Added Value Edits: Brand inspiration - Snapshot

08 Mar 2016|Added Value

The world is moving at record speed and consumers expect brands, products and services to keep up. As a result, marketers face increasing pressure to make decisions quickly and stay relevant. That’s why we developed Snapshot – a brand insight solution that provides quick-fire inspiration for brands agencies, and fast answers to big brand questions. Snapshot includes a proprietary set of tools to deliver a holistic, strategic and future-focused view of the brand: Cultural Traction, Brand Equity, and Character Lab. We invited Brian Kushnir, who masterminded Snapshot, to be this month’s Guest Editor.

The Challenges Established Brands Face to Stay Relevant
Events like the Grammys and the Academy Awards were once thought of as cultural juggernauts, bathed in searchlights, with the glamorous sheen of power and prestige. But their appeal and influence are waning, as is viewership. And, as a new study reveals, their places of cultural prominence are at risk of being overtaken by other, more culturally sharp, responsive, and relevant entertainments in the competing clamor for consumers’ attention. Click here to read more…

Top Five Ways to Win with Character Lab
A brand is brought to life by its character. It guides HOW the brand speaks, looks and behaves, and should be consistent across all communications. We’ve put together some tips for winning with brand character to ensure consumer appeal and competitor distinctiveness.
Click here to read more…

Measuring Cultural Traction
A key measure within Snapshot is Cultural Traction: an indicator of growth and advocacy that explores how much a brand is influencing culture. This is measured quantitatively with a VIBE score (Visionary, Inspiring, Bold, and Exciting). The brands that are currently on top spark consumers to change. This is not the same as providing people with something new, but providing consumers with springboards for change that we intuitively adopt so they become our own. Nike for example, equips us personally with the best tools and the emotional inspiration to #justdoit.

Cultural Traction in action: Tesla
Tesla sits at the top of the Cultural Traction list, beating all comers and toppling Google from its throne. The brand has successfully captured the imagination and respect of consumers with its commitment to sustainable technology, open source approach to sharing information on batteries and charging stations, and the modern day pioneer that sits at its helm. Elon Musk is an inspirational leader who is determined to solve humanity’s problems with his automotive and energy storage products.

The increasingly urgent quest to do good, better
VIBE also highlights greater shifts in culture. We’ve reached a time when consumers expect brands to stand behind more than the products and services they sell. The most culturally relevant companies have stopped accessorizing with CSR: Chipotle initiated the trend toward healthier fast food, while Ford demonstrates an environmentally conscientious engineering focus. Read more here.

The Etsy economy
Etsy has become one of the most culturally vibrant brands in recent times. The virtual craft fair offers a new kind of business ecosystem, where makers, sellers and buyers are linked in a virtuous virtual circle of collective empowerment. Etsy is keenly endorsed by consumers – and especially Millennials — as the way of the future. It’s a true community where people can connect around the world to buy and sell hand crafted goods, while sharing their unique stories.

Measuring Brand Character with Character Lab
Brand Character is the second measure within Snapshot. Our proprietary digital tool – CharacterLab – enables marketers to test the strength and nature of their brand’s character and guide its development. You may know WHAT your purpose and benefits are, but if you don’t know WHO your brand’s character is, then every decision regarding HOW to do things becomes difficult. Inconsistent words, imagery, gestures, or actions have the potential to dilute, divert and confuse your brands identity. Try it out here.

Brand Character in action: Jaguar
Jaguar wowed us all with its celebrated #GoodToBeBad campaign that put a unique twist on its deep British cultural heritage. The ad struck the perfect tone of Cool Brit Villainy and the line-up of celebs brought it to life perfectly. When the ad aired, the brand presented a consistent look and feel and tone of voice throughout its online and offline touch points. In subsequent campaigns, the brand continued the theme with a dare-devil crossing of the river Thames across two thin cables.

Brand Character in action: Birchbox
Any recipient of the subscription service Birchbox will tell you that the brand experience begins before you have even open the package. The address label – a usually inconsequential item – sets the tone for what’s to come by adding a witty title: “The Glorious Emma”, “The Clever Jodie”, “The Great Anna”. The card inside the box is equally light-hearted and clever, with philosophical musings on the month to come that are highly relatable. A great example of a brand living and breathing its character.

Measuring Brand Equity
The third and final measure within Snapshot is Brand Equity, which helps to understand the vividness, clarity, appeal and distinctiveness of the image people have of your brand versus others, as well as the emotional connection they have to it. Audi is a brand that has built, maintained and fine-tuned its brand equity around “progress through technology”, to embed its reputation for design innovation in the minds of consumers, as well as its relentless pursuit of technical excellence.

Get in touch if you’d like to hear how Added Value can help you think about strategic marketing that works.

Written by Jonathan Hall, President North America Consulting, Added Value

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