Added Value Edits: Gamechangers for Growth

18 Jun 2015|jhall

Even in times of market flux, the search for growth is a commercial constant: which is why one of Added Value’s core consulting offers is GrowthFinder, a segmentation-based approach to driving portfolio, targeting and innovation strategy. In this month’s edition of Edits, we explore some of the strategies, trends and consumer shifts that are affecting today’s – and tomorrow’s – search for growth. And we introduce Growth Garage, an intense, data-fuelled strategy event designed to galvanise your organisation around execution-ready growth platforms in just 4 days.

New Era Challenges to Growth
Challenges to growth are nothing new. But these challenges are now changing with shifts in culture. We have now entered a “post-ownership age”, with rapidly changing consumer behaviours and attitudes. Consumers’ perceptions of needs have transformed as the burden of ownership has developed in response to the recession. People see ownership as adding layers of responsibility and worry to their already busy lives. Click here to read more…

Top 5 Brands Growing Beyond Product to Experience
In a post-materialistic era, consumers are seeking authentic and exciting experiences. We’ve identified the top 5 brands that have been harnessing the increasing demand for experiences and reaching far beyond the product or service. Click here to read more…

1. Makers are for real: Etsy has 40 million members
Founded in 2005 as a place where makers could sell their wares, Etsy has since become one of the most culturally vibrant brands in the US, landing the #7 spot on our Cultural Traction list. Etsy has created a new business ecosystem, where makers, sellers and buyers are linked in a virtuous circle of collective empowerment. In contrast, eBay’s Cultural Traction slipped by 10%, and is seen as less Visionary than Etsy (97 vs 115). Etsy spotted the Maker trend early on and is now intrinsically linked to the movement.

2. Purpose is no longer fluffy
We’ve reached a point in time when consumers expect brands to stand behind more than the products and services they sell. In 2014, CEO Elon Musk announced that he would divulge the company’s secret, patented information about batteries and charging stations, even collaborating with competitors to turbocharge the rollout of electric vehicles. This open source approach, both daring and transparent, has captured the imagination and respect of the public, pushing Tesla to the top of our Cultural Traction list and reaffirms the importance of acting on your brand purpose. And now, we have Tesla Energy…

3. Purpose is for men, too
In the USA, we have seen substantial movement among men in their perception of Dove as both “Inspiring” and “Visionary” in our Cultural Traction study. Dove has made a huge investment in the Dove Men + Care line, and is wisely leveraging the changing role of men in society in its marketing activities. The line also promotes the idea of being “comfortable in your own skin,” a corollary to the women’s campaign, supporting the perception that Dove continues to lead the way.

4. Cohort growth: Millennials vs. Gen Z
According to a recent Nielsen survey, Millennials aged 25-29 were more eager to spend in Q1 2015 and exceeded global averages for discretionary spending activities by as much as 10%. This highlights a generational split within the Millennial cohort that marketers often ignore – the spending was attributed to 25-29 year olds not having a family to support, not 35 year-old Millennials with children. The differences polarize further when we look at Gen Z versus Millennials. The key divide here is that Gen Z’s are deemed to be more independent and prefer in-person interaction to online, despite their tech proficiency.

5. Big Data: where to spot growth
Big Data isn’t just about accumulating huge amounts of data and acting on real-time insights. It’s about identifying meaningful patterns in the data and being predictive. The best brands anticipate change and deliver what people want before they even know about it themselves. Our Cultural Insight team predicts that 2015 will be the “year of enrichment” and identified a series of cultural themes that aim to help brands navigate the sea of data around us to stay ahead of trends.

6. Reinventing brand experience
Active, purpose-driven brands place as much emphasis on brand behaviours as on communications. They recognize that when a consumer buys their product, it’s not the end of the relationship – it’s just the beginning. Red Bull is the leader in creating memorable brand experiences and has established its own media empire focused on delivering high-octane sports content to consumers. Lego is another brand that leverages its purpose to drive customer interaction and engagement – the Lego Movie successfully highlighted that it is a toy to inspire creativity and connect generations.

7. Fueling growth through brand extension
We have witnessed a recent uptick in brands growing their business by extending into an adjacent category. Colgate long succeeded in extending its portfolio from toothpaste to also include toothbrushes. This is now being taken further as brands are driving innovation in completely new markets due to pressures from stagnating markets and changes in consumer behaviour. The Weather Company has moved beyond its Weather Channel TV business to also supply weather data to businesses whose sales are driven by meteorological factors such as insect repellant suppliers.

8. Chanel: a lesson in Exclusivity
Chanel and Louis Vuitton have been eyeing the potentially huge, fast-growing and newly consumerist market of China for a long time. But Chanel registers a higher VIBE score there than Louis Vuitton, despite the fact that the latter fashion house has been established there for longer. Chanel is a brand that remains true to its history and DNA, maintaining an air of exclusivity in the market with 12 stores compared to Louis Vuitton’s 43. Globally, Chanel favours intimacy and direct consumer interactions and refuses to be distributed online.

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
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @HallCJonathan

Image source: Thinkstock

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