The Leading Edge asked Australian consumers, to identify brands they considered ‘great’, 'good', ‘not great’ and those that ‘used to be great’. By exploring the differences between these brands, the report’s findings reveal a new way to think about brand building and marketing activity.
“Our study shows that consumers not only want more from brands, but actually that they value what great brands do,” says Lee Naylor, Managing Partner at The Leading Edge. “These GREAT brands are caring, enduring, socially responsible – they are passionate in what they do and inspire us as consumers.”
To launch the report, The Leading Edge hosted a breakfast event in partnership with sister agencies Hotwire and Orchard. Lee Naylor, Managing Partner, opened the event by presenting the key findings. This was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Mylan Vu, MD at Hotwire APAC, which featured brand-side marketers Louise Cummins, Marketing and Digital Director at H&R Block, Robin Marchant, Chief Marketing Officer at MedicalDirector and John Batistich, Non Executive Director at Zip Co. They were joined by Kim Verbrugghe, Head of Strategy at Orchard and Lee Naylor.
The findings of the report reveal that brands which encompass greatness have five distinct qualities: Passionate Vision, a sense of Connected Care, encouraging Active Social Change, Celebrating its Origins and delivering Human Inspiration.
"Great brands are caring, enduring, socially responsible – they are passionate in what they do and inspire us as consumers.” Lee Naylor
Results also reveal that brands considered great have several commercial advantages:
• A higher level of customer loyalty (56% of people buy great brands for 5+ years, whereas only 28% of people will stick with a brand long-term if it is not considered great)
• 82% of great brands are seen as having forward momentum (vs. 17% of those not considered great), giving consumers a sense that they are going somewhere and they want to be along for the ride
• People prefer to engage more with brands they considered great – they talk about them more and engage with them on social media (74% of people engage with brands they consider great, vs only 28% for those they don’t)
The report also identified that becoming a great brand requires focus, discipline and bravery from marketers and requires businesses to change their mindset to a ‘constant pursuit of GREATNESS’.
To become a ‘GREAT’ brand, active social change is imperative. Says Kim Verbrugghe, Head of Strategy, Orchard: “We need to look at the regenerative path, walked by those who understand that there’s no going back. That we need to take a different approach to how we function in the world, change our behaviours and embrace a new kind of economy.
“They believe in expansive consciousness and a give and receive mindset. The regenerative path is the path for renewable energy, socially responsible companies and impact brands that want to make a positive difference to the world. They’re the businesses that thrive amongst millennials and people who buy based on their values.”
The report also highlights the huge role the public plays in dictating their expectations of brands, and something marketers need to pay particular attention to.
Mylan Vu, MD at Hotwire Australia, says: “The findings from The Leading Edge’s research highlights that public perception is everything. With people more than willing to call out a brand’s missteps on social media – think Pepsi’s failed ad campaign with Kendall Jenner - it’s more important than ever to have an authentic voice that resonates with consumers. Merely talking the talk is no longer an option. To be considered ‘GREAT’, brands need to be transparent and let their core values dictate every facet of their business.”
The report, which was also featured in B&T, gives brands a new lens to look through when evaluating what their brand strategy. The report also contains frameworks and tools that can be used, so download the report now to get started on your pursuit of GREATNESS.