Friday, 23 March 2018

Which brands are tops in the UK for 2018?

According to the Centre for Brand Analysis, the #1 brand in the UK this year is not British.

In 2017, and for the previous three years, the top brand was British Airways. Not this year.

The survey asked UK consumers about brands' reliability, distinction and quality. The brands they cited were, mostly, long-established multinationals with strong customer loyalty.

Consumers said that the top 10 superbrands in 2018 are:

10. BMW (cars)
 9. Heinz (food)
 8. Boots (retail)
 7. Marks & Spencer (retail)
 6. Disney (entertainment)
 5. Coca-Cola (beverages)
 4. Andrex (toilet tissue)
 3. Apple (electronics)
 2. Gillette (personal grooming)
 1. Lego (toys)

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Updated links to marketing planning ideas and resources

My list of links to marketing planing ideas and resources has been updated. Now you can click to see more than 50 sources of data, advice and news related to:

  • Preparing for marketing planning and implementation
  • Analysing the marketing environment
  • Researching consumer and business demographics
  • Marketing ethics, social responsibility and sustainability
  • Branding issues and ideas
  • Marketing mix issues and ideas
  • Marketing channels and retailing trends
For instance, if you're looking for a marketing plan template, my list includes a link to the Australian government's business page with a downloadable guide and template.

So please browse the links the next time you're researching the background for a marketing plan project.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Mobile payment and consumer behaviour

One of the fast-growing trends in consumer behaviour is mobile payments, meaning payments completed via mobile--contactless-style.

One source says that mobile payments in the UK during 2017 exceeded £975m. Yes, that's nearly one billion pounds.

Another source shows UK mobile payments increasing by 365% during 2017. And it shows payments made via wearable devices (like smartwatches) grew by 129% in 2017.

More tests are underway as businesses and consumers grow accustomed to mobile payments. The Co-Op in Manchester, for instance, is testing a MasterCard app that allows shoppers to pay without ever queueing or stopping at the till.

Similarly, Barclay's Dine and Dash mobile app will enable UK customers to pay for restaurant meals by tapping a special point at the table. No more waiting for servers to bring the bill!

Pizza Hut in the UK is adding MasterCard's mobile payment app so customers can place orders and pay for meals without waiting for the server to bring the bill.

Have mobile payments reached a tipping point where they will now be considered mainstream? Will more payments be made via mobile than via plastic or cash? Marketers are watching consumer behaviour very closely to understand acceptance and adoption trends.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Unilever makes marketing more productive, transparent

How does Unilever make marketing more productive? Unilever has a broad portfolio of products and brands, from Axe/Lynx personal care products and Dove skin care products to Knorr soups and Hellman's condiments. Its overall marketing budget exceeds €7 billion.  

Higher productivity of marketing spend and assets would result in more efficiency and a cost savings that could be put towards more marketing, higher frequency or extended audience reach.

Firstly, the global company has decided to handle some promotional tasks in-house rather than paying agencies to do that work. Because its in-house experts know the products so well and can quickly check with decision-makers for approvals or changes, the company gains a bit more control over the marketing content and saves money at the same time. It also can handle its own pre- and post-implementation analysis, quantifying results quickly to assess marketing performance.

Also, Unilever is reassessing its digital marketing and will invest only in platforms that have a positive societal impact. In other words, it won't tolerate social media platforms that tolerate hate speech or other negativity. Unilever brands have built up consumer trust over the decades and won't risk losing trust due to a negative platform experience. This adds to transparency, as well as the company's blockchain initiative (with IBM) to improve digital ad placement info and combat fraud.

Apparently, Unilever will change its headquarters structure. For many decades, it has been an "Anglo-Dutch" multinational. News reports indicate the company may change to a single HQ in Netherlands. This should slim bureaucracy and speed decision-making, whether or not it's related to Brexit.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Burberry's digital marketing powerhouse

Burberry, the venerable UK fashion brand, has remade itself as a digital marketing powerhouse in the past decade or more. Above, Burberry's Instagram statistics as of today. Yes, 11 million followers worldwide.

One key aspect is adding to the company's online availability without diluting its high-style image. In addition to Burberry's own digital channels for promotion and distribution, the company recently arranged multinational distribution through Farfetch, a UK luxury-goods retailer with a robust online platform.

However, Burberry said it's working closely with Farfetch to ensure 'a consistent and curated digital experience' for customers that view product images and description online. In other words, Burberry isn't simply providing products for resale--it's actively involved in marketing to affluent consumers through Farfetch.

Another key aspect is streaming fashion shows and adopting new social media tools quickly. Burberry was among the first high-end fashion brands to promote itself on Snapchat, for instance.

Burberry has also used artificial intelligence (AI) to support marketing of its Cat Lashes mascara on social media, particularly Pinterest. The brand has nearly 9 million Twitter followers and 17 million Facebook followers.

Watch for more digital marketing innovation as Burberry leverages its brand visibility and image to engage consumers around the world.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Marketing Sport Relief

From 17 - 23 March, UK consumers and businesses will again participate in the nationwide fundraising event Sport Relief. The money raised by the nonprofit event is spent making life better for people by fighting malaria, promoting maternal and prenatal health and raising awareness of mental health issues. 

Sport Relief relies on a combination of traditional media and social/digital media to attract and involve individuals and organisations in this weeklong fundraising effort. BBC One will air a special night of entertainment on as part of the media support, which also features BBC Radio and other broadcast media coverage. Social media marketing includes a dedicated Facebook page with more than 240k likes, a Twitter account with 774k followers and an Instagram page with 51k followers.

Try doing an online search for Sport Relief, and you'll see that the number of results exceeds 17 million even before the event begins. Many of those hits are from this year and some are from previous years--a mix of social media comments and traditional media reporting about the celebrities, the challenges and the final tally of money raised. Involving celebrities (as opinion leaders) raises the visibility of the fundraising efforts and encourages fans to follow their lead.

This year, consumers are being challenged to walk one billion steps per day, as measured by the new Sport Relief app. The app includes fundraising ideas and tips from celebrity participants to motivate and inspire. Will the nation achieve the goal of one billion steps during each day of the fundraising week? Will Sport Relief break its record for fundraising? Wait and see!