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BEST
EXPERIENCE
BRANDS
A GLOBAL STUDY BY JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS     reports the topline findings of
quantitative and qualitative research conducted in late
2011 among consumers in the US, UK, Asia and Australia.

This research strongly endorses the view that the brands
that will lead in the 21st century will be experience brands
– that is, brands that invest in building and continually
improving how people experience and interact with them
as a point of differentiation from competitors and a reason
for consumers to become customers and advocates.

This view is proven out in the following topline findings:

•	 	 aving	a	unique	experience	with	a	brand	is	important	
   H
   in determining purchase                                                 We expect
                                                                          unique brand
                                                                           experiences
•	 	 wo	in	five	consumers	would	pay	more	for	a	brand	that	
   T
   offers a unique experience
                                                                But how
BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS    also highlights the “experience      do we do
                                                                 that?
drivers” that brands can adjust based on their audience
and industry sector.

Additional insights from the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study
will be released at a future date or may be requested by
contacting Jack Morton.




                                                                                BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /2
TABLE OF CONTENTS


Brands are Verbs 4

About the Study 6

Key Research Insights: Experience Matters 7

Experience Brand Drivers 11

Experience Brand Trends 16

Learn More 19

About Jack Morton 20




                                              BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /3
BRANDS ARE VERBS
Josh McCall

Today, more than ever, how a brand behaves is more
                                                             Every brand can be
important than what it says. Messaging is important,
but what really matters is how a brand engages and
                                                             an experience brand
interacts with the people who impact the business, from
its customers to the people who influence customers.
                                                             by understanding the
Given an intensely competitive and (in many regions)
                                                             experience drivers that
recessionary climate, there’s huge pressure on every
interaction with the brand, every touchpoint – from the
                                                             influence customers and
shopping experience to the customer experience and
beyond – to be effective, efficient and aligned with
                                                             optimizing these drivers
what the brand says it stands for. Additionally, social
media channels have radically amplified the capacity
                                                             to have the greatest
for consumers to broadcast positive and negative
experiences with a brand.
                                                             impact.
On a fundamental level, brands are verbs: what they do
matters more than what they say. And thus understanding
brands as verbs matters to business success.

Think about today’s most celebrated brands: from Apple
to Zappos, one of the things that stands out about leading
brands now is how many have established a unique
and differentiating experience. Whether it’s Apple’s
groundbreaking retail concept or Zappos’ legendary
customer service, this unique experience gives the brand
clear advantages over competitors.


                                                                              BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /4
BRANDS ARE VERBS (CONTINUED)


These advantages include: differentiation and memorability
in a cluttered and competitive marketplace; the ability
to maintain price integrity despite commoditization and
recessionary caution; and increased brand awareness
through resulting earned media and word of mouth
(often more cheaply than by buying GRPs).

We at Jack Morton have long contended that brands
that invest in creating a unique experience – which have
come to be known as “experience brands” – will be the
marketplace leaders of the 21st century.                       Josh McCall is Chairman & CEO of
                                                                         Jack Morton Worldwide

The BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study that you are about
to read represents our commitment to providing research-
based insights and data not only to prove out this assertion
– but also to understand why experience matters so
much to consumers, and how this varies across product
categories, geographies and demographic groups.

Our goal with this study is to help clients understand how
they can become an experience brand, or be a better
one. Because we believe that every brand can be an
experience brand by understanding the experience drivers
that influence their customers and optimizing them to have
the greatest impact.

The following pages highlight top-level findings,
but we invite you to contact us to learn more. Let us
know what you think, and look for more of our annual
BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS studies in the future.

                                                                       BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS     /5
ABOUT THE STUDY
BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS is based on a survey sponsored
by Jack Morton Worldwide and conducted online by KRC
Research among 1,605 consumers between August 22
and September 2, 2011.


                                                                following definition:
                           Survey respondents were provided the


                           When you see the term “brand experie
                                                                             nce”,
                                                                             e with
                           it is referring to any of the interactions you hav
                                                                            ser vices.
                           either the specific company or its products or
                                                                          product or brand, your
                            This can include your own personal use of the
                                                                         or people who represent the
                            conversations or interactions with employees
                                                                           marketing, word-of-mouth,
                            brand, or anything you learn from that brand’s
                                                                         es or social network.
                            recommendations from your friends, colleagu




Respondents were aged 18 and older and were drawn                 In addition to the results of the online survey reported in
from	the	US	(1,000),	UK	(200),	Asia	(205	[Beijing,	Hong	          the pages that follow, the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study
Kong, Singapore]) and Australia (200). Data from the              comprised a follow-up qualitative study with a smaller
sample for the US and for Australia were weighted by              number of respondents relating to their actual experiences
demographics so that the results would more closely reflect       with airline brands. Insights from this qualitative study, as
the distribution of adults according to the US Census             well as more detailed quantitative findings relating to other
Bureau and the Australian Bureau of statistics. Total data        product categories, will be released at a later date or may
were weighted to represent each of the four geographies           be requested by contacting Jack Morton.
equally. All findings are statistically significant at a 90%
confidence level or higher.
                                                                                                            BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /6
KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS
Liz Bigham

I have a lot of conversations about experience brands.        WE ASKED CONSUMERS "WHICH BRANDS DO
These conversations often falter when, inevitably, the        YOU BELIEVE OFFER UNIQUE EXPERIENCES?"
question is asked: What are some examples of experience       HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID:
brands? The answer I most often hear, and give, is
Apple. Interestingly, answering “Apple” often leads to an     #1         #2        #3          #4
objection – one I’m confident the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS
study will help to dispel.

The objection goes: “I can’t be Apple, therefore I can’t be   #5         #6        #7

an experience brand." The assumption is that Apple is sui
generis; only Apple gets to be Apple. Therefore, being an
experience brand is a rarified condition, achievable only     #8              #9         #10
by a special few.

BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS       proves first and foremost that
being an experience brand is neither optional nor limited
to certain kinds of brands, Apple or otherwise. Put simply: [ fig. 1 ]
consumers want and expect brands to provide a unique
experience. Yes, consumers do indeed rank Apple as the
brand that provides the most unique experience across all
categories (see [ fig. 1 ] ). But more importantly, they reveal
an expectation that they should encounter unique brand
experiences everywhere, across many different product
categories (see [ fig. 2 ] ). Consumers reveal that they
will reward brands that offer unique experiences (and by
implication, the opposite is true, too: fail to offer a unique
brand experience and consumers will choose another
brand).
                                                                                          BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /7
No more punting on brand
experience: consumers expect it,
they will buy and pay
more because of it,
and brands aren’t
delivering.
                                “

                                                44%
                                                 Strongly agree


                  “Overall experience                             “Previous unique
                  with a brand is the single                  experience is very important
             biggest factor in whether I decide to             when deciding what specific
               purchase a product or service.”                  brands I use in the future.”




                     60%
                      Strongly agree
                                                                     62%
                                                                      Strongly agree

[ fig. 2 ]
                                                                                       BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /8
KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS (CONTINUED)


Here	are	three	things	the	BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS                 I will have a unique experience with that brand in
study makes very clear about the need for all brands to          some way,” over two in five (44%) of consumers
understand and invest in their unique experience:                strongly agreed that they would pay more, and only
                                                                 6% disagreed. Among those willing to pay a premium
#1 DIFFERENTIATED BRAND EXPERIENCES DRIVE                        for a unique experience, nearly four out of five (79%)
   CONSUMER CHOICE                                               strongly agreed that experience is the #1 factor in their
   Most consumers surveyed across markets say that               purchase decision. Not surprisingly, willingness to pay
   experience drives – and in large part determines – their      a premium is highest among those least impacted by
   purchase decisions. For example, in answer to the             economic uncertainty. It’s 34% higher among upper
   question “My overall experience with a brand is the           income respondents. In Asia, 58% of respondents
   single biggest factor in whether I decide to purchase         strongly agreed they’d pay more for an experience.
   a product or service,” three out of five (60%) strongly       Even in the UK, of the regions studied currently the
   agreed; only 5% disagreed. Asked “How	important	              region most impacted by recession among those
   is a previous unique experience when deciding what            studied, 28% of respondents still said they’d pay more
   specific brands you use in the future?”, over three out       for a unique experience.
   of five (62%) also said a unique brand experience was
   very important; only 1% disagreed.                          #3 TOO FEW BRANDS ARE MEETING CONSUMER
                                                                  DEMAND FOR UNIQUE EXPERIENCES
   If it was ever in doubt, this definitively establishes that    The study revealed a big gap between the value
   brands do not have a choice when it comes to their             consumers assign to experience and the number of
   experience: they need to invest to optimize experience         brands that are actually providing them with unique
   and leverage it as a point of differentiation.                 experiences. When asked to rate how unique their
                                                                  past brand experiences have been, just one in four
#2 CONSUMERS WILL PAY MORE FOR BRANDS                             (26%) said their past brand experiences have been
   THAT OFFER UNIQUE EXPERIENCES                                  extremely or very unique. The chasm between the
   Although most of the survey respondents dwell in               almost two thirds of consumers (62%) who say unique
   regions suffering from economic uncertainty, many will         experience drives purchase, and the less than one third
   pay more for brands that offer a unique experience.            who say they’ve had a unique experience, suggests a
   In answer to the question, “I am willing to pay a              tremendous opportunity for companies to dramatically
   premium price for a product or service if I know that          elevate their brand experience.
                                                                                                       BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS   /9
KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS (CONTINUED)


Collectively, these three key insights should definitively
do away with any punting on brand experience:
consumers expect it, they will buy and pay more on that
basis, and there’s a big gap between demand and supply.

Of critical importance, the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS
findings also suggest that these patterns hold true across
different sectors. As part of the study, respondents were
asked in-depth questions about their experiences with a
service-driven sector (airlines); a product-driven sector
(mobile devices); and a web-driven sector (internet
retailers). Additional topline findings relating to these
sectors are covered in the following pages.




                                                             Liz Bigham is SVP,
                                                             Director of Brand Marketing,
                                                             Jack Morton Worldwide




                                                                       BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /10
EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS
So consumers expect unique experiences and will reward
brands that provide them. What can brands do about that?
Where to start?
                                                              Brands must understand
They can’t just decide to be more “experiential” (a term
                                                              how different experience
that has, by the way, become extremely ambiguous through
overuse, arguably since the publication of “The Experience
                                                              drivers influence consumers
Economy,”	a	1998	Harvard	Business	Review	article	by	
James Gillmore and Joseph Pine that brought experience to
the forefront of business leaders’ thinking).                               Community experience

In order to build a strong experience brand, it’s important
to understand what the drivers of experience are, and how
they variously impact consumer perception and purchase.


                                                                    WHAT                      Discovery
             Digital
           experience                                          INFLUENCES                    experience

                                          Customer
                                         experience
                                                                      ME?
          Shopping experience
                                                                              Employee experience


                                              Product
                                            experience
                                                                                     BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /11
EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS (CONTINUED)


As part of the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study, consumers                                                                             1
were asked to rank the importance of a variety of factors         T O P EXPERI E N CE D R IV E R S OV E R A L L
to their experience of brands. They were asked to rank
importance both to brand experience overall and to                1   Products and services that meet your needs
experience with brands in specific sectors (airlines, mobile      2   Understands your needs
devices, internet retailers). Some interesting insights about     3   Continues to serve and engage you after you’ve
these experience drivers emerge:                                      become a customer

#1 DRIVERS ARE FUNCTIONAL AND BRAND-                              4   Exceeds your expectations
   FOCUSED, BOTH RATIONAL AND EMOTIONAL                           5   Makes it easy to find information and buy their products,
                                                                      wherever and whenever I want to shop
   Across all sectors, geographies and demographics,
   consumers are highly consistent in selecting both
   transparently functional, needs-driven factors and those
   with softer, more brand-driven associations as very
                                                                  EXPERI ENC E D R IV E R S IM P OR T A N T        2
   important to them when experiencing a brand [ fig. 3 ].                 T O U N IQU E B R A N D E XPE R IE N CE
   For example, the #1 driver across nearly all category
   sets is as functional as it gets (“Products and services       1   Initial impression the brand makes on you

   that meet your needs”), followed closely by the softer         2   Continues to serve and engage you after you’ve
                                                                      become a customer
   “Understand my needs”. Interestingly, the third-ranked
   experience driver is a demand to be engaged and                3   Understands your needs
   educated on an ongoing basis: consumers say it’s               4   Differentiates from similar products
   important that experience brands “Continue to serve            5   Employs people who anticipate your needs
   and engage you after you’ve become a customer”.
   When top ranked drivers are correlated specifically
   to those consumers who were most likely to say that          1. Data reflects top box rankings for “very/somewhat important”.

   unique brand experience strongly influences their            2. Data reflects derived ranking based on correlation of driver ranking and
                                                                   respondents who were most likely to state that unique brand experience is
   brand choice, the experience drivers became more                very/somewhat important in deciding brand choice.
   brand-driven and less needs-driven [ fig. 3 ].
                                                                [ fig. 3 ]


                                                                                                                        BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /12
EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS (CONTINUED)


#2 THE MOST IMPORTANT CATEGORIES OF                             Across all three, consumers indicated a significant gap
   EXPERIENCE DRIVERS ARE PRODUCT                               between drivers that were ranked very /somewhat
   EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE                           important and those they deemed excellent /very good
   Looking holistically at the various drivers ranked in        based on actual experience [ fig. 5 ]. In some instances,
   the study and grouping them into different types of          the gap exceeds a 20-point gulf between expectation and
   experience [ fig. 4 ], it’s clear that on a general level,   delivery. Clearly, there’s work to be done to fulfill both
   product experience and customer experience are               brand promise and consumer expectations
   most influential for consumers, followed fairly closely
   by shopping experience. Other drivers, although              It’s interesting to note how well these findings about
   still important, figure less explicitly in consumers’        experience drivers map onto what’s already evident
   judgments of brand experiences. This suggests that           about top experience brands. From Apple to Zappos,
   brands may need to reprioritize programs and                 Amazon to Zipcar, top experience brands emphasize
   partners to reinforce innovation in product experience       and invest in innovating their product experience even as
   as well as exemplary delivery across the customer and        they orchestrate and perfect their customer and shopping
   shopping experience. This is definitely not to say that      experiences. They’re dedicated to continuing to serve
   any areas of experience are unimportant, but rather to       and engage consumers even after they’ve become
   emphasize that in the minds of consumers, the areas          customers. And they’re truly passionate about exceeding
   of product, customer and shopping experience are the         expectations.
   forefront of conscious decision-making.
                                                                BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS    demonstrates that it’s not just
#3 ACROSS EXPERIENCE DRIVERS, BRANDS                            these leaders who are setting a path for experience
   NEED TO CLOSE AN EXPECTATION AND                             brands: it’s consumers themselves who are demanding
   DELIVERY GAP                                                 these very qualities from all brands.
   There’s a sizable gap between the importance
                                                                LB
   consumers place on varying experience drivers
   and how those drivers actually deliver in reality.
   For example, consumers were asked about actual
   experience with brands in three sectors: airlines,
   mobile devices and internet retailers.

                                                                                                          BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /13
EXPERIENCES VALUED BY CONSUMERS
Average importance on a scale of 1- 7 for unique brand experience drivers, by category (mean score)




     5.8 5.8 5.7 5.4                                                                                      4.9 4.8

                                                   CUSTOMER                                COMMUNITY
                                                   EXPERIENCE                              EXPERIENCE
PRODUCT                                      5.9 Understands your needs                    5.0 Supports causes that are
EXPERIENCE                                   5.8 Continues to serve and engage
                                                                                               important to you

6.1 Products and services that                   you after you’ve become a                 4.8 Makes you feel part of a
    meet your needs                              customer                                      special group of people

5.6 Invents new ways to enhance              5.8 Exceeds your expectations
    their products or services,
    after you’ve become a
                                             5.6 Educates you about how to use
                                                 their products and services
                                                                                                                           DIGITAL
    customer                                     and be a smarter customer,                                                EXPERIENCE
                                                 after you’ve become a                                                     5.0 Array of available digital
                                                 customer                                                                      functions (apps, mobile, etc.)
                                             5.3 Employs people who
                                                                                 DISCOVERY                                     to engage with the brand
                       SHOPPING                  anticipate your needs
                                                                                 EXPERIENCE                                4.8 Online presence (web site,
                                                                                                                               social networks, advertising)
                       EXPERIENCE                                                5.6 Initial impression the brand makes    4.5 Active online following or
                       5.8 Makes it easy to find                                     on you                                    community
                           information and buy their
                                                                                 5.5 How the brand differentiates itself
                           products, wherever and
                                                                                     from similar products and services
                           whenever I want to shop (in
                           store, online, mobile)                                5.0 What a brand says about itself in
                       5.8 Provides an efficient                                     marketing and ads
                           purchasing experience
[ fig. 4 ]
                                                                                                                                     BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /14
EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS BY SECTOR

SERVICE-BASED SECTOR / AIRLINES                                    PERFORMANCE                      IMPORTANCE                 GAP

Products and services that meet my needs                                      44                         70                   26

Understand my needs                                                      40                          69                       29

Provide an efficient purchasing experience                                41                        66                        25

Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop          42                   63                             21

Exceed my expectations                                              34                         62                             28

Employ people who anticipate my needs                               35                     60                                 25



PRODUCT-BASED SECTOR / MOBILE DEVICES

Products and services that meet my needs                                             53                   72                  19

Understand my needs                                                        43                            69                   26

Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop                    51         63                             12

Provide an efficient purchase experience                                   43              62                                 19

Exceed my expectations                                                   40               59                                  19

Educate me about how to use their products and be a                       41              58                                  17
smarter consumer, after I’ve become a customer


WEB-BASED SECTOR / INTERNET RETAILERS

Provide an efficient purchasing experience                                                 60                  76             16

Products and services that meet my needs                                                        64            74              10

Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop                          59              71                  12

Understand my needs                                                                 50          65                            15

Exceed my expectations                                                         46              63                             17

Initial impression the brand makes on me                                       45          60                                 15

[ fig. 5 ]


                                                                                                                    BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /15
EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS
                                                                Consumers more likely to
BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS     provides detailed insights into
varying considerations and influences for experience

                                                                value experience are
brands across sectors, geographies and demographic
groups. Although we will be sharing more detailed insights

                                                                prized by marketers
in future articles and presentations, the following top-line
trends stand out:

GEOGRAPHIC TRENDS:

Impact of brand experience
Consumers in Asia are far more likely to say that experience
is the single biggest factor in brand choice (71%, compared
to 60% overall). This should inform the strategies for brands
moving into Asian economies like China.

Willingness to pay more for experience
Asian consumers are more likely to be willing to pay a
premium for brands that offer a unique experience (58% vs.
28% in the UK). Australian consumers are as likely as US
consumers to indicate they’d pay more (45%).

Customer experience
In general, US consumers have the highest expectations
around customer experience: they’re most likely to identify
“Exceeding expectations” as a driver (75%). By contrast,
consumers in the UK are far less likely to cite “Exceeding
expectations” as a driver (57%); Asian and Australian
consumers	are	in	the	middle	(67%).	High	expectations	for	
customer service in the US are an important consideration
as brands seek to compete in the American market.
                                                                                BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /16
EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS (CONTINUED)


DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS:                                          Premium audiences outshine other groups
                                                             when it comes to valuing experience
Women more responsive and receptive                          Not surprisingly, those with higher incomes are far more
to experience                                                likely to say they’d pay more for a unique experience.
Women are somewhat more likely to say that unique brand Also not surprisingly, those consumers willing to pay more
experience is very /somewhat important in determining        are also far more likely to cite experience as the #1 factor
brand choice (64% vs. 59% among men). Women are              informing their purchase choices (84% vs. 60% among the
also more likely to agree that they will pay a premium       general population). Interestingly, the drivers influencing
for experience (47% vs. 41% among men). Interestingly,       these “experience-seeking” consumers are far more likely
women are also slightly less likely to say that they’ve been to be customer experience drivers such as “Understands
engaged in a unique experience in the past (24% vs. 28% your needs”, “Continues to serve and engage you after
among men). Since women still make or influence most         you’ve become a customer” and “Educates you about
household purchase decisions, this is an important insight   how to use their products and services and be a smarter
for marketers. Also of note, women rank some experience      consumer, after you’ve become a customer”.
drivers much higher than men: “Understands your needs”
(73% vs 65%), “Continues to serve and engage you after       SECTOR TRENDS:
you’ve become a customer” (71% vs 62%) and “Exceeds
expectations” (72% vs 60%).                                  Airlines
                                                             Consumers appear to suffer from low expectations based
Younger and middle-aged consumers are                        on less than stellar experiences when it comes to the airline
more willing than seniors to pay a premium                   sector. Over two in five consumers (43%) say that unique
for experience                                               brand experience is important to their purchase choices
There is a ten-point gap between people under 55 and         in this sector. Yet fewer than two fifths (39%) of consumers
people over 55 when it comes to willingness to pay more      rate their previous airline experiences as excellent or good.
for brands that offer a unique experience (47% vs 37%).      Again, refer to the significant gap between consumers’
Whether this reflects seniors’ budgetary caution or a more expectations for key drivers and how airline brands have
conservative brand-view, it’s worth noting for marketers.    actually performed [ fig. 5 ].



                                                                                                       BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /17
EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS (CONTINUED)


Mobile devices
There is a much smaller gap between consumers’
judgment of past experiences with mobile device brands
and the importance they place on experience. Almost
half (48%) say that unique experiences drive purchase
in this sector; a slightly smaller group (46%) rank their                    What makes
                                                                            an experience
actual past experiences as excellent or very good.                           memorable?
Interestingly, although Apple tops the list of experience
brands in this sector with a 69% ranking for highly unique
brand experience, the next best-ranked brand pales in                                      I like to
comparison, at 41%.                                                                    experience new
                                                                 What's
                                                                 a 'wow'                    things
Internet retailers                                                factor?
Most consumers ranked this sector very positively in terms
of actual past experience: over two out of three (70%) said
their past experiences had been excellent or very good.
Simultaneously, unique experience was most important
in this sector compared to the others (49% vs. 48% for
mobile devices and 43% for airlines). This is worth noting
as more transactional or exclusively web-based brands
may assume that “brand experience” is less relevant in the
online marketplace. Clearly, online brand experience maps
closely to user experience – just look at the drivers cited as
important by consumers [ fig. 5 ].

LB




                                                                                            BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /18
LEARN MORE
Look for more insights from the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS
study to be released in the future. To request insights from
the qualitative phase of the study, as well as more detailed
quantitative findings relating to product categories, contact
liz_bigham@jackmorton.com



READ OUR ARTICLES ON EXPERIENCE BRANDS:

What is an Experience Brand? read

Experience Brands and the Owned Media Opportunity read

Experience Brands and the New Engagement Model (research) read

Experience Brand Leaders 2010 read



TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION ABOUT BEST EXPERIENCE
BRANDS, PLEASE CONNECT WITH US ONLINE:

Follow us on twitter: @jackmorton

Visit us online: jackmorton.com

Read our blog: blog.jackmorton.com




                                                                 BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /19
JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE IS A GLOBAL BRAND EXPERIENCE
AGENCY WITH OFFICES ON FOUR CONTINENTS. OUR AGENCY
CULTURE PROMOTES BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS ABOUT HOW
EXPERIENCES CONNECT BRANDS AND PEOPLE – IN PERSON,
ONLINE, AT RETAIL AND THROUGH THE POWER OF DIGITAL
AND WORD OF MOUTH INFLUENCE. WE WORK WITH BOTH
BTOC AND BTOB CLIENTS TO CREATE POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE
EXPERIENCES THAT ENGAGE CUSTOMERS AND CONSUMERS,
LAUNCH PRODUCTS, ALIGN EMPLOYEES AND BUILD STRONG
EXPERIENCE BRANDS. RANKED AT THE TOP OF OUR FIELD,
WE’VE EARNED OVER 40 AWARDS FOR CREATIVITY, EXECUTION
AND EFFECTIVENESS SO FAR THIS YEAR, INCLUDING BEST NEW
PRODUCT INTRO, BEST MEDIA EVENT AND EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN
OF THE YEAR. JACK MORTON IS PART OF THE INTERPUBLIC
GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. (NYSE: IPG).




© Jack Morton Worldwide 2011
                                                         BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /20

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Brand experience research and insights

  • 1. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS A GLOBAL STUDY BY JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE
  • 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS reports the topline findings of quantitative and qualitative research conducted in late 2011 among consumers in the US, UK, Asia and Australia. This research strongly endorses the view that the brands that will lead in the 21st century will be experience brands – that is, brands that invest in building and continually improving how people experience and interact with them as a point of differentiation from competitors and a reason for consumers to become customers and advocates. This view is proven out in the following topline findings: • aving a unique experience with a brand is important H in determining purchase We expect unique brand experiences • wo in five consumers would pay more for a brand that T offers a unique experience But how BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS also highlights the “experience do we do that? drivers” that brands can adjust based on their audience and industry sector. Additional insights from the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study will be released at a future date or may be requested by contacting Jack Morton. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /2
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Brands are Verbs 4 About the Study 6 Key Research Insights: Experience Matters 7 Experience Brand Drivers 11 Experience Brand Trends 16 Learn More 19 About Jack Morton 20 BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /3
  • 4. BRANDS ARE VERBS Josh McCall Today, more than ever, how a brand behaves is more Every brand can be important than what it says. Messaging is important, but what really matters is how a brand engages and an experience brand interacts with the people who impact the business, from its customers to the people who influence customers. by understanding the Given an intensely competitive and (in many regions) experience drivers that recessionary climate, there’s huge pressure on every interaction with the brand, every touchpoint – from the influence customers and shopping experience to the customer experience and beyond – to be effective, efficient and aligned with optimizing these drivers what the brand says it stands for. Additionally, social media channels have radically amplified the capacity to have the greatest for consumers to broadcast positive and negative experiences with a brand. impact. On a fundamental level, brands are verbs: what they do matters more than what they say. And thus understanding brands as verbs matters to business success. Think about today’s most celebrated brands: from Apple to Zappos, one of the things that stands out about leading brands now is how many have established a unique and differentiating experience. Whether it’s Apple’s groundbreaking retail concept or Zappos’ legendary customer service, this unique experience gives the brand clear advantages over competitors. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /4
  • 5. BRANDS ARE VERBS (CONTINUED) These advantages include: differentiation and memorability in a cluttered and competitive marketplace; the ability to maintain price integrity despite commoditization and recessionary caution; and increased brand awareness through resulting earned media and word of mouth (often more cheaply than by buying GRPs). We at Jack Morton have long contended that brands that invest in creating a unique experience – which have come to be known as “experience brands” – will be the marketplace leaders of the 21st century. Josh McCall is Chairman & CEO of Jack Morton Worldwide The BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study that you are about to read represents our commitment to providing research- based insights and data not only to prove out this assertion – but also to understand why experience matters so much to consumers, and how this varies across product categories, geographies and demographic groups. Our goal with this study is to help clients understand how they can become an experience brand, or be a better one. Because we believe that every brand can be an experience brand by understanding the experience drivers that influence their customers and optimizing them to have the greatest impact. The following pages highlight top-level findings, but we invite you to contact us to learn more. Let us know what you think, and look for more of our annual BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS studies in the future. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /5
  • 6. ABOUT THE STUDY BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS is based on a survey sponsored by Jack Morton Worldwide and conducted online by KRC Research among 1,605 consumers between August 22 and September 2, 2011. following definition: Survey respondents were provided the When you see the term “brand experie nce”, e with it is referring to any of the interactions you hav ser vices. either the specific company or its products or product or brand, your This can include your own personal use of the or people who represent the conversations or interactions with employees marketing, word-of-mouth, brand, or anything you learn from that brand’s es or social network. recommendations from your friends, colleagu Respondents were aged 18 and older and were drawn In addition to the results of the online survey reported in from the US (1,000), UK (200), Asia (205 [Beijing, Hong the pages that follow, the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study Kong, Singapore]) and Australia (200). Data from the comprised a follow-up qualitative study with a smaller sample for the US and for Australia were weighted by number of respondents relating to their actual experiences demographics so that the results would more closely reflect with airline brands. Insights from this qualitative study, as the distribution of adults according to the US Census well as more detailed quantitative findings relating to other Bureau and the Australian Bureau of statistics. Total data product categories, will be released at a later date or may were weighted to represent each of the four geographies be requested by contacting Jack Morton. equally. All findings are statistically significant at a 90% confidence level or higher. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /6
  • 7. KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS Liz Bigham I have a lot of conversations about experience brands. WE ASKED CONSUMERS "WHICH BRANDS DO These conversations often falter when, inevitably, the YOU BELIEVE OFFER UNIQUE EXPERIENCES?" question is asked: What are some examples of experience HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID: brands? The answer I most often hear, and give, is Apple. Interestingly, answering “Apple” often leads to an #1 #2 #3 #4 objection – one I’m confident the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study will help to dispel. The objection goes: “I can’t be Apple, therefore I can’t be #5 #6 #7 an experience brand." The assumption is that Apple is sui generis; only Apple gets to be Apple. Therefore, being an experience brand is a rarified condition, achievable only #8 #9 #10 by a special few. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS proves first and foremost that being an experience brand is neither optional nor limited to certain kinds of brands, Apple or otherwise. Put simply: [ fig. 1 ] consumers want and expect brands to provide a unique experience. Yes, consumers do indeed rank Apple as the brand that provides the most unique experience across all categories (see [ fig. 1 ] ). But more importantly, they reveal an expectation that they should encounter unique brand experiences everywhere, across many different product categories (see [ fig. 2 ] ). Consumers reveal that they will reward brands that offer unique experiences (and by implication, the opposite is true, too: fail to offer a unique brand experience and consumers will choose another brand). BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /7
  • 8. No more punting on brand experience: consumers expect it, they will buy and pay more because of it, and brands aren’t delivering. “ 44% Strongly agree “Overall experience “Previous unique with a brand is the single experience is very important biggest factor in whether I decide to when deciding what specific purchase a product or service.” brands I use in the future.” 60% Strongly agree 62% Strongly agree [ fig. 2 ] BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /8
  • 9. KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS (CONTINUED) Here are three things the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS I will have a unique experience with that brand in study makes very clear about the need for all brands to some way,” over two in five (44%) of consumers understand and invest in their unique experience: strongly agreed that they would pay more, and only 6% disagreed. Among those willing to pay a premium #1 DIFFERENTIATED BRAND EXPERIENCES DRIVE for a unique experience, nearly four out of five (79%) CONSUMER CHOICE strongly agreed that experience is the #1 factor in their Most consumers surveyed across markets say that purchase decision. Not surprisingly, willingness to pay experience drives – and in large part determines – their a premium is highest among those least impacted by purchase decisions. For example, in answer to the economic uncertainty. It’s 34% higher among upper question “My overall experience with a brand is the income respondents. In Asia, 58% of respondents single biggest factor in whether I decide to purchase strongly agreed they’d pay more for an experience. a product or service,” three out of five (60%) strongly Even in the UK, of the regions studied currently the agreed; only 5% disagreed. Asked “How important region most impacted by recession among those is a previous unique experience when deciding what studied, 28% of respondents still said they’d pay more specific brands you use in the future?”, over three out for a unique experience. of five (62%) also said a unique brand experience was very important; only 1% disagreed. #3 TOO FEW BRANDS ARE MEETING CONSUMER DEMAND FOR UNIQUE EXPERIENCES If it was ever in doubt, this definitively establishes that The study revealed a big gap between the value brands do not have a choice when it comes to their consumers assign to experience and the number of experience: they need to invest to optimize experience brands that are actually providing them with unique and leverage it as a point of differentiation. experiences. When asked to rate how unique their past brand experiences have been, just one in four #2 CONSUMERS WILL PAY MORE FOR BRANDS (26%) said their past brand experiences have been THAT OFFER UNIQUE EXPERIENCES extremely or very unique. The chasm between the Although most of the survey respondents dwell in almost two thirds of consumers (62%) who say unique regions suffering from economic uncertainty, many will experience drives purchase, and the less than one third pay more for brands that offer a unique experience. who say they’ve had a unique experience, suggests a In answer to the question, “I am willing to pay a tremendous opportunity for companies to dramatically premium price for a product or service if I know that elevate their brand experience. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /9
  • 10. KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: EXPERIENCE MATTERS (CONTINUED) Collectively, these three key insights should definitively do away with any punting on brand experience: consumers expect it, they will buy and pay more on that basis, and there’s a big gap between demand and supply. Of critical importance, the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS findings also suggest that these patterns hold true across different sectors. As part of the study, respondents were asked in-depth questions about their experiences with a service-driven sector (airlines); a product-driven sector (mobile devices); and a web-driven sector (internet retailers). Additional topline findings relating to these sectors are covered in the following pages. Liz Bigham is SVP, Director of Brand Marketing, Jack Morton Worldwide BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /10
  • 11. EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS So consumers expect unique experiences and will reward brands that provide them. What can brands do about that? Where to start? Brands must understand They can’t just decide to be more “experiential” (a term how different experience that has, by the way, become extremely ambiguous through overuse, arguably since the publication of “The Experience drivers influence consumers Economy,” a 1998 Harvard Business Review article by James Gillmore and Joseph Pine that brought experience to the forefront of business leaders’ thinking). Community experience In order to build a strong experience brand, it’s important to understand what the drivers of experience are, and how they variously impact consumer perception and purchase. WHAT Discovery Digital experience INFLUENCES experience Customer experience ME? Shopping experience Employee experience Product experience BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /11
  • 12. EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS (CONTINUED) As part of the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study, consumers 1 were asked to rank the importance of a variety of factors T O P EXPERI E N CE D R IV E R S OV E R A L L to their experience of brands. They were asked to rank importance both to brand experience overall and to 1 Products and services that meet your needs experience with brands in specific sectors (airlines, mobile 2 Understands your needs devices, internet retailers). Some interesting insights about 3 Continues to serve and engage you after you’ve these experience drivers emerge: become a customer #1 DRIVERS ARE FUNCTIONAL AND BRAND- 4 Exceeds your expectations FOCUSED, BOTH RATIONAL AND EMOTIONAL 5 Makes it easy to find information and buy their products, wherever and whenever I want to shop Across all sectors, geographies and demographics, consumers are highly consistent in selecting both transparently functional, needs-driven factors and those with softer, more brand-driven associations as very EXPERI ENC E D R IV E R S IM P OR T A N T 2 important to them when experiencing a brand [ fig. 3 ]. T O U N IQU E B R A N D E XPE R IE N CE For example, the #1 driver across nearly all category sets is as functional as it gets (“Products and services 1 Initial impression the brand makes on you that meet your needs”), followed closely by the softer 2 Continues to serve and engage you after you’ve become a customer “Understand my needs”. Interestingly, the third-ranked experience driver is a demand to be engaged and 3 Understands your needs educated on an ongoing basis: consumers say it’s 4 Differentiates from similar products important that experience brands “Continue to serve 5 Employs people who anticipate your needs and engage you after you’ve become a customer”. When top ranked drivers are correlated specifically to those consumers who were most likely to say that 1. Data reflects top box rankings for “very/somewhat important”. unique brand experience strongly influences their 2. Data reflects derived ranking based on correlation of driver ranking and respondents who were most likely to state that unique brand experience is brand choice, the experience drivers became more very/somewhat important in deciding brand choice. brand-driven and less needs-driven [ fig. 3 ]. [ fig. 3 ] BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /12
  • 13. EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS (CONTINUED) #2 THE MOST IMPORTANT CATEGORIES OF Across all three, consumers indicated a significant gap EXPERIENCE DRIVERS ARE PRODUCT between drivers that were ranked very /somewhat EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE important and those they deemed excellent /very good Looking holistically at the various drivers ranked in based on actual experience [ fig. 5 ]. In some instances, the study and grouping them into different types of the gap exceeds a 20-point gulf between expectation and experience [ fig. 4 ], it’s clear that on a general level, delivery. Clearly, there’s work to be done to fulfill both product experience and customer experience are brand promise and consumer expectations most influential for consumers, followed fairly closely by shopping experience. Other drivers, although It’s interesting to note how well these findings about still important, figure less explicitly in consumers’ experience drivers map onto what’s already evident judgments of brand experiences. This suggests that about top experience brands. From Apple to Zappos, brands may need to reprioritize programs and Amazon to Zipcar, top experience brands emphasize partners to reinforce innovation in product experience and invest in innovating their product experience even as as well as exemplary delivery across the customer and they orchestrate and perfect their customer and shopping shopping experience. This is definitely not to say that experiences. They’re dedicated to continuing to serve any areas of experience are unimportant, but rather to and engage consumers even after they’ve become emphasize that in the minds of consumers, the areas customers. And they’re truly passionate about exceeding of product, customer and shopping experience are the expectations. forefront of conscious decision-making. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS demonstrates that it’s not just #3 ACROSS EXPERIENCE DRIVERS, BRANDS these leaders who are setting a path for experience NEED TO CLOSE AN EXPECTATION AND brands: it’s consumers themselves who are demanding DELIVERY GAP these very qualities from all brands. There’s a sizable gap between the importance LB consumers place on varying experience drivers and how those drivers actually deliver in reality. For example, consumers were asked about actual experience with brands in three sectors: airlines, mobile devices and internet retailers. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /13
  • 14. EXPERIENCES VALUED BY CONSUMERS Average importance on a scale of 1- 7 for unique brand experience drivers, by category (mean score) 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.4 4.9 4.8 CUSTOMER COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE PRODUCT 5.9 Understands your needs 5.0 Supports causes that are EXPERIENCE 5.8 Continues to serve and engage important to you 6.1 Products and services that you after you’ve become a 4.8 Makes you feel part of a meet your needs customer special group of people 5.6 Invents new ways to enhance 5.8 Exceeds your expectations their products or services, after you’ve become a 5.6 Educates you about how to use their products and services DIGITAL customer and be a smarter customer, EXPERIENCE after you’ve become a 5.0 Array of available digital customer functions (apps, mobile, etc.) 5.3 Employs people who DISCOVERY to engage with the brand SHOPPING anticipate your needs EXPERIENCE 4.8 Online presence (web site, social networks, advertising) EXPERIENCE 5.6 Initial impression the brand makes 4.5 Active online following or 5.8 Makes it easy to find on you community information and buy their 5.5 How the brand differentiates itself products, wherever and from similar products and services whenever I want to shop (in store, online, mobile) 5.0 What a brand says about itself in 5.8 Provides an efficient marketing and ads purchasing experience [ fig. 4 ] BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /14
  • 15. EXPERIENCE BRAND DRIVERS BY SECTOR SERVICE-BASED SECTOR / AIRLINES PERFORMANCE IMPORTANCE GAP Products and services that meet my needs 44 70 26 Understand my needs 40 69 29 Provide an efficient purchasing experience 41 66 25 Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop 42 63 21 Exceed my expectations 34 62 28 Employ people who anticipate my needs 35 60 25 PRODUCT-BASED SECTOR / MOBILE DEVICES Products and services that meet my needs 53 72 19 Understand my needs 43 69 26 Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop 51 63 12 Provide an efficient purchase experience 43 62 19 Exceed my expectations 40 59 19 Educate me about how to use their products and be a 41 58 17 smarter consumer, after I’ve become a customer WEB-BASED SECTOR / INTERNET RETAILERS Provide an efficient purchasing experience 60 76 16 Products and services that meet my needs 64 74 10 Make it easy to buy their services, whenever and wherever I shop 59 71 12 Understand my needs 50 65 15 Exceed my expectations 46 63 17 Initial impression the brand makes on me 45 60 15 [ fig. 5 ] BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /15
  • 16. EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS Consumers more likely to BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS provides detailed insights into varying considerations and influences for experience value experience are brands across sectors, geographies and demographic groups. Although we will be sharing more detailed insights prized by marketers in future articles and presentations, the following top-line trends stand out: GEOGRAPHIC TRENDS: Impact of brand experience Consumers in Asia are far more likely to say that experience is the single biggest factor in brand choice (71%, compared to 60% overall). This should inform the strategies for brands moving into Asian economies like China. Willingness to pay more for experience Asian consumers are more likely to be willing to pay a premium for brands that offer a unique experience (58% vs. 28% in the UK). Australian consumers are as likely as US consumers to indicate they’d pay more (45%). Customer experience In general, US consumers have the highest expectations around customer experience: they’re most likely to identify “Exceeding expectations” as a driver (75%). By contrast, consumers in the UK are far less likely to cite “Exceeding expectations” as a driver (57%); Asian and Australian consumers are in the middle (67%). High expectations for customer service in the US are an important consideration as brands seek to compete in the American market. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /16
  • 17. EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS (CONTINUED) DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS: Premium audiences outshine other groups when it comes to valuing experience Women more responsive and receptive Not surprisingly, those with higher incomes are far more to experience likely to say they’d pay more for a unique experience. Women are somewhat more likely to say that unique brand Also not surprisingly, those consumers willing to pay more experience is very /somewhat important in determining are also far more likely to cite experience as the #1 factor brand choice (64% vs. 59% among men). Women are informing their purchase choices (84% vs. 60% among the also more likely to agree that they will pay a premium general population). Interestingly, the drivers influencing for experience (47% vs. 41% among men). Interestingly, these “experience-seeking” consumers are far more likely women are also slightly less likely to say that they’ve been to be customer experience drivers such as “Understands engaged in a unique experience in the past (24% vs. 28% your needs”, “Continues to serve and engage you after among men). Since women still make or influence most you’ve become a customer” and “Educates you about household purchase decisions, this is an important insight how to use their products and services and be a smarter for marketers. Also of note, women rank some experience consumer, after you’ve become a customer”. drivers much higher than men: “Understands your needs” (73% vs 65%), “Continues to serve and engage you after SECTOR TRENDS: you’ve become a customer” (71% vs 62%) and “Exceeds expectations” (72% vs 60%). Airlines Consumers appear to suffer from low expectations based Younger and middle-aged consumers are on less than stellar experiences when it comes to the airline more willing than seniors to pay a premium sector. Over two in five consumers (43%) say that unique for experience brand experience is important to their purchase choices There is a ten-point gap between people under 55 and in this sector. Yet fewer than two fifths (39%) of consumers people over 55 when it comes to willingness to pay more rate their previous airline experiences as excellent or good. for brands that offer a unique experience (47% vs 37%). Again, refer to the significant gap between consumers’ Whether this reflects seniors’ budgetary caution or a more expectations for key drivers and how airline brands have conservative brand-view, it’s worth noting for marketers. actually performed [ fig. 5 ]. BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /17
  • 18. EXPERIENCE BRAND TRENDS (CONTINUED) Mobile devices There is a much smaller gap between consumers’ judgment of past experiences with mobile device brands and the importance they place on experience. Almost half (48%) say that unique experiences drive purchase in this sector; a slightly smaller group (46%) rank their What makes an experience actual past experiences as excellent or very good. memorable? Interestingly, although Apple tops the list of experience brands in this sector with a 69% ranking for highly unique brand experience, the next best-ranked brand pales in I like to comparison, at 41%. experience new What's a 'wow' things Internet retailers factor? Most consumers ranked this sector very positively in terms of actual past experience: over two out of three (70%) said their past experiences had been excellent or very good. Simultaneously, unique experience was most important in this sector compared to the others (49% vs. 48% for mobile devices and 43% for airlines). This is worth noting as more transactional or exclusively web-based brands may assume that “brand experience” is less relevant in the online marketplace. Clearly, online brand experience maps closely to user experience – just look at the drivers cited as important by consumers [ fig. 5 ]. LB BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /18
  • 19. LEARN MORE Look for more insights from the BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS study to be released in the future. To request insights from the qualitative phase of the study, as well as more detailed quantitative findings relating to product categories, contact liz_bigham@jackmorton.com READ OUR ARTICLES ON EXPERIENCE BRANDS: What is an Experience Brand? read Experience Brands and the Owned Media Opportunity read Experience Brands and the New Engagement Model (research) read Experience Brand Leaders 2010 read TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION ABOUT BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS, PLEASE CONNECT WITH US ONLINE: Follow us on twitter: @jackmorton Visit us online: jackmorton.com Read our blog: blog.jackmorton.com BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /19
  • 20. JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE IS A GLOBAL BRAND EXPERIENCE AGENCY WITH OFFICES ON FOUR CONTINENTS. OUR AGENCY CULTURE PROMOTES BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS ABOUT HOW EXPERIENCES CONNECT BRANDS AND PEOPLE – IN PERSON, ONLINE, AT RETAIL AND THROUGH THE POWER OF DIGITAL AND WORD OF MOUTH INFLUENCE. WE WORK WITH BOTH BTOC AND BTOB CLIENTS TO CREATE POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE EXPERIENCES THAT ENGAGE CUSTOMERS AND CONSUMERS, LAUNCH PRODUCTS, ALIGN EMPLOYEES AND BUILD STRONG EXPERIENCE BRANDS. RANKED AT THE TOP OF OUR FIELD, WE’VE EARNED OVER 40 AWARDS FOR CREATIVITY, EXECUTION AND EFFECTIVENESS SO FAR THIS YEAR, INCLUDING BEST NEW PRODUCT INTRO, BEST MEDIA EVENT AND EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR. JACK MORTON IS PART OF THE INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. (NYSE: IPG). © Jack Morton Worldwide 2011 BEST EXPERIENCE BRANDS /20