​Report shows consumers value culturally connected brands

New study from the CMO Council shows brands need more culturally relevant marketing tactics to boost customer engagement

Brand serious about connecting and engaging with customers need to offer a more culturally relevant connection with their audience, a new report claims.

The study, Building Brands That Attract and Engage Fans, released by the CMO Council in partnership with Fresh Squeezed Ideas, showed marketers must accurately situate their brands within a cultural, consumer and competitive context.

Using a brand ecology model, there are endless possibilities to create new communications, new innovation strategies and new marketing interventions by tapping into the power of a culturally informed brand strategy in a structured way, the report found.

“It’s interesting to note the successes driven by many of the brands leading in innovation and disrupting the conventional ways of doing business, thereby transcending their category and reinventing themselves in the process,” said Added Value Group CEO and head of Kantar Consulting UK, Bart Michels, as quoted in the report. “Essentially, they are using a form of cultural strategy to stand out on an emotional level.

“And we know that to sustain future growth, brands need to be seen as improving the life of the consumer in a relevant way. In an ultra-competitive landscape, they must earn every piece of equity from each moment of contact with consumers, as well as add value to the network they are a part of.”

According to the report, brands like Apple, Google, Samsung, IKEA and Microsoft appear to be getting it right. The report also looked into the likes of PepsiCo, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, to learn more about how these culturally connected brands stay valued, real and relevant with consumers.

“Around the globe, we see consumers are becoming omni-cultural, and geographical boundaries don’t necessarily divide them,” commented PepsiCo’s chief customer officer, Ram Krishnan. “They aren’t defined by where they were born or where they live. Rather, their passions unite them with like-minded people around the world.”

According to Krishnan, consumers have become very engaged, are no longer passive, and seek to have a two-way conversation with brands, even dictating what that conversation should be.

“Whether it’s on social media or within the consumer relationship, the challenge for us is to aggregate all of that customer data into one place so that we can get a better picture of what consumers expect,” he said.

For Visa, it’s about conveying a global sense of everybody coming together, senior director or loyalty, Diane Salmon, claimed.

“Because of the nature of our brand, some of the cultural icons that we've used are Olympic athletes that convey a global sense of everybody coming together and focusing on the same thing for a period of time,” she said. “People tend to feel very positively about this kind of human effort, and that is one of the reasons we value that positioning as much as we do.”

When it comes to anticipating customers’ needs, Johnson & Johnson’s head of digital analytics in Asia, Alfie Ang, said the brand is able to do some predictive marketing and create micro-moments for the brands. For example, the brand has invested in health research and included findings in its communications to ensure mums understand that sensory interaction with babies is very important.

“Touch, smell, hearing, seeing and tasting are all very important, so we translate that into our messaging for the Johnson’s Baby brand so that we remain relevant to mums and give them information that is helpful for their babies’ development,” Ang said. “Overall, we’re seeing that consumers are wanting much more personalised information, so we need to be able to balance that level of personalisation while also making sure we aren’t overloading them with content.”

Top tips to culturally connect your brand to your customer

1. Understand the cultural context: This refers to the context your end user is living in and influenced by. Culture creates social and economic value because it shapes beliefs.

2. Connect to the most pressing cultural forces: Understand consumers’ lives so it’s clear exactly the role your goods and services play in them. You would be surprised by how seemingly benign products and services actually play very critical roles in our modern lifestyles.

3. Be objective about the conventions of the category: This includes the past, present and the emerging future. It is impossible to differentiate if you don’t actually map the competitive landscape and choose a fertile place to plant your flag.

4. Be objective about what your brand brings to the table: Each brand has boundaries around what it can and cannot be stretched to.

For brands looking to assess their level of cultural connectivity, the CMO Council also released a self-assessment tool to see where the brand might lead or lag in this important strategic area of focus.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu


Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias?

The purpose of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has always been to replace the menial and repetitive tasks we do each day in every sector, so that we can concentrate on doing what we do best. Saving time and money has certainly been a decent outcome as AI infiltrates the business landscape, however, now we are starting to see problems that cause major issues in practice.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

This is so cool & Innovative . A Milestone will be created by this.

Digital Marketing Courses

AANA, IAB and MFA chiefs detail first cross-industry digital advertising practices

Read more

“2019 will be the year brands leverage their social capital with consumers to help drive sales, answer questions, and act on the brand’s ...

Engenius

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

At the deeper levels of artificial intelligence, computing machines make all kinds of correlations among whatever data is available to th...

Fraction Tech

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias? - Customer Design - CMO Australia

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - find your ip address and location information in our main page. Also there are many ip tools you can use : IP L...

savefrom

iSelect outlines new approach to arrest ineffective marketing as its reports full-year results

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - this website will allow you to View Alexa Ranking and graph Check http headers of a website, tool to compare te...

savefrom

The Star's first CMO creates all-new marketing team

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in