With a recog­nised ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ brand prob­lem, VTNZ had to pull off the im­pos­si­ble. It flipped the script on its neg­a­tive pub­lic im­age while turn­ing an ac­knowl­edged grudge pur­chase into some­thing re­sem­bling a plea­sure.

New Zealand Marketing - - Insight Creative -

The chal­lenge

In 2015, VTNZ’S brand was strug­gling.

With a rapidly shrink­ing mar­ket share and op­er­at­ing in a highly com­pet­i­tive, dereg­u­lated mar­ket, the war­rant of fit­ness provider had seen bet­ter days.

The big­gest chal­lenge was the pro­foundly neg­a­tive as­so­ci­a­tion that dogged the brand. It had been de­scribed as a “Jekyll and Hyde”, a brand that peo­ple were sus­pi­cious of and strug­gled to con­nect with emo­tion­ally.

A brand au­dit con­firmed the worst.

“Peo­ple saw VTNZ as two- faced with no soul. The brand lacked an emo­tional con­nec­tion and re­la­tion­ship with cus­tomers. And most con­sumers had no idea what VTNZ of­fered be­yond Wofs,” says VTNZ.

Add to this that no cus­tomer con­tact records had been kept, mak­ing one- toone pro­mo­tion im­pos­si­ble , and it was ap­par­ent that things were a mess.

VTNZ needed to cre­ate a new com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­egy reframe its im­age and cre­ate new per­cep­tions around its prod­uct of­fer­ing.

The re­sponse

The de­ci­sion was made to cre­ate con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing across multi- me­dia touch points and leave no space for com­peti­tors to chal­lenge it via abovethe- line ad­ver­tis­ing.

Launched in March 2016, the cam­paign fo­cused on the most ef­fec­tive cost- to- reach medi­ums, with 45 per­cent of the bud­get fo­cused on TV and ra­dio com­bined.

A fresh brand propo­si­tion was es­tab­lished: ‘ VTNZ keeps you and your car safe and on the road’ was neatly ex­pressed in the new tagline ‘ Road Ready’.

A prom­i­nent brand iden­tity was cre­ated fea­tur­ing the Wil­lie Nel­son song ‘ On the Road Again’, VTNZ’S sig­na­ture orange colour and singing and danc­ing staff – to re­veal the pos­i­tive and en­er­getic VTNZ in­ter­nal cul­ture that al­ready ex­isted in con­trast to the neg­a­tive le­gacy per­cep­tions.

The re­sults

The fi­nal busi­ness re­sults of the re­launch pro­gramme were out­stand­ing, suc­cess­fully driv­ing growth into 2017.

Post- cam­paign re­search re­vealed that ‘ brand warmth’ and ap­peal greatly im­proved, with one cus­tomer re­port­ing that “they are very friendly and even dance and come out and wave good­bye when you leave”.

Mar­ket share de­cline was ar­rested and re­versed. VTNZ out­per­formed sales tar­gets for its Ba­sic Ser­vice and sales of this prod­uct con­tinue to grow in 2017.

ROI achieved for year one was pos­i­tive at 33.4 per­cent.

The group at­tributes much of the suc­cess to solid ini­tial re­search.

“What made this brand trans­for­ma­tion so suc­cess­ful was that the in­sights were known first, be­fore try­ing to get in­ter­nal buy- in and be­fore pre­sent­ing to the board,” says VTNZ.

“This made for a more seam­less sell- in and was likely the key driver in get­ting the brand cam­paign to mar­ket.”

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