The Latest News From The World Of Marketing
Generate UK’s Marketing News round up for September & October 2018.
The marketing industry is ever-changing and can be hard to keep up with, so we have put together our favourite recent snippets that have grabbed our attention from across the industry, to help you understand the latest trends, updates and technologies.
From hyper-personalisation to ditching your desk, read our rundown of the latest marketing news to ensure you are ahead of the crowd. It’s safe to say, the marketing world has been eventful in the last few weeks.
Can You Build Brand Loyalty In The Age Of ‘Hyper Personalisation’?
Marketing Tech News have released an article at the beginning of October outlining how consumers hold power over brands, and this is only increasing as the ability to personalise EVERYTHING also increases. The main reason for this is that social media allows everyone and anyone to scrutinise or share great experiences to an increasingly growing audience.
The challenge for businesses is to stay competitive with pricing, hold user attention, deliver quickly and stay relevant to the ever changing consumer. Long gone are the days for emails on your birthday and your name in a subject line, now real-time customer automation is expected as standard.
It has been proven that consumers are staying loyal when brands supply them with offers and discounts. However, brands fall down in maximising the return from this loyalty because of bad data! Businesses are increasingly using AI and computer vision analysis to find out every detail of a consumer in order to find their specific likes and dislikes. For example: location, photos and browser history.
Does Abandoning Your Desk Increase Influence?
In Thomas Barta’s latest article for Marketing Week he describes marketing as a ‘contact sport’. Most marketers spend a significant proportion of their time sat at a desk, and not face-to-face with those outside of their department. You cannot make a change happen from the comfort of your desk. The opposite can also have a negative effect too, working from home for job flexibility doesn’t help either.
Working in the right places for the right amount of time is what drives the most successful marketing campaigns. When you are face-to-face in front of customers and colleagues to influence their behaviour is where the magic happens.
Many businesses have ripped out desks and replaced with lines of desks to ‘reduce egg-laying hens’, encouraging employees to work from a range of environments that are specific to the activity tasked.
How To Use Direct Mail In The Modern Marketing Mix
Despite the rise in smart phone sales and the decrease of mail sent each year, direct mail marketing gets a higher response rate than it did more than a decade ago. In AMA’s latest article, Neil O’Keefe suggests that marketers should test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending to discover what brings the best ROI.
The biggest challenge for direct mail is the measurement of its success, although you can use personalised URLs and codes, there is no guarantee customers will use these. The only way to discover what works the best is to test as many aspects as possible, with a baseline to compare from.
Even if direct mail stagnates, O’Keefe believes that it will remain an important part of the marketing mix. With the best results said to have come from omni-channel campaigns, portraying the same message across emails and re-targeted adverts too.
So maybe direct mail isn’t dying out, just becoming a good accompaniment to your other campaigns.
Hootsuite Integrates Google Ads
Hootsuite has penned a deal with Google that will integrate Google Ads directly into Hootsuite’s platform and AdEspresso, which is Hootsuite’s digital ad platform. This will help you manage your online ads across Facebook, Instagram and also Google all on one platform.
This new integration has awarded Hootsuite with an official “Google Premier Partner Badge”, making it a leading social media management solution. It is also the first time search and social advertising campaign have been combined, helping customers to manage their online advertisements, budgets and compare results across multiple platforms better, allowing you to create the best performing adverts.
“We’re excited to be working with Google in this integration. They are the market leader in search and in global online advertising, helping businesses worldwide drive increased return on their investment,” said Penny Wilson, CMO of Hootsuite.
Removal Of Twitter ‘Moments’ On Mobile
With Twitters recent transition from a social network to a newsroom, we may find that user needs from brands will change. They are removing their ‘Moments’ platform as of 23rd October, after people found the experience confusing. Twitter Support have explained that when people don’t use their features often, they remove them so they can focus on building new products that we will love!
Twitter Moments will still be available on desktop however.
Twitter is currently a useful B2B platform – especially to connect directly to customers – and brand interactions will definitely see a change in the future. We will look forwards to the next new Twitter feature to enhance our experience further.
If you want to keep up with the latest marketing trends, don’t hesitate to contact Generate UK. We’d love to hear about your business and how we can transform your marketing into something to be proud of, browse our digital marketing services here.
Brand Purpose Without Branding Is Pointless
The campaign was a masterstroke from the multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs, who commissioned designer, Kristen Visbal to create the bronze sculpture.
Only, it wasn’t Goldman Sachs… the piece was commissioned by investment firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). If we’d told you that this was all the brainchild of the Goldman Sachs marketing department, would you have questioned it?
Would you know, from seeing the Fearless Girl, who had installed it? Who had commissioned it?
The plaque below the statue states: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference”, a clear, explicit declaration. But, in this case, a more appropriate message for SSGA would be to “Know the power of branding. IT makes a difference”.
After all, brand purpose without branding is an unrewarding exercise for any company. Whilst we’d like to think that companies conduct CSR to improve the lives of its employees and others, we know deep down that its only goal is to improve the bottom line of the brand.
Analysts from marketing firm Apex Marketing estimated that the statue resulted in $7.4 million in free publicity for SSGA, but, SSGA is no more of a household name now, than it was before the campaign.
To add insult to injury, the firm have not even practiced what they preached, with only six women taking up 31 of the current top leadership positions in the company. As a result, the campaign is not only devoid of branding, but also only portrays faux brand purpose, with McCann’s global creative chairman Rob Reilly, unveiling all at Spikes Asia 2018.
“When Fearless Girl started, it wasn’t a girl,” Reilly says. “The original idea we presented to State Street was not a little girl but a female bull. We presented a female bull to our client and they said ‘we know you love this idea, but we’re just not that comfortable with it.’”
SSGA were not enamoured with the idea, allowing the creative agency to pitch the campaign to other companies. McCann pitched the same idea to Microsoft – proposing the idea as part of a campaign around women in technology. Not only was the campaign interchangeable, but the company and message.
We’ve written before about the importance and positive impacts of brand purpose. When done right it, can be a masterstroke in promoting your product and service – as well as creating meaningful social change – however, SSGA has fallen short, in this case.
SSGA would likely argue that the campaign was successful – with 152 companies identified with an all-male board of directors adding a female – but is that enough? Does that impact the success of the campaign from a commercial sense? In SSGA’s Environmental Social Governance report, no mention is given to the profitability of the campaign, with the only marketing statistic given is the 10 billion social, print and digital media impressions recorded. But for an unbranded statue, is it 10 billion impressions for SSGA? Or the Fearless Girl herself?
Good CSR contributes to the sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. Whilst SSGA identified a $28 trillion increase in global GDP from women participating in the workforce identically to men, without the financial figures to boost their campaign, the Fearless Girl is, sadly, a publicity stunt rather than a marketing campaign fuelled in brand purpose.
How We Can Help
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The John Lewis Brand:
People love that they know what they are getting with John Lewis, they know they will receive high quality products and excellent customer service. From one small Victorian store on Oxford Street, the retailer has grown to over 50 John Lewis stores, more than 300 Waitrose supermarkets across the UK and a huge 83,000+ permanent staff.
Recently, there has been a well-publicised change to their branding, much to people’s apprehension. We have outlined the facts, journey and thought process John Lewis may have gone through to make these changes, so you can decide what you really think of their new branding and values. Before we can discuss why these changes have happened, we need to look at the history of the brand to explore how they have got to where they are today.
History of the John Lewis Brand
‘Value, Assortment, Service and Honesty’. These were the main principles that the first store was based upon and that have been carried through the business ever since, with the current values sitting at ‘Value, Integrity and Vision’, matching perfectly to their moto ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’.
Traditionally, John Lewis has appealed strongly to the middle and upper class shoppers, however, the introduction of their ‘Value’ and ‘Essential’ ranges has allowed an expansion to a broader market.
Back in 1937, John Lewis launched their own brand merchandise, called ‘Jonell(e)’. John Lewis were the first department store group in the UK to have their own brand of products, however this ended in 2001 when the ‘Jonell(e)’ name was replaced by the ‘John Lewis’ name.
Until now, when we think of John Lewis we think quality, friendly, reliable and Christmas! Along with mulled wine, mince pies, stockings and wreaths, the John Lewis ads are awaited each year, with Moz the Monster, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer being just a few of the fictional characters that have pulled on our festive heart strings.
From day one, John Lewis have always looked after their staff, rewarding them for their efforts, sharing their profits and continuing to build upon their skills, this is because all permanent staff members are partners in their business. This in turn ensures that their team have a great work ethic and want to nurture and treat each customer the way they wish to be treated themselves.
John Lewis has remained not only an esteemed brand, but a desirable organisation to work for. In March 2018 they topped the list of best UK retailers to work for – beating Lush, IKEA, Marks & Spencer and Clarks!
A Move to John Lewis & Partners
Combined with strategic changes in other areas of the business, John Lewis has now incorporated a rebrand that sees a change in name to ‘John Lewis & Partners’ and ‘Waitrose & Partners’ – this is a way of showing customers and prospects that John Lewis’ employees are at the heart of their business, enabling them to offer more personalised experiences for customers. The new rebrand also synergises and brings together the John Lewis and Waitrose brands, as previously, the two companies have remained relatively separate. This integration aims to create a single creative platform for both brands, in theory, decreasing overall spend on expenditure like advertising.
The new name change comes with a new logo, this is made up of the brand name with a lines in a variety of widths to the left in either green for Waitrose or black for John Lewis. Some would say that the old ‘Jonell(e)’ logo resembles the new rebrand of John Lewis, featuring the barcode style lines, coming away from the main logo.
The first of their new campaigns has been launched; the John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners television and cinema advert showcase their rebrand, performed to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, with the main focus to communicate their more personal approach.
The ‘when you’re part of it, you put your heart into it’ strapline of the advert stands for John Lewis & Partners appreciating their staff members, the various stories and skills that they offer, proving that when employees feel valued, great things can happen.
Along with this TV and cinema advert, a print campaign and social media adverts that feature the hashtag of #wearepartners will run too. Both John Lewis and Waitrose websites have been updated, lorries are being reprinted, carrier bags, uniforms, trolleys and internal signs have been updated with new logos and branding. This is the largest marketing campaign John Lewis have ever carried out. The overall campaign is great at highlighting the John Lewis way of life, shedding life on the partners that jointly own the business and how it ensures that they go the extra mile for customers each day.
Why Have They Changed?
In March 2018 John Lewis vowed to reinvest in their shopping and customer experience, create new innovative online and offline experiences, along with a faster pace, due to their 22% decline in profit compared to the previous year. This decision was made because of a restrained customer demand, political uncertainty and general inflation in the British economy. The decrease in profit is largely due to their hard to keep up with ‘never knowingly undersold’ pledge. Other retailers are having to discount heavily due to the economic crisis and increase in e-commerce like Amazon, in turn resulting in a decrease to staff bonus and overall employment rate at John Lewis as their profits too were falling. Recently we have seen it hit House of Fraser and Debenhams the hardest.
Sometimes the best marketing is all about honesty, less about the products and services on offer and profit margin, and more about the people that make it all happen at all levels of the business – store staff, call centres, office members, delivery drivers, manufacturers, suppliers and customers. However, recently since going live with the new rebrand and campaigns John Lewis have announced a 99% drop in profit for the first half of 2018. This is due to the increase in e-commerce websites and decrease to economic activity which is meaning retailers, including John Lewis are having to discount products.
John Lewis has recently said that they plan to save up to £500 million a year in the next three years, this is to invest in products and service innovation, with hope to in turn rebuild their profitability as a business. Along with also trying to seek cost savings of up to £500 million to balance out their finances. With their partners (staff) continuing to be at the heart, they will conduct a review of their pension scheme to give partners better benefits of working with John Lewis & Partners. Along with a pension scheme, they will be investing in their partners’ skills and product knowledge, with extra training and courses that will in turn deliver improved customer service. Overall John Lewis will focus on unique, innovative products, personal service and new services to offer.
However, we are now coming up to John Lewis’ seasonal busy period, it will be interesting to see the numbers after their typically successful Christmas period in comparison to previous festive seasons.
In the coming months, labels from their own brand products will be updated, with the plan for all products, services and marketing material materials to be totally rebranded over within five years.
Both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands are making more efforts to join together as one synergising brand, loyalty is one common ground both businesses hold. In the next few months, they will be rolling out their combined loyalty schemes, at first a trial being sent to 600,000 customers. This loyalty scheme will be one single card that offers the same benefits that both cards previously held, just reiterating the connection between John Lewis and Waitrose.
Each year, we wait in anticipation for the John Lewis Christmas advert to be aired before, so we can really get into the spirit, and this year will be no different. This year it has been reported that Sir Elton John will be hired at a huge cost of £5m to record a custom rendition of his famous ‘Your Song’ at Pinewood Studios in London.
The new rebrand has not completely changed the company’s core values, the key messages are still quality products and excellent customer service across the John Lewis and Waitrose brands due to their staff member being partners within the brands.
Looking to Reposition your Organisation’s Brand?
Contact Generate UK to achieve the full potential of your brand. From a simple refresh to a complete re-work. We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their brand through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy, visual design to implementation.
How and Why It Has Changed?
The Importance of Brand Guidelines
Most companies spend a lot of time – and money – on their brand. You may find yourself sitting for hours pondering logo options with designers – the fonts, the colours, what should the strapline be? But no matter how long you pour over website designs or discuss marketing materials in great depth, without brand guidelines, your business’ identity will be inconsistent, messy and potentially unrecognisable.
So what exactly are brand guidelines? Brand guidelines work in a multiple different ways, they are a comprehensive manual for anyone who uses your brand in their work – this includes employees, channel partners, designers and agencies. As well as laying out a clear example of how employees and external companies connected to your business should use your brand to achieve your company’s objectives, they also provide practical and detailed instructions on how to use your brand elements consistently.
As you can already tell, consistency is key. Imagine seeing the Nike logo back to front, or the McDonalds logo in illuminous pink? Brand guidelines help to keep your message clear and on point, every time someone sees your brand it should be evident who you are and the values you strive for.
Brand guidelines can be as in depth or as loose as you feel necessary. Some companies have guidelines that are hundreds of pages long and go into every minute detail, from how the logo can be used in a variety of colours, to templates for stationery and advertising campaigns. Others – including some of the biggest companies in the world – have smaller looser types of guidelines that, whilst keeping a tight rein on the core essentials of the brand (logo colours, placement, minimum size etc), allow designers more flexibility.
Guidelines should never be set in stone, it’s impossible to produce a document that caters for every eventuality, guidelines, and their creators, should be open to communication and suggestions and the guidelines should be an ever-changing beast that evolves with the world around them.
For example, in the past all you had to care about was how the logo appeared on a letterhead, now you have to take into account websites – both desktop and mobile – advertising and, more recently, social media. Each comes with its own restrictions and limitations which your company brand must navigate while still remaining consistent and on-brand.
Guidelines are also about how NOT to use your brand, what to avoid and to stop it being used in a way that devalues the brand message. The ideal time to set up your guidelines is after you have established a logo, colours, your brand voice and all your other elements. If you are just getting started this is the perfect time to have your branding done and guidelines developed, you can set the tone right from the start.
But what if your company is already established? Well, it’s never too late to take stock and look at your message and have guidelines created, nothing is set in stone, the guidelines will help to back up and maintain your current look and feel.
Here at Generate UK, we have a long history of working with clients to develop brand guidelines and more importantly help to keep their powerful brand consistent. If you would like to discuss your brand with us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Is my brand consistent?
Most companies are marketing across a number of channels (even if you don’t realise it!). Also, you must consider the less traditional channels, the more basic, less planned interactions such as direct contact with customers. Any customer facing aspect of a company can be branded and does affect perceptions of a company, positively and negatively.
What does your brand stand for? What is the brand purpose? Even what are the human-type personalities you would associate with your brand? Go on, write it down.
LUSH: Obvious, clear and consistent Brand Purpose over a long period
Images From: http://www.greenbusinessdorset.co.uk & http://launchprivatelabel.com
Now go through marketing channels and materials (or a sample) and compare against the points you had associated with your brand. Check to see if the channels and materials are in sync with your brand and it’s purpose.
Many business owners and marketing managers (and employees) take pride in the brand they own, have created or work for. However, the brand personality/purpose is often forgotten when marketing is being adjusted, grown and improved upon. The marketing, employees and product must be in sync with the brand!
Coca Cola: Total synchronicity
Images From: http://launchprivatelabel.com, https://www.marketingweek.com & http://www.coca-cola.co.uk
Maintaining this consistent approach also allows a business to maintain it’s authenticity. Many companies (depending on industry) will claim to have some form of Corporate Social Responsibility, something which is taken seriously by many and of growing importance to consumers in today’s world. CSR is great to show the thoughtful, human side of the business. However, once these claims or promises regarding CSR are made, breaking them can have serious implications and a PR nightmare. Maintaining the brand promise is a good way to be more thoughtful and improve trust and a sense of dependability in the long run.
A good example of branding crossing over into all channels, Is FedEx and their reactive PR in difficult situations. As a brand which highlights their dependability and trust, reacting in a strong way to lapses in either of these attributes, is required. A video appeared on YouTube of a FedEx employee treating customers deliveries poorly, the reaction as excellent and the PR team were straight onto creating a response video with an apology and suitable repercussions for the employee involved. This segues nicely to my final point…
FedEx: Pride themselves on their dependability and trust
Image from: https://www.entrepreneur.com
It’s also about you. The marketing channels, packaging and assets are all now aligned with the brand and the communications are on point. You must always consider how YOU represent your brand or the brand you work for. Representing a company in whatever role, as a director, as a salesman or in customer services, representing the company correctly, is essential. Much as it is for sports team, when you represent something, you should strive to represent it well.
If you would like to find out more, or require some assistance to help align and improve your brand, contact us today.
Generate UK Review: Morrisons Rebrand & What is a Rebrand?
Morrisons have recently embarked on a brand review and rebrand. Unusually, this rebrand has been public knowledge for a while, with Intellectual Property patents for a new logo occurring several months before the logo was tested on a number of Yorkshire based stores. The testing included feedback from customers, a wise choice when you look into the negative customer reactions to many expensive and failed re-brands eg Pepsi, Tropicana and Gap (we will cover these in more detail later on). The new Morrisons logo has been rolled out across more stores, utilised in marketing campaigns and is due to be fully rolled out by the end of 2019.
Now this isn’t necessarily a ‘rebrand‘ but more of a refresh for the Morrisons brand – highlighted by Morrisons chief executive David Potts: “This isn’t a big rebrand, we are too focused on getting the stores right to worry too much about that right now. It’s just a refresh for the stores… The new logo is more confident and the tree feels more British, the leaves are in growth. Each refit will have one.”
This moves me on to the underlying point of this blog post… what exactly is a rebrand? The term ‘rebrand’ and even ‘brand’ are often mixed up and confused. A ‘Brand’ isn’t just another term for a company, nor is it is another word for a logo. A Brand is an all-encompassing term for anything and everything that identifies, distinguishes and differentiates a product, service or company. A rebrand is an update, change or refresh of any part of the overall Brand, whether that is something visual like a logo or something more ingrained like the way employees handle customer service.
Here is an example we like for one of our clients Wagtech. Our aim was to create a more iconic, memorable brand logo which stand out versus competitors. We did this by improving the strength of typography and using their new company colour pallet. We introduced the water drop iconography to create a direct association between their logo and their business (water testing kits). We evolved this into the use of graphical items eg Leaf shape and other icons inside the droplet, making it very versatile for various product types.
Back to the brand at hand, Morrisons, I believe this slower, more organic brand refresh is likely to be a wise approach, both short and long term. Many brands in the past have jumped into a substantial rebrand of their identity, logo, stores, behaviour too fast, leading to confusion and ultimately, disappointment. This is often caused by a lack of research and analysis (the scientific side of branding) and over emphasis on design and feel (the emotive side of branding). Good examples of failed re-brands include Gap and Tropicana as mentioned above. Interestingly you may not even be aware these big brands undertook a re-branding exercise at all. Customer response to the Gap rebrand resulted in the old logo being reinstated within days and Tropicana rebrand resulted in 20% decline in sales meaning the old packaging is what you see in store today.
This change along with refreshed in-store and company-wide approach will hopefully push Morrisons back in contention – or at least that’s what a guy from Yorkshire who has grown up with the supermarket chain thinks…
Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you would like to discuss any aspect on branding, including: Corporate identity, Brand Strategy & Positioning, Research & Testing, Message & Channel and Brand Guidelines.