In­tents and Pur­poses

Here’s the next part of World View of Shop­per mar­ket­ing ac­cord­ing to which what shop­pers be­lieve about a brand re­ally mat­ters. And, what they be­lieve about them­selves mat­ters more. Read on...

Point of Purchase - - INTERNATIONAL -

It seems sim­ple: Let’s iden­tify the peo­ple most likely to de­sire our brands and talk to them. Let’s see how likely they are to buy our brands when we talk to them one way ver­sus an­other, and then ex­e­cute the mes­sag­ing that tests bet­ter. Ev­ery­where. One brand, one voice, one in­te­grated mes­sage. If we cre­ate a mes­sage that no one else can use — and re­peat that mes­sage — our brand will be the only brand the shop­per will want. Too of­ten, that method takes all the fun out of work­ing on a brand. And I truly don’t be­lieve it works. It’s prob­a­bly the main rea­son I chose to fo­cus my ca­reer on the shop­per. What I love about shop­per mar­ket­ing is that in­stead of por­tray­ing a mes­sage, we get to talk to a spe­cific mo­ment and make our brands mat­ter in that very mo­ment. When con­sid­er­ing a brand, at its core, it’s noth­ing more than a sym­bol — a re­minder of the con­sumer’s be­liefs about a prod­uct. While that mnemonic is para­mount to us as mar­keters, our base phi­los­o­phy of the func­tion of a brand hasn’t changed in 50 years. Brands lad­der up to a pow­er­ful sym­bol that gives us an ad­van­tage over our com­pe­ti­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, we have be­come me­chan­i­cal in how we man­age that pow­er­ful sym­bol. It re­ally feels like com­mon sense: When we talk about brand eq­uity, we are talk­ing about be­liefs and mem­o­ries. We need to re­mem­ber that both be­liefs and mem­o­ries are emo­tional in na­ture. Think about some­thing you be­lieve in strongly. Or think about a child­hood mem­ory. How does that thought feel? When talk­ing about be­liefs and mem­o­ries, we in­evitably go to a height­ened emo­tional place. Even when talk­ing about be­liefs and mem­o­ries that aren’t all that emo­tional, the same mech­a­nisms are at work. So, the more we can in­ten­sify that emo­tional re­sponse, the more we can make a brand rel­e­vant to a po­ten­tial buyer, and the more we can drive be­hav­ior. That’s why we per­son­ify brands, and that’s why the best mes­sag­ing leads to an emo­tional ben­e­fit. How­ever, emo­tion is de­fined by con­text. The same mes­sage changes mean­ing and im­por­tance de­pend­ing on the en­vi­ron­ment in which our mes­sage is de­liv­ered and how that af­fects the ex­pec­ta­tions of our au­di­ence. When our lead­ing in­di­ca­tors of brand eq­uity rely on self-re­ported aware­ness and in­tent, with­out observations of real-world in­ter­ac­tions with the brand, we don’t get a read on our brand’s true value in the day-to-day lives of our con­sumers. On­line, in­line, off­line … we are only a swipe and a tap away from shop­ping. Ev­ery mes­sage we send out is on the verge of a be­hav­ior. That mes­sage needs to re­flect the en­gage­ment — the in­ter­ac­tion — that the shop­per is about to in­vest in us. And when we are talk­ing to the shop­per, we have to re­mem­ber: What the shop­per be­lieves about our brand mat­ters, but what they be­lieve about them­selves mat­ters more. In­stead of manag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, we need to start build­ing brands again. We need to change our view of eq­uity from be­ing the dif­fer­en­tial ad­van­tage to be­ing the con­text of our con­ver­sa­tion. What are the val­ues and per­son­al­i­ties that we share with the shop­per? We have myr­iad be­hav­ior-based data sources in this “al­ways on” world, and they are in­cred­i­bly easy to link to psy­cho­graphic pro­files. That, how­ever, re­quires us to change our ap­proach to in­sights.

The Role of In­sights

The prob­lem with be­hav­ior-based in­sights is there’s just too much data and it’s not easy to ag­gre­gate it into one global view. From the top, it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to iden­tify which sources can be trusted and valu­able to our strat­egy. What’s more, just 10 years ago, we had a frac­tion of the data avail­able to us to­day. We’ve barely had a chance to ad­just our philoso­phies and pro­cesses to al­low for the wealth of knowl­edge avail­able to us to­day. Most mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions still fo­cus their in­sights on iden­ti­fy­ing aware­ness, in­tent and us­age of a de­mo­graphic group that re­flects their cur­rent house­hold pen­e­tra­tion. But at­ti­tude and us­age stud­ies and self-re­ported pur­chase in­tent is sel­dom linked to ac­tual pur­chase be­hav­ior. It’s in­com­plete; it’s miss­ing the most im­por­tant part—why we buy. At a re­tail or a chan­nel level, the mo­ti­va­tion for pur­chase of­ten con­flicts with the to­tal mar­ket in­sights a brand uses. It’s not a par­a­digm shift that’s needed as much as a new un­der­stand­ing of how to use all the tools in the tool­box. From the top, we need to un­der­stand what po­si­tion we hold in the con­sumer’s mind. From the bot­tom, we need to un­der­stand the val­ues and the in­flu­encers that com­pel a pur­chase. That way, we can own our voice and our view in a way that isn’t par­rot­ing what we’ve al­ready told them. We can talk to a shop­per as an in­di­vid­ual, and re­spect the con­text of the in­ter­ac­tion. We know the dif­fer­ence be­tween those shop­ping for “Brand X” at Tar­get ver­sus Kroger. They might be the same peo­ple, but in dif­fer­ent re­tail en­vi­ron­ments they are dif­fer­ent shop­pers. Their def­i­ni­tion of value changes, from “ex­pect­ing more” to prod­ucts “for the way I live.” They shift from want­ing to dis­cover new and ex­clu­sive prod­ucts to find­ing sim­ple, per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ences. At Tar­get, she feels savvy. At Kroger, she feels un­der­stood. Dif­fer­en­ti­ated brand and cat­e­gory in­sights that ex­plain those mind­sets are es­sen­tial to mak­ing your brand rel­e­vant at the point-of-pur­chase. Speak­ing to that mo­ment, re­spect­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence that the shop­per an­tic­i­pated, and ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions through your brand’s val­ues, is the best way to in­crease the brand’s eq­uity. Be­ing able to do that breaks the tie when it mat­ters. All things be­ing equal, a per­son will spend more for a prod­uct that de­liv­ers against the val­ues and needs that drove their shop­ping oc­ca­sion. Be­cause in­sights are so im­por­tant to me as a cre­ative, I feel com­pelled to iden­tify what makes a great in­sight. A great in­sight takes data and forms it into two key out­puts: the deeper un­der­stand­ing that al­lows us to em­pathize with our

tar­get, and the im­pli­ca­tion that helps us de­vise our strat­egy. In prac­tice, the stronger a brand’s sense of pur­pose, the more op­por­tu­nity we have to be rel­e­vant in that mo­ment. I don’t care how well an ad­ver­tis­ing tagline tests. Shop­pers look to brands for con­sis­tency of per­son­al­ity, not of mes­sage; con­sis­tency of val­ues, not of graph­ics. Hav­ing a point-of-view that pro­vides con­text for our in­sights al­lows mes­sag­ing to ad­just to the shop­per’s mind­set. It is a point of view — a sense of pur­pose — that is the miss­ing link to cre­at­ing brands that mat­ter.

Brand is a Cul­ture

It kills me how we in the in­dus­try talk about the great ex­am­ples of brands. No mat­ter what your point is, it seems that us­ing a photo of Ap­ple or Method or Tar­get gives you a “bul­let­proof ar­gu­ment” for why your phi­los­o­phy of ac­ti­va­tion is cor­rect. It quickly de­volves into a tac­ti­cal ex­pla­na­tion of the great things a brand can do. We ig­nore the or­ga­ni­za­tional clar­ity needed to de­liver on those brands, and the free­dom that a strong mis­sion gives all the stake­hold­ers ca­pa­ble of en­hanc­ing brand eq­uity. Those three brands come from three com­pa­nies, each with a pow­er­ful sense of pur­pose. Ap­ple is a com­pany built on rev­o­lu­tion, chang­ing the way we in­ter­act with tech­nol­ogy and con­tent. Peo­ple fo­cus on their de­sign aes­thetic and miss the main point. For Ap­ple, de­sign is fo­cused on im­prov­ing func­tion­al­ity — im­prov­ing the user’s ex­pe­ri­ence. They put out pre­mium prod­ucts fo­cused on be­ing the best in­stead of be­ing the big­gest. In their innovations, they fo­cus on sim­pli­fy­ing our in­ter­ac­tion with tech­nol­ogy. Their prod­ucts vis­ually stand out, and from the out­side, it is the eas­i­est at­tribute of their brand to iden­tify. At the same time, their visual ap­peal wouldn’t mat­ter if the de­sign phi­los­o­phy be­hind it didn’t also en­hance their ap­proach to the user in­ter­face, hard­ware ar­chi­tec­ture and even di­rect-to-con­sumer re­tail op­er­a­tions. The “peo­ple against dirty” at Method are a tightly knit group who be­lieve mar­ket­ing a prod­uct is not only fun, but can serve a higher pur­pose at the same time. Talk about a clean mis­sion: “We’re here to make prod­ucts that work, for you and the planet.” The val­ues that drive that vi­sion are even cleaner: Clean. Safe. Green. De­sign. Fra­grance. From prod­uct de­vel­op­ment to sales and mar­ket­ing to op­er­a­tions, that mis­sion and those val­ues de­fine what “good” looks like for the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion. It’s a whole lot eas­ier do­ing your job ev­ery day as a mar­keter when you un­der­stand why you’re do­ing it.

When con­sid­er­ing a brand, at its core, it’s noth­ing more than a sym­bol — a re­minder of the con­sumer’s be­liefs about a prod­uct. While that mnemonic is para­mount to us as mar­keters, our base phi­los­o­phy of the func­tion of a brand hasn’t changed in 50 years. Brands lad­der up to a pow­er­ful sym­bol that gives us an ad­van­tage over our com­pe­ti­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, we have be­come me­chan­i­cal in how we man­age that pow­er­ful sym­bol.

Tar­get is prob­a­bly the hard­est for out­siders to un­der­stand. They’ve done a great job in­no­vat­ing their in-store ex­pe­ri­ence in a way that just feels right for their brand. The mar­ket­ing sup­port that sur­rounds the com­pany has held up as best-in-class for years. How­ever, the value of Tar­get’s brand isn’t what they do or how they do it. It’s the why — more specif­i­cally, the who — that per­me­ates the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion. Tar­get is 100 per­cent fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing the needs of the Tar­get guest. Mer­chants, mar­keters, store as­so­ci­ates and even the fi­nance team all have a clear sense of who the guest is, and how they can im­prove the guest’s ex­pe­ri­ence. That al­lows them to set five-year plans in place across mul­ti­ple de­part­ments and busi­ness units with the con­fi­dence that they’re all mov­ing in the same di­rec­tion. For out­side ven­dors, their def­i­ni­tion of part­ner­ship and col­lab­o­ra­tion re­volves around putting the guest first. The guest isn’t just a shop­per; she’s a com­plex per­son who is in­tel­li­gent and de­mand­ing and spe­cial. For these rea­sons, a ven­dor who walks in with “con­sumer in­sights” in mind rather than “guest in­sights” is mis­un­der­stand­ing the val­ues of Tar­get. Most im­por­tant, that ven­dor is miss­ing why the shop­per chooses Tar­get and how she chooses the brands that go in her bas­ket. These three ex­am­ples prove that great brands come from great cor­po­rate cul­tures. From the top, brands need to be or­ga­nized un­der a cor­po­rate vi­sion and a brand mis­sion that de­fines and dif­fer­en­ti­ates the port­fo­lio. From the bot­tom, mar­ket­ing cen­ters of ex­cel­lence, sales and mer­chant or­ga­ni­za­tions, and op­er­a­tions need to be trusted with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of de­cid­ing the best strate­gies that meet their unique busi­ness chal­lenges un­der­neath that brand vi­sion. Comb­ing in­sights with brand val­ues and vi­sion will free us to be proac­tive in ad­dress­ing the shop­per’s fluid mind­set and rea­sons to buy. If we can man­age a brand’s profit-and-loss by set­ting goals in­stead of ob­jec­tives — and dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the brand’s rea­sons to be in­stead of rea­sons to be­lieve — ev­ery­one who sup­ports the brand will have the abil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity not only to de­liver on the busi­ness ob­jec­tives, but also on the prom­ise of the brand

Source http:// hub­ html/2012/ hub_ 49/jul_ aug/237230749/cat­a­pul­trpm_ iden­tity/ in­dex.html

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