Successful brands are like fine wine and great music; equal parts inspiration, intellect and skill. Great ones can uplift the senses and leave a lingering impression, leaving customers coming back for more.
Investing in your brand generates value by creating attention in the marketplace, loyalty in customers and pride in staff – it’s not called brand equity for nothing.
Dashwood has some key rules for delivering a return on investment on brand:
1. Brands are a truth well told. When you communicate your story with charm, aspiration and honesty, customers will beat a path to your door.
2. Identify your brand’s emotional essence, as well as delivering a great product or service. This is often what differentiates you from competitors. Go beyond functional benefits and find unique ways to connect with your audience.
3. Establish belief within your team. Articulate what you stand for, aspire to and value. Your people are your brand champions.
4. Keep your brand new. Retain its core essence but keep the conversation going and engage in a relevant way.
By mid-2010, SCA’s Treasures brands needed repositioning. Treasures Ultra and Giggles, its premium and price-fighting brands respectively, were being attacked on multiple fronts. Dashwood was briefed to consolidate both brands and re-launch Treasures as a single compelling offer. “The challenge was to retain and grow both sets of customers under the one brand,” says babycare marketing manager Heather Greaves.
Hamish Meikle, Dashwood’s creative director, was well aware of the risk this posed. “We needed to convince our Giggles customers to pay more for a better quality nappy and our Ultra customers to engage with the new brand, as well as entice a lot of new customers to come on board. In short, we needed a story to capture the imaginations of New Zealand mums and dads—and their children.”
Through research and customer insight, Dashwood saw an opportunity to position Treasures as a caring, hands-on Kiwi mentor which encouraged children to express creativity by surrounding them with imaginary worlds. Treasures children were encouraged to dream big. This was a message that clearly struck a chord with parents, particularly when compared with the sterile nature of competing brands.
This positioning was illustrated by the introduction of the new Treasures jumbo boxes. With graphics and some well-positioned perforations, children could transform the soon-to-be empty boxes into playing environments, like cars, castles and houses.
The re-launch outperformed all expectations. “Instead of the 2.4 percent share we anticipated losing, we actually gained three percent to achieve a 24.4 percent share by volume to the December quarter 2010. Our customer response has been fantastic. Unprompted cues from our latest research said Treasures is lively, playful, magical, friendly, fun and down to earth. We are over the moon,” says Greaves.
Richard Mannell and Michael Daymond-King set up a global wine solutions company which turned the industry process on its head. Their approach was to ask international clients exactly what their customers wanted and then create a brand to fulfill that need. “We needed a corporate brand and individual product brands that represented our vision and portrayed us as a serious wine player on the global stage,” says company co-founder Mannell.
To fit the brief Dashwood came up with the name Vindico Negociants – meaning wine carrier – and a brand that conveyed a sense of sophistication, discernment and seasoned longevity in the market. The company developed a range of wine names and brands which covered the spectrum of varietals for both emerging and established international wine markets. Vindico saw an opportunity in the Asian market for water and Dashwood developed the pure New Zealand water brand Deep.
The result so far? Fifteen containers of New Zealand wine have headed offshore with another 100 containers of wine and water scheduled later this year, as well as a joint-venture in motion with one of China’s largest service station chains. “There’s no doubt the professionalism of our brands have opened doors for us. Our business is all about trust. What we’ve enjoyed with Dashwood is the depth of analytical thinking they brought to the table before starting the creative process – and the fun we’ve had along the way,” Mannell says.
A passion to be best in beer
When DB approached Dashwood to assist with its internal brand engagement programme, the company was already in a strong position. Staff satisfaction surveys had always been favourable and the sense of pride DB staff have in their workplace is well known in the industry. But for HR and corporate affairs general manager Mark Campbell, communicating a unified view of the business was essential. “We know we can never rest on our laurels. We work hard on our internal culture because we know the value a shared view brings to the business. It aligns the business in one direction and helps us all to sing from the same song-sheet.”
Andrew Gair, Dashwood managing director, was impressed. “The great thing about DB is that they asked a cross-section of people across different business units to fine tune the vision of the company. It wasn’t set in stone and handed down from above.” The internal brand programme now provides a set of guiding principles, which help the company to check that business decisions are consistent with the company values.
“The way the guys at Dashwood brought our vision and values to life reflects exactly what DB is all about and we’ve had great feedback from our team across the board,” says Campbell. “We know an empowered and passionate workforce will benefit our bottom line.”
Dashwood is an Auckland-based design company which has been creating world class brands since 1989. The company is passionate about design and the ways in which imagination and clever thinking can add value to clients’ bottom lines.
For more information, contact Karen Jones or Andrew Gair on 09 632 0550 or visit www.dashwood.co.nz
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