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5 tips for brand building and brand management


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5 things that are key to building strong brands:

#1: Conviction fuels conversion: Start with engagement

#2: Ideas matter more than media: A great brand idea should translate

#3: People are okay with complexity (as long as you make it easy)

#4: Authenticity leads to visibility: “Build” vs. “badge” approach to sponsorships

#5: People power marketing: You need a “brand2everyone” approach

Published in: Business

5 tips for brand building and brand management

  2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT summarizes five core beliefs we havehere at Jack Morton about building brands now: CONVICTION FUELS CONVERSION#1 Don’t start with awareness as a goal; start by getting people to interact with your brand#2 IDEAS MATTER MORE THAN MEDIA A great brand idea should translate across media#3 P EOPLE ARE OKAY WITH COMPLEXITY (AS LONG AS YOU MAKE IT EASY) Consumers crave brand content and context; you have to make it relevant and resonant#4 A UTHENTICITY MAKES YOU VISIBLE (THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE) Instead of taking a “badge” approach to sponsorships, what about a “build” approach?#5 P EOPLE POWER MARKETING fuel effective marketing, you need to “brand2everyone” To 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /2
  3. TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction 4Axiom #1 – Conviction fuels conversion 5Axiom #2 – Ideas matter more than media 7Axiom #3 – People are okay with complexity (as long as you make it easy) 9Axiom #4 – Authenticity makes you visible (the opposite is true) 11Axiom #5 – People power marketing 12Talk to Jack 14About Jack Morton 15 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /3
  4. INTRODUCTIONJosh McCall We’re comfortableHere at Jack Morton, we like big ideas and we like talking with debate.about them as much as any other agency. More so, perhaps,because we come at this field from a unique point of view –that of a brand experience agency. We have a way of seeing We don’t claim to knowthe world that isn’t quite in line with conventional wisdom andtraditionally conceived marketing. We feel pretty passionately or do everything butso we spend a lot of time engaged in conversation with clients,colleagues and peers, sharing what we consider to be core we’re serious abouttruths about how to build brands today. having the conversation.We’ve gathered five of what we consider the most important ofthese axioms in the pages that follow.I’ve spent enough time with marketing and brand people tobe a little nervous about offering them advice on “how to bebrilliant” – it feels a bit presumptuous. But we want to provokea conversation. We’re comfortable with debate. We don’tclaim to know or do everything (notice we’ve titled this“5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT”, not “the five only waysto be brand brilliant”) but we’re serious about having theconversation.So please do tell us: What do you think? Do you agree?We’d like to know. Josh McCall Chairman CEO of Jack Morton Worldwide 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /4
  5. AXIOM #1CONVICTION FUELS CONVERSIONDon’t start with awareness as a goal; start by process – based on, for example, advice they actively seek out from trusted friends. And once they’re customers, it’s actualgetting people to interact with your brand. experience with the brand – say, customer service – that in large part determines future purchase. Ultimately, McKinseyThe oldest chestnut in the marketing book is the metaphor of concluded, marketers should focus less on the two ends ofa funnel to describe how consumers are reached, influenced the funnel (awareness and loyalty) and more on the wholeand ultimately converted to customers. According to this landscape of touchpoints and experiences that influencemodel, mass matters most: marketers should start by creating purchase. If they’re not part of the considerationawareness on as broad a scale as they can afford (and it’s set, if they’re not part of the conversation,expensive to buy through traditional media). They then push they should (to paraphrase Don Draper)likely buyers into an ever narrower funnel, moving them to create disruptions that change thepositive opinions, consideration and ultimately purchase. conversation.We in the brand experience space struggle with the funnelmetaphor because we’re not so obviously about mass impact:we’re about getting a small but important group to engagedeeply with a brand. That’s what experience does well. If yousubscribe to the funnel worldview, it’s harder to justify honing inso narrowly.But here’s the thing: very wise people have concluded thatthe funnel model isn’t accurate. In a study of over 20,000consumers across five industries and three continents, McKinseyconcluded that their decision-making process is circular. Ratherthan narrowing into a funnel, consumers may actually addbrands to their consideration set as they move through the 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /5
  7. AXIOM #1 CONVICTION FUELS CONVERSIONSo, as it turns out, brand experience is actually very well-suited Brand experience drives conviction – and conviction convertsto a post-funnel world. Rather than spreading a thin layer of triers into buyers and believers. Even if this happens on aawareness across a broad population, engaging fewer people relatively small scale, in industries with high-considerationmore deeply does two things brilliantly: products (like cars or consumer electronics) higher conversion rates rapidly add up to significant ROI for brand experience.1. Provide direct interaction with the brand that fuels But even in low-consideration sectors, brand experience can real conviction and conversion. This is especially achieve mass impact as well. We use the phrase “experienced relevant for well-known brands that have fallen out of by few, witnessed by many” to describe the phenomenon of the consideration set; getting people to touch and feel how a truly unique experience can captivate the attention of your brand here and now is a way to make it relevant the world’s media and generate earned media coverage on here and now. A circular journey means brands can a mass scale. opportunistically jump into the consideration set.2. Inspire people to talk about your brand. According to our own research, the influence of word of mouth is enormous. Across geographies there is no more highly valued source of information about brands than people you know giving you advice – and most people say they’ll only talk about brands they’ve actually experienced. 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /7
  8. AXIOM #2IDEAS MATTER MORE THAN MEDIAA great brand idea should translateacross media. We like the definition provided by Bob Greenberg and Barry Wacksman of R/GA: “When a brand creates its ownClients have always hired agencies for ideas – that’s what media properties that consumers use over and over again,they need most and we do best. They know their business; such as a popular video on YouTube or a popular digitalwe have ideas. platform like Nike+, this is ‘owned’ media. When consumers share these media properties with each other – as when oneOne of the most exciting things about what’s happening in the person passes along a viral link to another, or blogs or tweetsworld of marketing today is that clients are increasingly likely about a brand, or ‘likes’ a brand on Facebook – this isto buy great ideas with a refreshing disregard for media as it ‘earned’ media.”used to be defined. They want great ideas and they recognizethat ideas come from everywhere (not just from the agencies According to this definition, “owned media” is an idea, athat are called, somewhat redundantly, creative). They want story or experience that’s created by the brand, and “earnedideas to be able to translate and transcend media; ideas don’t media” is when people recommend and share that samealways get born as an ad that then turns into an activation. experience with others. What’s important about owned media isn’t what it looks like or the form it takes. What’s important isAs a brand experience agency, we are particularly passionate that it’s so inspiring that it’s shared with others. According toabout generating owned media ideas. this definition, owned media could be something you see on YouTube – or it could be customer service that’s so great you tellNow, people’s eyes can start to glaze over when we talk about others about it. Some of our favorites started out as experiencesdefining owned media, but perhaps that’s because it has a bad in the real world that took on a life of their own online: think ofrep from years of being an afterthought – the thing you turn to Coke’s brilliant “Happiness Machine” (which was born out of aonce your paid media budget was all used up. digital agency’s brainstorming). 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /8
  9. AXIOM #2 IDEAS MATTER MORE THAN MEDIAFor us, it’s the idea that’s special for brands and for people,not media – and we feel vindicated by a couple of phenomenain the world today. The first comes from the world of marketing,where the most prestigious awards (such as the CannesTitanium prize) reward ideas regardless of media. The secondand ultimately more important phenomenon comes fromconsumers themselves, who in a recent study overwhelmingtold us that given all the clutter and noise in the world today,“if a brand wants to get my attention it has to do somethingspecial”. An owned media idea that a brand can leverageacross media – that’s special. Great owned media ideas createspecial moments that capture people’s attention, or inventreasons to connect with your brand.  5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /9
  10. AXIOM #3PEOPLE ARE OKAY WITH COMPLEXITY (AS LONG AS YOU MAKE IT EASY)Consumers crave brand content and context;you have to make it relevant and resonant.Many of us can feel at times that we’re drowning ininformation: all those unanswered emails and unopened piecesof mail, all the ads we skip and brand-driven SMS messageswe delete while cursing and mentally tallying up the bill. Thissensation of information overload comes when we’re facedwith content we haven’t asked for or that interrupts us withoutshowing relevance. We may cite that statistic reported in theNew York Times, that the typical western city-dweller is exposedto over 5,000 media messages daily.Exhausted yet?Lest we project that sense of being overwhelmed on the peoplewe’re trying to reach, let’s remember what the research actuallyshows. In fact, people really want and crave information aboutbrands and products. They just want it on their terms, withcontent and context that suit their needs. 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /10
  11. AXIOM #3 PEOPLE ARE OKAY WITH COMPLEXITY (AS LONG AS YOU MAKE IT EASY)According to research conducted by Jack Morton: The trick is to make even complex information accessible and relevant. Face-to-face brand experiences connecting• 8 7% of consumers say that “information is my friend”; people who have an interest in the brand with people who information turns them from passive targets to active can speak on its behalf – whether paid company staff or participants in the brand dialogue inspired advocates – provide a terrific platform for content• I nformation about brands makes people feel and context. But so do great stories well told. A favorite “empowered” and “in control” (and women are slightly recent example is Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” video, which more likely to claim this empowerment, despite being started out online before being deployed as the brand’s first- likely to note that there are more competing sources of ever national US ad, sparking robust dialogue about a very information available) complex subject along the way.• T he top sources of information most likely to drive purchase aren’t passive awareness vehicles such as traditional advertising; they’re more active engagement- driven sources like advice sought from or given by friends and family• A fter purchase, people continue to seek out relevant information from brands and friends: to stay current on features, to save money, to be better consumers – and to defect to a better alternative if their current brand doesn’t keep them engaged 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /11
  12. AXIOM #4AUTHENTICITY MAKES YOU VISIBLE (THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE)Instead of taking a “badge” approach to to sponsorship treat it as more of a collaboration than asponsorships, what about a “build” approach? transaction. They don’t just tick a box and gain the “exclusive” slot for their sector. They look for the authentic intersection ofIt’s a safe bet that you’ve ignored billions of dollars of poorly shared passions and values for the property, the fans and theirspent sponsorship dollars. You didn’t do it maliciously. It’s just own brand, and build from there.that there are far too many brands that spend richly for theright to display their logo as a badge atop properties that Ultimately, authenticity is very hard to ignore. Love it or hate it,aren’t really authentically connected to who they are. it does get noticed. Sadly, the opposite is also true.The brands that take this “badge” approach to sponsorshipare very easy to ignore (and it’s an expensive oversight).Brands that take a “build” approach to sponsorship are braver.Possibly they invent something that doesn’t exist that’s neededin the community – a need that they can uniquely fill. They seea white space for an experience that would be valued – andthey fill that space by creating an experience that’s new, that’stheir own. At best, this unique experience shines a spotlighton the unique value they offer customers. For example, Chevyreceived high marks at SXSW 2012 for providing attendeesa service that was truly needed – free rides around Austinduring the frenetic and crowded conference – and that alsoshowcased its vehicles in a very compelling, engaging way(see Axiom 1).But even if they’re signing on to an existing property insteadof creating their own, brands that take a “build” approach 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /12
  13. AXIOM #5PEOPLE POWER MARKETINGTo fuel effective marketing, you need to “brand2everyone”We often say it’s time to stop thinking “B2C” versus “B2B” To name just one example, there’s a lot of talk about “shopperand start thinking “B2E”: brand to everyone. That’s because marketing” right now. People – a company’s own staff, theirpeople don’t think of themselves under the rubric of a category: salespeople, their customer service, their retail or channelthey just want to know who you are, what you stand for partners’ employees – have a role in helping shoppers makeand how you can help them. It’s true of end users, it’s true the right choice at the moment of truth.of business audiences and it’s true of the people that deliverbrands and products to customers. All of them expect Our own research with consumers in Brazil, China, India andmarketers to give them their very best pitch. In that sense, the US showed that over half (51%) of people say they changeeveryone is a consumer. their minds when they arrive in-store, already prepared to buy a product. A stunning 62% of the time they change theirUnfortunately not all audiences are treated as equals. Internal minds not because of price but because of interactions withaudiences – staff, salespeople, customer service, retail or staff in-store or information they receive in the store. It’s worthchannel partners’ employees – are often an afterthought or not repeating: more often than not, the in-store experience trumpsthought of at all. We think they’re fundamental, because their price in swaying customers from one brand to another.behaviors influence purchase – in ways that may be visible orinvisible, but are always meaningful to the business. 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /13
  14. AXIOM #5 PEOPLE POWER MARKETINGHow can brands maximize the opportunity to engage people With all our understandable excitement about technologyto deliver a great brand experience? As a start, they can and media platforms today, we tend to forget that a lot of theprioritize programs that prioritize internal and business marketing that matters is actually delivered or influenced byaudiences. They can also elevate the content, design and people. The better marketers can equip people to influencemarketing savvy for these campaigns: if brands expect their other people, the more successful they’ll be.retail partners’ staff to get excited about their products, theyhave to work to make their products exciting (just like they doin their consumer advertising). 5 WAYS TO BE BRAND BRILLIANT /14
  15. THIS IS JUST PART OFTHE CONVERSATION.HERE ARE A CONTACTFEW WAYS TO Liz Bigham +1 212 401 7212TALK Tweet: @jackmorton Join the dialogue on FacebookTO Comment on our blog about brands and experiences PAST ARTICLES New Realities 2012: Consumer Research Read now JACK Best Experience Brands: A Global Study Read now Experience Brands and the New Engagement Model: Research Read now