Last week I gave you some headlines from our new wave of Meaningful Brands research that demonstrates the huge disparity between consumer expectation and reality. A sobering reminder; only 7% of people would care if a brand vanished tomorrow in the UK.
This disparity should more than frighten brands in the western world but at the same time it offers the agile and progressive brands a real opportunity. For those who choose to embrace it, they have the chance to build the brands of the future and to deliver both longevity and loyalty. But how can this opportunity be realised and what does this mean for agencies and marketers? I’ve been fortunate enough to spend this week in Cannes and have witnessed a lot of related noise on this same topic. I will pepper my blog below with some of those comments.
Imagine walking into a shop and 93% of the brands you expected to be on the shelves missing. Just completely disappeared.
As a consumer, how irritating would that be?
As a Marketer, though, how amazing?
Hardly any competition to fight you for share of market? You could probably spend less money on advertising……..(as long as you had the right strategy).
While the mind boggles why it will take 18 months to resize the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre for public use (£4.50 for a swim when it finally opens in the spring of 2014), the Olympic Park Copper Box Arena is suffering from no such prolonged re-birth and will open later this month as a multi-purpose arena.
The Copper Box Arena was one of the success stories of the London Olympics, drawing in some of the most animated crowds for the handball and fencing rendering it the catchy sobriquet the “box that rocks”.
This may have been the cry from the Nadalites watching but according to fashionistes the Spaniard’s apparel during the French Open failed to hit the sweet spot.
“Boring” and “unimaginative”, fashion critics cried, wanting a return to the day when Rafael Nadal looked like an ice-pop on court.
Only a few years ago, the mention of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at a board meeting would have been met with blank looks, a yawn or two and some lip-service from the chairman as to how important it was – with no mention in the minutes of any pertinent actions. Times have changed and notwithstanding a few corporate dinosaurs, shareholders and consumers alike expect companies to be involved in community and not-for-profit ventures.
However if companies think CSR requires a simple wave of the corporate wand – or credit card – then they are sadly mistaken. Research from Initials Marketing finds that consumers are deeply cynical of CSR initiatives from companies that have a bad reputation nationally, with that scepticism directly affecting consumers’ purchase decisions.
Sara Downey, account director at Brands2Life, considers the fine line between truth and fabrication online.
In April, Santiago Swallow was exposed, not as ‘one of the greatest thinkers of the Millennial generation’ but as a fraud, a figment and proof that in social media, ‘the truth can be sketchy business’.
Forget ‘multi-’ or ‘omnichannel’. It’s time to stop thinking about channel delineation, retail marketers, and rather consider the underlying objectives of customers.
Customers want an experience that is defined by their goals, be they getting the best deal, seeking empathy, or wanting to touch and feel what they are buying.
The scientist Louis Pasteur told an audience of peers in 1854 that “In the fields of observation, chance favours only prepared minds”. In other words, Pasteur was encouraging scientists to prepare their minds well to be ready for those random lucky events that crop up from time to time. But in the current economic climate, brands are justifiably risk averse and have begun to rely on data to remove some of that guesswork.
We live in a world powered by algorithms. From the collaborative filtering engine at the heart of Amazon, through to the largest interest engine in the world, Google search, we are increasingly reliant on the metaphorical head, rather than the heart to make choices for us. Whether that be, which DVD to buy or which website to visit.
For some the idea of discussing the work of charities and business in the same breath remains anathema but the reality is that most modern third sector organisations have been forced to adopt commercial principles to a greater or lesser extent. The only difference is that they distribute the rewards to good causes rather than shareholders.
Since 2008, in particular, charities have learned to accept that, with public sector coffers tightly controlled, living standards squeezed and economic growth a distant memory they have had to fight as hard as anyone to compete for their place in the market.
Over centuries and decades, technological progress either built new businesses models or buried few. Earlier, starting a business meant high entry barriers and slow rate of change, now the market is becoming a level playing field and rate of change is very high.
Traditional enterprise models approached the market through cycles of forecast, production, sales, delivery, customer service and companies had some time to go through these steps as the major communication was between the company and its customers in a one to one or one to few basis.