Brands getting it right

No question, 2020 has been a shocker for many brands, and as we enter 2021 we will need to come to terms with how we navigate the recession.

Research of the past four recessions shows each has followed the same pattern, some businesses don’t survive, most take three years to get back to where they were, and 9% flourished.

So what did those who flourish do differently:

  • Balance between cost cutting and operational spend
  • Increased marketing, R&D and new assets
  • Cost cutting focused on improving operational efficiency rather than cutting staff
  • Stayed closely connected to their customers needs
  • Increased their share of voice

Businesses who maintained or grew their advertising spend during recessions not only set the company up to survive the recession, but they thrived in the period that followed.

This result has nothing to do with the recession, it has everything to do with advertising share of voice.  Simplistically, if you are the only brand in the market advertising and promoting yourselves, your brand becomes the only brand in the segment for the consumer.

While during the recession it is likely you will experience a reduced return on your advertising investment, you will likely increase market share, and once the economy improves your chance to maintain market share is strong.

The choice is yours, you can stay brand bright, maintain and grow your market share, and attract customers from your competitors………..….. or you can go dark.

What are you going to do?

 


Delivering the spirit of Christmas

The festive season begins when Christmas ads are released, and each year we share our thoughts on the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad.

But this year is different, never before have brands and agencies been more challenged by variables such as audience state of mind, stage of lockdown, brutal trading conditions and not knowing if or how their audience come together this Christmas.

In the UK, they are going back into lockdown, with John Lewis & Partners having let go 1,500 staff and closed 8 stores.  It’s tough, and they needed to correctly read the community mood, as a misstep could have hurt their customers and damage their brand.

John Lewis & Partners have nailed it again.   Their ‘Give A Little Love’ campaign shows how important simple acts of kindness are, and they are encouraging everyone to undertake small acts of kindness to spread a little love across the UK.  In addition, the campaign aims to raise GDP 4 million for local charities FareShare and Home-Starts.

On the other side of the world Coca-Cola has delivered a highly emotional ad that will support their brand building strategy.   This ad says to its audience that Coca-Cola understands them, what’s important to them, and they have similar family values.

This emotional connection will rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.  But is it enough to offset the push against sugary drinks?   Well that remains to be seen.

These are two great Christmas ads with different goals and different audiences.   We hope you enjoy both of them.

 

 

 

 


Business marketing needs are changing

Businesses are reviewing their operation and their marketing performance, we are seeing demands of marketing effort fluctuate, freezes put on staff, and adjustments made to budgets.

An emerging trend from this change is the rise of Marketing Partner Agencies.

So what is a Marketing Partner Agency?   It’s an agency that provides marketing operational and/or management staff together with specialised support services ie marketing and brand strategy, social media, creative, media buying, web development, and PR.

The benefits of having a Marketing Partner Agency is flexibility, on-call support and access to marketing specialists.   A Marketing Partner Agency can provide a safe set of hands for your day-to-day marketing operational needs, staff for one off campaigns or project work, access to a strategic team and specialists when you need them.

Roadmap Strategy is a Marketing Partner Agency.   If you would like to know more about how we work, or chat through your marketing challenge and explore how we can help, give Ali a call on 0411 135 317.


Choice Hotels are listening to their customers

With a pent up desire to travel, Melburnians are ready to explore regional Victoria.

They want a break away and they want it to be easy.   Easy to book, easy to enjoy and easy to support local.  However, with hospitality businesses remaining at reduced capacity there is a real risk that visitors may not be able to access local restaurants.

We explored this issue with Choice Hotels and as a result the group has developed a suite of Victorian Great Escape Packages.

The packages are available at selected Choice properties across Victoria and include; 2 nights accommodation, breakfast, and dinner on the first night.  This provides certainty of a restaurant reservation upon arrival, while giving the guest the opportunity to explore and make their own arrangements at local restaurants on following nights.

We applaud Kari Hunter, General Manager Marketing and the team at Choice Hotels Asia Pacific for considering their guests needs beyond a room for the night, and product bundling to deliver increased return and yield to their franchisees.

Find your Choice Hotel Great Victorian Escape Package


Picnics are the new brunch

Spring is here, and summer is on its way.

We have been in lockdown for a long time, and we are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends. And one of our favourite things when we get together is share a meal, and experience local produce.

 

The problem

It is likely hospitality businesses will remain at reduced capacity for some time, and as a result locals and visitors are likely to be turned away from establishments.

Visitor stories are already circulating along the lines of ‘the only place we could get food was the supermarket’ and ‘we had to go to five places before we could get something as everyone had run out of food’.

With a pent-up demand to travel, and a strong desire to try local produce in unique venues and locations, regional areas need to consider how they are going meet the needs of visitors and provide an experience that will result positive word of mouth referral.

 

The opportunity

Every cloud has a silver lining, and picnics are emerging as the thing to do, with people taking to parks in cities around the world meet, connect and PICNIC.

This is an enormous opportunity for Melbourne and regional Victoria to create campaigns that promote picnicing in parks and gardens, and pre-ordering Picnic Packs from local providores, artisan bakeries, cafes and farmgates.

 

The benefit

Visitors have a new experience, enjoy great food, and are happy that they have been able to support local.

Local businesses are able to service more customers and generate more income through product innovation......... and the concept is COVID adaptable.

 

Creating the campaign

To assist you develop your Picnic in the Park campaign, we have developed a Campaign Concept.   If you would like a copy, simply email us at hello@roadmapstrategy.com.au.

Alternatively, Roadmap Strategy would welcome the opportunity to work with you to create and execute a 'Picnic in the Park' campaign for your region.

 

Photo credit:   Proper & Son, South Melbourne Market - bringing the market to you in a picnic box

 


The rise of astrotourism

Astrotourism is being billed as the next big thing, with Lonely Planet announcing dark skies as one of the travel trends of 2019.

Visitor interest in dark skies tourism and astrotourism has prompted many international destinations to capitalise of this natural asset as a new and unique way to draw visitors to their region especially outside peak season.

But what is a dark sky?  A dark sky is usually a park a distance from a city and has restricted artificial light to allow for the area to be suitable for star gazing.

Be it dark sky observance, astronomy or astrophotography, people increasingly traveling to ‘dark sky’ locations leading to astrotourism phenomenon.

With Australian skies still some of the darkest on the planet, this is a great opportunity for regional and remote tourism across the nation.

And it doesn’t have to complex.   If you have an accommodation property tucked away from light pollution, simply provide your guests with binoculars and a star constellation map, or encourage them to download the free SkyView Ap and you are off and running.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like to look at the stars, all while feeling good about being a low-impact tourist.

#Astrotourism #LowImpactTourism #DestinationMarketing

 

Written by:   Alison McDowell, Founder Roadmap Strategy


Darrell Lea - a brand getting it right

An Australian family owned business established in 1927, and after nearly collapsing in 2012, Darrell Lea is shining brighter than ever before.

With strong brand equity and awareness, Darrell Lea owned a place in the hearts of older Australians.  And while the brand wanted to maintain those relationships it needed to build relationships with a younger audience to ensure its future.

From asking questions and listening, Darrell Lea developed a deep understanding their customer, and responded accordingly.   A new brand identity, new packaging, new products, and sharing their journey with consumers resulted in stronger relationships, increased trust, and brand advocacy.

Next, they demonstrated their commitment to sustainability.  In 2019 the brand moved to 100% sustainable cocoa, and last week they announced Darrell Lea is PALM OIL FREE, the first Australian chocolate supermarket brand to do so.

The Darrell Lea brand understands and cares about what it’s customers think, want and need from a brand and responds.

There is nothing about Darrell Lea that is going dark.

Congratulations to Marketing Director Tim Stanford and the team at Darrell Lea, we can’t wait to see what’s next.


The risk of going dark

It might be tempting, easier, and maybe even save you a few bucks by letting your brand go dark, but the result could be catastrophic for your business.

Your customers care about your brand, and personally invest in your business and what you do. They want your brand to be successful, they want to share your story, and their experiences with your product with their family and friends.

However, if you go dark, you risk a competitor or alternative product grabbing your customers attention, and the place in their heart that you once owned.

Increasingly, your Marketing Partner or agency are critical to help guide and support you through this period of change.

Consider the following
1. Do you need to adjust your business goals?
2. Have your customers’ needs changed?
3. Does your product need to be adjusted?
4. Can your marketing effort deliver better results?

We encourage all businesses to bring their external Marketing Partners to the table to work with you help you review your approach and reach out to your audience with the right message, at the right time, in the right place to achieve your marketing and business goals.


Interview Series: Talking Victorian tourism during COVID

Alison was interviewed by Rob Cameron for 94.7 The Pulse, The Front Page.

They discussed the impact COVID-19 was having on the Victorian Tourism industry and how regions and operators were coping.

If you'd like to listen to Ali's interview simply click on the link below to find out Ali's thoughts and her advise to local businesses and operators.

 


FairFeed - created to satisfy a consumer need

Chef Tom Jacobson, owner of Elsternwick's Smoke & Pickles, created FairFeed to bring some positivity to Melbourne's hospitality industry during COVID-19 pandemic by:

  • Providing the community with high quality food at an affordable price
  • Celebrating and helping keep his staff and other local chefs and hospitality staff in work
  • Supporting local suppliers and producers

The FairFeed's growing team is now at 40 people who produce over 10,000 meals per week. Meals cost between $10 and $15 for two serves, and can be picked up or delivered Melbourne wide for $10.50 with $10 going to the driver.

The Tom and the FairFeed team have solved a consumer problem, supported their people, their industry, local producers and are making a real difference to our community.

And if you haven't put your order in yet for the weekend, get on to it now. I cannot recommend their food, their team and the Fair Feed experience more highly.