Brands need to incorporate many elements to get successful and stay successful. Which ones most reward the efforts of smart marketers? At Euro RSCG, we focus our efforts on two key brand dimensions that have proved to be critical variables: dynamism and trust. Euro RSCG employs its proprietary Brand Momentum tool to track public perceptions of client and competitor brands, paying particular attention to these two variables.
Both are perceptions in the minds of consumers. A deficit in one or the other spells trouble for the brand in the marketplace. So analyzing these two factors provides important information to guide the development of Creative Business Ideas--Euro RSCG's term for an idea that changes business strategy, drives profitable growth, and transforms not only how consumers view a company but also how a company views itself--that will help clients rebrand and reinvent their businesses.
We measure a brand's dynamism by its "movement," which encompasses such things as new product lines or packaging, new marketing campaigns, or breaking news stories. Anything that drives buzz and keeps the brand top of mind contributes to movement.
When a brand loses dynamism, it means it is slipping off people's radars. If it's a familiar brand, declining dynamism means the brand is likely to be seen as old-fashioned, out of touch, and fading. If it's a less-familiar brand, declining dynamism means it will be perceived as an also-ran on track to becoming a loser. In any event, nobody stays interested in an established brand that's losing dynamism. And, by definition, few people ever get interested in a new brand that has no dynamism.
A new brand is all vision, vibrant with promise and potential. Then a market develops, consumers buy it, and the brand builds trust by delivering on its promises. But the natural cycle of brands shows that if a brand just carries on without further action, it cannot maintain the movement that drove it. In the absence of innovation and dynamism, it ceases to meet the needs of its customers.
Dynamism is vital, but it's not enough. A dynamic brand might whip up a storm; people might talk about it, enjoy its marketing, and even buzz it, but if they don't trust it, they won't buy it. Starved of sales, the brand will be doomed to wither and die.
We measure trust by the confidence people have in the brand to do what it says it will do and what is right; factors that come into play include product reliability and durability, brand transparency, customer service, historic roots, and social responsibility.
Sooner or later, all brands need initiatives to generate movement or improve trust. Our experience around the globe shows that this is an ideal task for a Creative Business Idea. Here are a few outstanding examples:
• An old-school candy brand in Argentina, Billiken, needed an urgent injection of innovation. In 2001, Euro RSCG in Buenos Aires enlisted the nation's 6- to 12-year-olds in an initiative to design new candies online. The initiative worked so well, it has been repeated several times and become part of the rejuvenated brand.
• In the U.S., Dr Scholl's had a great new product line--gel insoles--but was stuck in a category associated with support hose and walkers. Euro RSCG in New York took the brand out of nursing homes and into nightclubs with the "Are you gellin'?" campaign. No longer lumped in with medical aids, Dr Scholl's was now a lifestyle supplement--and a brand for all ages.
• It's not just consumer brands that need momentum. Professional services firm Capgemini was facing a depressed market with big corporate clients tired of dealing with "masters of the universe"--consultants who act like managers instead of partners. Internal morale was low. So Euro RSCG C&O in France helped Capgemini devise a new way of relating to its market and doing its job, summed up as the Collaborative Business Experience. It resulted in large-scale internal change, a boost in employee morale, and a surge in Capgemini's market image.
Dynamism + trust = success.
Naomi Troni is chief marketing officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide. This summer, the communications company celebrates the power of ideas with the release of The Creative Business Idea Book: Ten Years of Breakthrough Thinking. For more information, go to creativebusinessidea.com