News & Events
#014 – Tasty Brand Stories
- 7th September 2017
- Posted by: Nicky
- Category: Episodes
We thought following on from Podcast 007 which was all about Building a Brand, we’d have a look at some good, and bad, examples of this and what we can learn and take away for our own businesses.
Let’s get started then and perhaps it might be useful to just recap on what a Brand is?
Branding is your statement to the customer about what you do. You want people to know what they can expect not only from you and you need to think how you want your product or service to be conveyed. It’s saying this is who we are and what we want you to know about us. A brand is the image you portray.
Yes, so we did discuss this in more depth in Podcast 007 and also about how some people get the logo mixed up with brand. Of course, a logo is just a visual representation. So, which companies are out there doing it right?Download transcript 78kb
©The Marketing Menu 2017. All rights reserved.
Well, I thought we’d start with our current favourite Airbnb!
Oh yes, I’ve converted you, haven’t I?
Yes, you have indeed, Nicky! I was a solid Premier Inn girl, and still am, think they give great customer service, think a lot of places could learn from the way the staff are trained, never stayed in a bad one, rave about them all the time. BUT then you introduced me to the benefits of Airbnb and I, have to say, I have been bowled over by the whole experience.
We’ve stayed in a couple of excellent places recently, haven’t we? And so reasonably priced. I also like the fact the booking procedure is so easy, and I always seem to be getting incentives to persuade me to book again or to recommend a friend.
It’s brilliant, and I love their story. Very briefly, two guys set up Airbnb because they felt people had stopped trusting each other and they wanted to create something that would stand for something much bigger than travel and ‘stand for community and relationships and use technology to bring people together.’
Well, they’ve certainly done that highly successfully. Their whole ethos for the guest and host is very clear and really does build on that trust issue. Did I read that one of the Airbnb founders actually lets out rooms in his house?
Apparently so! Which is encouraging – he has enough faith in his service to use it! They also wanted to make sure people were going into areas that they wouldn’t normally think of to stay, building on this sense of community. They used ‘Belong Anywhere’ as their slogan.
They really are cultivating that feeling. They say when travellers leave their homes, they feel alone. They reach their Airbnb, and they feel accepted and taken care of by their host. They then feel safe to be the same kind of person they are when they’re at home.
So, listeners, do you have any experience with Airbnb? Are they doing what they say? Does the reality live up to the brand image? Let us know what you think. But also importantly think about what are you doing to show that you believe in your business? So, what have you got for us, Nicky?
Now, I spent a little time going around car showrooms recently and it was interesting to see how they are embracing the use of digital technology in their sales presentation but people may not have noticed the new campaign for the Audi virtual reality campaign Liz? Now this is an example of a brand doing something unique, albeit with a money no object price tag.
Ok I have to confess I have not actually tried virtual reality technology yet. So what are they doing? Sounds interesting.
Yes, so obviously being a premium brand, customers can customise vehicles to their own specification with loads of add ons and colour combinations for example, but one of the problems is that the automotive industry is quite traditional. By which I mean most times you want a car, it’s a case of going in the showroom, sitting down with the rep and going through the vehicles and then choosing the configuration options from a list.
Well yes, and I’m guessing because invariably showrooms may only have 4 or 5 cars on display they’re never going to be able to show all the options across all the ranges in situ, are they?
Exactly Liz, so what Audi have done is work with a virtual reality provider to get customers back in the showroom. By crafting a unique VR experience they can now show off all their vehicles in a personalised and engaging manner.
Audi say “It’s not just about showing our cars in a very realistic way. It’s about the experience. Our goal is to have potential customers leave us and say, ‘Wow, that was a great two hours!’ and with VR tech that’s possible,” I guess as a luxury brand, Audi views the showroom sales experience as a point of contact with its consumers and a chance to start building brand loyalty.
So, how does it work then?
Well the experience, crafted with the agency, Zerolight, not only has Audi’s cars in its system but also allows consumers to see how different customisable options look on their cars before they make the purchase. As you say, smaller dealerships, which are usually franchises, are often unable to stock more than five or so cars in the showroom but with VR all of Audi’s catalogue becomes available.
Yes, so the experience can also be tailored to the individual consumer. You can select the surroundings, from countryside views to the moon, and even let them have a 100-minute pit stop experience at Le Mans! You can even dismantle parts of the car virtually if you like so you really get under the hood in a way you may never otherwise have been able to, by literally taking it apart so to speak.
Wow! That sounds like Audi have created a customer experience on a whole new level.
Yes, but it HAS come at a cost apparently. It has taken over four years to develop, especially as they have immense amounts of car data, which is great because it’s very precise, but it’s also enormously complex and their main challenge was to have the experience run smoothly on the regular PCs dealerships are likely to be able to afford.
Sounds like they have really created something to shout about. I almost want to just visit an Audi showroom to give it a go.
Well weirdly, Liz, this is the only way I think the process has fallen down. Apparently, Audi has no plans to make a major announcement around the experience. They are leaving it up to the dealerships to promote it. I suppose not all dealerships will take the on concept from a cost point of view which makes a sort of national campaign a little unrealistic but it does seem like a great opportunity to make some noise, you’d think Audi would invest more in rolling this out to all dealerships irrespective of cost but perhaps I am doing them an injustice.
We’ll have to watch out then just to see how this may go, but I agree after spending obviously so much time, energy and money on the project, you’d have thought Audi might be milking it a little more. Particularly as it reinforces their brand message of “Vorsprung Durch Technik” which translated is “Advancement through Technology”.
Yes, it’d be interesting to hear what listeners think, especially if they been to an Audi showroom and given it a go. Who’s next?
Well, I love the Innocent Drinks story. In fact, we use them as an example when I’m teaching on the Events Management course at BU because they have done some brilliant marketing campaigns.
Plus we all love their smoothies!
Me too. So for those who don’t know this started with the 3 guys who met at university who had a mission to get people to have more of their five a day. In fact, they sold their first bottles at a music festival and asked the crowd to decide whether they should give up their jobs to make the drinks full-time. They had two bins, one with yes and the other with no, and the crowd recycled their bottles by putting them in one of the bins. The Yes bin was overflowing and so Innocent started!
Great story! Their slogan is ‘we make natural, delicious drinks that help people live well and die old’ and, of course, they have built their brand on the use of wholly natural ingredients in their products with no additives, using sustainable ingredients and a big focus on recycling.
And people have completely bought into it. They go even further by supporting Age UK by encouraging people to knit those little woolly hats that you see on the bottles in the winter. Again, this is a brilliant example of a brand following through on their message – the link with old age and looking after each other.
We talk about consistency all the time at The Marketing Menu, don’t we, and this is exactly what we mean. Every part of their business is underpinned by the brand and this goes hand in hand with our storytelling podcast. Good stuff.
So, folks what else could you be doing to demonstrate what your brand stands for and listen to Podcast 3 on Crushing it with Storytelling which can still be found if you wish to listen to it after this?
So what else have you got, Nicky, any fails that listeners may not be aware of?
Well, Liz, I confess I missed this one, but apparently it involves the Dove brand which has for many years been celebrated as doing some great advertising campaigns for ‘real women’ and their real beauty campaigns.
I am not sure I saw this either, what happened?
The U.K. promotion involved limited-edition body wash packaging presenting diverse representations of female bodies, some pear shaped, some tall and thin, some short and fat by bringing out a range of bottle shapes, apparently though it was said to be comparing women’s figures to largely shapeless, abstract soap bottles. This ultimately sent the wrong message and was met with both joking and genuine concern on platforms like Twitter. Although to be fair, I didn’t see why it was classed as such a fail, so it’d be interesting to hear what listeners thought.
It’s unusual for a company like Dove to get it so wrong because they stick to their brand message so well normally. Perhaps we should mention that we’ve put the links to some of the videos on the transcript which listeners can access by heading over to our website themarketingmenu.com
And, of course, listeners can also download all our podcast episodes from our website as well as iTunes, Blubrry, Stitcher and TuneIn. Give us a follow on Twitter & Facebook too because we post lots more useful marketing info there daily, So have you got anything else, Liz?
Well, here is an example of rebranding, and it’s a corker!
It’s Old Spice! And it’s another example we teach students about how an established brand can reposition itself to a new market really effectively.
Old Spice? The aftershave that our Dads and Grandads used to wear?
Oh yes! My Dad wore it; I can visualise the white bottle with the funny silver stopper on our bathroom shelf as we speak.
So, that’s the image that Old Spice wanted to get away from?
Yes, they did. But they did it in a really clever way. Their campaign to launch their body wash range was called ‘The man your man could smell like.’ You may remember the advert, in fact, I notice they’ve been replaying it recently.
Is that the really fit guy in the shower and then on a boat and a horse? It’s so tongue-in-cheek, really funny.
Exactly, Old Spice is a long-established, recognised and trusted brand, and they wanted to get the message about their body wash out there but not be perceived as old fashioned. So, what they cleverly did was look at who did the shopping for body wash.
I’m guessing it wasn’t me after all but women, right?
Indeed! So, they pitched their marketing at women. The ad was launched during the American Superbowl and was hugely successful. I guess the point of the story that we can take away as small businesses is that if a product or service is moving slowly or not appearing to grow, it might be worth thinking about repositioning or looking at a different target market.
As long as it still fits with the brand ethos, of course, and we have done our research.
Precisely! And finally, Nicky, who’s our last example?
Okay so let’s move away from big brands and talk about advertising campaigns that have worked for smaller businesses with a much smaller budget.
There are loads of examples for sure of smaller businesses who lack deep pockets are forced to rely mostly on the strength of their marketing strategy and creativity.
Well, I like the Lancaster Insurance idea which they ran in back in 2015. For those who don’t know, they were formed back in 1984 as the insurance division for the MG Owners Club but later expanded to include insurance for a wider variety of classic cars.
So, what did they do?
So, they decided to try to win a Guinness World Records™ title for the “Largest parade of MGs” to help build their brand awareness and increase awareness of their classic car insurance. It worked.
In April 2015, Lancaster Insurance announced the company was an official Guinness World Records™ title holder for the “Largest parade of MGs.” Which took “pole position” on the Oval Track, the UK’s only banked Oval and Europe’s fastest motor circuit, with an array of classic and modern MGs in attendance.
Wow, that’s a terrific example of an interesting news story that is very niche but which would be bound attract loads of attention from those interested in classic cars and you’d presume would no doubt increase insurance applications from those who have one?
Yes, but what I also like is how they have maintained a credible blog now for several years on all things related to classic cars. We’ve talked a few times on how blogging can help develop a content rich source of keywords for your website, but this also demonstrates how you can use specific interests in your customer demographics to build awareness. It’s a long game but it’s important to say that that information will always help build your online presence.
And then of course you can share that content across all your social media channels, your email campaigns and potentially, as they have in this case, advertising campaigns.
Well listeners we hope that even though these stories are about large organisations, you can draw some inspiration and ideas from what we have talked about.
Don’t forget; we also do offer a free transcript of all our podcasts on our website themarketingmenu.com so if you’re not listening on our website, do head over there to download your copy.
So, tune in again on Wednesday 13th September when we’re going to be delving into the world of publishing and what to do if you are thinking of writing a book to show off your expertise or even if you have a personal story you want to tell.
Until next time, it’s a goodbye from me, Liz.
And me, Nicky, thank you and goodbye!
©The Marketing Menu 2017. All rights reserved.