20/07/2004 - 22:00

Putting a value on brand longevity

20/07/2004 - 22:00


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Putting a value on brand longevity

Some of the State's top advertising executives share their thoughts on the value of the brand.

Bowtell Clarke and Yole - Richard Clarke, director

“Brand awareness is a function of the amount of exposure that the brand has had over time and the lesson to be learnt is the longer you have a campaign the better. There are a lot of brands that have been around for a long time that do not have the high brand awareness because the message is confused or changes too often.

“Western Potatoes has had the line ‘What no potato?’ since 1988. It’s been around for 16 years but the trick is to make it relevant and address the issues. Developing an approach that has long-term potential like ‘What no potato?’ can last forever.

“What tends to happen in the development of campaigns is that people invest millions and then they get bored and change it, or they change agency and almost without exception the agency will reinvent the wheel and start from scratch.”

Marketforce - John Driscoll, group managing director

“For the brand to continue to be a success the company has to invest in its product, in its good corporate strategy, its dealings with consumers and its position in the marketplace.

“That helps underpin the brand and the brand will grow from the quality of product, like in the case of Peters and Brownes.

“It’s a tradition for them to have first-class products that are consistent in product delivery.

“For an old brand it is important to remain relevant. One of the ways Peters and Brownes have done that is through product innovation.”

Mr Driscoll said long working relationships helped build brand recognition and contributed to the longevity of brands.

“We’ve had Peters and Brownes for about 10 years, Lotterywest for 20 years, Home Building Society came as part of the Shorter Group merger three years ago, before that it was with Shorters for about 10 years. I think the agency and client relationship is very important.” 

Dick Baynham - Baynham Ross, partner

Dick Baynham said there were four elements to building a highly successful brand – define the category or niche, confirm your position in the category, understand the product lifecycle, and celebrate the point of difference.

“Every category operates on a four-stage life cycle – launch, rapid growth, plateau and decline – and each stage requires a different strategy.

“Similarly you need to be aware of where your brand is situated within its own life cycle and, in that regard there are numerous local brands that don’t appear to fully appreciate the comfort zone they are currently living in. Some of them look tired, others seem to be slowly fading away, while many more are clearly anchored in the 1980s or earlier decades. The list is long. 

“No doubt several hold on to their position by default, either via a monopoly or from a lack of any real competition, but this is a dangerous situation. There have been any number of iconic local brands like Boans, Parry’s, David Jones (the first time round) that have mumbled their way into the retirement village by believing their own publicity or failing to stay relevant to their customers. The stage is set for a great many more to join them over the next decade.”

Howard Cearns - BrainCELLS, director

“I don’t think longevity has much to do with any one aspect of the overall mix, it’s getting everything right the whole time.

“I think of brands like reputations so what are you doing to constantly improve it?”

303 Advertising - Jim Davies, managing director

“Consistency is important because that is how consumers recognise brands, it’s through consistency.

“But consumers do move on and society moves on and the rate of change is faster than ever before so you have to keep up with them and reflect society today.

“What does the brand stand for? It’s not just about advertising and design, it needs separate expertise.”

The Brand Agency - Ken James, chairman

“Consistency is the key. Consistent messages and consistent creative. Find the right message, the right position and stick with it. People change for change’s sake but if it’s working you should keep going.

“If you look at it, the most successful brands have had consistency with their messages and they have been with the agency for a long period of time.”


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