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Brands urged to embrace the ‘purple pound’

Businesses are being encouraged to register for Purple Tuesday to learn more about the purple pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families.

Over 13 million people in the UK, one fifth of the population, live with a disability and households with a disabled person spend a combined £249 billion a year.

But many businesses could do more to provide for disabled customers, according to the organisers of Purple Tuesday.

Purple Tuesday is an international call to action which will take which place on 12th November 2019. Created and coordinated by disability organisation Purple, it celebrates the power of the purple pound and asks businesses to make a commitment to improve their offer to disabled people. Businesses that register for Purple Tuesday will benefit from free resources from Purple on topics such as website accessibility and customer service training.

Last year over 750 organisations participated, including retail giants Asda, M&S and Sainsbury’s. This year, Purple Tuesday will engage with organisations across multiple sectors on an international level.

Geraldine El Masrour, Centre Manager of Motherwell Shopping Centre, worked with Purple to prepare the centre for Purple Tuesday and saw first-hand the impact of the day on her staff and customers: “Following Purple Tuesday, one of our Security Officers put his dementia training into action to support a shopper, who had previously been seen as disruptive, to make a purchase. The customer was so happy he cried.” Geraldine has since been nominated as Centre Manager of the Year for the SCEPTRE Awards, she says: “I’m sure that working with Purple and taking part in Purple Tuesday has helped me to be shortlisted and I’m looking forward to making continued improvements to our services for disabled people as we build up to Purple Tuesday 2019.”

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple Tuesday said: “Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for businesses of all sizes, from all sectors.

“Purple Tuesday is a milestone moment, but the issue is relevant 365 days a year. From retail to restaurants, tourism to insurance, we’re calling on businesses across all sectors to back Purple Tuesday and commit to changing the customer experience for disabled people for good.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “A day out for disabled customers should be an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends, but for so many it can be such a hassle that they end up staying at home instead.

“That is a terrible shame, not only for the UK’s 13 million disabled people but for Britain’s businesses who are missing out on the huge spending power of these valuable customers. It’s also not acceptable in this day and age.

“I want businesses across the country to get involved with this year’s Purple Tuesday and open their doors to disabled customers – not just on this day but all year round.”

Disabled people tend to be more brand loyal than the average consumer, yet less than 10 per cent of businesses worldwide currently include disabled customers in their marketing plans. By failing to meet the needs of disabled people, businesses could be missing out on a share of £2 billion a month.

As well as providing free resources for Purple Tuesday participants, Purple provides tailored accessibility consulting and support to businesses through paid Purple Memberships and Partnerships.

Purple Members receive benefits including website accessibility diagnosis with recommendations which are free of low cost to implement, as well as consultancy with Purple and support through the Government accredited Disability Confident programme.

A Purple Partnership is designed for organisations with experience of disability issues who want to benefit from longer-term consultancy to address employee, consumer and supply chain related issues. Both Members and Partners receive discounts on Purple’s additional training and auditing services.

To register for Purple Tuesday and join organisations across the globe in changing the customer experience for disabled people, visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/.

GUEST BLOG: Why high-end brands need digital

If you’re a luxury brand, it’s important to know that 80% of your sales are influenced by online activity. This figure shouldn’t come as a surprise in 2019, as this is the year where many businesses across industries have implemented a digital marketing strategy that ensures conversions.

Marketers of luxury brands have notably changed their ways. At one time, such companies would capitalise on exclusivity, mystery and the curiosity of the consumer. While this may still be true for some high-end names, understanding that your customers of tomorrow are hungry for digital is crucial in your next steps to future-proofing your business.

Mediaworks takes a look at the key areas that your brand should be focusing on this year…

Making your brand engaging through visual content

You need to ask yourself what makes your brand engaging online. If you don’t have a solid answer, that becomes a huge problem. Whether it’s through search or social media, your brand has the ability to reach customers more frequently. This means you must understand the user journey and intentions from their initial interaction.

Once you have identified customer touchpoints, you’ll be able to tailor visual content that they want to see from your company. This should range from strategic content marketing campaigns that drive your brand message while ensuring the promotion of specific product or services, to assets that can be produced with a quick turnaround and pushed out publicly to capitalise on emerging trends.

Using your insights to drive ideas

Taking advantage of the digital landscape allows luxury brands to gain a better idea of who their customers are. Using analytical tools, you can build an effective data strategy that will allow you to create a detailed picture of your customers’ personas — using their online behaviour, for example — which can feed into your business strategy.

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight. The output of this data can be used to create a trend analysis, which can then determine your marketing strategy and how you can tailor specific content and products to them.

Having sales or survey data can be a great way of creating an angle for a content piece, to be pushed out to local/national media outlets. Analysing the data into a news hook can be a effective way of gaining online exposure for your brand, especially if the news hook/article is tailed to a specific publication where your target market are hanging out and interacting with.

Influencer marketing

If you’re a luxury fashion brand, consider reaching out to influencers in your space to see if they’d be willing to work with you on on-going campaigns. The best thing about influencer marketing is that the audience is already there, all you need to do is build a strong relationship where both parties are getting something out of it, whether it be a product or coverage. In fact, influencer marketing should be an active tactic in your social media marketing to increase brand awareness, get your content in front of fresh eyeballs, and generate new leads for your sales funnel.

Vodafone, HSBC and Shell top UK valuable brand rankings

Consumers place more value on innovation as food and drink is named the most innovative sector in the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands ranking.

The rankings, compiled by  WPP and Kantar Millward Brown show newer brands Just Eat, Innocent, Deliveroo and Brewdog entering 2018 UK list, which has been extended to include 75 brands.

Vodafone remains at no.1 with an increase in value of 6% to reach $28.9 billion, followed by HSBC (+7%, $23.6 billion) and Shell (+10%, $20.3 billion).

The BrandZ UK Top 75 is worth $271 billion (around £205 billion) – equivalent to just over 10% of the UK’s GDP. The 50 most valuable brands on the list have gained 5% in total value in the last year, compared with the 2017 BrandZ UK Top 50. The top innovators increased brand value by 25% more than their rivals.

This growth has been driven by the Top 10 risers, which have grown at nearly four times the rate of the rest of the brands. The fastest riser is Prudential, which increased its brand value 40% in the last year, followed by Dyson (31%), Asos (31%), and Dulux (18%). The BrandZ research shows that consumers perceive these fast-rising brands as particularly innovative and good at communicating, and they also have much stronger brand equity than the average across the ranking.

The brands that have entered the UK ranking for the first time, which are worth on average $1.1 billion, include Just Eat (no.30), bet365 (no.44), Compare the Market (no.46) and Ocado (no.49). Consumers view them as highly differentiated, recognising them for ‘shaking things up’ and providing a great experience.

However, the older established names that remain at the top, such as Dove (no.10) and Shell (no.3), are worth $4.9 billion on average. These brands are considered less different, but more meaningful and top of mind.

Higher perceptions of innovation are proven to stimulate value growth: the brands in the BrandZ UK ranking that consumers perceive as the most innovative rose +18% in value in the last year, while the least innovative declined -7%.

David Roth, at WPP, said: “The nation’s most valuable 75 brands have all risen to the top in a highly competitive, crowded and uncertain environment. Consumers value innovation, and it is key to helping UK companies’ future-proof their brands, deliver sustainable growth and increase in value; ever more vital in a post-Brexit world.”

The 2018 BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable UK Brands

2018 Rank Brand Category Brand Value (US$bn) Percentage BV Change 2017 Rank
1 Vodafone Telecom providers $28.9 +6% 1
2 HSBC Banks $23.6 +7% 2
3 Shell Oil & gas $20.3 +10% 3
4 BT Telecom providers $13.6 -4% 4
5 Sky Telecom providers $12.0 +11% 6
6 BP Oil & gas $11.8 +4% 5
7 Tesco Retail $9.1 +2% 7
8 Lipton Soft drinks $8.7 +6% 8
9 Barclays Banks $6.3 -7% 9
10 Dove Personal care $6.0 +1% 11

The BrandZ research indicates that the UK is still catching up when it comes to innovation. In 2017, consumers perceived the UK’s most valuable brands as only slightly more innovative than the average brand, putting them at risk from global competitors and new disruptors.

The innovation score across the 50 most valuable brands in the UK was 102; in 2018 this has risen to 105 (the average brand is 100). This is lower than the 50 most valuable brands in the Global Top 100 (113), the US (111), Indonesia and China (both 108), Germany (107) and India (106).

Jane Bloomfield, Head of Business Development at Kantar UK, said: “Established and new brands can learn a lot from each other. Those older brands that form the bedrock of the UK economy have great staying power, having built salience and meaning. To grow, they need to work on increasing consumer perceptions that they are different, innovative and relevant.  The disruptors entering the ranking, meanwhile, need to make their difference meaningful and salient to consumers – if they fail to do so they could have a short lifespan.”

These are Britain’s favourite brand logos

Britain’s favourite logo is Coca-Cola, with McDonald’s in second place and Disney’s Mickey mouse silhouette ranked third.

Coke’s iconic red and white symbol was first revealed in the late 1800s and has remained largely unchanged ever since.

It’s so popular the logo can commonly found on fashionable clothing items, homeware and other desirables – while vintage items featuring the logo can sell for thousands.

Commissioned by label makers Avery, the research of 2,000 UK adults found 62 per cent consider logos such as those belonging to Hard Rock Café and Ferrari to be ‘works of art’.

Fiona Mills, marketing director for Avery UK, said: “Last year we conducted research which highlighted the impact design and branding can have in terms of persuasiveness, consumer trust and consumer perception.

“The findings showed the results can be extremely powerful if you get the ingredients of label design spot on.

“These ingredients can include handwritten fonts, bold colours and shapes, emotion and use of heuristics – the brain’s mental decision-making shortcuts.”

Other logos in the top 10 include the emblems for Nike, Guinness and LEGO – along with those for Michelin and PG Tips.

Nostalgia appears to play a part with long established logos such as Fisher-Price, Oxo, Wall’s and Colman’s all featuring.

However relative newcomers such as Amazon, Google, Virgin and Starbucks made the top 40 too.

The research also found a product’s logo is so important it’s the first thing we notice about a product – ahead of the product’s name and even its colour.

Logos are also a key part of what makes a brand memorable – 46 per cent said they are the most enduring aspect of a brand.

A fifth are so loyal to particular brands they will specifically purchase branded products over non-branded counterparts – despite them often costing more.

But 33 per cent will only buy from brands they are familiar with – and for 53 per cent, familiarity makes them trust a brand more.

The poll also looked at the logos and brands we find most memorable from different decades – from the sixties through to the noughties.

And it emerged the eighties is the most popular era when it comes to logos, packaging and branding.

However 47 per cent think products and their packaging look better now than they ever have done before.

Branding belonging to Maxwell House, Nestle Milkybar and Kodak were found to be the most enduring of those from the sixties.

Old Spice, Fairy washing-up liquid and Wimpy were identified as the most recognisable from the seventies.

The most memorable ones from the eighties are Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nesquik according to those polled.

And similarly the most unforgettable logos from the nineties belong to Adidas, Lynx and The Body Shop.

While Costa Coffee, Dove and Red Bull’s are the ones most associated with the noughties.

TOP 40 – MOST POPULAR LOGOS

1. Coca-Cola
2. McDonald’s
3. Mickey Mouse (Disney)
4. Cadbury
5. Apple
6. Nike
7. Guinness
8. LEGO
9. Michelin
10. PG Tips
11. Oxo
12. Mercedes-Benz
13. Google
14. Levi’s
15. Adidas
16. Pepsi
17. British Airways
18. Volkswagen
19. Shell
20. Amazon
21. Wall’s
22. Goodyear
23. Toblerone
24. Colman’s
25. Virgin
26. AA
27. BMW
28. Pringles
29. Walkers Crisps
30. Fisher-Price
31. Kodak
32. Land Rover
33. M&S
34. Ford
35. Starbucks
36. Burger King
37. Tesco
38. Hoover
39. IKEA
40. Argos

Google top again in YouGov’s global brand health rankings

Google tops YouGov BrandIndex’s annual global brand health rankings. In a list dominated by digital brands, the search giant stays ahead of sister company YouTube.

The ranking is based on over six million interviews over the 12 months to the end of June. It shows Samsung jumps one place from last year, climbing to third position as does messenger service WhatsApp, which rises to fourth. WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, falls two places to fifth.

There are three new entries in the top ten. While Amazon remains sixth on the list, IKEA enters the rankings at number seven. Colgate falls one position to eighth, while clothes brand Uniqlo makes the top ten for the first time in ninth place, while toy manufacturer Lego is another new entry at ten.

The rankings are based on YouGov BrandIndex data from across the world. BrandIndex operates in 37 countries across the globe, covering markets in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

For the list YouGov used data from 26 countries – data from markets that cover three sectors or fewer were not counted in the global top ten. The rankings use the Index score which assesses overall brand health. It takes into account perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others.

Digital brands dominate this global ranking and with good reason. By their very nature the likes of Google, YouTube and WhatsApp are available in most places on earth to anyone with internet access. However, while many of the top five have only been around for the last decade or two, classic brands that have been around a good while longer also make the list. IKEA, Colgate, Uniqlo, and Lego, all still connect with the public and as a result have very positive brand health.

UK brand health rankings

YouGov has also released its UK brand health rankings. The list is characterised by the presence of brands that have been in the public consciousness for a long time. Traditional high-street favourites John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are first and third respectively while BBC-related brands – iPlayer and BBC One – are in second and ninth positions. Meanwhile Heinz makes an appearance in fourth place.

The rankings are drawn from over 1.46 million interviews in Britain conducted between July 2017 and June 2018. Each day consumers are asked their view on 1,384 brands in the UK, which allows YouGov to build a picture of how different brands are perceived by the general public, their own consumers, people considering using them, and their competitors’ customers.

YouGov’s analysis shows there are two new entrants in this year’s top ten – IKEA in fifth and Cathedral City in eighth. Ikea had a particular strong campaign in 2017, which featured its ‘Lion Man’ character. Sony is the most notable absentee from the rankings, having been in third place this time last year

Two brands from the global rankings are also in the UK list, with Samsung in sixth and Amazon in seventh. Pharmacy chain Boots rounds off the top ten.

Over the past year the retail sector has struggled to combat problems arising from ferocious online competition and increased business costs. However, in the face of this, the public clearly retains an affection for traditional high street brands with long and rich histories, such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer. Similarly, while the BBC has faced challenging headlines over the past 12 month. But the public clearly still rates what the corporation offers and iPlayer and BBC One continue to be in strong brand health.

Most improved brand health

YouGov’s annual analysis also where the biggest increases in brand health have come in the past year. For several brands, escaping negative press coverage has seen an improvement in their scores, although many of them still remain in negative territory.

For example, Sports Direct, the most improved brand this year, has seen its score improve by +6.2 points, moving from -12.4 to -6.2. While in past years it has often garnered negative press, it has enjoyed a period out of the headlines and its Index score has now returned to mid-2016 levels.

Similarly, Southern Trains – for a long time blighted by strikes, cancellations, and ensuing adverse media coverage – has seen its score change from -16.1 last year to -11.3 now, an improvement of +4.8 points.

Value fashion chain Primark has made a notable leap in the past year – going from having negative brand health to positive. Its Index score improved from -0.9 to +2.7 in the last 12 months, an improvement of +3.6.

Elsewhere, Netflix continues to advance, with its score improving by +5.9 points (going from 19.5 to 25.4). Tech firm WhatsApp has seen its score increase by +3.5 – up from 18.9 to 22.4.

UK consumers ‘demanding more detailed, personalised answers from brands’

Ninety-four per cent of UK consumers say personalised answers will make them more loyal – with 84% switching to competitors if responses disappoint, according to Eptica research.

Despite this, brands are failing to deliver the information that consumers need – 86% say they are unhappy with the responses they receive across every channel, while 70% complain that they get inconsistent answers between channels.

Those are the headline findings of the 2018 Eptica Knowledge Management Study, which found that consumers have rising expectations when it comes to getting information and answers from brands – and that companies are struggling to meet their needs:

  • 91% of consumers say they are annoyed when questions aren’t answered satisfactorily
  • 88% want greater transparency from brands
  • 75% say customer service agents don’t have the information needed to answer their queries
  • 65% have more complex, detailed questions compared to 5 years ago

“The power of knowledge has never been more important to brands, it is essential for deploying artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing to automate customer engagement as well as to empower agents,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder at Eptica. “As our research shows, not meeting customer expectations will directly impact your bottom line. Companies need to take a holistic approach to customer service knowledge, using AI to make their knowledge work for them, ensuring that consumers get the right answers, whether via self-service, a chatbot, or even the phone.”

With websites often the first point of call for information, consumers want to be able to find answers quickly and with minimum effort. Over nine in ten (91%) become frustrated if they cannot rapidly find an answer online. 90% want to be able to find the answer without searching through multiple locations or leaving the page they are on to find it, showing the need for effective web self-service solutions. 65% of consumers say they’ll pick up the phone if they can’t get an online answer, adding to their frustration, and also increasing costs for the brand.

A full report, including the study results, graphics and best practice recommendations for brands to transform how they use knowledge within customer experience is available at https://www.eptica.com/kmbl.

500 European C-suites reveal their thoughts on branded content

500 European c-suites had their say about branded content in the most extensive research study of its kind released in 2017, revealing an unexpected set of results.

Content marketing specialist Raconteur undertook a recent survey of over 500 European c-suites, with the results as follows:

  • It’s boring, repetitive and predictable! (71%)
  • It’s often too sales-driven and not credible (51%)
  • Bad design (UX and look & feel) kills engagement (57%)
  • Brands are missing a trick by shying away from long-form (65%)

This might sound like bad news for brands, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The report reveals that c-suites are in fact hungry for content – and many will actively research new sources themselves in the quest for the right kind. If brands manage to make a good impression, they will have won a valuable and trusted relationship.

The report provides a more in-depth picture than similar research in the same area. It corroborates many of the results from smaller studies by Forbes/ Deloitte, Grist and EUI when it comes to the appetite for thought leadership. However, the report also nuances and builds on the factors that produce successful content, especially in the area of design, which is the number one factor for engagement, according to Raconteur’s survey.

The findings are reinforced with commentary from leading industry experts and brands, such as Jason Miller, Global content marketing leader at LinkedIn, Jeremy Waite, Evangelist at IBM, Tom Goodwin, Head of Innovation at Zenith and Mark Schaefer, Adjunct Marketing Professor at Rutgers University.

In an age where there is over 211 million pieces of content produced every minute and ad-blocker use is rocketing, the report highlights the importance of investing in understanding your audience in order to cut through the noise. Brands who pick up this research are already closer to producing more meaningful and impactful content.

QR codes need to fit advert design and brand or risk being ignored

New research by King’s Business School has revealed that unless Quick Response (QR) codes fit ad design and brand they risk being ignored, with people unlikely to scan them.

Professor Shintaro Okazaki warns that marketers need to be aware that a complex visual design combined with a QR code that isn’t perceived to belong can be thwarting their intentions of drawing in potential consumers.

“Many firms all over the world are using QR codes, but the numbers of people actually scanning them are still quite low,” Okazaki says. “Incorporating them effectively into a campaign remains very important as it’s one of the few ways to jump from a 2D advert to the internet.”

The researchers found that people could be overwhelmed by ads that are too complex and include a code that lacks aesthetic appeal, unless they are unusually curious.

Okazaki says the key to successfully using QR codes lies in giving people a tangible incentive to scan, like coupons or competitions, and ensuring that the code fits with the branding.

“This is all in the design process. The code should be incorporated into the advert and extensive feedback should be sought, perhaps by conducting in-depth pretests. If the QR code fits harmoniously in the design, even consumers who are only slightly curious will be more likely to scan it.”

The researchers used Coca Cola advertising posters to assess how curiosity, the complexity of a visual design and the perceived fit with a brand affected consumers’ intentions to scan. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Business Research.

9% of UK marketing professionals plan to spend £100,000 on influencers

Research by UK-based digital marketing firm Takumi has found that 9% of UK marketers are expecting to spend over £100,000 on influencers during the next 12 months.

Only 4% of marketers polled said that they had no plans to spend money on influencers.

39% planned to spend up to £10,000, with 20% estimating a potential spend between £10,000 and £100,000.

“A lot of people are saying that influencer marketing is an over-hyped fad – that there’s no ROI and it’ll soon disappear. But as these results show, it’s clear influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands recognise its value and are therefore dedicating big budgets towards it,” commented Mats Stigzelius, co-founder and CEO of Takumi.

“Of the professionals we surveyed for example, 61% stated they now feel they are able to accurately measure engagement levels and return on investment, and as platforms like Instagram continue to roll out new features to signpost promoted content, that’s only going to increase.”

The figures support the belief by many marketers that working with influencers is an effective strategy to pursue, with 26% rate influencer marketing as much more effective at targeting consumers than other forms of of advertising, such as adverts on social media channels.

“The size of the accounts used in marketing campaigns is particularly interesting,”added Stigzelius.

“Many people still wrongly prefer macro influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, but the reality is that you now reach the same audience with micro influencers, while also benefitting from higher engagement.

“For example, working with a celebrity might give you one social media post. Working with micro influencers, you could generate the same reach and 100 pieces of social content with exactly the same budget. From our experience, we’re seeing more and more brands realise that celebrity isn’t everything and ditching big names in favour of micro-influencers. It’s a trend we only expect to continue.”

Chatbots and VR to take over brand interactions by 2020…

Research by Oracle suggests the relationship between customers and brands is set to undergo a “technological revolution” which will cause the number of human-to-human interactions to fall.

A total of 800 senior marketing and sales professionals across EMEA were polled for the ‘Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?’ report and found 78 per cent of brands expect to provide customer experiences through virtual reality in the next four years. Meanwhile, 80 per cent expect to serve customers through chatbots. 

Despite brands willing to embrace new technologies for the customer journey, many are struggling to make use of the valuable customer and prospect data, with 60 per cent not currently including social or CRM data in their customer analytics.

42 per cent already collect a great deal of data from multiple sources, but are unable to extract customer insights from it; and 41 per cent agree smarter analysis of customer data will have the biggest impact on the experience they deliver to their customers.

Daryn Mason, senior director, CX Applications at Oracle said: “While virtual reality may be seen as a passing craze by some, the commitment of some of the world’s biggest companies to develop VR products for consumers suggests otherwise.  Brands will always look to experiment with new technologies as they try to find ways of delivering innovative and memorable experiences for their customers.

“Brands are at a crossroads. There’s an early-mover advantage to experimenting and launching innovative services while others wait and see, but they need to walk before they can run.”

The report indicates brands are looking to implement innovative technologies that allow their customers to continue interacting with brands on their own terms. 80 per cent of brands will be using chatbots for customer interactions by 2020; 78 per cent of brands expect to be using VR for CX by the same year; and 48 per cent have implemented automation technologies in sales, marketing and customer service.

Mason adds: “The reality is that many brands are still unable to get a complete view of each individual customer so the immediate priority needs to be to organise and get value from the data they already have.  Customers will value a quick, helpful, personalised interaction regardless of how it’s delivered so there’s hope for us humans yet.”

Access the full report here

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