Having a great brand is something most businesses aspire to. A business or product with a better brand can command a higher price for comparable products. Organisations spend a lot of resources trying to shape their overall brand, products and services. The stakes are very high because of the sheer size of the investments necessary to develop the right brand.
To improve their ability to manage their brand initiatives and thereby secure a greater ROI on these initiatives, most organisations conduct surveys to understand how customers feel about their brands. These surveys are often conducted every six-12 months. However, in today’s fast moving world this is clearly too infrequent to support an increasing number of tactical decisions.
Being able to quickly understand the effects of an organisation’s marketing communications (and those of their competitors) is essential. By having a constant feedback loop from the market place marketers can constantly understand which initiatives they might want to amplify and which they might want to adjust or scale back.
At Onalytica we are putting enterprise listening and analytics solutions in place for an increasing number of organisations. Several of these solutions include the ability to constantly measure the brand profile of the organisations as well as understand what is driving the brand in the right direction.
One of the models we use to analyse brands describes the brand in relation to a number of different personality traits. These traits are defined as “pillars”.
These pillars form part of “The Davies Model”, which can be found in the great book on corporate reputation; “Corporate Reputation and Competitiveness” by Professor G. Davies et al. (Rudledge, 2003).
The pillars of the standard Davies model are shown below:
Naturally, the pillars and the traits can vary according to the brand and our solution allows full flexibility on how many pillars can be used and the descriptive words that go into each pillar.
I had a look at some brands and how they are discussed in the context of mobile phones, below, is what the brand profiles look like.
First up is Blackberry. For this example, the original pillars taken from the Davies model, shown above, have been used. Notice how the brand changed slightly from Q1 to Q2 of 2011: Chic, Enterprise and Informality were down – Machismo was up:
Then I took Motorola. Motorola’s brand also changed during the first half of 2011:
Enterprise and Chic were also down, but Machismo and Competence in particular were up.
The general model of using pillars and traits can be configured to compare brands according to the dimensions that are deemed important to those brands.
The next graph shows how three mobile phones compare on a number of features such as camera, design and security:
Notice the substantial differences between the three phones that largely target the same consumer segment. Also notice how the Motorola Pro scores so much higher than its competitors on “security”. The Motorola Pro has extra strong encryption and a number of new security features that mean the phone can be controlled and wiped clean, should the need arise. These are features that Blackberry used to be more associated with, but the current positive differentiators for Blackberry Bold 9900 seem to be apps/applications and design.
Battery life and camera are key differentiators for the Nokia E6. Talk time for this particular model is said to be 14.8 hours, with 31 days standby. The phone has an 8-megapixel camera with full-focus and support for HD video recording.
It is clear to see how maintaining an up-to-date understanding of a brand’s profile can help in the management of that profile. Combining this with our solution’s ability to interactively run root-cause-analysis on changes, marketers can quickly see what is driving their brands in the direction they want and thus which of their marcomms initiatives they might consider increasing.