Hello and welcome to Focus, this Q&A was created for the Nepa ‘brand is back’ event. Helping brands to navigate the current world and the new world we are going to be entering into.
The Focus mission is to bring focus back to the workplace.
Please read the Focus Manifesto and Focus 40 for full information on Focus and our mission moving forward.
This page was created following up from the Nepa Brand Is Back event from June 24th 2020.
It includes my detailed answers, the actions you and your business should take, alongside free templates you can use to improve and guide your business moving forward.
Brand Is Back Q&A
What’s the real value of investing in your Brand….when cash flow is currently king?
(We all know ‘brand equity’ is a good thing to have. But what does this actually mean in terms of making a difference to your bottom line? How can you best prove the financial worth of investing in your brand equity when budgets are tight?)
For me it is important we are going to zoom out to zoom in.
First question to answer for any brand in H2 2020-(1) Are you a brand (or set of products) that people need or people want (or desire).
This will lead you to understanding where you are and what impact you will have on your revenues.
For the first time, there are many very experienced leaders who just don’t know the answer. This is an opportunity for brand and product leaders to step up, collaborate and offer solutions and insights. Be proactive!
Understand where you live in:
know 🧠 – like 👍 – love 💕
If you are know 🧠 : try to bump up to like with a marketing campaign, most likely paid marketing – there are plenty of opportunities with lower priced ads across different platform.
If like 👍: nudge up to love by delighting at the right moment with a discount, a low barrier thank you, exclusive access.
If love 💕 : Say thank you, offer them something that will make you stand out
Brand has always been the short, mid and long term view of your company. It should be the guiding light for your company. If it is not get proactive and help the leadership team today.
Flip the Funnel – brand can be connected to any part of the funnel, concentrate on mid to bottom of the funnel while running cheaper more creative (in-house) top of funnel activities.
Create a SWOT analysis, a SWOT will help kickstart your focus on brand. Share with senior leadership and show how you are going to be address the Weaknesses and take on the opportunities and mitigate the threats. Remember ruthless Prioritisation wins.
I predict it will continue to be: Survival of the fittest or scrappiest (play by the rules or by values or creating your own future) We have seen a trend of super brands going DTC – Heniz, Pepsi (PantryShop.com & Snacks.com) – we will likely see this trend in Europe too, expect large players to come into your market and look to be part of a partnership.
Brands have reacted to the short term, esports betting vs traditional sports betting. Farms offering DTC, food boxes were essential for a number of weeks. Will they continue – thats to be decided by the customers.
There are three actions I would recommend and they are quick fire audits:
1. SWOT analysis
2. Focus Landscape Audit Template
3. Focus Know Like Love Audit Template
A reality is: Convenience & price will always win, brand is the extra feeling or connection. You have to invest!
Proving ROI in brand is easier than ever with search data, partner data & sentiment data.
Opportunity to leverage: There are many ways to turn touch free or contactless devices or destinations to become billboards, there are cheap and low cost ways to leverage tech to add flavour to the brand.
Retention and repeat purchasers will prove how important you are as a brand and good place to understand and track metrics.
If you are a strong well known brand in your space or a house hold name, likelihood is you have many avenues that will enable you to thrive.
If your business is seasonal you can ramp up, you can push brand ads and leverage partnerships to brand a moment or an experience.
We (humans) are craving to be part of something bigger – as people we want to stand out and fit in, this is where brands can bring people together and make them standout.
Actions To Take:
1. Create a SWOT analysis.
2. Run a know 🧠 – like 👍 – love 💕audit
Focus Know Like Love Audit Template Link
3. Run a landscape audit –
Focus Landscape Audit Template Link
The brands which can step up to the plate will be the winners” “Earning Trust is your metric for success”
Things are changing rapidly at the moment. What was ‘new and interesting’ last week, is no longer relevant this week. So how do you balance being relevant in the short term, whilst also building longer term strategy plans, AND manage this with an eye on both sales and profit?
I believe Brand is going to be battle ground for H2 2020 to H2 2021.
In the short term:
Recently we saw 3 types of brands
1. Noisy aka partner play – seen and heard everywhere – being there with you (partner play)
2. Taker aka save us – support us, we need you.
3. Silent aka working through the chaos – we are just working and getting stuff done in the background.
You will be categorised – be sure you can recover or leverage this connection, especially if you are a brand that can be felt, worn, eaten or drunk, others will struggle to be drive an additional emotional connection.
Habits have just been proven to be goal driven (what goal are you going to be connected to as a brand).
Answer important questions and align with goals, if you need to push short term, brand campaigns have never been so cheap and as easy to join up, video creation, push press, social media promotion, place some paid behind it, product market the answer.
While long term you can build multiple campaigns to push the large brand and say something important and powerful, you will need to show breadcrumbs & show ROI.
The only way you can earn people’s trust is by: always keeping your word, having a great quality of product and delivering on what you’ve promised.
There might be a new category that was created in lockdown:
1. Good enough (+made at home)
3. Better (+made at home)
Some brands just don’t have brand market fit (Think “my brand does not fit in this market and its customers”) – understand this quickly as this is far more important than saying more.
Short term – We are living through the authentic phase (zoom calls with celebrities, oddly being on brand webinars as b2c customers not b2b) – this will be tolerated for the rest of 2020, where you feel conformable get around the same campfire.
1- Advertising: Test out advertising channels, pricing is lower and plenty of big screen ad costs are slashed.
2- Marketing: Concentrate on marketing channels you already have connections with customers on alongside timely messages.
3- Give Endorphin Rushes: Add a delightful moment to customers, personalised thank you’s, relevant saving if your brand can be associated with discounting – if you can make people feel like they have received a bargain you will give an endorphin rush that will lastIf you are a brand that is luxury or in the luxury category know that there will be “revenge spend” and you will give that real emotion endorphin rush.
4- Retention First: Concentrate on retention (retention is the new growth in 2020.
Long Term –
1- Build experiences – in the long term people will crave experiences, whether that is in person or a deeper experience than just an app, a website or an email. Leverage new tech and plan out how you build an experience. Work out whether you can build in person experience or “on device” experience. Fortnite is a prime example of leveraging tech for the long term.
2- Build a community – supporting customers is 101 however building a community that supports each other will add huge value. This won’t be easy for some verticals however Marketplace businesses can be in prime position.
3- Lower barriers to entry – In this evolving world access to product can be difficult, reduce that, look at touch-less and contactless for short and long term. Click and collect was something that in US was very popular, parts of the UK actually looked forward to using click and collect and might be the new going for a walk.
4- Build on emotive connections – Humans are wired in many ways, if you can connect with your customers you will win, think about dopamine and endorphin rushes.
🆘 Brand coach – don’t Brand police 🆘 Internal brand vs external brand – ensuring these are aligned is vital and consistent.
Having worked in and consulted with companies of all sizes, everyone understanding and committing to the brand is essential and when is understood employee advocates really steps forward and drive the business forward.
Advocacy as an advantage is huge right now and will bolster word of mouth.
Brand equity….what does that really mean?
What actually makes the real difference to customers and ultimately to your bottom line?
Brands need to stop talking before they do the walking. There has been too much noise on social, if this does not translate expect your brand to take a real hit in coming quarters.
Remember in 2020: Consumer has the ultimate leveller – Consumer choice and knowledge = power (brand is the superpower).
As previously mentioned, knowing where you are in know 🧠 – like 👍 – love 💕and what you and your brand stands for is going to be a good guiding light for tone.
Always remember as a brand you should be:
> Answering a problem
> Answering an itch – an example would be coffee shops and pastries shops really can leverage 3 months of people not getting their fixes. As a smart CMO friend said recently, she has missed her morning coffee ritual. (many hundreds of thousands of others are likely too)
> Answering an important question
Understanding if you are a:
(1) one and done brand
(2) a brand that is going to be an utility or
(3) something that will be generational and passed down
Short term to Long term: Understand where people find out about you and how they share your brand.
1am new parent groups (WhatsApp, Facebook) are incredibly powerful and reliant upon.
Now is the time for brands to audit themselves and develop out their language and revisit whether they have a standing.
Make the decision quickly and remember the world is changing at an incredible pace, saying something that is not relevant to you will negatively impact you.
Saying nothing can be the smartest tone to have. Concentrating on delivering excellent product, excellent service and care will typically be the most powerful thing you can do.
Brands that stands for something or has a long standing narrative, it is important you understand where you are and how much run way you have.
Do you understand if you are an Invisible brands or visible brands? The additional connection if you – Wear, Carry, Feel. The trust we show by wearing a logo, especially luxury is status and being visible is going to be even more important – this will be important, this doesn’t mean you have to have a narrative or change your tone.
Hearts and minds has become a narrative rather than something brands can really understand and use but I believe if you have a connection, latch on to continue to create connection to positive memories, nostalgia is massively underused in marketing and heart – is love of the brand, the aspirational part of the brand – coca cola (Pepsi for me), apple, Disney / Pixar, Tesla, etc