10/07/2007 - 22:00

RAC happy with its bright yellow look

10/07/2007 - 22:00


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The RAC has emerged as one of the big movers in this year’s WA Business News battle of the brands.

RAC happy with its bright yellow look

RAC’s brand overhaul has helped the company secure the title of Western Australia’s most recognised brand in WA Business News’ annual branding survey.

The RAC’s new bright yellow look and repositioned brand message, that “RAC members are happier”, was viewed by many advertising executives who participated in the survey as a coherent, well executed campaign.

“RAC’s brand positioning is being delivered very strongly and consistently across all communications,” Adcorp general manager David Morrison said. “Within that they are also delivering niche campaigns relevant to specific media.”

RAC, which is the consumer brand of the Royal Automobile Club of WA Inc, has certainly come a long way in the past 12 months.

Last year, the advertising industry rated it behind BankWest as WA’s second biggest underperforming brand.

While BankWest was yet again singled out as WA’s biggest underachieving brand, the RAC was voted by the advertising industry as the state’s second most improved brand this year.

RAC’s branding success comes after an internal restructure and a decision to overhaul of its brand, which has been managed by Carolyn Hall (pictured).

Ms Hall took on the role as brand and communications director in mid 2006 after spending 20 years working for advertising agencies in London and New York, working on some of the world’s biggest brands.

Aided by relatively recent internal research, Ms Hall developed a new direction for the RAC, which spends between $6 million and $8 million on advertising each year.

“The RAC has been around for more than100 years and they [management] sat down and worked out where they wanted the RAC to be in 100 years,” Ms Hall said.

She said the RAC brand needed to become more relevant to the market, something she said would help it attract its biggest growth market – the “independent urbanites”.

Ms Hall said these people were often recent university graduates with little brand loyalty or time for convoluted brand messages.

She said the RAC had created different campaigns to cater to both young and old demographics, but had maintained brand consistency across its diversified products and demographics by employing some rules across all its advertising. For example, there is a requirement that a certain amount of yellow be featured in each ad.

Ms Hall has been assisted by a 10-member internal research division, which compiles statistics on the company’s customers, products and services.

Ms Hall said solid research on its market segments meant the RAC could target its messages better.

“Having a broad message doesn’t work anymore,” she said. “We see on average 6,000 individual messages a day that we either filter out or take in. Back in 1960 I think there were about 60 messages, so it was much easier to take your message to the market and get noticed.”

The RAC’s restructure put its more than 500,000 members at the heart of the organisation.

Ms Hall said the “RAC members are happier” slogan highlighted the company’s focus on working for its members.

“We wanted our members to have peace of mind rather than making people think something bad is going to happen to them,” she said.


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