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Beloved Brands Explained


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Feel free to download the White Paper that explains how the more love for a brand creates brand power and profitability. Takes you through the 4 stages of a brand.

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Beloved Brands Explained

  1. 1. WHITEPAPER BELOVED BRANDS EXPLAINED Graham Robertson | President of Beloved Brands Inc.
  2. 2. Table of Contents PageThe Love for Brands 3Stage 1: Indifferent 5Stage 2: Like It 7Stage 3: Love It 9Stage 4: Beloved Brand 11About Beloved Brands Inc. 14 The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  3. 3. The more loved a Brand, then the more powerful and valuable that Brand is.In the consumer’s mind, brands sit on a Brand Love Curve, with brands going from Indifferent to LikeIt to Love It and finally becoming a Beloved Brand for Life.At the Beloved stage, demand becomes desire,needs become cravings, thinking is replaced with feelings. Consumers become outspoken fans. It’sthisconnection that helps drivepower for your brand: power versus competitors, versus customers, versussuppliers and even versus the same consumers you’re connected with. The farther along the curve, the morepower for the brand. It’s important that you understand where your brand sits on the Love Curve and beginfiguring out how to move it along towards becoming a Beloved Brand.With each stage of the Brand Love Curve, the consumer will see your brand differently.The worst caseis when consumers have ―no opinion‖ of your brand. They just don’t care. It’s like those restaurants you stopat in the middle of no-where that are called ―restaurant‖. In those cases, there is no other choice so you mayas well just name it restaurant. But in highly competitive markets, you survive by being liked, but you thrive bybeing loved. Be honest with yourself as to what stage you are at, and try to figure out how to be more loved,with a vision of getting to the Beloved Brand stage. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  4. 4. As a rule, everything starts and ends with the consumer in mind.Put yourself in the shoes of yourcustomer. And then find a way to match up your brand’s natural strengths to what your consumer is lookingfor, to develop a competitive advantage that you can satisfy better than anyone else. Talk in terms ofbenefits, a balance of rational and emotional. If you keep talking features, you’ll never truly capture theconsumer. They don’t care about what you do, until they get something from it. You have to intimately knowyour consumer and build a relationship with consumers. It’s that relationship at that Love It stage thatbecomes a source of power, which can be leveraged to gain share, drive sales, increase price or extendusage, all of which helps to drive growth and profits which then has an impact on the overall value for theirbrand.Execution matters as much as strategy. There’s a certain magic in the way a brand strategies can beexecuted to connect with the consumer. The more you love your work, the more they’ll love your brand. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  5. 5. Stage 1: IndifferentHaving a brand at the Indifferent stage for too long is a recipe for disaster. If you’re new, you want to get tothe Like It stage fast. If your brand is falling from grace, it could soon face obsolete. Shrinking share, fallingsales, squeezed margins. And the spiral continues.How the consumer sees an Indifferent Brand:Consumers have no real opinion of your brand atall. They don’t care or they are completely bored withyour brand. They are not aware; they could be confusedyour concept or just not interested in what you aresaying. They will stick to their current brand of if they dobuy your brand they see it as a commodity.Why is your Brand Indifferent?You have let yourself be a product commodity andyou’ve not yet created a brand surrounding that product. There are four reasons why you are at the IndifferentStage:1. You sell but you don’t market: You are not doing a good job creating any difference between you and any other brand option. You might be ―selling‖ your product, I always love restaurants in the middle of nowhere that use the but it’s likely as a commodity, and you are only Name "Restaurant". But only when you are in the middle of nowhere can you survive without a brand. commanding a price that the market will bear. There’s no price premium. There’s no loyalty. The only repeat business you get is from the effort you exert, and there’s a very low return on effort. Out of sight and out of mind for most of your consumers. This means you’re in a spin cycle of continuously pushing your product on the market. It becomes a very supply side driven brand with no pull from the consumer.2. You are a new product: You’ll automatically be at the indifferent stage, because the consumer has no clue who you are or what you do. Everywhere you turn, people are hesitant and reluctant to back you up. It makes gaining distribution very hard or any support from key influencers. If you can’t captivate the consumer or you are not solving something that they can’t get from their current brand, then you’ll get stuck at the indifferent stage and your brand will likely die.3. You have fallen from grace: You became stagnant and even complacent in the market place. You act like you don’t really care, so guess what, the consumer won’t either. No new products in a while, and you’ve been passed in the marketplace. You’ve cut back on marketing activity. The momentum is not there, and little by little you’re starting to erode. A shrinking consumer base, cut back on the distribution combine for a squeeze on share. With a shrinking sales base, costs creep up, margins get squeezed. The spiral continues until some type of turnaround re-ignites the brand or you go out of business.4. You are a hated Brand: While you can argue that hate is an emotion, it’s not a good space to be in. Many utilities, insurance companies, airlines or financial institutions fall into this zone. These companies exert positional power over the consumer–never really trying to cultivate a relationship–choosing to maintain the power instead. But one day, things change and the positional power is gone, and so to is the brand.Indicators of Indifference The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  6. 6.  Very skinny brand funnel. The starting point to a healthy brand funnel is to create enough awareness and consideration at the top of the funnel. Without that, the efficiency of the funnel is never realized and you’ll see extremely low purchase intent and zero repeat sales. A skinny funnel is the death nail for new brands. No Effort means No Sales: You brand is completely reliant on selling. You’ll notice that when you take time off selling or you aren’t on promotion, the sales completely dip down. In the spirit of return on effort, this means your brand is 100% reliant on effort. If you’ve got a great new brand you’re trying to gain traction in the marketplace, the effort is worth it. But if you’re just another commodity, then the selling becomes a constant drain. Low margins and profits: With a small sales base, you can’t hit the volumes need to drive economies of scale. Also, since you’re constantly selling, price and distribution become your only levers you can use. You’ll be much more susceptible to price cuts in order to stay competitive—which could be in the form of discounts or promotional spending. While advertising might seem expensive, it’s actually much more efficient than the labour costs of a selling effort. Share squeeze: There is always a constant stream of new entrants into categories. As consumers are indifferent about your brand, with each new successful competitive entrant, there’s a constant share squeeze and your brand bears the biggest brunt. Shrinking consumer base deserts you for what’s new. Retailers delist your skus first, to make room for the new and better brands.How to get beyond and get a bit more Liked Win over a key niche: It would be advantageous to win over a small base of those who will love your brand. This gives you a loyalty that helps drive efficiency in how you run your brand. It also allows some word of mouth to spread, which grows the base slowly over time. However, never forget this niche and always reward your most loyal consumers. Going for a mass play while neglecting the niche will backfire on you. Capture the Mind first: In general, people think before they feel. To get to the Like It stage, you need to drive Awareness of your brand and communicate the difference that it offers. Keep in mind, brand awareness without a leaning towards consideration and purchase is useless marketing, because you need to drive awareness of what your brand is all about and why they should buy it. And while consumers are the end in mind Not long ago, Aveeno was a small bath bead brand that no one cared about. Aveeno re-invented target, you might also need to capture the minds of the themselves, able to leverage a strength around distribution channel to back your brand as well as any other key natural oats to become a powerful beloved brand influencers on the purchase decision. among women. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  7. 7.  Mind Shift: This is where you need a turnaround and change the consumer’s view of your brand. You need to re-invent yourself almost like a new brand. Maybe pick a niche or find new news that can help re- enforce that a change has taken place. This is not easy, as people love to put labels on everything in life. New News: For a new product, it’s all about driving awareness and consideration. It requires a clear communication of a compelling concept with a product that can back it up. If the concept is better than or equal to the product, then drive awareness with advertising. If the product is better than the concept, then focus on driving direct trial for winning over new consumers. For an innovative new product, focus on a niche of early adopters, who become the heart of the new brand—and will be the ambassadors that spread the news to the masses. Listen: The brands stuck in the hated space likely need to do a better job listening and reacting to the consumers. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and fix some of the leaks to the system. If we can convince these powerful institutions they will be even more powerful by having a relationship with the consumer, they will be on the way to create a brand instead of a monopoly.Being Indifferent for too long is the death nail for a brand.Unless you are a commodity or have nocompetitors, you cannot survive when your consumers have no opinion of you. The drain on profits is a recipefor bankruptcy. Stage 2: Like ItDon’t feel bad about being at the Like It stage, because that’s where most brands are.You have beenable to carve out a niche and be a chosen brand against a proliferation of brands in the category. And youhave good shares, moderate profits and most brand indicators are reasonably healthy. It’s just that no oneloves youHow the consumer sees your brand:Consumers see your brand asa functional and rational choice they make. They Start with thetried it and it makes sense so they buy it, use it and consumer insights;they do enjoy it. It meets a basic need they have. match them up againstThey likely prefer it versus another brand, but they your features tothink it is better, cheaper or easier to use. Or your determine the benefits of your told you to use it. But, consumers don’t havemuch of an emotional connection or feeling about thebrand. Where Indifferent is really bad, you’reordinary, which is just a little bit better. Overall,consumers see you brand in the “it will do” space.Why is your brand at the Like It stage?There are seven reasons why you are at the Like ItStage:1. Protective Brand Leaders means Caution: While many of these brands at the Like It are very successful brands, they get stuck because of overly conservative and fearful Brand Managers, who pick middle of the road strategies and execute ―ok‖ The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  8. 8. ideas. On top of this, Brand Managers who convince themselves that ―we stay conservative because it’s a low interest category‖ should be removed. Low interest category means you need even more to captivate the consumer.2. We are rational thinking Marketers: Those marketers that believe they are strictly rational are inhibiting their brands. The brand managers get all jazzed on claims, comparatives, product demonstration and doctor recommended that they forget about the emotional side of the purchase decision. Claims need to be twisted into benefits—both rational and emotional benefits. Consumers don’t care about you do until you care about what they need. Great marketers find that balance of the science and art of the brand. Ordinary marketers get stuck with the rational only.3. New Brand with Momentum: Stage 2 of a new brand innovation is ready to expand from the early adopters to the masses. The new brand begins to differentiate itself in a logical way to separate themselves from the proliferation of copycat competitors. Consumers start to go separate ways as well. Retailers might even back one brand over another. Throughout the battle, the brand carves out a base of consumers.4. There’s a Major Leak: If you look at the brand buying system, you’ll start to see a major leak at some point where you keep losing customers. Most brands have some natural flaw—whether it’s the concept, the product, taste profile ease of use or customer service. Without analyzing and addressing leaks, the brand gets stuck. People like it, but refuse to love it.5. Brand changes their Mind every year: Brands really exist because of the consistency of the promise. When the promise and the delivery of the promise changes every year it’s hard to really connect with what the brand is all about. A brand like Wendy’s has changed their advertising message every year over the past 10 years. The only consumers remaining are those who like their burgers, not the brand.6. Positional Power–who needs Love: there are brands that have captured a strong positional power, whether it`s a unique technology or distribution channel or even value pricing advantage. Brands like Microsoft or Wal-Mart or even many of the pharmaceuticals products don`t see value in the idea of being loved. The problem is when you lose the positional power, you lose your customer base completely.7. Brands who capture Love, but no Life Ritual: There are brands that quickly capture the imagination but somehow fail to capture a routine Even with a great product, embedded in the consumers’ life, usually due to some flaw. Whether it’s Wendys cant seem to create an Krispy Kreme, Pringles or even Cold Stone, there’s something inherent in the emotional connection. brand’s format or weakness that holds it back and it stays stuck at Loved but just not often enough. So, you forget you love them.Indicators at the Like It stage Low Conversion to Sales. While the brand looks healthy in terms of awareness and equity scores, the brand is successful in becoming part of the consumer’s consideration set, but it keeps losing out to the competition as the consumer goes to the purchase stage. It usually requires a higher trade spend to close that sale which cuts price and margins. Brand Doesn’t Feel Different: A great advertising tracking score to watch is ―made the brand seem different‖ which helps to separate itself from the pack, many times speaking to the emotional part of the messaging. Stagnant Shares: Your brand team is happy when they hold share, content to grow with the category. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  9. 9.  High Private Label Sales: If you only focus on the ingredients and the rational features of the product, the consumer will start to figure out they get the same thing with the private label and the share starts to creep up to 20% and higher.How to get to the Love It stage Focus on action and drive Consideration and Purchase: stake out certain spaces in the market creating a brand story that separates your brand from the clutter. Begin to sell the solution, not just the product. Build a Bigger Following: Invest in building a brand story that helps to drive for increased popularity and get new consumers to use the brand. Begin to Leverage those that already Love: Focus on the most loyal consumers and drive a deeper connection by driving the routine which should increase usage frequency. On top of that, begin cross selling to capture a broader type of usage. Love the Work: It is time to dial up the passion that goes into the marketing execution. Beloved Brands have a certain magic to them. But ―Like It’ brands tend to settle for ok, rather than push for great. With better work, you’ll be able to better captivate and delight the consumers. If you don’t love the work, how do you expect the consumer to love your brand? Fix the Leak: Brands that are stuck have something At the Like It stage, brands should focus on closing the embedded in the brand or the experience that is sale to keep the momentum going and gain a following. holding back the brand. It frustrates consumers and restricts them from fully committing to making the brand a favourite. Be proactive and get the company focused on fixing this leak. Build a Big Idea: Consumers want consistency from the brand—constant changes to the advertising, packaging or delivery can be frustrating. Leverage a Brand Story and a Big Idea that balances rational and emotional benefits helps to establish a consistency for the brand and help build a much tighter relationship.Brands at the Like It stage get complacent. You need to drive the Love into the work, and find the balancebetween rational and emotional benefits. And you can never be satisfied with ―ok‖ work. Stage 3: Love ItReaching the Love It stage is a status few brands achieve. Congratulations. But don’t get complacentor you’ll fall back. The Love It stage is where it starts to connect with the consumer’s life, whether itbecomes a routine, a favourite or a ritual for the consumer. It usually takes years to achieve thisstatus, but not always. With technology brands like IPods, they have reached Love It stage very fast. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  10. 10. Not everyone stays at the Love It stage, many falling backwards because they stop innovating andbeing creative.How the consumer sees your Brand:Consumers start to become loyal to their brand, possessive and evenoutspoken. There is an emotionalconnection layered ontop of any rationalreason they alreadyhad. The brands theylove become part oftheir life—usuallyexpressed as aroutine. They willswitch stores beforethey switch brands andthey will go out of theirway to get to theirfavourite brands. It istough to displace thatconsumers love.Why is yourBrand at theLove It stage?There are threereasons why you areat the Love It Stage:1. Emotional Connection: The emotional benefits and the connection become more important. The rational benefits almost shift towards the reasons to believe, backing up that emotional connection. That emotional bond with consumers becomes a source of power that can be used against retailers, competitors, suppliers and even the consumers themselves. It’s this source of power that helps drive the efficiency into the P&L.2. Consistently Positive Experience: It becomes all about the experience at this stage. Brands need to drive home the consistency not just in the message but in the experience. Brand needs to become a beacon for all employees to deliver an experience that puts the consumer first and delivers an experience that matches the promise of the brand.3. Magical ways to Surprise and Delight: Execution matters. If you don’t love the work, how do you expect the consumer to love your brand? To ensure total passion, loving the work becomes the standard for which the work gets approved. Anything less is rejected. Brands that reach the Love It stage build in great marketing programs to delight the consumer.Indicators that your Brand is Loved Robust Brand Funnel: Brand funnel has strength throughout, and specifically it beats the competition at the purchase, repeat and loyalty. Tracking Scores: Starting to see a broader user base and a strengthening usage frequency as it becomes part of the brand routine. Highly responsive advertising tracking means you can lower the GRPs. High net promoter scores help spread the word of mouth. Quick adoption of new messaging or skus. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  11. 11.  Share Gains: Even in a competitive market, a brand at the Love It stage should be gaining share and widening the leadership stance. Strong relationships with retailers and influencers. Healthy P&L: Should start to see a robust P&L driven by a strong topline growth number, a premium price position that helps increase Gross Margin. The spending also becomes more efficient; with lower spend to sales ratios for both consumer and trade spend.How to get beyond and go the next stage Emphasize the Experience: In order to establish leadership or challenge for leadership, brands begin to talk about the experience consumers will have with their product. It becomes no longer about the brand or product but about the consumer and how your brand fits into their life. Tug at the Heart to Drive a Deeper Connection: Build a brand story that’s balanced with both rational and emotional benefits. Speak in the voice of the consumer. Brands look to use positioning strategies to separate themselves, focusing on key targets, with unique benefits–a balance of emotional and rational benefits. Advertising brings the consumer front and centre, trying to establish a routine with your brand in it. Love the Work and Find Your Brand’s Magic: Most brands at the Love It stage find a certain magic in their execution that helps to surprise and delight the consumer. Executional Excellent matters. It gives you a chance to layer on More Reasons to Love: Find new product solutions, services or the closing of leaks that all help to re-enforce the connection with the consumer.To move to Beloved Brand status, is going from great to amazing. Take all the love and create magic foryour brand. Focus on the Experience with the Consumer Front and Centre. Fit your brand into their Life. Stage 4: BelovedAt the Beloved Brand stage, you’ve become an iconic brand, either an all-time favourite brand or abrand of a generation. These are brands are not only part of the lives of consumers; people identifythemselves through these brands. People have conversations about these brands. Not only are peopleproactively outspoken, they would defend it as it’s their own brand. Just trying telling a Mac user that Windows7 is better and you’ll experience just how embedded the brand is in their life. At this stage, you have to liveand breathe as though you are the consumer. You should feel the constant pressure that you cannot let themdown.How the consumer sees you:The emotional connection becomes so strong, that the consumer becomes blind to logic. For theseiconic brands, it’s no longer about actual quality, it becomes about perceived quality. And thesebrands are more than just part of their life; they are a favourite part of their day. They see thesebrands as a badge of who they are, proudly displaying for all to see.Why are you here?There are four main reasons why you are at the Beloved Brand Stage: The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  12. 12. 1. Iconic Self-Expression: Strategy shifts to brand personality where tone and manner in the execution are paramount so that Consumers connect with the brand and begin to see themselves in the brand. The consumers become fans of the brand, almost like a sports fan. You are constantly delighting the consumer whether it’s innovative products, added services or just the creativity in marketing. Things that you do make the news or the lunch time conversations.2. You’ve Managed the Perceptions: Demand becomes desire, needs become cravings, thinking is replaced with feelings. You’ve managed to capture how the consumer feels as a result of their connection with the brand.3. All about the Experience: You constantly look at your brand through the eyes of your consumer. Your voice of customer or customer experience tracking enables you to attack your potential weakness, even before the consumer notices.4. Wielding Your Power: You start to wield the power that comes from the tight consumer connection. You use that power to create favourable distribution, you challenge suppliers to lower their costs to serve you, you pressure competitors until they are squeezed out of the market and you even use the power against the very consumers that love you. You’re able to command a price premium and new launches are an automatic success. Your marketing is so iconic that the marketing-spend-to-sales-ratio is much more efficient than your competitors. Using the power gives you even more power.Indicators in the Market Dominant Share Position: You take a dominant stance in the marketplace. Small brands get squeezed out by your presence. Net Promoter Scores: Very high net promoter scores among the most loyal consumers. Even non-users see the brand as powerful. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  13. 13.  Preferential Treatment: Retailers give you preferential shelf space and promotions to use your brand to drive traffic to their stores. Suppliers cut their costs in order to sign you as a customer. Even government might offer special benefits. Employer of choice for talent. Earned and Influential Media goes up. Brand Value: With such a strong profitability, able to see measurable Brand Value that goes beyond the P&L.How to stay a Beloved Brand Keep it about the Experience: For those who love the brand, it’s no longer just about the product, it becomes about the experience. Keep finding new ways to surprise and delight your consumers. Coke’s latest Coca Cola Free Style is a great example of how to take the brand to the next level. Broaden the Audience: To ensure you are a brand that goes beyond the current generation of consumers, begin thinking about how to spread your brand to other age groups. A lot of fashion brands and restaurant brands have been trapped into the current generation and lose the status as styles change. Broaden the Offering: Take advantage of your brand’s loyal following to launch peripheral products that build on the routine. Capture more share of wallet of your most loyal consumers. Listen to Your Consumer: Give them a voice and be as responsive as you can. Beloved Brands that set up a dialogue, speaking the truth, with nothing to hide will win. Don’t become complacent: Constantly challenge the status quo to find weakness and attack it before your competitors have a chance to do it. Don’t let your arrogance get the in the way. Gap Clothing, Cadillac, IBM computers, Levis, Sony or Kodak who have each reached the Beloved Brand Stage only to be replaced by new products and brands and moved back down the love curve towards Indifferent. Most recently, Blackberry. Only 18 months ago, people jokingly used the term ―crackberry‖ to describe their addictions. Beloved Brands have reached iconic status, where they are cherished and desired. This love provides a source of power to drive profit and value for the brand. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  14. 14. About Beloved Brands Inc. I started Beloved Brands Inc. to help your brand realize its full potential value by generating more love for your brand.The biggest difference that I offer is that I will challenge your team to come up with new ideasthat will drive real growth. I have walked a mile in your shoes. I am a former business leader witha reputation for finding growth where others could not, whether it’s a turnaround, re-positioning,new product launch or sustaining success. With my experience, I’ll be able to get you and yourteam to a strategic action plan that will set your brand up to win in the market. I bring a unique perspective: I believe the more loved the brand, the more valuable is the brand. Brands move along a Brand Love Curve, going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally to the Beloved Brand status. It is the tight bond created between a brand and its consumers that can be used as a source of power to drive further growth and profits. Brands can find themselves stuck at a point on the curve, uncertain how to get more from their brand. I will help unleash the power of your brand by finding aUnique Selling Proposition that best matches the needs of your consumers with your brand’s assets. Together, we’ll develop strategies that will make your brand become a more beloved brand and in turn a more powerful and more profitable brand.The areas where I can help you the most are: Strategic Planning: I will help your team to develop a Brand Plan with vision, mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. I will help you to discover a Unique Selling Proposition that matches up the needs of your consumers against your brand assets. The plan and new positioning will separate you from your competitors and set you up to win in the market. Marketing Training: I know I can make your team better, because I have done it my entire career. You can get a training program customized for your team, which will meet specific needs or adjusted to any level of your team. I also provide coaching at the brand team level or personalized one-on-ones for key individuals. The Marketing Training program includes: 1. Strategic Thinking 2. Brand Plans 3. Developing Creative Briefs 4. Driving Profits through your Brand 5. P&L and Forecasting Management 6. Judging Advertising Creative 7. Media Planning 8. Marketing Careers The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at