Brand Tensity: Opposites Attract


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In the two decades that Y&R’s BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV®) - the world’s largest database of brand perceptions - has studied the brandscape, brands have become 200% less distinct from one another. Marketers must work harder than ever in order to make their brands stand out. But how? By studying thousands of brands - from the most iconic to the most commoditized - we found that breakaway brands have an inherent tension that makes them irresistible. We call this BRAND TENSITY®

Published in: Marketing

Brand Tensity: Opposites Attract

  3. 3. BAVLAB is a global brand consultancy with local expertise. Our approach to strategy is grounded in brand analytics. Leveraging the brand data and philosophy of Y&R’s BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV®), the world’s largest database of brand perceptions, we help our clients make more informed marketing decisions. ! BAV monitors the brand data points that matter, evaluating how brands create momentum and drive consumer passion. By understanding and exploring a brand’s strengths and challenges against the fundamental dynamics of its category, BAV provides unique insights into a brand’s larger role in the evolving cultural marketplace.   FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, WE’VE GATHERED CONSUMER PERCEPTIONS OF MORE THAN 50,000 BRANDS.
  4. 4. BAV measures brands on a set of 48 image anD personality DIMENSIONS BAV is A developmental MODEL THAT identifies clear patterns and trends reflective of brand growth, decay and recovery. BAV is the world’s largest database and model on brands 1,000,000 +  
 52,000 +     BRANDS OVER  300 +
 LEARNING & TRENDING arrogant authentic best brand carefree caRes customers charming daring different distinctive down to earth dynamic energetic friendly fun gaining in popularity glamorous good value healthy helpful high performance high quality independent innovative intelligent kind leader obliging original prestigious progressive reliable restrained rugged sensuous simple social socially responsible straightforward stylish traditional trendy trustworthy unapproachable unique up to date upper class visionary worth more
  5. 5. BAV measures brands on 
four pillars of brand equity 
 and momentum Knowledge How well the brand is understood Relates to consumer experience with the brand KNOWLEDGE How highly the 
 brand is regarded Esteem Relates to 
 perception of 
 quality and respect ESTEEM How appropriate the brand is Relevance Relates to market penetration RELEVANCE Differentiation THE UNIQUE MEANING, ENERGY AND DYNAMISM OF THE BRAND Relates to margins, advocacy and cultural currency DIFFERENTIATION
  6. 6. we call this BRAND TENSITY® In the two decades that BAV has studied the brandscape, brands have become 200% less distinct from one another. Marketers must work harder than ever in order to make their brands stand out. but how? BY Studying thousands of brands - from the most iconic to the most commoditized - we found that breakaway brands have an inherent tension That makes them irresistible.
  7. 7. BRAND TENSITYThe convergence of two or more contradictory forces, resulting in excitement, anticipation, and A palpable energy.
  8. 8. Tensity in Culture TENSITY can be found across culture: compelling art, music, food, architecture and people are not one-dimensional and flat, but rather, have contradictory layers and depth. Marilyn Monroe’s tensity of Seductive-Innocence has made her irresistible, and she remains a cultural icon more than 50 years after her death. She continues to be the spokesperson for brands across sectors. She has been the face of brands including Coca-Cola, Bed Bath and beyond, Mercedes-Benz, MAC, and Macy’s. in January 2015, she became the new face of Max Factor. SEDUCTIVE INNOCENCE Traditionally UNTRADITIONAL Marilyn Monroe Once a bar bouncer, now the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is changing the global perception of what it means to be the Pope. He declines to wear ornate clothing and jewelry, encourages interfaith dialogue and refused the Papal apartment. He is seen as progressive, in touch with contemporary culture, and relatable while holding a traditional role. According to Pew Global, as of December 2014, Pope Francis had a 60% favorability rating around the world1 and was the most talked about topic on Facebook in 2014. Pope Francis 1
  9. 9. Our attraction to the convergence of contradictory elements is apparent throughout time, around the world. The most compelling stories have twists and turns, heroes and foes, joy and despair. In 2009, Disney invested four billion dollars in Marvel, a company that consistently produces record breaking box-office hits. Tensity can be found throughout Marvel’s portfolio: Iron Man balances his reckless billionaire playboy persona with a Genius wisdom; The Hulk is an introverted academic with uncontrollable rage; and The Avengers are a group of individuals who are at their greatest when united. “Unlike other superhero films and action spectacles, Marvel movies manage to combine the everyday and the extraordinary to create their epic narratives. ” - Gary SusmaN, moviefone.com2 ! TENSITY IN ENTERTAINMENT RECKLESS INTROVERTED ACADEMIC INDIVIDUAL WISDOM TEAM UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE 2DC vs Marvel: Who’s Winning the Comics War on TV, IRONMAN the hulk THE AVENGERS
  10. 10. Tensity in Music Iconic collaborations - from RUN DMC’s 1986 cover of Aerosmith’s hit “Walk This Way,” to pop star Lady Gaga and jazz legend Tony Bennett’s number one selling album CHEEK TO CHEEK - embody the opposing forces of contradictory genres that make the music unexpected and compelling. ! The Beatles balanced the Tensity of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s opposing music styles. Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles said, “In the almost eight years of the partnership, it had seemed fruitless to try to reconcile their different styles in the larger picture, they merged seamlessly into the universally recognized Beatles sound.”3 ! At the same time, the antithesis of the clean-cut Beatles arose: The Rolling Stones. The introduction of The Rolling Stones as the anti-Beatles created a Tensity within the music landscape of the British Invasion. The polarity of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles was best described by Rolling Stones Keith Richards: “The Beatles got the white hat, what was left - the black hat." ! EVEN Bob Dylan, described at the Rock and Roll Hall of fame as the “uncontested poet laureate of the rock and roll era and the preeminent singer/songwriter of modern times,” embodies Tensity by delivering his poetic lyrics in a unique and gritty style- a voice that David Bowie Described as “sand and glue.”4 3Excerpt From: Spitz, Bob. “The Beatles.” Little, Brown and Company, 2007-10-15. iBooks. 4Bowie, David. Song for Bob Dylan. David Bowie. Ken Scott, 1971.
  11. 11. For insight into how brands break away from their categories, we studied the imagery patterns of brands that disrupted commoditized sectors. BREAKAWAY BRANDS  deliver on the perceptual expectations of their categories, while also leaning toward imagery that opposes these category requirements, creating Tensity in their brand identities. TENSITY MAKES BRANDS BREAK AWAY RELEVANCE DIFFERENTIATION COMMODITY  SPACE      AIRLINES        INSURANCE CAR  &  TRUCK  RENTALS  HOTELS      SUPERMARKETS        SAUCES      CEREALS      DEODERANTS      SPORTS  SHOES      SNACK  FOODS •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   BREAKAWAY  BRANDS Base: BAV USA; UK (Virgin Atlantic) All Adults All Scores Vs Category Average ELITE EVERYMANFUN VALUE SEDUCTIVE SERVICE
  12. 12. Tensity in RETAIL BRANDS We see Tensity in retail brands that are able to break away from peers. ! Paris, one of the major department stores in Chile, worked with BAVLAB to Identify the brand’s Tensity: Exclusive- Inclusive. The Paris brand is always on trend, offering the most exclusive products and services. At the same time, the brand is also seen as a place where customers feel welcome. ! Utilizing BAV data, we uncovered the innate truth within the brand that could provide the foundation to its Tensity. Paris is an inclusive store, conscious of the environment, connected with the joy of living and concerned about its customers, while also being an authority on fashion in Chile. INCLUSIVE “Once upon a time, access to retail brands was enough to generate sales. Open a chain store in a mall in Anywhere USA and the locals would flock to it. But in an over-retailed age where purchases are a click away, mere access is insufficient. You need to offer more. And that’s where Retail Tensity for brands is important. You need to stand for something. Stand out. And stand apart, with qualities that make your brand interesting. Otherwise, you will be consigned to being a commodity brand, sent to the brand bargain basement and quickly forgotten about.”  ! ! ! ! ! ! Jon Bird, Global Managing Director, Y&R Labstore EXCLUSIVE
  13. 13. Walmart is synonymous with “value” in the US retail sector. For competitors to capture a greater share of the consumer’s heart and wallet, they must build Tensity beyond the category expectation of “value.” ! Target has partnered with high-end designers including Missoni, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and, most recently, Lilly Pulitzer to create affordable designer clothing lines. Through IT’s Mission of “Design for all” and 12 years of designer collaborations that started with Isaac Mizrahi in 2003, Target has reinforced the Tensity of Cheap- Chic as core to its meaning, helping to make it a brand icon in our culture. ! RELEVANCE DIFFERENTIATION 2007 2005 2003 2001 1999 1997 1993 •   •   •   •   •   •   Base: BAV USA •   2007 “The key to Target's marketing strategy has been its ability to continuously position itself as a high-style brand despite its low prices. It's a crowded retail space and Target Has managed to create a brand that people love…” - Jose Costa, President, MAACO5 CHALLENGING THE CATEGORY LEADER CHEAP CHIC 5
  14. 14. The majority of fashion retail advertising focuses on the clothing. RKCR/Y&R helped Marks & Spencer in the UK stand out by highlighting the women in the M&S clothing. The “Leading Ladies Campaign” featured notable women as their models including singer-songwriter and human rights activist Annie Lennox, actor and writer Emma Thompson, structural engineer Roma Agrawal, designer Lulu Kennedy and campaigner Baroness Lawrence. Marks & Spencer balanced the Tensity between fashion and substance to establish itself as a unique brand in the retail space. “These dynamic leading ladies represent the unique and diverse women of a modern Britain. They are united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences. Marks & Spencer is a democratic brand that is relevant to women of all ages and strands of life; it is therefore natural for M&S to celebrate women in this way. ” Patrick Bousquet Chavanne, M&S Executive Director of Marketing and Business Development REFRAMING FASHION STYLE SUBSTANCE
  15. 15. When a brand embraces its Tensity, it more deeply engages people in the real world. Land Rover integrated hardworking functionality with luxury. This opposing dynamic enabled the brand to break away from its competition while supporting its premium price point. “Sometimes the ultimate in luxury is really just the ultimate in utility. Call it industrial chic. A handful of clever brands — Viking ranges, Orvis outerwear — have made fortunes out of it, but Land Rover wrote the book.” - Robert Klara, Adweek6 MORE THAN LUXuRY LUXURY HARDWORKING 6 Adweek “Land Rover’s Evolution From Safari Wagon to Luxury SUV: Once Ugly in England Now Admired in America” (Robert Klara, May 29, 2013)
  16. 16. THROUGH A 25-YEAR PARTNERSHIP with RKCR/Y&R London, 
 Virgin Atlantic Airways 
 embraced IT’s Tensity of 
 Seductive - Service. Your Airlines Either Got It Or It Hasn’t Your Airlines Either Got It Or It Hasn’t SERVICE SEDUCTIVE
  17. 17. UNION JACK 2012
  18. 18. FOR beverage brand ichitan, Y&R created the “guilty” campaign featuring Thai singer Ben Calatit and Miss Thailand World to help the brand embrace its tensity: HEALTHFUL-INDULGENCE HEALTHFUL INDULGENCE
  19. 19. Patagonia, a premium outdoor clothing company, positions itself as an advocate for the earth and actively fights overconsumption with IT’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign. To further mitigate environmental impact, the brand encourages consumers to repair items with its “Worn Wear” initiative. ! Brands are bombarding consumers with reasons to buy their products. Patagonia encourages conservative consumerism, a thought that is counterintuitive to most retail marketing objectives. “There is nothing we can change about how we make clothing that would have more positive environmental impact than simply making less. Worn Wear is a celebration of quality products and their relationship to our lives. It’s a simple but critical message: keep your gear in action longer and take some pressure off our planet.”
 – Rose Marcario, ceo, Patagonia CAPITALISM Selflessness Patagonia Harley-Davidson embraces the Tensity of Rebellious - Camaraderie. In it’s - “United by Independents” campaign, Harley tells consumers that while they are each unique individuals, they belong to the Harley -Davidson motorcycle culture. REBELLIOUS CAMARADERIE Harley-Davidson
  20. 20. Embassy Suites had strong equity with business travelers, so it set out to increase bookings among family leisure travelers. BAVLAB found a Tensity foundation for Embassy Suites in Approachable- Excellence, enabling the brand to protect its Relevance while driving brand Differentiation. This campaign successfully resonated with moms, who feel that family vacation is often full of compromises. ! If you want someone to tell you how they really feel, you must get to know them. ! eXploring puts us in the lives of the people we want to understand. eXploring reveals the truths about how people really feel and act. Y&R Chicago used the Approachable-Excellence Tensity to craft the “YEAH, IT’S PRETTY GREAT!” campaign. Through the lense of this tensity, the campaign highlighted the brand's unique product offerings: every room is a two-room suite with free made-to-order breakfast and a complimentary reception every evening. FINDING TENSITY IN HOSPITALITY +BRAND TENSITY Approachable 
 -ExcellenCE Family Travel 
 means COMPROMISE eXploring IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW A LION HUNTS, YOU DON'T GO TO THE ZOO, YOU GO TO THE JUNGLE.  WE complEment our data knowledge with real world findings eXploring is a guide to action, inspired by real people in the real world.
  21. 21. File Name: ESHEBSP13045_Door_EDWRR_Ad_v2.indd Revision: 1 A door just did this to my face. That’s right, a door. At home you take them for granted. But at Embassy Suites, a two-room suite with the kids will break your trip into two things: peace and quiet. 2 , BOOK NOW AT EMBASSYSUITES.COM Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age. ©2014 Hilton Worldwide. TM indicates a trademark of Hilton Worldwide. S:7.375” S:10” T:7.875” T:10.5” B:8.5” B:11.125” File Name: ESHEBSP13045_DateNight_Family_Fun_Ad_v2.indd Revision: 2 Wherever you stay, everyone should feel welcome. That’s why Embassy Suites provides complimentary drinks and snacks for two hours every night. Our vacation just got a couple of hours happier. , BOOK NOW AT EMBASSYSUITES.COM Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age. ©2014 Hilton Worldwide. TM indicates a trademark of Hilton Worldwide. 2 TWO-ROOM SUITES COMPLIMENTARY DRINKS FREE MADE-TO-ORDER BREAKFAST S:7.375” T:7.875” B:8.5” File Name: ESHEBSP13045_Brkfst_Parents_Ad_v3.indd Revision: 3 Apparently, she’s a picky eater. 2 , BOOK NOW AT EMBASSYSUITES.COM Kids don’t care if breakfast is free, they care if it’s right. At Embassy Suites we’ll get your little darlings a breakfast made-to-order. And by the way, it’s free. Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age. ©2014 Hilton Worldwide. TM indicates a trademark of Hilton Worldwide. S:7.375” S:10” T:7.875” T:10.5” B:8.5” B:11.125”
  22. 22. what we do BRAND 
 Strategies Breakaway Brands The “IT” Factor Shifting Category 
 Dynamics The Value of “Value” Paths to Trust Millennials in the Marketplace SOME AREAS OF EXPLORATION
  23. 23. Michael Sussman 
 President, BAV Worldwide @YR_BAV Brand Tensity is a proprietary Y&R approach 
 to identifying compelling brand platforms for our clients To learn more about Brand Tensity and how BAV data can help position your brand for growth, please contact: BAVLAB combines data with strategic planning expertise to help clients better understand their brandS. Backed by 20 years of brand data and insights, we inspire motivating ideas, tactics, partnerships and marketing platforms that drive brand momentum and yield tangible results. ABOUT BAVLAB