Global brands face a number of external challenges thinning attention spans, increased clutter at the store shelf, shoppers’ demand for gainful experiences and hyperrelevance., myriad of store formats, etc. The internal challenge for global brands then is getting the ”what” of their strategies right (e.g., insights, innovation and communication). Equally important is getting the “how” right (e.g., developing a single global brand strategy, protecting the universal essences that define the brand’s global resonance with consumers, creating marketing alignment, brand expertise across geographies, speed to market, etc.). The rewards for cracking the code on external and internal challenges is strong and sustainable growth.
Global Balancing Act
Shopper behavior provides insights that suggest there are some commonalities that transcend borders. Shopper engagement (visual engagement) is driven more by cognitive psychology and human physiology than local patterns Shoppers do not read signage or packaging thoroughly, so key visuals, essential copy, simple, bold design draw the most attention., when shoppers have little bandwidth to process all information.
Leveraging consistent visual equities and create a consistent identity globally. Leveraging global human behavior patterns. At the same time, incorporate local insights about brand/category (e.g., immediate vs. future consumption, need vs. want, etc.) into the tailoring of programs. Many leading global brands develop toolkits which provide solutions for many of the different markets and retail formats in which they operate. Typically these assets are accessed online, but produced locally. This allows global brands to harvest and leverage brand expertise throughout their global network, to align on marketing goals.
They enjoy the benefits of global branding, while reaping rewards at retail in different markets. Brands evolve and differentiate to create choice -- the right mixture of consistent global identity, local insights and flexibility.
Using Visual Hierarchies
There is a good deal of research that suggests that “visual saliency” is heuristic that affects how shoppers look at POS and packaging in a retail setting. Elements that are most visually attractive, dominant attract the most attention. Visually attractive elements not only attract and hold attention, but produce liking and preference. This same research suggests that shoppers can process 2-3 visual elements in the first 3-5 seconds of viewing POS or packaging
We look at three examples from different categories: Fairy dishwashing liquid with Olay, Pampers and Nivea’s Invisible Deodorant. They illustrate a trend toward visual saliency. These three examples of POS were analyzed using 3M’s Visual Attention Model to determine how consumers would view them—attraction of different visual elements, and most likely sequence of viewing 2
Each of these examples has strong visual elements and a minimal amount of copy. Fairy dishwashing liquid communicates both the effectiveness in cleaning and preserving hands. Pampers extols the benefit of “1 dry night”—sleep. And Nivea communicates the deodorant’s benefit of invisibility.
Note that each of them is easily taken in within the first 3-5 seconds. Perhaps their greatest strength is their ability to visually communicate benefits, quickly and in an economical manner.
The Wow Factor is another approach brands are using to woo shoppers. The Wow Factor can be used to elevate perception within a category, create interest and involve the shopper on new levels. Often groundbreaking in approach, the Wow Factor helps brands stand out in a sea of sameness and emotionally touches the audience.
Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is an interesting example which shoppers readily admit possesses the “Wow Factor.” Perhaps the Wow comes from its ability to communicate with minimal copy!
While many leading cpg companies employ the Wow Factor (e.g., Unilever, P&G, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, etc.), we looked at POM The Wonderful pomegranate products. POM is a relatively young brand, selling pomegranate products in 50 countries around the globe. Some of its ads and POS have created controversy in the UK and USA, they are nonetheless interesting in their ability to produce WOW.
They not only attract attention, but pays off the attention by communicating the benefit or relevance to shoppers.
Global brands are wooing shoppers by addressing both internal and external challenges.
Internally, leading brands are aligning efforts by.providing clear direction on communication of brand essences that preserve brand truths that resonate with consumers, while leveraging local brand knowledge and expertise.
Externally, global brands are evolving the way they differentiate and create choice in the store, while addressing emerging shopper needs— thinning attention spans, desire for gainful experiences in increasingly cluttered retail environments.
1. “Consumers can make decisions in as little as a third of a second.”, Milica Milosavljevic, Christof Koch and Antonio Rangel, Judegement and Decision Making, Vol. 6, August 2011. “Relative visual saliency differences induce sizable bias in consumer choice.”, M. Milosaljevic, et al., Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(2012): 67-74.
2. Examples were analyzed with 3M’s Visual Attention Model, which predicts where consumers will look, as well as the sequence of their viewing
Pampers Dry Night (Dubai)
Jim Lucas Executive VP, Global Director , Retail Insight and Strategy
Fairy Dishwashing Liquid Olay Header Card and Floor Graphic (Dubai)
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
Nivea Invisible Deodorant (Various Markets)