Challenge brand perceptions with a strong brand vision

At the recent (sold out) Marketing Association Brainy Breakfast we heard from three amazing speakers on how they managed to turn a less than ideal consumer perception of their brand around. They told us how they re-engaged with their consumers, re-gained their trust, and improved public perception of their company and the products or services they provided.

The initiatives these companies undertook were marketing-led – and it was important to measure their marketing impact.

How organisations measure their marketing effectiveness differs greatly. This is something that was demonstrated when Qrious conducted their 2017 Mood of Marketing survey earlier this year, and was re-iterated by the speakers, and the results of our Brainy Breakfast poll.

When asked how their organisation measures marketing impact for the Mood of Marketing report, Revenue / EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes) was the leading measure used by organisations, followed by brand awareness and engagement; customer loyalty and lead generation.

This was also reflected in the results of our poll:



So how is this reflected in real life? Our speakers gave some great insights:


Profit Growth and Market Share

For Helen Costello – Innovation and Strategy leader from Lion - the success was measured by market share growth, and sales of their new product: Steinlager Tokyo Dry. However, this couldn’t have been achieved without the innovative campaign that engaged with the new generation of beer drinkers that were originally moving away from the Steinlager brand.


Customer Loyalty

AMI took a different approach to re-engage with their customers. After the Canterbury earthquakes and poor experiences for their customers, AMI realised they needed to win back the trust of New Zealand and show they ‘were right here’. Rather than an ad campaign, they ran value-add initiatives that had nothing to do with selling their product – but rather were about giving back to the community. Their success was measured through public confidence, a reduction in churn, and increase in customer loyalty exhibited by an increase in those taking out additional policies with AMI.


Brand Awareness and NPS

And finally, Fonterra. Fonterra’s reputation was not good. And this wasn’t necessarily a reflection of their product. Rather it was the perception of the company as an Auckland-based corporate, and out of touch with what concerned New Zealanders – one of which is water quality. So, to change this perception they started not only showing the stories of their shareholders – the farmers – but also being more vocal about their initiatives and dedication to improving water quality. How did they measure success? NPS. Initial scores showed a majority of detractors, but 18 months into this initiative they have been able to turn this around – with advocates of the brand now taking the majority.


While Revenue and EBIT growth may be the ‘main’ metric organisations use to measure marketing impact – brand engagement and customer loyalty play a huge part in gaining an idea of how your brand is perceived in the market. A company like Fonterra may not lose much market share when they exist in a market where choice is limited. However keeping brand perception positive and being perceived as a company that is listening to consumer concerns is still just as vital to them, as it is in the more competitive markets like insurance or consumer products.


So what does great look like?

A clear brand story and vision, alongside providing a stellar customer experience is largely what sets the ‘successful’ brands apart. Companies like Air New Zealand, Whittaker’s Chocolate and Allbirds Shoes – companies that are inherently ‘kiwi’, are playing at an international level, and have a strong brand vision that consistently engages with their customers.

As Helen summed up her presentation “as marketers we cannot afford to work in a vacuum” – know what your customers are saying about you, know what your customers are wanting – and then look at how you can meet those needs.


Read the full 2017 Mood of Marketing report from Qrious - download it here.

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