WORLD BRANDS;BRAND AUDITS RESHAPING IMAGESFIRST MARKETERS ASK CONSUMERS, THEN REFOCUS THEIR STRATEGIES

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[london] More marketers are putting themselves through brand audits to define what their brands mean to consumers around the world-and then us ing these insights to swiftly develop new marketing strategies.

PHOTOS TO FUN

For example, working with London-based ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, luxury goods marketer Alfred Dunhill is refining its quintessentially English positi oning. And Polaroid is shooting to change its conventional photography image by emphasizing the fun of the moment.

"The starting point is that great brands are sharply focused in peoples' minds-consumers, shareholders, employees,' ' said Nick Cross, who led BBH's Brand Vision projects as the agency's international planning director. This month, he joined a Brand Vision client, U.K. department store Selfridges. "Great brands don't follow opinion-they shape a nd lead it, and look ahead.

"New product ideas, ad campaigns, distribution channels and promotions are flowing, aided by the Brand Vision exercise.

DUNHILL AIMS HIGH

This month Alfred Dunhill breaks a new worldwide print campaign and launches products ranging from golf clothes to fragrances-all aimed at a more tightly targeted, upscale businessman than before its Brand Vision studies.

"We worked with BBH to establish what consumers are looking for in luxury br ands in the '90s and how that has changed. How do people see Alfred Dunhill as a brand?" explained Alison Hartley, Dunhill marketing communications manager.

GAINING INSIGHTS

"I came from Procter & Gamble, so I understood what bran d equity was," Ms. Hartley said.

During the six-month Brand Vision process, BBH interviewed Dunhill managers around the world and guided local market research companies through consumer research as well as sessions with fashion editors and experts in luxury goods categories such as watches. Dunhill's strong British image is being updated, building on the insights gained from the Brand Vision project.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR ADDED

Using a James Bond-like approach , Dunhill is adding a more dynamic, international flavor to its image without losing the English appeal it holds, especially for the 60% of Dunhill's customers who are in Asia. Dunhill, with sales of more than $1 billion a year fro m men's clothing, leather goods, watches and accessories, is part of the Vendome group (along with Cartier and Mont Blanc). Vendome is owned by South Africa's Richemont group.

"We're positioning Alfred Dunhill as the ally of the so phisticated traveler," Ms. Hartley said. "Whenever Playing with Polaroid: Tim Palmer (at left), thought "everyone understood the fun side" of Polaroid cameras; his goal is to reintroduce the "fun side" to the consumer. Above, sce nes from an upcoming commercial in which a boss finds herself the object of an employee's rebellion."Wherever you are in the world, Alfred Dunhill is the right product for the occasion."

Dunhill and BBH drew up a brand equity sta tement and made presentations to the company's managers and distributors in a roadshow through Europe and Asia. Each of Dunhill's directors is leading a project team charged with revamping its stores worldwide, creating a new desig n mission for products or developing a print campaign breaking in 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the U.S., Ms. Hartley said.

FORAY INTO GOLFWEAR

New products out this month include Dunhill's first foray into golfwear, designed for the Asian market, and a fragrance, called D for Dunhill, its first new scent since 1984.

Through its brand audit, Polaroid learned that its role is to be a social stimulant and catalyst provoking fun moments in people's lives, rathe r than trying to catch up with conventional cameras.

"We thought everyone understood the fun side," said Tim Palmer, Polaroid's director of marketing for Europe. "The extended usage strategy we were using to push the more practi cal applications was not motivating to consumers. What they found motivating was the more fun side."

This insight has led to everything from a mooing camera painted to look like a cow to new experiments in distribution-and to soari ng sales in Europe.

ADVERTISING FIRST

First Polaroid tackled its advertising. In one new BBH spot set at a rock concert, a fan in the crowd attracts the attention of the star by snapping a Polaroid of herself and flinging it onto th e stage.

Dynamic, live-for-the-moment ads spawned wacky related promotions. The company convinced a band in Hungary to take Polaroid photos during their performance and toss them to fans. It also sponsored a contest with MTV Europe , inviting viewers to send in unusual Polaroids of themselves living life for the moment. And Polaroid sponsored TV dating game programs in Switzerland and Germany, with cameras sent with the winners to record their dates for a fut ure show.

BARS, BISTROS AND POLAROID

This fall, Polaroid will conduct a test in the U.K., making cameras available in bars and restaurants, perhaps chained to tables, and selling film that can be ordered along with drinks and meals.

` `There's very little point in (Polaroid) having a role as a social lubricant and just being available in a camera shop from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.," said Karen Hand, BBH's account director on Polaroid.

Marketing through retail fashion st ores is another option.

"We're trying to get into a clothing store for Christmas t hat's never carried cameras; if it works, we'll expand into their 200 stores in Europe," Mr. Palmer said.Polaroid's effort to act as a social catalyst is having an impact on sales. Polaroid's camera sales in Europe soared by 66% f or the first half of 1996 compared to the same period last year, Mr. Palmer said.

FILM SALES

Film sales, which take time to catch up with cameras, rose by 10%; but in key markets like the U.K. and Germany, they jumped by 28% and 22% respectively, he said.

In a commercial set in Tokyo that will break later this year in Europe, Australia and South Africa, a young Japanese man is reprimanded by his female boss. In another office, a flash goes off as, unseen, h e snaps a Polaroid of himself.

The rest of the spot cuts between the young man, now smiling on a Tokyo commuter train, and the office, where the female boss looks angrily at the picture he left behind. The intrigued viewer never se es the snapshot, but the message is clear: live for the moment.

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