5 Principles to Drive Brand Growth

November 13, 2017
Industry News
Content Provided By:

Kantar Millward Brown
[email protected]

Marketers have never had such fast access to so much data.
The potential to make rapid and knowledgeable decisions has never been greater but most marketers are not using this to their advantage.
Brands that focus their continuous tracking on the metrics that matter for success – the long-term indicators that move most quickly in the short term – will gain a clarity that will aid their competitive advantage.
Kantar Millward Brown has developed 5 brand guidance principles to help marketers drive brand growth.
#1 Act quickly to gain competitive advantage
Brands that receive information fast and then make good, real time decisions based on that feedback will have the best chance of gaining a competitive advantage.

Fast feedback from search or social data can help marketers if they are focusing on the right metrics. A big food brand, which was focused on generating high frequency, started the campaign using 15 second edits instead of the stronger 30 second edits it had already tested. The efficiency of the campaign spend was extremely weak and well below expectations within the first week.

In this case, these early warning signals would have acted as a trigger for a deeper exploration of the creative mix before more of the campaign budget was spent – i.e. the 15 second edits were not successfully conveying the fairly complex creative idea or linking it clearly to the brand. Going with the 30 second ads would have been more expensive but the ads would have been more impactful, and well worth the investment.
Without this insight, the brand continued to spend a total of $17m behind a weak campaign over the upcoming weeks, with little result.

#2 Be first to mind when it matters
Combining data from two of the world’s largest databases (BrandZ with behavioural shopper data from Kantar Worldpanel) proves that salience has a very strong relationship with Volume Share.

If a brand comes easily to mind for consumers at the point of purchase, more people will choose to buy it. Given its importance, and its potential to move rapidly, salience should be a key measure for brands to monitor continuously.
Have a distinctive assets can be helpful for a brand to drive salience. McDonald’s is a highly salient brand around the world. In this example, neuroscience techniques were used to uncover which key brand assets trigger important brand associations in consumers’ minds. It showed that McDonald’s is helped by having several strong assets that can be used across different platforms. The Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald, and the brand’s carton of fries are all strongly and intuitively associated with McDonald’s.

#3 Identify what drives sales now and into the future
Brands that increase their salience are more likely to grow, but brands that are also meaningfully different are more likely to grow share faster.


The importance of this combination of being salient, meaningful and different underpins all our thinking about brands, and helps lead to clear, focused recommendations on how and where to invest in the brand. However, changes in measures like difference and meaningful tend to happen slowly, so these do not need to be monitored continuously in the same way as salience; instead they should form the underpinning of any deeper dive strategic work.
#4 Be seen to be meaningfully different to drive profits
Brands which are meaningfully different can also command price premiums, resulting in higher profits.

By integrating attitudinal survey data with actual behavioural purchasing, it was possible to demonstrate how much more a brand that is perceived to be different – like Purina One in New Zealand – can command in terms of price relative to its competition.

Connecting brand equity with real purchase behaviour helps marketers to create both strategies and brand plans that deliver maximum ROI from brand and trade marketing. Identifying the tangible financial benefits of actions that can be taken both in building equity and in activating at point of purchase help drive growth.
For the Pantene brand, research identified that increasing Pantene’s association with making people feel ‘confident about themselves’ would deliver growth of 1% market share, worth $4.7m. It also identified that if Pantene could improve its assortment in key retailers by using larger pack sizes to target large families, this would prevent an estimated $5.4m worth of share diverting to other brands due to pack size availability. In total, it identified share gains worth $10.2m.

#5 Know where and how to invest
At times, research recommendations may challenge brand orthodoxy and push marketers to write their own rules.

A recent statistical analysis of a leading snack brand showed the importance of celebrity endorsement. It uncovered that consumption could be increased by boosting use of the celebrity to target children with a taste message, while other channels could be used to reassure moms about the nutritional value of the brand.
The client launched a new campaign accordingly which focused on a particular sports celebrity and included a supporting scientific claim for moms. This resulted in a 19% increase in market share worth $12.8m.

In an age of 24/7 access to data, marketers should focus on fast access to the metrics that matter and understand that not all measures need to be measured all the time. Focus on a smaller number of metrics from consumer surveys and supplement them with digital signals generated from social conversations and search patterns to get the fast feedback needed to grow brands in this fast moving world.
Kantar Millward Brown is going to hold a webinar on November 21 to learn how to put these five principles into practice. Please register here to reserve your place.
About Kantar MillwardBrown
Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP’s Kantar group, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Learn more at www.millwardbrown.com.