3.3 The message
Getting heard over the noise in the world of communications is a key challenge in the communication industry. Creative advertising and communication agencies specialise in developing messages that the target audience can hear (receive), in other words, messages that cut through the noise. The message(s) a company sends to its customers is critically important to the success of a business. In retailing, communication messages help to position the retailer as a ‘brand’ in the minds of customers and highlight the difference between products and brands and the significance of branding in retailing. Now we are interested in how companies create brand messages, which ultimately define what a company stands for and how it is positioned in the minds of its customers.
Transcript: Building a brand
DR FIONA ELLIS-CHADWICK: How do retailers go about developing brands?
ADAM DEVEY SMITH: There’s a number of ways, firstly if a retailers well known in the market, are they establishing a new brand with their brand endorsing it, so typically the hierarchy of branding, monolithic, endorsed and branded. So if you have an existing company and you want to have a new collection, fine you can endorse it with your own, immediately you have like a sister relation, where someone says “well I know you, if this is owned by you this brand” there’s a natural halo effect. Sometimes that isn’t the case, sometimes a client says “I want to invent something completely new” and the key is understanding what the personality traits of a, of that brand is. The biggest question that we ask the team here, when they say “well I’m creating this new brand” we go “what is a brand then, what actually are you talking about when you say a brand” and we, we always respond, “a brand is just a promise” so when someone says “seize a product” or goes into an environment or gets introduced to a new service, the brand name that’s attached to that, is just a promise of quality or performance, that’s all it is, and it can be executed in any different myriad of ways.
GILES ENGLISH: Myself and my brother started Bremont about 8 years ago, and it came from basically a love of watches, and my father was a big watch collector and also background in aviation, hence aviation watches. So it was a, as young kids we grew up with aviation, flying planes, with my father and workshops. He was an obsessive creator of things and restoring old clocks and then we took this sort of passion, a step further and after my father died, he was in a plane crash with my brother, we thought sod it, let’s go and do it and we sent up Bremont and took about 5 years before we sold our first watch, just creating our collection through a little workshop in Switzerland and it’s been an exciting time since we did launch.
ADRIAN MARONNEAU: Well we are very lucky that Selfridges is an extremely successful environment to work in, and the ____ which we’re sitting in at the moment which was created in 2011 is pretty much seen as one of the biggest retail spaces for watches in Europe, so a lot of the brands are obviously very keen to be in there because it gives them great visibility. On top of that obviously it’s a very exciting environment you know we’ve got to think that 20 million people walk through the store on a yearly basis. So what you’ve got to have is a very varied offer, literally you know sometimes London is a bit of a window to the world, so your customer is actually worldwide. You know, although Selfridges is a quite essentially a British department store and you’ve got to cater for this, you know the Chinese customers are very important nowadays as well, and you’ve got to be ready for them just like you’ve got to be ready for middle eastern customers, for European customers coming to visit as well. So sometimes brands will approach us wanting to be launching to Selfridges, sometimes we’re approaching brands. It really much you know, depends on the level of recognisation that the brand has got worldwide you know, the interest for us is to create the best offer there is and we really pride our self in saying that you know, come to Selfridges, everything is there, and the best is on display. You know, it’s always, any sort of stock offer that you will have, it’s always a moving beast you know, what you’ve got now which is perfect, in six months time might not be, so we try to actually change the brand mix, pretty much every six months. It’s very important to keep it fresh for customers because we’ve got a lot of them coming back and we need to make sure that they see things different every time they come back and visit us.
ADAM DEVEY SMITH: We always have a statement that’s says, comedians don’t introduce them self and say “hi I’m a comedian” they tell a joke, and by telling a joke, you go ah you’re a comedian. And that’s the key with brand personality. One is understand exactly what your personality is, and the second thing which is as important, is understanding how you communicate that brand personality. So there’s two things, there’s a brand image and brand essence. The second thing is brand communication. We’ve developed a thing called brand mapping and brand mapping is a way of not getting lost, that’s why we call it brand mapping. And what we do is we take all of the personality traits we’ve developed, which are kind of a spoken language, and we develop words, and then we attribute, images, colour, music, sound, behaviour, the way people say hello, or is it hi, or is it how you doing, and all of those things are clues into what is put is, is what this brand personality is about. So that’s what you do first, create this brand map.
LISA BLACKLER: I think it’s very important to have a strong brand, I can’t think of very many market places that aren’t already crowded in one way or another, there’s nothing new under the sun. So brand is how consumers decide what they are going to buy. It’s absolutely vital for small businesses to have a marketing plan, if you don’t know who your target market is, if you don’t understand what you’re brand is about, what you’ll find is that you’re like an explorer without a compass, you’ll get where you’re going eventually but you’ll waste a lot of time and effort going in the wrong direction some of the time, but the key, I believe, fundamentally to marketing is saying the right thing to the right person and if you can get those messages right, if you can understand what it is that is going to switch those customers on to what you’re offering then you’re a long way ahead of a lot of other people. Targeting comes in by understanding that you are very unlikely to be able to sell to everybody and to appeal to everybody, but if you select one group and people and tailor you’re offering around what they, what they warm to, then you’ve got a better chance of selling to that group of people than you have to try to sell to everybody. It’s like selecting which part of the ocean you’re going to fish in, you haven’t got a big enough net to fish the whole of the pacific ocean, but if you choose one small part of it, you’ve got a chance of feeding you’re family.
TANIQUA BENNETT: What I studied was about brands, brand positioning, understanding how they should relate to their consumers and launching new brands as well. A lot of that study took place with big companies like Alberto Culver, Procter and Gamble. So all of the heavy weights in the industry so I think that, even though it wasn’t actually business, it was definitely about getting a cosmetic brand or skin care brand and positioning it correctly in the relevant markets. The launch of the brands wasn’t really, we didn’t really go out and say okay let’s sit down and consult other people about how we can launch the brand, it was really an opportunity that came up to reposition the brand so that it can get into the multiple market retailers, so we just took it, approached it internally, this is what we needed to do, did a lot of brainstorming, repositioned, did the planning for the repositioning of the brand and then presented it to store groups.
ADAM DEVEY SMITH: First thing is who you’re talking to and it can be, oh anything from how do you communicate on the mobile phone to, do you do press launch through media on TV, do you do it through the local paper, a lot of it is budget driven, so are you going to test launch this initially in a kind of small way, so you may try a new, new collection just by rebranding, so maybe a new identity but not a new design of product, you just try to refresh the collection. You might do a dummy store, if you do a dummy store you wouldn’t do a national campaign obviously because it’s in one shop but you may do a local campaign just to drive some interest to see what happens and test some feedback. If you’re not doing that and you’re going for the full thing which has its own risk but sometimes even if you’re gonna go for it. You’d look across media when you get a media planner my advice would always be get an advertising agency because their better than media planning, retail, branding, design, it’s a different thing. As soon as you move into “well I’m going to go into above the line communication” then get an advertising agency in and the way we manage it with them, the way we help them articulate that is we go through a process and it’s called 1000 promises, you start with someone that says “what are you about” and someone says “okay I understand that” that is your brand promise. You give me your value, I’m, I dunno, healthy. One brand promise is every time you come into my shop, all this food that I’m going to sell you will be really healthy and will be really good for you, okay, the gesture is, everyone in the company, in every department needs to do something that helps deliver that brand value.
From this film, you should have developed an understanding of the relationship between the brand and the message and how marketing communications are used to communicate the message to specific target audiences.