mobile phones and consumer electronics, superior product design determines levels of company profitability
  55. 56. Brand credibility is increasingly important <ul><li>Prius, the hybrid car from Toyota, is making a statement that technology can make a real difference to the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>The UK retailer Tesco has redefined itself with a return-to-the-basics of retailing (great products, great locations, great service, great shopping environment, great prices, great customer relationships) since the middle nineties. </li></ul><ul><li>Airline brands like Emirates, Qatar, Virgin and Etihad, have made a real impact in the market with product and service levels that are far better than the commoditised nature of most airlines. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand like Armani actually offers differently designed products. </li></ul>
  56. 57. 2. From product brands to idea (concept) brands
  57. 58. From product brands to idea brands <ul><li>Product brands are category- driven </li></ul><ul><li>Years ago, the concept of “marketing myopia” was raised by Levitt – the inability to see your brand for what it does for consumers rather than for what it is. </li></ul><ul><li>Levi’s makes jeans. </li></ul><ul><li>Vodafone sells mobile network time. </li></ul><ul><li>Toyota sells cars. </li></ul><ul><li>Idea brands are concept-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Some brands attain their own validity independent of product or service category. </li></ul><ul><li>Prada or Gucci sells a lifestyle, which happens to include clothes. </li></ul><ul><li>Apple sells cool products that are fun and easy to use. </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin sells customer value. </li></ul><ul><li>Idea-brands can straddle product and service categories. </li></ul>
  58. 59. The move is from industry-relevant to concept-relevant <ul><li>Industry-relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Brands were historically defined within industries. </li></ul><ul><li>They could often “stretch” only as wide as the industry could. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition was either defined within an industry, or as any other brand that could replace yours. </li></ul><ul><li>The brand = a given industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Generic names like Colgate attained a given industry meaning (Colgate = toothpaste, largely). </li></ul><ul><li>Concept-relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Brands now transcend industry boundaries, to create concepts that are far wider than given industries. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition for any product, generally, has widened. </li></ul><ul><li>This makes brand “stretching” a natural thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership of perceptions, rather than only categories, is now important. </li></ul>
  59. 60. A given philosophy (i.e. highly attractive and functional design) underlies concept brands – you know an Apple product is an Apple product, even if the products themselves are in different categories and look different! <ul><li>You know that Alessi products </li></ul><ul><li>will be great to use. </li></ul><ul><li>You intuitively identify the products. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition is not based on blatant imagery, but on implicit meaning. </li></ul>
  60. 61. Apple demonstrates a unique design philosophy that straddles all they do
  61. 62. Over the last five years, Apple : <ul><li>Changed its name (it dropped “Computer” and changed it to “Inc.”). </li></ul><ul><li>Diversified its range of products. </li></ul><ul><li>The impact is that its sales of computers are now the highest it has ever been! </li></ul><ul><li>It also indicates that “philosophy of brand “remains the most important factor in extending its franchise and product or service range! </li></ul><ul><li>It is probably easier for Apple to sell phones, than for Nokia to sell computers! </li></ul>
  62. 63. “ The Virgin brand (philosophy) is built around an idea — being the ‘people’s champion”’. Virgin finds gaps in how other brands service or under-service their customers…and then jumps in…
  63. 64. Changing from an industry to an idea brand <ul><li>Swarovski has changed and extended its brand dramatically over the last ten years. </li></ul>
  64. 65. Defining a new lifestyle
  65. 66. To lighting Today, Swarovski sells an attitude to life!
  66. 67. To conclude with concept brands: today, leading brands lead markets <ul><li>The traditional notion of marketing was to identify consumer needs, and then to fill them. </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly, this literal interpretation through conventional methods like marketing research leads to conventional insights that translate into parity products and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies need to laterally interpret consumer needs, and find innovative solutions that lead the market – supposedly, the market had no need for mobile phones/ a Walkman/ a CD player and an iPod = it interpreted underlying consumer needs laterally. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand innovation is a function of consumer insight, lateral thinking and company capabilities. </li></ul>
  67. 68. 3. Brands are created faster than ever before
  68. 69. Brands are now built fast <ul><li>Brands like Nike; Levi’s; General Electric, General Motors; Coca Cola; Marlboro; BA took years of consistent marketing to build. </li></ul><ul><li>New brands are built fast! </li></ul><ul><li>Think of brands like; </li></ul><ul><li>Samsung; Nokia; eBay; Hyundai. </li></ul>
  69. 70. New technology brands attain market salience fast: it is not long before that translates into valuable brand assets
  70. 71. New brands communicate fast! <ul><li>They are more informal (i.e. Virgin; Mango ). </li></ul><ul><li>They use shorter words (i.e. Google; eBay ). </li></ul><ul><li>There are less logos, jingles and other design elements outside of names (they are simpler). </li></ul><ul><li>Names are often also logos (i.e. Google ). </li></ul><ul><li>There is better integration of logo/ typeface/ name/ colours = Google. </li></ul><ul><li>New brands are more informal about their brand identities (again compare Google which constantly adapts its logo thematically). </li></ul>
  71. 72. New brands communicate fast! (cont.) <ul><li>Many of these use a minimum of classical marketing to establish themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the new brands are generics of the internet age: Google; eBay; Facebook; </li></ul><ul><li>New brands are informal about their brand identities and “play” with them – brands are “tools for consumer engagement”, not “holy cows”! </li></ul>
  72. 73. 4. A move from differentiated, to iconic brands
  73. 74. What is differentiation? <ul><li>“ In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” </li></ul><ul><li>Coco Chanel </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation chooses a unique angle as its value proposition. </li></ul><ul><li>It often makes a concrete promise. </li></ul><ul><li>It tends to be more verbal than visual. </li></ul><ul><li>Many terms were used for differentiation: from the “USP” or Unique Selling Proposition” (Rosser Reeves), to positioning (Ries & Trout), to “differentiated marketing” (Porter). </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, whoever makes a statement first, owns it for a long time in the minds of consumers (such brands often becomes generic). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Today, brand parity is high, so serious differentiation is difficult to attain, and retain. </li></ul></ul>
  74. 75. What is iconic? <ul><li>It tends to be more visual than verbal. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes ownership of brand elements that are uniquely owned and created by the brand. </li></ul><ul><li>It makes the line between brand and the icon as direct as possible ( OUTsurance = “you always get something out” and its logo uses the word “OUT”). </li></ul><ul><li>The icon often expresses the generic status of the brand (the design style of Apple ; the bottle shape of Absolut ) </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you cannot “see” it, you will “feel” it (the “look” of Bang & Olufsen ; the concept of Bose ; the atmosphere of Starbucks ). </li></ul><ul><li>It can be an attitude (i.e. Virgin ). </li></ul>
  75. 76. Iconography starts with the bottle design of Coca-Cola = it takes ownership of the category
  76. 77. Over time, we moved from a product focus (a real claim like Coca-Cola “refreshes”) to create brands…
  77. 78. … to lifestyle depictions
  78. 79. … to brand icons becoming the heroes The wave The button The colour red
  79. 80. The brand takes ownership of certain icons… The logo The flavour-burst
  80. 81. In a cluttered world, brand icons create their own distinctive language that can only belong to one brand!
  81. 82. Brand icons are being brought back today as they are seen as very efficient properties for a brand <ul><li>Early in 2007, four important brand characters were brought back in the UK, including the famous Michelin man. </li></ul><ul><li>These devices act as instant reminders for consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>We should not confuse brand icons with stagnation and simplistic consistency; credible brand icons invite dialogue and engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, most brands do not have such icons. Should brands extend into such a language? What can they loose in the longer term against brands that do? Will this enable higher consumer involvement for low interest product or service categories? </li></ul><ul><li>Would you rather have a brand language that engages? </li></ul>
  82. 83. One of the key challenges for any future brand will be to “own” an element of uniqueness <ul><li>Brand and media clutter is at an all time high and will get worse. </li></ul><ul><li>Market impact is increasingly expensive to buy. </li></ul><ul><li>Most traditional brand communications are being questioned for their efficacy (the impact of traditional advertising in most of the developed world is in decline). </li></ul><ul><li>Brands, perceptually and in reality, are increasingly the same. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Iconography can assist in extending uniqueness </li></ul></ul>
  83. 84. 5. Authenticity: be true to yourself! <ul><li>In Fortune of October 22, 2007, the CEO of Burberry , Angela Ahrendts, emphasizes the importance of being British as a differentiator for the fashion brand! </li></ul><ul><li>She stated, “Our goal is not to be Hermės or Bottega Veneta . Britishness is so much a part of what we’re about – now let’s do that better than anyone in the world.” </li></ul>
  84. 85. In architecture, unique signatures have always been important, like with Frank Gehry
  85. 86. The cultural uniqueness of nations often define their exports <ul><li>The French in fashion and food. </li></ul><ul><li>The Italians in fashion, food and design. </li></ul><ul><li>The Scandinavians in product design. </li></ul><ul><li>The Far East in standardised production efficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>The United States, with its cultural diversity, in software and entertainment like movies and music. </li></ul><ul><li>The highly structured Germans in heavy engineering and pharmaceuticals. </li></ul><ul><li>The unique taste sensation of Mexican, Indian or Thai cuisine. </li></ul><ul><li>Italian cars have historically been more sensuous in how they are designed. </li></ul>
  86. 87. Even claimed authenticity – if done credibly, works
  87. 88. Fundamentally, authenticity comes from what is inherent in a (company) culture Authentic brands align what the brand is, and what it delivers, with the culture of the company.
  88. 89. Authenticity is: <ul><li>A return to trust and integrity: be who you say you are. </li></ul><ul><li>A return to humanity: show who you are, show emotion, be real. </li></ul><ul><li>Personalised service: know the consumer by name. </li></ul><ul><li>Show that you care as a brand. </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver what you claim, in the products you sell, their quality, and in the way that the staff services the customer. </li></ul>
  89. 90. 6. The brand interface changes from a consumer monologue to a dialogue
  90. 91. Dialogue <ul><li>The historical notion of brand consistency is based upon a behaviourist belief that repetition leads to action. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet some highly successful brands are changing this paradigm. </li></ul><ul><li>Can a more impactful brand dialogue create greater brand equity? </li></ul><ul><li>Will a brand have to work harder to be part of the consideration set of the consumer? </li></ul>
  91. 92. A brand like Shell gradually adapted its identity over time…and never lost its origins
  92. 93. There has been a major media engagement shift… surely this means something if a brand wants to lead? Passive media Major growth in active media Intuitive, subconscious, subliminal recognition Engagement is active, participative, challenging
  93. 94. As against Shell, BP changed its entire positioning and identity dramatically This added a dynamism to the brand that no other petrochemical brand has! And it increased sales.
  94. 95. And the classic lifestyle depiction adaptations of Betty Crocker over the years Logic: Depict the consumer as she is, and she will buy the brand! <ul><li>Is this stagnant and simplistic for today? </li></ul><ul><li>Does this rely on the old notion of passive consumers who get “fed” marketing impulses almost like an intravenous drip and who passively listens and responds? </li></ul>
  95. 96. We are indeed moving from consistency to ongoing change <ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>The traditional rules of branding and corporate identity were standardisation and consistency. </li></ul><ul><li>Identities followed consumer patterns and market changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Identities were slowly and incrementally adapted when they became stale. </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing change </li></ul><ul><li>The new rule is to challenge the consumer and create new trends, rather than follow them. </li></ul><ul><li>The new rule is to engage and involve the consumer. </li></ul><ul><li>The new rule is to set “the boundaries of engagement” for a consumer. </li></ul>
  96. 97. Extending a brand language engages – surely this is more engaging than lifestyle depictions of most brands in this category? The brand we know. Where it is being taken.
  97. 98. How brand language extensions can be managed <ul><li>Know the core values of the brand that differentiates it from peers. These may be one or more of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Words; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sounds; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An attitude; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A style; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A colour; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A graphic device. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any brand identity extension starts with a clear understanding of the brand values, not just a blind rejection of what went before. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of the “brand language” takes place within the defined core brand values. </li></ul>
  98. 99. One can differentiate three sets of brand values that can assist extending the brand language Peripheral values: the ever changing values in society – these should be changed often Secondary values: the constant category values: a brand must create its own set of these values, otherwise it is a generic Core values: the key differentiators of the brand. These do not change, but can be added to
  99. 100. Applied to Coca-Cola The adaptations to music fashions; design trends The colour red; the wave; the flavour-burst The name; the generic word cola; the bottle shape; the unique script typeface
  100. 101. So how does that enable brand extensions? <ul><li>It defines the limits of extension for the brand. </li></ul><ul><li>It ensures that the important elements in a brand that created and then retained its consumer franchise, is understood and remains in place. </li></ul><ul><li>It aids the extension of the brand into related segments of the market using the same broad consumer appeal. </li></ul><ul><li>It ensures the retention of historic segments for the brand. </li></ul><ul><li>It enables the modernisation of the brand. </li></ul>
  101. 102. Leadership is about leading change and growing brand relevance <ul><li>“ To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often .” </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Winston Churchill. </li></ul>
  102. 103. Important gaps in brand development <ul><li>The non-alignment of brand strategy with brand name, brand identity, brand positioning and external brand communications. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-alignment leads to a confused customer, wasted marketing expenditure and creating no real competitive advantage for a brand, despite high marketing expenditure levels. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The non-alignment of brand positioning (what the brand says) with brand delivery (what customers experience when they buy or interface with the brand). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This non-alignment leads to unsatisfactory service delivery, high levels of customer churn, low levels of repeat business which places a business into an endless spiral of attracting new customers – just to loose them fast - with a short lifetime value. </li></ul></ul>
  103. 104. 1. The alignment of brand positioning and external brand communications <ul><li>Most consumers today are inundated with communications impulses. In some countries, this is estimated to be over 10 000 in a day. </li></ul><ul><li>Most brands within most product and service categories offer the same features and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>The result of this is decreasing differentiation and increasing commoditisation between brands that satisfy the same consumer need. When one reviews consumer research perceptions between brands within the same product or service class, differences are mostly low. And where such differences exist, they take long to erode or to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Competitiveness in the marketplace is ultimately a function of who spends resources best. </li></ul>
  104. 105. The alignment (cont.) <ul><li>Most marketers have to achieve more, at less cost today. It has to ensure that whatever it spends on marketing achieves its intended results in the market. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the most important considerations is the link between strategy, name, positioning and brand communications for a brand: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The closer the link, the more efficient the brand comes across to its markets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The less the link between these elements, the greater the potential wastage for the brand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The better the above link, the more difficult it is to erode the competitive advantage of a brand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more dissonant these elements, the easier it will be for competitors to erode the strengths of the brand. </li></ul></ul>
  105. 106. The alignment (cont.) <ul><li>As an example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A short term insurance company that pays bonuses to people who do not claim within a certain period of time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Name: “Outsurance”; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The logo: “OUT”; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positioning: “You always get something out.”; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External communications: the headline of every single advertisement sells the unique selling proposition: “out”. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  106. 107. The alignment (cont.) <ul><li>Another example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The iconic soft drink, Coca-Cola. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Name: Coca-Cola – it takes ownership of the generic ingredient - cocoa; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identity: a unique bottle shape shaped as a cocoa bean takes ownership of the cola category. (Other elements of the identity include: the typeface used in the logo, the red colour, the white wave); </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positioning: the generic cola soft drink; the “original”, the word “refreshing”; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External communications: continuously reinforce the generic nature of the brand as the iconic cola soft drink. They use current imagery to refresh that. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  107. 108. The alignment (cont.) <ul><li>Another example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sta-Soft takes ownership of the fabric softener category. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easyjet takes ownership of easy/ no-frills/ cheaper flying. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct Line in the UK takes ownership of direct short term insurance, also using a pneumonic device like a telephone. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When a brand aligns its positioning, name and identity, it makes it very difficult for competitors to overtake the brand. </li></ul>
  108. 109. Yet, if you consider most advertising within a given category <ul><li>They look the same in visual imagery. When the logo is covered in a given advertisement the consumer will often find it impossible to differentiate the advertisements of one brand from another. </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising mostly contains the same or similar messages. </li></ul><ul><li>This reinforces brand parity. </li></ul>
  109. 110. When the advertising for brands in a product category looks the same, consumers cannot discern between them. Over time this leads to category commoditisation and hence it undermines the very principle of advertising/ brand building.
  110. 111. A brand taking ownership of unique elements creates brand equity and is economical for a brand
  111. 112. 2. The alignment between brand positioning and staff delivery <ul><li>For many brands, there is a disconnect between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A brand and how it is positioned externally; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The brand delivery by staff; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simply put, from banks to automotive retailers, what brands promise the consumer and how consumers experience the brand, often differs. They often promise good service, yet consumer receive bad service. Prices are advertised, and often staff do not even know about it. </li></ul></ul>Are their hearts in it?
  112. 114. Brand positioning needs to be translated into staff behaviour: making staff behave “on-brand”. This constitutes the following process: Brand strategy Brand positioning Brand delivery/ operations Customer satisfaction & on-brand experience Staff: attitude/ aptitude/ training IT/ databases/ procedures/ management Customer contact points/ infrastructure Raw material inputs/ QS <ul><li>Brand name. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand positioning. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand external communications. </li></ul>Brand and company internal communications. <ul><li>Company values. </li></ul><ul><li>Company vision and mission. </li></ul><ul><li>Business and brand strategy. </li></ul>
  113. 115. Alignment leads to optimising customer opportunity <ul><li>When customers interface with a brand, they have a certain expectation. This expectation is created through external marketing, what they have seen or heard, what they have been told. A customer interface is thus always an opportunity cost: the brand has already invested the money to attract the customer. </li></ul><ul><li>When the customer finally interfaces with the brand, he or she needs to experience the brand exactly the way they expected - and the reason why they engaged with the brand in the first place. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, they need to have an even better experience than what they expected. This positive experience will create loyalty, it will convince them this kind of experience is not available elsewhere, and it will make them tell their friends about the brand. </li></ul>
  114. 116. Alignment leads (cont.) <ul><li>When this happens, a brand: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimises the money it invests in marketing in attracting customers, and then leveraging customer loyalty to further increase revenue and lifetime investment value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes it very difficult for competitors to erode this loyal customer base, almost regardless of the competitive offer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will create word of mouth advocacy, creating a viral spiral of influence that will grow the brand even more and faster. </li></ul></ul>
  115. 117. Clear and shared brand values drive staff delivery <ul><li>In companies or with brands where the values are clearly defined and differentiated at top management level, staff can interpret the values into how they perform their daily tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>When staff live the values of a brand, the brand builds up a sustainable competitive advantage that is difficult for competitors to replicate. Often such companies or brands are envied as they simply operate differently, and the experience of customers are exceptional. </li></ul><ul><li>The philosophy that all staff of Disney are employed to make “customers happy”, is an example that is often used. Staff are empowered to do what is needed, to deliver that promise to customers, leading to an exceptionally positive and motivated staff. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand like Apple has consistently been able to create products that are exceptionally designed and brilliant to use. </li></ul>
  116. 118. Starbucks: the “branded-customer-experience”: delivering exactly what consumers expect from the brand
  117. 119. Starbucks delivers an exceptional coffee experience <ul><li>Starbucks redefined and relaunched an age-old tradition: drinking coffee. </li></ul><ul><li>It defined the concept of “easy coffee”, or “coffee-on-the-go”. </li></ul><ul><li>This reintroduced drinking coffee into the language and habits of ordinary Americans, living their daily lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff have a great attitude. They look and play the part. </li></ul><ul><li>Service is fast. </li></ul><ul><li>They extended the range of coffee experiences with different options and flavours. </li></ul><ul><li>Supplementary products are related and different. </li></ul><ul><li>Locations are everywhere, endorsing the promise of “coffee-on-the-go”. </li></ul><ul><li>The in-store experience is relaxed, positive and “in-touch”, making it possible for Starbucks to partner with iTunes, extending the brand into the world of music. </li></ul>
  118. 120. In conclusion <ul><li>Within a changing global brand context, brand leadership will lie in consumer dialogue and consumer relevance. Brands will need to be authentic and have integrity to engage consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>The implication for brands is that we need to become more nimble and less restrictive in how we manage the future of our brands: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide the parameters for the brand concept to extend. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow the brand concept to extend the brand applications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set the brand identity free. Create “a language for engagement”. Set the trends, do not follow them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only engagement will enable leadership. Otherwise, many leading brands of today may well be irrelevant tomorrow. </li></ul>
  119. 121. Conclusion (cont.) <ul><li>Aligning brand strategy with brand name, identity and positioning is important and makes brand focus efficient and effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Aligning staff and infrastructure with brand positioning is vital. </li></ul>
  120. 122. A last thought: <ul><li>It is better to be talked about, than to be ignored! </li></ul>Do something with your brand that scares you, everyday.