TIGCRU Insight offer to support either discrete elements of, or your whole Brand Planning process; from developing market landscape assessments, through identifying white space, segmentation and positioning, and developing brand activation springboards, to setting key performance indicators (KPIs) on how to measure brand equity.
Rarely are brands successful based on luck alone and rarely do they perform well without a carefully thought through strategy. The starting point for any robust brand strategy is an in-depth understanding of the market in which you’ll be operating and competing within.
This is where Market Landscaping comes in. Some clients refer to this as a ‘Situation Analysis’ or a ‘Market Opportunity Map’. Whatever the name, it is essentially a report that pulls into one place a synthesis and evaluation of all known data and insights about your market, and highlights the opportunities this presents for your brand.
Market landscaping is a great example of where the right blend of analytical rigour and creative thinking is needed. This allows us to not only understand the rational decision making process and volume opportunities, but also the crucial emotional drivers affecting customers and other stakeholders, ultimately enabling us to identify the key opportunities that can shape your brand’s future.
As a brand strategy forms the basis of your operational plan, or ‘game-plan’ into the future, it’s important that we not only evaluate the competitor landscape and market trends that you operate in today, but also provide a detailed view on tomorrow’s world.
Identifying White Space
In industries with lengthy new product development timelines, e.g. pharmaceuticals, it is critical that we try to anticipate what the unmet needs might be in 5, 10 years time and beyond.
We need to identify areas of future growth; these may be from satisfying needs that your customers aren’t necessarily aware of today. This is not an easy task, but the payoff in getting it right is huge.
TIGCRU Insight have developed tools and techniques to help identify white spaces where future forward needs intersect with micro and macro trends, thus clearly defining areas for growth and innovation. We have the unique skills and expertise to bring these spaces to life and make them real, so that R & D, innovation and NPD teams are inspired and geared around a clear vision, whether they’re trying to find a new molecule in the pharmaceutical world or looking for fresh ideas for engaging with customers.
The TIGCRU Insight team has proven skills and instinct for effective idea generation techniques. We have a range of effective and flexible agendas and techniques that can be tailored to your needs. We are also increasingly embracing co-creation techniques, e.g. ‘crowd sourcing’, as a planning tool to gain insight and to help refine concepts by tapping into the creativity of your customers.
Competitive intelligence plays a key role in identifying future opportunities and on-going monitoring is crucial. Unmet and/or emerging needs that are assumed today can often suddenly and unexpectedly be met by competitors, limiting the opportunity for your brand or product in development. We help you identify and monitor for early warning signals so you can be prepared to adapt you strategy.
Across the majority of sectors, there is increasing pressure to become more effective and more creative in development and marketing; changing the mind-set from ‘Selling products we develop’ to ‘Developing products we can sell’.
A key marketing tool that will increase the likelihood of success is to better understand your market through customer segmentation. Most brands have done a segmentation study and thought they’ve ‘ticked that box’. Throughout our careers, we've seen and used a whole range of different segmentation models and frameworks, but, unfortunately, we’ve also heard the following statement many times from brand teams:
“Interesting segmentation, but what do we do with it?”
Why? Often these studies were not designed with the end goal objectives in mind.
In essence there are two different types of segmentation:
• Strategic – this tells us where our business is and forms the basis of positioning and messaging.
• Operational – this tells us how to get that business and how to execute your positioning.
Putting customers into different groups is easy; the challenge lies in spotting groupings that will help you identify commercial opportunity and drive success. The approach taken on how you segment your market and how you understand the different customers’ needs can give you the edge over your competitors.
Over time, we’ve seen what works well and what does not. Also, in increasingly regulated competitive sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry, there’s a greater demand to demonstrate therapeutic value in specific patient populations. Therefore necessitating clinical development programmes being driven by market need. Given the enormous expense invested in such development programmes, there’s a high price to pay if you get this wrong!
Positioning represents the ‘DNA’ of the brand. It’s the articulation of the unique space you wish to capture in the customers’ hearts and minds in order to positively influence their behaviour. It should provide the foundation for everything that happens with a brand.
Successful positioning development relies on being able to isolate and own this space. Using our experience in positioning, together with our flexible approach, we've developed an extensive menu of ways to create and express brand positionings, depending on your timings and budgets.
For the majority of new product launches we’ve worked on, we’ve been fortunate to have developed a robust customer need-state segmentation as a first step. This has clearly identified and articulated the priority customers that the brand should be positioned against in order to optimize the commercial opportunity. On these projects, we’ve had several months and a significant budget to complete the whole brand planning process thoroughly. On occasions, we’ve also worked on projects where we’ve had to come up quickly with a positioning in a matter of days or weeks, e.g. for a pharmaceutical in-licensing evaluation or an agency that has recommended that their client needs to develop a clearer positioning before going ahead with a communication plan.
We've seen and used a whole range of brand models and techniques; and selected the very best for every situation.
With every project, we prefer to incorporate team thinking through workshops, bringing together the client, agency and customer perspectives. This ensures we always develop a brand positioning based on genuine insight into the market, brand, product and customer.
Brand Activation Springboards
This is when all of your understanding of the market and your brand, gathered in the first stages of the brand planning process, are used to develop activities that will springboard your brand into the future. Our mix of client and agency experience will ensure that you are developing highly creative plans that will grow both your brand and business value.
However strong the positioning, messaging and the choice of interaction, the execution of the interaction will ultimately win or lose the customer. Even the most insightful and well considered marketing strategy will fail if the tactical operation is poor and inappropriate. High impact execution consistently delivers quality interactions that customers value, and that bring about the desired change in behaviours.
Assessing Brand Performance
The value of your company, not only your brands, rest upon the results of your actions. Accountability is a key part of any brand plan. As we’re in the business of change – we identify opportunities where a brand can perform, connect and persuade so that customers’ attitudes and behaviours change - we must prove our work creates change.
Typically, there are two ways to measure brand performance:
1. Audit - sales and market share data.
2. Brand equity (the set of perceptions (thoughts and feelings etc.) both positive and negative that customers have about your brand/service).
At TIGCRU Insight, we’ve worked on several tracking projects to help teams understand how successfully the brand positioning has been implemented through all brand activities. We’ve also led entire ‘Brand Performance Story’ projects, which involved designing platforms for automation of weekly/monthly reports through to setting ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) upfront with senior and cross market stakeholder buy-in. This ensures that everyone has a clear and consistent view of what success looks like ahead of any data coming through.
In increasingly challenging economic times, companies are under even greater pressure to deliver the best bang for buck marketing activities. TIGCRU Insight helped lead a cross-market and functional team to find a new way of measuring the impact and effectiveness of different types of contact and find a new ‘common marketing currency’. A robust, validated methodology was found that met our clients’ needs, and secured the essential buy-in and approval by senior board level stakeholders of a Top 10 Pharma company.