In a digital, data driven world it’s easy to make assumptions about how people behave – especially in relation to choosing products, services and brands. Access to the web gives you a god-like omniscience (the ability to see all and know all). But that doesn’t mean you are going to use your super-power in a rational way.
We often assume that consumers will research products before purchase. Common sense will tell you this is more true when evaluating higher value or more complex products – where the consequence of a poor choice is potentially more significant.
Insurance and banking are serious business, right? Of course they are. But it might surprise you to know that a significant study of Australian consumers (published in the Journal of Financial Services Marketing) showed that the number of websites visited by people intending to choose a banking product or insurance offering was, brace yourself: .9. You read it right, point nine. Less than one. The number of brands included in the choice set was just 1.4 (including the company the customer already does business with).
It’s important to challenge beliefs and assumptions.
Some people will obsessively optimise every decision. Others will simply satisfy themselves.
To grow your brands marketers and advertising advisors must assign the correct amount of resource to meet the real needs of prospective customers. If consumers are unlikely to spend much effort researching complex, important decisions about brands, then it follows that making a half-hour video about the provenance of the nuts in your candy bar may actually be,…nuts.
What that means.
When many people are choosing brands their ‘journey’ might be much shorter than proposed by some shopper marketing experts. If consumers researched every single product they needed or wanted, they would have no time for real life. That’s not to say some people won’t want to know more. But the majority simply satisfy their impulses and rely on mental availability to choose products and brands.
Mental availability is different from product awareness. Your brand’s mental availability, or brand salience, refers to the probability of a consumer noticing, recognising and thinking about your brand in a buying situation. Mental availability goes beyond brand awareness: it depends on the quality and quantity of a consumer’s mental associations with your product or brand - what do people remember about you?
When you are developing advertising (in any media) the salience of your message and its proximity to the decision-making moment can make all the difference in the world. Your message has to be:
After more than 20 years, Family Health Diary® has changed dramatically but retains familiar memory structures.
As a national, new home builder Signature Homes need to fill their pipeline with sales. With 35 years experience Signature are a trusted developer and builder, but the decision-making process takes time and advertising plays a key role in creating mental availability for the brand in a hotly contested category.
Brandworld was briefed by Mediacom as their production partner. TV time had been booked and the deadlines were tight. One of BrandWorld's claims to fame is the efficiency (and cost-efficiency) of our production process. The shoot was nailed in four separate locations over three days.
The presenter, Shelley Ferguson, is the editor of Your Home & Garden magazine and a well known judge on the hit TV series The Block - adding another layer of confidence and trust for the target audience.
In addition to the broadcast formats we also cut longer length, more detailed content videos for use on the Signature Homes website.
Longer Format Signature Homes web content.
We live in an era where information is often filtered or mediated through channels that reinforce our biases. A liberal intellectual might prefer to get their news from the New York Times while a fundamentalist conservative might prefer to receive information from Fox News.
In advertising we might imagine what matters most is to produce work with high levels of conceptual creativity that will 'cut-through' or become a meme. Marketers develop archetypes and personas to create aggregated ideas of the customer they are targeting. It's also important to step outside our bubbles to sense-check what life is like for real people who operate outside of our own circles.
We made this video for a project to test some theories we had developed about the route trade, especially the good old New Zealand dairy. We'd seen the news reports about robberies and beatings; we observed the changing nature of convenience (from My Food Bag and Über Eats to gas stations that sell pretty much everything at all hours…even the decline in demand for cigarettes). We spent a day with Jay Patel, owner of the Orakei Superette in Auckland. What we learned surprised us.
Jay may not be the stereotype of a dairy owner, but he is articulate and thoughtful about building and running his business. The clip is a snapshot and a sample of one - but it's fascinating (especially the almost exact mirroring of Jay's comments by his customers about what is important). Most tellingly, in the era of 'click and collect', that personal interaction and a sense of community sometimes cancels the demand for infinite choice and a low, low price.
UPDATE: We are delighted to report that, after an exhaustive search - we have a new star at 33 College Hill. Stand by for details.
We are looking for someone to run our 'front of house' … a standout Receptionist to be the face of our Head Office at 33 College Hill. The position has been left vacant by someone who has moved to another role within our group of companies.
Here's the low-down…
Your role is to ensure our clients, staff and all visitors to the building have a fantastic first impression and positive experience.
You will also assist in the smooth running of the building which houses 3 boutique agencies (including BrandWorld) and our core support team.
You will be the first point of contact for ‘33' and have a pivotal role in the building. You will need to demonstrate exceptional people, organisation and administration skills and a have passion for our agencies and the people who make us #1.
So who are we after?
A diligent and bright character who lights up the room and brings enthusiasm to the every-day tasks. You'll have a ‘mother' role within the building and look after us all, making sure nothing escapes your attention and everything runs like a well-oiled machine (with personality).
You have life experience, street smarts and a pragmatic approach to problem solving. You are sharp, efficient and thrive on completion and the rewards of a job well done.
Get close to the buzz of agency life but have the predictability of set hours. You'll be exposed to loads of talented, lovely people and get to see what makes us tick – which in a lot of instances will be you! No two days will ever be the same, there's loads of variety and fun tasks to keep you on your toes.
Games are helpful for engaging audiences in a measurable way. BrandWorld has developed a game app called WasteTime in support of our anti-litter campaign for clients Be A Tidy Kiwi and Love New Zealand. The game also extends the reach of the campaign to a young audience.
The simple game mechanic is to teach people which kinds of rubbish go into what bin. It's an important issue - even with the best of intentions people can get recycling wrong. Contaminating recycle waste (glass bottles, cans etc) with material that should head to the landfill causes real problems.
Once the game is over, players can share with their friends.
WasteTIme will be promoted through social networks and with a digital campaign.
Play here on desktop or mobile device.
Here is a simple introduction to some of the benefits of using mastheads and brand platforms.
We've been developing mastheads for over 20 years. The first was Family Health Diary®, which continues strongly. Eating Well was a spinoff and there have been many other formats we've developed over the years - including The Showroom for Toyota, The Mix for Lion, Money Sense for Westpac and a home renovation guide for James Hardie.
What is a masthead?
A masthead is an advertising platform that accommodates many different advertiser’s brand stories (or sometimes one advertiser with many products and brands).
Mastheads are a form of content marketing. The concise conventions of advertising are married with an editorial style. Like magazines and newspapers, mastheads can bring many stories together under one title that 'flags' the interests of the reader.
When do advertisers use mastheads?
Advertisers who need to make a product announcement quickly and cost-effectively find that mastheads like Family Health Diary® in the wellness category or a more general platform like Discover® allow them to produce campaigns more quickly and at lower cost.
Speed to market
Speed to market is made more efficient by using assets that have already been developed. With theme, look & feel and production model in place there is a considerable saving in time and money. Briefing a conventional ad agency to dissect the issues and develop a bespoke solution is inherently slower and comes with higher risk.
Clear and simple
Masthead campaigns are often motivated by the need for clarity, understanding the audience and product/brand recognition – rather than ‘creative’ stories. The underlying cost efficiency of production systems ensure suitably high production values and value for money for participating brands.
In the past brands would often advertise in publications that added cachet to the brand. Consumers believed that a product featured in The Economist were aligned with the editorial standards of the publication. This created a kind of halo effect for the advertiser and accelerated credibility. Well known mastheads like Family Health Diary add a kind of third-party ‘endorsement’ to the advertised brand. The more continuous presence of the masthead adds credibility and familiarity.
Consumers who have been conditioned by over 20 years of the masthead’s presence on national television (mostly on the more serious channel TVNZ ONE); when people hear the characteristic four note signature at the start of the commercial they know they are about to have health information shared with them.
Transparency & Authenticity
Advertising tradition often relies on a kind of creative ambush or borrowed interest from wider culture (copying movie ideas or comedy routines). In a masthead, the brandstory is more transparent. The interest is inherent in the product and placed in a familiar context. The masthead approach means the amount of energy and resources that would normally be assigned to ‘cut-through’ are reduced and the savings can be invested in media reach.
Research into attitudes towards Family Health Diary has shown that people understood it is a commercial format but have a higher degree of trust towards to the featured advertiser – the ‘third party endorser’ effect.
Multiplying brand potency
A masthead campaign can operate very successfully with a conventional brand campaign – running either together or alternately. This can create a variation of ‘the media multiplier’ effect. Messages that are seen in more than one environment are often believed to be more true or more credible by consumers.
As a volume buyer of media, masthead brands by BrandWorld are also often able to deliver more cost-effective media packages. Many brands could not access this kind of leverage.
Masthead campaigns can be developed more quickly, more cost effectively and, sometimes, deliver more salient messaging to consumers. By eliminating the costs and risks from the creative process marketers can reassign budgets from creative and production overhead costs to reaching more consumers with cost effective media.
Many brands, especially in grocery/FMCG, are finding that the majority of their marketing budget is soaked up by maintaining their presence in key distribution outlets. Leveraging proven mastheads can allow these products and brands to match ‘mental availability’ with ‘physical availability’ – by creating clear, simple and salient messages that are more quickly deployed and are less costly than developing complex bespoke ads in a conventional way.
What to watch out for when developing a masthead campaign.
Look for quality and experience
Masthead campaigns require a different mindset. Some advertisers question whether their budget is ‘building someone else’s brand’. That view is offset by the very high levels of accumulated trust invested by brands. in Family Health Diary has been used by many of the world’s leading healthcare brands. A ‘dividend’ is returned to every subsequent participating advertiser via greater trust and proven, robust systems. They may also receive a greater return on investment than alternative or conventional approaches.
Some brands have tried to independently emulate the production techniques of established BrandWorld mastheads – but they fail because of a superficial perception that the masthead approach is simply a cheaper way to produce an ad. They don’t account for the efficiencies that have been developed over time through investment in the masthead brand and the systems developed over many years and thousands of campaigns.
Look for fit
Mastheads are more efficient for tactical/task promotion than ‘brand building’. Most advertisers who use mastheads understand the distinction. The key to developing a masthead presence is to determine how it dovetails with wider strategic issues.
Look for results
In a fast-moving marketing world, the luxury of strategic flagship messaging may have less importance than in the past. Some advertisers still create annual ‘blockbuster’ brand campaigns, though this model is being replaced by ‘always-on’ thinking to ensure that the brand or product is always in the consumer’s recent memory (all advertising depends on memory – either creating a memorable message or reminding people that a brand is still available. Failing to remind leads to substitution). BrandWorld mastheads allow brands to plan annual campaigns to keep them top of mind – at marginal cost, compared to a conventional campaign. Booking multiple campaigns adds economies of scale to other economic benefits of using an established masthead.
Checklist when choosing a masthead approach:
Discover® has been an amazing tool for so many advertisers.
We've had it on ice for a while, but now we are reviving the brand and giving it new life.
There are some differences from the format as it once was - but it will still be anchored in the basic principles of our business:
The video shows some of the advertisers who have used the Discover format sharing their experience.
In the new Discover one of the main differences is the drive to discover what works best - so that we can make it work better - with digital plans integrated into the package. Data will give us insights for growth.
Get in touch if you'd like to learn more about launching or supporting your products and brands with the new Discover.
Marketers today have challenges our predecessors never had to deal with. The speed of change is one of the most obvious. You can have total domination of a new segment in grocery for a few weeks - but it is conceivable that a rival will be right there next to your product in no time at all.
It's not long ago that the bliss-ball category barely existed outside of crafty food blogs. Today there is no shortage of choice for consumers. The trend may not last long either. Another novelty will compete for attention and shelf space before you know it. No time to sit back and celebrate. In fact, you are probably working on the next innovation before you launch the flavour of this month.
In the age of Über and AirBnB marketers have become familiar with the notion of almost inevitable category disruption. Savvy marketers and business owners plan their own disruption and look well ahead of the curve to anticipate changing consumer tastes and trends as well as regulatory shifts and (how can we forget?) technological innovations.
Speed is of the essence.
David Ogilvy, the original Mad Man once noted that that the gestation period for an average ad campaign was somewhere between that of an elephant and a goat. For a major brand that time-frame analogy to develop campaigns probably still applies. The time to brief, reverse brief, conduct research, segment and personify consumers all takes, well, time (and money). Given that 80% of products launched fail to reach a critical mass with consumers and are ultimately delisted it suggests there is a great deal of time and effort going into doomed projects.
Get the job done in weeks, not months.
One of the advantages of working with systems and models is that it reduces the amount of time and cost. BrandWorld has refined the planning, development and production of ads to a point where we can have campaigns on air in a fraction of the time it takes a conventional agency. Our media model is also proven - especially in healthcare and FMCG categories. Clients meet their objectives with production and media packages that often cost less than the production budget a client might pay to a mainstream agency.
Developing campaigns that are not only cost effective but also salient and engaging with consumers is the double whammy - we've also found that you don't have to compromise your brands quality position or brand values if you are clever. Of course if you value clever execution and over-rationalising over a complete package…there are plenty of people who will gladly relieve you of your budget.
BrandWorld helped Tasti Smoosh Balls achieve market leadership in weeks - not months.
The BrandWorld family, past and present mourn the passing of our friend and colleague John MacDonald.
John enjoyed a long career in marketing and advertising. He was both an adept practitioner and an innovator, His connections throughout the marketing community were extensive and he served as a leader and generous mentor to many.
His accomplishments included leadership roles with Reckett & Coleman and Watties (where he championed the Food In A Minute concept that became central to the successful revival of an iconic brand). He and Food In a Minute creator Mike O’Sullivan became business partners and subsequently joined BrandWorld together. At BrandWorld John’s experience and connections proved invaluable in creating mastheads such as Eat Wise and Exercise - a concept that adroitly connected the health and education sector with FMCG brands. He helped grow Eating Well and had significant input into many other innovations in the business. As a sounding board he was unrivalled - patiently listening before offering his considered opinion- a rare talent.
John was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame in 2007. He was also honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Food & Grocery Council for his service to the industry.
He retired from active service just this year but maintained his interest and connection.
John’s warmth and courtly charm was unique. He was a gentleman and gentle man who had time for everyone but, sadly, not enough time.