Why it's important your brand is meaningful to your customers

We take a look at why a meaningful brand is more important to customers more than ever before

The interconnected digital world has fundamentally shifted how people choose, share and value brand messaging and raised the importance of being ‘meaningful’ in order to stand out from the crowd.

According to a new report from Havas Media Group, Meaningful Brands, customers value brands that go beyond just product. In fact, 75 per cent of global consumers expected brands to tangibly improve their lives and the role they play in society.

Businesses perceived as 'meaningful' by consumers outperform the stock market by as much as 206 per cent, Havas’ report found. A brand perceived to have meaning can also generate significant KPI increases of as much as 137 per cent, with 'meaningful brands' more likely to see stronger purchase intent, familiarity and advocacy rates among consumers.

But the report revealed brands are currently not meeting customer expectations in being truly meaningful. In fact, people would not care if a whopping 74 per cent of brands simply disappeared, and less than 27 per cent of brands were perceived as notable improving people’s quality of life.

Meanwhile, only 57 per cent of brands are trusted globally and only 40 per cent are actually working towards becoming ‘meaningful’ to customers.

“It’s just amazing how many brands could disappear and people just wouldn't care,” Havas Media’s global head of data and consumer insights, Maria Garrido told CMO. “And it's worse in countries like Australia, where people tend to be more brand agnostic.”

What customers value as meaningful

According to Garrido, the report defined and analysed ‘meaningful’ via 52 different attributes for each brand and category. These included rational things like functional benefits, whether it was doing something for the consumer to make them happier or help them, and collective benefits, like the greater good that the brand is doing for society.

“For millennials it, was about ‘does the brand help me show off’ – and this is a big one now emerging,” Garrido said. “It's really important the brand allows them to be themselves, express themselves and share their stories and experience better on social media. They also have higher expectations of brands other than other target groups - they’re very demanding.”

Topping this year’s list of meaningful brands was tech-enabled brands Google, PayPal, WhatsApp, YouTube and Samsung respectively. Retail brands Nivea, Ikea and Lego made the top ten.

The report revealed customers also expect brands to either inspire, like Lego’s inspirational apps; educate, like Nestle’s nutrition advice; help, like Paypal’s digital tool; entertain, like Marriot’s short movies; inform, like Samsung’s device information; and reward, like Delta’s holiday discounts.

But Garrido warned brands not to get too caught up in the new ‘political messaging' trend, as unless it is done correctly and with an authentic vision, like Airbnb’s marriage equality campaign, it simply looks like ‘hijacking a cause’.

“There are a lot of brands that for lack of a better word hijacking a social cause simply to draw attention to their brand,” she said. “But if it doesn't fit the purpose and mission of the brand it has very little impact on their overall position in the long term. And that's across all generations of consumers.”

The holy grail of earned media

The Havas study also looked at a customer’s decision journey and how people become aware of a brand all the way through to how they purchase and experience that brand. Garrido said that with the digital revolution, what is actually influencing people along the way is less and less paid media and more earned media.

“What people say on blogs and forums and social media is having a huge impact on the way people go through that decision journey to the purchase of a product,” she said. “Moving forward, the challenge today for advertisers and marketers is to figure out how to amplify meaningful brand messaging via earned media. It is this that is driving more people to your business. I think that's the holy grail right now.”

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
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

Customer experience disruption: Healthcare faces a bitter pill

Over the past decade, disruptors such as Amazon, Apple and Australia’s Atlassian have delivered technology enhanced customer experiences, which for the most part, have improved customers’ lives and delivered unparalleled growth. Can they do the same for healthcare?

Alex Allwood

Principal, All Work Together

How can a brand remain human in a digital world?

Some commentators estimate that by 2020, 85 per cent of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video*. That’s only two years away, and pertinent for any marketer.

James Kyd

Global head of brand strategy and marketing, Xero

https://bit.ly/2qLgzmR Transform your life a proven digital blueprint

Okitoi Steven

How this banking group tackled a digital marketing transformation

Read more

Its great to hear that companies including JCDecaux, oOh!media, Omnicom and Posterscope Australia have all partnered with Seedooh inorder...

Blue Mushroom Infozone Pvt Ltd

Out of home advertising companies strive for greater metrics and transparency

Read more

Much ado about nothingAnother fluff piece around what it could possibly do rather than what it is doing

gve

How AMP is using AI to create effortless ‘experiences’

Read more

is it true that Consumer expectations are also changing as a result. If we trust someone with our data there is also an expectation that ...

Sunita Madan

Society will decide where digital marketing takes us next: Oracle

Read more

This Blog is Very interesting to read and thank you for sharing the valuable information about Machine Learning. The information you prov...

johny blaze

What machine learning has done for the Virgin Velocity program

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in