Strate­gic brand­ing in­sights

Business World - - SPECIAL FEATURE - By Fran­cis An­thony T. Valentin Spe­cial Fea­tures Writer

WHEN IT comes to brands, Filipino con­sumers are known to go for the fa­mil­iar op­tions, de­spite the avail­abil­ity of low­cost al­ter­na­tives. In a na­tion­wide sur­vey of 3,000 house­holds by the mar­ket re­search firm Kan­tar World­panel, 84% said they buy well-known and trusted brands.

“Based on the re­sults of the study, it is clear that Filipino con­sumers choose prod­ucts that of­fer the best value for their hard- earned money,” said Luz Barra, com­mer­cial di­rec­tor at Kan­tar World­panel. She added that more than price, the im­por­tant fac­tors that fig­ure in the pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions of the con­sumers are con­ve­nience, qual­ity, brand name and other per­ceived ben­e­fits.

The need to make a brand name as fa­mil­iar and as rep­utable as pos­si­ble can­not be overem­pha­sized. Nielsen, a global in­for­ma­tion com­pany, pub­lished in 2013 a sur­vey of 29,000 In­ter­net re­spon­dents in 58 coun­tries. It found that 60% of global con­sumers with ac­cess to In­ter­net would pre­fer to buy new prod­ucts from a brand they are fa­mil­iar with than to switch to a new one.

“In­no­vat­ing on es­tab­lished brands that are al­ready trusted by con­sumers can be a pow­er­ful strat­egy,” said Rob Wen­gel, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent at Nielsen In­no­va­tion An­a­lyt­ics.

“Companies spend mil­lions of dol­lars on new prod­uct in­no­va­tion, yet two out of ev­ery three new prod­ucts will not be on the mar­ket within three years. Mar­keters and re­tail­ers can de­liver suc­cess­ful new prod­ucts by en­sur­ing they un­cover un­met consumer needs, com­mu­ni­cate with clar­ity, de­liver dis­tinct prod­uct in­no­va­tions, and ex­e­cute an op­ti­mal mar­ket­ing strat­egy.”

In the sur­vey, 77% of the re­spon­dents said that word- of- mouth ad­vice from fam­ily and friends is the most per­sua­sive source of new prod­uct in­for­ma­tion, fol­lowed by ac­tive In­ter­net search­ing and tra­di­tional television ad­ver­tis­ing.

It is still pos­si­ble to con­vert some Filipino con­sumers only if the brand has great qual­ity. In an­other Nielsen sur­vey that was re­leased in 2013 and cited in Mar­ket­ing Mag­a­zine Web site, around half of the Filipino re­spon­dents said they would switch to an al­ter­na­tive brand, ser­vice or re­tailer if it had bet­ter qual­ity.

“Filipino con­sumers placed the high­est pre­mium on qual­ity while the rest of the con­sumers in South­east Asia also gave im­por­tance to qual­ity — higher than the global av­er­age,” said Stu­art Jamieson, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Nielsen Philip­pines. “This em­pha­sizes the shift­ing fo­cus of con­sumers as in­comes in­crease and their pur­chase driv­ers move away from price alone.”

The sur­vey also dis­cov­ered that Filipino con­sumers are most loyal to mo­bile phone brands and mo­bile ser­vice providers, as well as to health and medic­i­nal prod­ucts and per­sonal com­puter brands. By con­trast, their loy­alty to al­co­holic bev­er­ages and on­line re­tail­ers is weak.

Since a size­able pro­por­tion of the Philip­pine pop­u­la­tion is now on so­cial me­dia and is in­creas­ingly spend­ing more time on it, it is not sur­pris­ing that Philip­pine mar­ket­ing peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to a study by the global con­sul­tant Tay­lor Nel­son Sofres, are us­ing so­cial me­dia mon­i­tor­ing to guide plan­ning pro­cesses and mea­sure the per­for­mance of brand cam­paigns.

“As peo­ple be­come more con­nected via dig­i­tal chan­nels, brands are fo­cus­ing on how they can com­mu­ni­cate with their cus­tomers in the on­line spa­ces where they are al­ready spend­ing time -- so­cial,” the con­sul­tant said, which sur­veyed 2,250 mar­keters in Asia Pa­cific, 200 of whom were Filipinos, and pub­lished its find­ings last year.

It also found that Filipino mar­keters uti­lize so­cial me­dia to gain in­sights into the de­vel­op­ment of a prod­uct and that their top three plat­forms are Face­book, Google+ and In­sta­gram.

Mar­keters should be aware that some Filipino con­sumers us­ing so­cial me­dia are not only not notic­ing their con­tents, but de­lib­er­ately shun­ning them. Kan­tar Tay­lor Nel­son Sofres, a mar­ket re­search firm, dis­cov­ered in a study made avail­able in 2016 that 23% of Filipino users with ac­cess to In­ter­net “ac­tively ig­nore” con­tents from brands.

“With so many tools avail­able for their use, brands must be strate­gic in de­vel­op­ing cam­paigns that cater to the needs and wants of their con­sumers. Their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to be vi­ral all the time. What they al­ways need to be is mem­o­rable,” Kan­tar Global Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for me­dia and dig­i­tal ef­fec­tive­ness Gon­zalo Fuentes said.

“With so many tools avail­able for their use, brands must be strate­gic in de­vel­op­ing cam­paigns that cater to the needs and wants of their con­sumers. Their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to be vi­ral all the time. What they al­ways need to be is mem­o­rable.”

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