How Lacoste became part of the extinction conversation

The world is losing species at an unprecedented rate.   So how can brands be part of the extinction conversation, while building their brand and delivering a profit?

Lacoste may have just found the solution.

Partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Lacoste created 10 limited edition polo shirts, replacing its iconic crocodile logo with 10 of the most threatened species in the world.  The number of shirts available corresponded with the number of each species remaining.  Tragically, this amounted to only 1,775.

Unveiled at Paris Fashion Week, the launch created a media storm and a global conversation, praising Lacoste for the initiative, promoting their brand’s value to existing and potential customers, and seeding the extinction conversation. The Lacoste shirts sold out within 24 hours and raised over $325k for IUCN SOS – ‘Save our Species’ program supporting frontline conservation projects.

Increasingly, consumers define themselves by the brands they buy. Neilson reported that 66% of consumers are prepared to pay more for products and services produced by suppliers committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Brands must not only compete on product, price, promotion and distribution; they must also compete on, and effectively communicate, their values.

Lacoste has been committed to saving threatened species since 2009.  However, this campaign has taken their message and brand values to a new level and attracted global recognition.

The key learnings we can take from the Lacoste campaign are:

  • The best partners understand and respect each others values and strategic priorities
  • Choose a cause that connects with your customers
  • Keep your message simple and ensure it aligns with your product
  • If you truly believe – think BIG and make it happen

Congratulations Lacoste  and IUCN on an exceptional global campaign, and thank you for driving the conversation about saving species.

 

 


A decline in trust will effect your brand

Consumer trust is an important ingredient to building brand equity and business growth, so it is alarming that Forrester Research is reporting its decline across all industries and 69% of CEOs confirming it as one of their biggest issues.

A decline in consumer trust can result in reduced consumer spend, diminished customer loyalty and referral, and ultimately effect brand equity and product pricing.

In the past, trust was earned and lasted a lifetime.  However, trust is now earned and lost with every experience the consumer has with a brand.  And these experiences are amplified through review websites, social media and word of mouth, with 60% of consumers identifying these mediums as the most trusted sources of information on products and services.

Learning to listen to your customers and demonstrating that you understand their needs is core to building trust. Consumers define themselves by the brands they use.  As such, it is important they feel part of your business, build an emotional connection with your brand, and feel that it reflects their values.

The key drivers that deliver trust in your brand, as reported by Forrester Research, are:

  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Competence

Transparency is about respecting consumers’ data and privacy and not overloading the them with back covering disclaimers full of jargon and acronyms. And keep it simple and make it easy.

Integrity is about doing the right thing and keeping your promise, even when no else is looking.  Engaging consumers in your business,  seeking feedback and acting on it, will build trust. When choosing a cause include your customers in the decision and develop a model that engages them every time they transact with your brand so they can feel connected and part of your journey.

While competency, on the surface, is seen as an efficient customer journey, it is important to look deep into the organisation at all aspects of the business and re-evaluate any processes or procedures that do not add value to the customer.

The decline of trust is damaging brands and most likely impacting profit.  While it is important to develop, understand and measure your key drivers of trust for your brand, what will bring it all together is effective two way communication and engagement with your customers.

Now is the time to act to protect and increase consumer trust in your brand to help your business be the best it can be.


What can your brand learn from the John Lewis Christmas ad?

Every year I wait impatiently for John Lewis to release their Christmas advert to see which of my heart strings they are going to pull and how they will make me feel.

This year’s ad featuring ‘Moz the Monster’ is about bringing to life the power of children’s imagination and the joys of great friendship.

John Lewis Christmas ads have been part of a successful long term brand building campaign using Christmas tradition to connect their brand around family values, sharing and wonderment with their audience – and the strategy is working.

The Christmas campaigns have been running since 2011 and have been attributed to an average of 16% increase in sales over the festive season between 2012-2015. They are also the most shared ads on the internet with the 2016 John Lewis Christmas ad being viewed over 25 million times.

Successful brands know how to build connections with their customers and that is to do it with emotion. Emotional connections rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.

Simplistically to build emotional connections with your customers consider the following:

  1. Make your customer a priority of your business
  2. Listen to your customer and demonstrate how you understand their everyday needs
  3. Develop your company personality by letting its human out – people connect with the people
  4. Be consistent in the delivery of your company personality in everything you do and say

Consumers define themselves by the brands they use and the more connected they are to your brand the more likely they are to become advocates for you and amplify your message to their family and friends.

Like John Lewis, building your brand is a long term strategy, and incorporating emotion is invaluable in differentiating your brand from competitors and help create a deep seated relationship between your business and your customer.

Now getting back to this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad. Did the ad make me feel warm and fuzzy and connect me emotionally with the essence of Christmas as they have in previous year's? The short answer is no. But I’m swimming against the tide, Brandwatch is reporting consumer sentiment is running at 86% positive and 14% negative so it looks like John Lewis have another success story on their hands.

What do you think of the 2017 John Lewis Christmas ad compared with previous year's?


Tippex - having fun while building their brand

What better way to build your brand and product education than developing interactive fun clip on YouTube.  This is exactly what Tippex did when it developed “A hunter shoots a bear”.

The concept is simple, the audience which represents the hunter can choose to shoot the bear, or white out shoot and develop their own scenario which may include having dinner with the bear, marrying the bear or gardening with the bear just to mention a few.

With almost 17 million views, ‘A hunter shoots a bear’ has taken the Tippex brand into homes and offices across the globe with a simple brand promise of being able to white things out and start again.

With 65% of consumers considering themselves overwhelmed by too many advertising messages and 60% believing that advertising is not relevant to them (Porter and Golan 2006), marketers face ongoing challenge to understand how to reach and communicate with their customer and potential customer in new and innovative ways.

This clip has been posted thousands of times on the internet, it appears in blogs, it is used as an example of great viral marketing in numerous marketing papers and journals.  While it has been described as in all manner using textbook terminology such as an; excellent example of viral marketing, great cut through, getting the message across etc etc, too many have missed the most important part of the campaign is that it is fun.

David Lewis posted on his blog that he and his daughter spent time together using “A Hunter Shoots A Bear” during their summer vacation, posting the options of how you can interact with the bear.  I tested the clips appeal with my 5 year old nephew some time ago and the response was amazing.  We must have spent over half an hour having fun interacting with the clip.

Tippex’s “A Hunter Shoots a Bear” delivers an interactive fun clip that has broad appeal, entices people to share it to create viral opportunities while delivering brand awareness and product education.


Interview Series: Member Engagement

Alison was interviewed by Georgie Stayches, Fetching Events & Communications as part of their Insights Interview Series.

We discussed and explored what makes a membership program successful and why it is important for members to be at the heart of the organisation, and how to grow and maintain a membership base.

We hope you enjoy our interview as much as we enjoyed talking about a topic that is that is close to our heart.

 


Did you connect with Boxer this Christmas?

Every year I wait impatiently for John Lewis to release their Christmas advert to see which of my heart strings they are going to pull and how they will make me feel.

This year’s ad featuring ‘Moz the Monster’ is about bringing to life the power of children’s imagination and the joys of great friendship.

John Lewis Christmas ads have been part of a successful long term brand building campaign using Christmas tradition to connect their brand around family values, sharing and wonderment with their audience – and the strategy is working.

The Christmas campaign has been running since 2011 and has been attributed to an average of 16% increase in sales over the festive season between 2012-2015.  They are also the most shared ads on the internet with the 2016 John Lewis Christmas ad being viewed over 25 million times.

Successful brands know how to build connections with their customers and that is to do it with emotion.  Emotional connections rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.

Simplistically to build emotional connections with your customers consider the following:

  1. Make your customer a priority of your business
  2. Listen to your customer and demonstrate how you understand their everyday needs
  3. Develop your company personality by letting it’s human out – people connect with the people
  4. Be consistent in the delivery of your company personality in everything you do and say

Consumers define themselves by the brands they use and the more connected they are to your brand the more likely they are to become advocates for you and amplify your message to their family and friends.

Like John Lewis, building your brand is a long term strategy, and incorporating emotion is invaluable in differentiating your brand with competitors and help create a deep seated relationship between your business and your customer.

Now getting back to this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad.  Did the ad make me feel warm and fuzzy and connect me emotionally with the essence of Christmas as they have in previous year's?  The short answer is no, and I’m really disappointed.  But I’m swimming against the tide, Brandwatch is reporting consumer sentiment is running at 86% positive and 14% negative.

What do you think of the 2017 John Lewis Christmas ad compared with previous year's?


Customerise your website

Some web designers want to create a site that has a gadget or a gizmo or something “cutting edge” that proves that the brand is “innovative” and “progressive”. And what company isn’t tempted by this, showing that you are “leading the way” feels great, and delivers lots of back slapping and high fives around the office.

BUT, don’t forget it’s the customer who is the centre of your web development world. cyberindian.com, web designers were kind enough to post 8 tips for great websites on the web, but not one mentioned the customer.

cyberindian.com are not the minority in this space which is disappointing for the customer and a warning to all businesses ensure that your web designer supports a customer centric development focus.

Successful web designers and their sites are customer centric. Their goal is not to deliver the most visitors, achieve the highest number of page views or keep visitors online for the longest time, it is simply to provide the visitor with a great web experience that delivers the information they want and need in an efficient manner.

And forget the “build it and they will come” dream. Build it, market it, and they will come once if your lucky. Get it right and develop it for them and they will come again and again and again –AND they will tell their friends.

It is critical that when building a website that we have a deep understand of our target audiences. The key questions that need to ask ourselves are:

  • What information does our target audience (our customer) want
  • How do we get this information to them in the most efficient manner
  • How experienced are our customers using the internet
  • Do our visitors easily navigate the site?
  • Can we undertake usability testing

So let’s get customer centric not only on our websites but in everything and we will see and feel the difference.


Which path will you take - SEO or PPC

So was it the rabbit or the turtle who won the race?

There are two key strategies for driving traffic to small business websites, the turtle being Search Engine Optimisation and rabbit, pay per click advertising.

Search Engine Optimization when done correctly, completely and with integrity – works – but it takes time and commitment.  The results will take longer to achieve, however the long term benefits cannot be underestimated.

Figures indicate that only 6% of search engine users click on sponsored listings.  These figures reinforce the importance of ensuring your website is optimised for search engines and achieving the highest possible search engine rankings across multiple key word searches.

There are a number of great sites that you can visit to get tips and ideas on how to get started, however working closely with your web designers in the first instance is a great way to start.  It’s always good to start with a strong foundation and build from there.

Pay per click on the other hand will deliver immediate responses when well targeted and well written and if managed well can deliver incremental traffic and business in a cost effective manner.  Pay per click provides you with the opportunity to reach segments that you may not be achieving the rankings that you aspire to as a result of competition.  In addition it is also an important tool in further developing your brand awareness and allows you to develop the message that you want to get across to the potential visitor.

So which one is it?  Search Engine Optimisation or Pay Per Click – The rabbit or the turtle?
Both have a place and both are great tools to drive targeted traffic to your website.  But always keep your focus on your customer, and the integrity in your brand and you will succeed.