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Pushing consistency

REPETITION, consistency, credibility and clear messages are the key to good brand promotion.

However, to successfully promote its brand a company must know how it wants to be perceived.

Before starting its promotion the company needs to find out how its customers perceive its brand. With that information it can then set about deciding what messages are needed to move customers’ perceptions to where it wants them.

After the brand promotion has begun – usually after about six months – the company needs to again study its customers to find out how successful the promotion has been.

Marketing Centre managing director Michael Smith said a brand was how a company was recognised and regarded in the market.

“To be recognised you need to be familiar. But how you’re regarded is something different altogether,” he said.

“The brand forms in the minds of consumers. If you’re not good at promoting the brand you’ll be hiding your light under a bushel. One of the keys to brand promotion is repetition.

“With repetition the brand develops substance. However, you can dam-age the brand by promoting things you can’t deliver. The message has to be credible and perceived to be credible.

“With Marlows, people refused to believe its claim that it could offer car services at a lower price than K-Mart. We got around that credibility issue by using John Worsfold as a spokesman. He’s now become part of the brand.”

MJB&B chairman Craig Billings said his firm was given the job of boosting the Retravision name in WA.

However, Retravision was a troubled brand because it was not consistently man-aged across Australia and New Zealand. Different messages were being used to promote it in different States.

Mr Billings said the company wanted to try and attract the youth market.

“Our research showed that Retravision stores were perceived as being small corner stores being run by an older Aussie bloke who had a wife and two kids and usually drove a Holden car. This wasn’t the perception we wanted people to have,” he said.

“We didn’t have a relationship with the emerging market so we needed to promote the benefits Retravision could offer.

“Because each Retravision store was owner-operated they could offer better service.

“They could also be competitive on price and offer advice because the store owners invariably became experts on what they were selling.”

A profile of the message Retravision wanted to communicate started to emerge and eventually the “We’ve got it” campaign was created and launched in 2000.

The ‘pop group’ style of promotion was used because it was a way to connect with the ‘Video Hits’ generation.

“When we conducted research five months on from the launch we found we’d introduced ourselves to the younger market. Demand and sales for mini hi-fi systems had increased. People were even buying computers – something Retravision was not really known for,” Mr Billings said.

The firm has sold the advertising campaign to the New South Wales advertising agency handling the Retravision account.

303 Advertising managing director Jim Davies said brand promotion revolved around indicating where management wanted the company to go.

“All external promotions are about where the company has come from and where it is going to,” he said.

“At the end of the day it usually translates into simple terms, but the company has to understand those terms.

“For example it would be wrong for HBF to go into running negative advertising, because it goes against its caring nature.

“Brand promotion is either about consolidating perceptions of the brand or trying to change those perceptions. Usually the company is trying to change something in its brand’s persona.”



p Next week: Promoting the brand internally.

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