Be brutally objective, bold and creative to grow your brand

Jo White posted in Culture October 16, 2019

Learning and development is a key part of Capsule’s culture. When you join the team, you receive a Kindle with an established library of business books - you can add as many new titles as you need to develop your skills. You’re also encouraged to attend a conference each year, anywhere in the world, for professional inspiration. We always come back with lots of ideas to share and full of energy to try new things.

With conference season in full swing, the Capsule design team flew out to Stockholm this month to the Nordic.design and Nordic.JS events and marketing attended London’s Festival of Marketing.

We thought we’d share some of the key takeaways from The Festival of Marketing from this time last week. It was packed full of inspirational content to discover, learn and celebrate all that is marketing. It’s suitable for all levels, people who are new in industry and those already established. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear how different industries apply marketing principles to help them grow.

With an abundance of quality topics and content on offer, the only regret was not having the ability to be in two places at once.

There were some outstanding talks and here are some key learnings from the likes of Premier Foods, Honda, GSK, Britvic, Tesco, Carlsberg and Deliveroo.

Establish your brand before you play with it. Mark Ritson, Marketing Week Columnist

Apply and reinforce your brand over and over again until it’s as recognized and established as the likes of KFC, Cadbury, Veuve Clicquot, Sephora. It’s actually a good thing if your creatives are so bored of the consistency they want to leave. It means you’re doing everything right.

You may think consumers are bored of your brand but remember they don’t live and breathe it every day, they need consistency to help them make decisions. It’s only once you’ve established your brand that you earn the right to play with it.

Take part of KFC’s brand - Colonel Sanders. It’s an old guy, so potentially not the most exciting for a creative. But they have used him so consistently over a lifetime that now it is so well known, they can breathe life into the brand with some fun interpretations of the Colonel. We were shown the recent ‘Chickendales’ advert, which is very amusing and another great example is the ad featuring the first female Colonel Sanders, Reba McEntire.

Another company playing with the brand to disrupt our thinking and boost activity is Cadbury. They recently removed the words from a special edition Dairy Milk to highlight loneliness and their partnership with AgeUK. A bold move to remove all the words from your packaging but after many years of consistency, it worked.

Create content partnerships and advocates to promote your product. Louise Furneaux, Honda

It gets harder and harder to reach customers, so find out what channels they are using and go to them there - don’t expect them to come to you. Use the talent the channels have with their audience, borrow that trust and leverage it.

Honda partnered with Virgin Radio, What Car?, Auto Car and Classic FM on a recent campaign to reach different customer demographics. For their launch of the Honda CR-V Hybrid they wanted to create advocates and developed a reader clinic with ‘What Car?’

Car enthusiasts were invited to test drive Honda and competitors, which resulted in real people giving authentic reviews of each car. The results were outstanding, 63% preferred Honda and 53% took action afterwards, such as booking a test drive.

With such an openness to partnerships, a creative opportunity arose last Easter when they were asked to be part of the Cadbury’s Egg Hunting Season campaign. Being part of the campaign, helped increase Honda’s reach amongst a different demographic and it allowed them to show the fun side of their brand.

Use emotional, creative campaigns, strong branding and innovation to grow. Yilmaz Erceyes, Premier Foods

Angel Delight, Bachelors and Mr Kipling have turned around their brand’s decline to solid growth over the last couple of years. Through deep understanding of their consumer tastes in today’s world, they altered recipes (Angel Delight), innovated their packaging (Bachelors), brought back established brand assets such as the tagline ‘exceedingly good cakes’ (Mr Kipling) and introduced more emotive marketing campaigns. Together, this activity stimulated real growth for the brands.

The Mr Kipling ad from earlier this year is a great example of how understanding people’s relationship with food can provide insight that strikes an emotional chord and makes it memorable.

Invest in your product, brand, packaging and social (if relevant) but don’t bother with online ads. Damien Kennedy(Wheyhey), Jamie McCloskey, (Love Corn), Olivia Wollenberg (Livia’s

A panel discussion with disruptors in the food industry said if they had £1m to spend on marketing they’d push it into sampling and great shelf presence. Having a great product and getting it directly into people’s hands so they can taste it is the most important way to market your product - no Google ads needed!

Olivia was the only supporter on the panel for building advocates on social media. She proved that a lot of people buy after seeing her posts on social media. Her first advent calendar sold out in an hour, after one post on Instagram - an impressive statistic!

Design for your audience, not yourself. Andrew Barraclough, GSK

“Listening with your eyes” is a designer’s skill that’s valuable across all departments.

But unfortunately everyone becomes a designer when they’re presented with work, it’s an occupational hazard. To help create some objectivity and get people thinking about the customer, GSK create a 3D visual of their brand language for each product such as this for Sensodyne.

Once this is in place, it takes away personal preference because if the design hits the brief and talks the right language, it works. As Andrew pointed out, you shouldn’t love the work if you’re not the demographic because it’s not made for you, but you should appreciate the quality and be confident it suits the target audience.

Brutal objectivity is key in turning around a brand. Dave Lewis, Tesco.

Brutal objectivity was key in Tesco’s turnaround. People were not buying as much or as often as they used to, favoring the German retailers for certain products. Everyone said it was because buying habits had changed but had they changed because they wanted to or because they had to?

When Dave joined shoppers on their experience in store, they all said they had less time. So why were they using different stores for the weekly shop?

Staring right into the brand and understanding why it is the way it is, helped face the harsh reality that the Tesco shopping experience back in 2015 was just not good enough. People at Tesco didn’t want to face this but when they did it helped stimulate one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent history.

Find the key truths for your product, find simple solutions and communicate at the right moment. Matt Barwell, Britvic; Magnus Djaba Saatchi UK

The squash category was in decline for about 10 years as it was seen as adding ‘bad stuff’ to good water. But by focusing on some key truths and finding simple solutions the Robinsons brand turned this around.

The key truths were:

  • Robinsons evokes memories of good times when you were a child
  • It’s associated with goodness
  • We live in a complex, hard world
  • People are trying to be healthier but it can be expensive
  • You should drink 6-8 glasses a day
  • 82% of people would drink more if water tastes nicer

Once they knew this, they started to think about solutions and the idea of a child expert was born. By focusing their communications on key ‘water moments’ such as in the workplace along with packaging innovations and introducing a premium brand, the category grew by 6%. There’s one long-term objective they’re still striving to meet - for people to reach for a Robinsons at the end of the day instead of their weekly glass of wine - good luck!

It pays to be fearless, bold and brave with your campaigns - people respond well to honesty! Lynsey Woods, Carlsberg UK

What do you do when people misinterpret your brand and stop buying your product? Promote all the bad stuff people say about your brand on twitter of course.

Carlsberg’s ‘mean tweets’ campaign was just the beginning of them facing up to the brutal reality of people’s perceptions of their brand. They shared all the bad stuff people were saying online, created amusing videos of their staff reading them out loud and were ready on social media to start a new conversation.

Outdoor and indoor media played with the strapline, ‘Probably not the best beer in the world’ and used the attention to educate people on how their beer was a new, more premium brew. Different formats of the message were used depending on how long people had to read the copy. Every touchpoint built on the premium message: a new challis glass and beer font were introduced in pubs and their advert back in May brought the new story to life.

This bold and brave campaign encouraged people to give Carlsberg another try and the response was positive. Will it result in more people choosing Carlsberg, probably.

Understand your own personal USPs and exhibit these every single day to grow like a bad ass unicorn. Alice Ter Haar, Deliveroo

Ever thought about your own USPs, the 3 things that make you unique at work? It’s worth spending a minute thinking about it and how often you exhibit these skills day to day. Then think about your purpose, what you love doing. Matching this self awareness with your core values will result in you being your best self and will help you grow at pace - like a unicorn.

This session was by far the most inspirational talk seen over the two days and this final slide sums up the four key areas that helped Deliveroo become a unicorn and how you can apply those success factors to yourself and become a bad ass unicorn!

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