1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND In an age where business seems scared of its own shadow, belief is the new weapon needed to create great brands. In these modern times, shallow promises don’t cut it. Substance does. The most powerful brands inspire people with a passionate belief in what they do. And when a brand’s belief is there for all to see, people seek to be part of it. They want to belong . The BE Brands survey, conducted by belong, seeks to uncover the brands people want to belong to.
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND Since the first BE Brands study was conducted in 2006, belong has conducted over 1000 brand interviews, as well as hundreds of informal discussions based on the criteria set out in the 2006 BE Brands book. Most importantly, brand awareness did not convert to brand loyalty, nor did it lead to a passionate or emotive connection with brands. Interestingly, and quite differently to the ’06 study and BE Brands book, the power of brands was a major factor, not just popularity. Ultimately, that’s what this survey is about; establishing a coding for great brands, so that any business can replicate the formula and become more powerful in the way they connect with consumers and create loyalty.
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND This survey is not just about declaring the best mainstream businesses. Rather it has revealed, using the 3BE philosophy, the best brands in the land. That is, the organisations that quite simply enjoy the best possible emotive connection with their ‘ tribes ’. That’s why there are some shocks in our top 20. After compiling an extensive list of brands nominated in our interviews, we had our agency panel debate and measure the most powerful BE brands . We settled on 20 brands, and then rated them by measuring the 3 BE’s of each brand; (belief, belonging and behaviour) through seven related questions.
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS Belief We sought to establish whether consumers can easily understand what a brand stands for. Does it have meaning and purpose to what it does, or does it simply describe what it does. We asked whether the belief was powerfully articulated through all touch points and or key opinion leaders. BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS Belonging If a brand has a clearly articulated belief, inevitably people want to engage with it. To look at how engaged people were with brands we looked at brand loyalists, staff delivery and buy in, and how the brand was used to enhance reputations. BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS Behaviour People will go to great lengths to defend a brand they believe in. We took a broad view of predicting behaviours associated with belonging to a particular brand. BE BRANDS 08 SURVEY BACKGROUND
The 2008 top 20 BE Brands <ul><li>(-) not on the 2006 BE Brands list </li></ul>1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS We know what they stand for, brotherhood, freedom, life beyond the law; we know they’re a tribe and take their belonging very seriously. At the end of the day, business can learn much from these outlaws.
2. (4) APPLE Experiential stores where staff passionately play with you, new products that create three-block queues, a central belief that powers all it does, phones that denote my tribe… Oh, and estimated profits of US$4 billion.
3. (-) STAR WARS $4.3 billion in box office sales. Who wouldn’t like those revenue figures. And it all comes from a belief, in the force! People belong and the behaviour follows. So much so that over 380,000 declared themselves a Jedi Knight in the English census data. In New Zealand it was officially the second largest religion! How’s that for a brand.
4. (-) DOVE 13 million YouTube hits and counting, a belief that is finding its way in to dinner table discussions around the globe. A brand with a belief that its own industry is out of order. So much so that they have targeted to have 5 million women take part in a one hour self esteem course by 2010.
5. (14) MOLESKINE A beautifully told story about the belief that something crafted is worth paying for because of how it makes us feel. Now with 14,000 outlets in 53 countries with 65% sales through book shops, this is a brand with storytelling at its heart and the clear belief that how your write and doodle is as important as what you write and doodle.
6. (17) SMIGGLE Keeps getting stronger based on its humble belief that stationery should make you smile and giggle. The staff live it, the products still delight, the kids still belong. It was sold for $29 million last year and now has plans to expand globally and rapidly.
7. (1) THE BODYSHOP This brand is probably one of the true original BE Brands. It’s still training its people to believe in what they do. Test it some day. You’ll be amazed. The fibre of the brand is around social conscience and it has remained on track beyond the death of its founder and its sale to L’Oréal.
8. (12) VIRGIN While the profits slide and the boardroom quivers, the experience hasn’t waned. So much so that Qantas, the once unbeatable iconic airline brand, is looking a little sad and sorry for itself in Virgin’s shadow. Virgin has successfully migrated from a price offer to service, all with its consistent belief that fun, irreverence and character will get you through.
9. (-) ALANNAH HILL Alannah is the brand and plenty want to belong. Love, romance, chocolate, ornamental fashion are some of the things this very personal BE brand talks of. Stores and sales indicate it’s working.
10. (-) ECKO His belief powers his brand and boy, do people belong. Based around freedom of expression, formed from the world of graffiti, this is one of the great brands in the world today. Fashion, lifestyle and social activism with sales over $1.5 billion in 2007.
11. (-) CATHOLIC CHURCH The comeback kid, courtesy of coming out from behind its conservative constraints, taking a leaf out of the born again brands and holding the greatest PR stunt ever seen – World Youth Day. Those pilgrims showed the ultimate belonging and behavioural traits.
12. (-) NIKE It has survived the onslaught of negative press to emerge stronger and more committed to its beliefs. More than any other brand it shouts “get off your arse and have a go!”.
13. (-) FREE HUGS Hundreds of thousands have hugged Juan Mann in the Pitt Street Mall and this shows the power of belief. 82 countries now have free hugs and 27 million people have watched its core YouTube message. It’s a brand, get over it!
14. (3) HARLEY DAVIDSON The latest ‘Screw it lets ride’ campaign maintains this awesome belief brand. US$5.2 billion in sales, average age 47, average income US$83k. A brand that doesn’t make sense but feels good. We love it!
15. (-) PETER ALEXANDER You get a clear sense of Alexander’s personal, indulgent beliefs through the communications and the store. Set for even bigger things as it goes global.
16. (2) T2 Still great belief in the art of teas, but hasn’t really gone anywhere new with it since we last looked. Although its distribution continues to grow, its belief seems a little undeveloped.
17. (-) BRA BOYS Few could deny the power of this ‘brand’ and while it wasn’t put forward without prompt, when the idea of this well known surf gang was discussed there was enormous respect and clarity about what it stood for, the loyalty of its members (“I Am My Brother’s Keeper) and the predictable behaviour of its tribe. Few could deny the strength of this notorious brand. Russell Crowe’s voice to their documentary didn’t hurt either.
18. (-) SUNRISE Their dominance in wake up television makes this a brand people want to belong to.
19. (19) CIRCUS OZ Still true, still doing it. Still political.
20. (20) BOOST Some thought it had lost some of its soul, but the devotees of this amazing fruit juice brand remain passionate about what it stands for and how this fun is delivered in a consistent manner by the well trained Boost employees.
Just outside the top 20… RM Williams – True to its belief, stores live the brand, a magazine extends the belief. You can tell a RM Williams customer a mile off. WWE – And its army of ranting fans is a brand force. Salvation Army – And its legion of believers. Lush – Ever-colourful and passionate. World of Warcraft – With its 10 million paid subscribers. Facebook – Has to rate a mention. Hillsong – A little hurt by idol inference maybe, but remains a great brand all the same.
A note on the losers Google – Not sure its doing enough to declare its belief about do no evil. The global pressure has made it less than vocal. Our judges weren’t convinced. Australian Geographic – Feels a little tired and lacking that Dick Smith progressiveness. Max Brenner – Has the story but not the delivery, with inconsistent, grumpy retail service. Rip Curl – Inconsistently tells its story, and a lack of staff buy in. Kathmandu – Still a good story but very sales driven, crowded and mass. Nudie – Lost its founder, lost its edge.
1. (-) HELL’S ANGELS SIMON HAMMOND AND BELONG For more than two decades, Simon Hammond has pushed the boundaries of traditional thinking to provoke creative change within Australian business. From his beginnings as an investigative journalist to today, as a successful corporate director, Simon continues to define the real drivers of social change and consumer behaviour . In recent years Simon’s social insights have made him a sought-after social commentator and motivational speaker. His telling observations of mainstream behavior challenge many accepted conventions and throw new light on the disconnection between society and business today. Hammond targets increased political correction, complex corporate governance issues and the information explosion as enemies of brand connection. Simon’s radical new advertising and branding methodologies are currently being used by some of Australia’s top companies for their ability to challenge executives and teams to think differently about consumer connection, team culture and brand uniqueness. His progressive brand agency, Belong, is dedicated to creating stronger, more profitable brands by establishing what a business stands for ( Belief ), ensuring people want to be part of it (Belonging) and achieving consistency of delivery at every touch point ( Behaviour ). For more information go to belonggroup.com.au