Insight and strategy consultancy The Leading Edge has conducted research into what makes a brand great.
In partnership with its sister Enero group agencies Hotwire and Orchard, the report identifies five specific roads that take brands from good to great to greatness.
The findings reveal that brands which encompass greatness have five distinct qualities: passionate vision, a sense of connected care, encouraging active social change, celebrating its origins and delivering human inspiration.
The Leading Edge asked 600 Australian consumers (alongside qualitative group conversations) to identify brands they considered ‘great’, ‘not good’ and those that ‘used to be great’.
By exploring the differences between these brands, the report’s findings reveal a new way to think about brand building and marketing activity.
Results also reveal that brands considered great have several commercial advantages:
- A higher level of customer loyalty (56 per cent of people buy great brands for 5+ years, whereas only 28 per cent of people will stick with a brand long-term if it is not considered great)
- 82 per cent of great brands are seen as having forward momentum (vs. 17 per cent of those not considered great), giving consumers a sense that they are going somewhere and they want to be along for the ride
- People prefer to engage more with brands they considered great – they talk about them more and engage with them on social media (74 per cent of people engage with brands they consider great, vs only 28 per cent for those they don’t)
The Leading Edge managing partner Lee Naylor said: “Our study shows that consumers not only want more from brands, but actually that they value what great brands do.
“These great brands are caring, enduring, socially responsible – they are passionate in what they do and inspire us as consumers.”
The report identified that becoming a great brand requires focus, discipline and bravery from marketers and requires businesses to change their mindset to a ‘constant pursuit of greatness’.
In achieving ‘greatness’, active social change is imperative.
Orchard head of strategy Kim Verbrugghe said: “We need to look at the regenerative path, walked by those who understand that there’s no going back.
“That we need to take a different approach to how we function in the world, change our behaviours and embrace a new kind of economy.
“They believe in expansive consciousness and a give and receive mindset.
“The regenerative path is the path for renewable energy, socially responsible companies and impact brands that want to make a positive difference to the world.
“They’re the businesses that thrive amongst millennials and people who buy based on their values.”
The report also highlights the huge role the public plays in dictating their expectations of brands, and something marketers need to pay particular attention to.
Hotwire Australia MD Mylan Vu said: “The findings from The Leading Edge’s research highlights that public perception is everything.
“With people more than willing to call out a brand’s missteps on social media – think Pepsi’s failed ad campaign with Kendall Jenner – it’s more important than ever to have an authentic voice that resonates with consumers. Merely talking the talk is no longer an option.
“To be considered ‘great’, brands need to be transparent and let their core values dictate every facet of their business.”
Other key findings from the research include:
- Great brands are more commonly found in the technology, sports and automotive sectors
- Millennials are considerably more involved with brands than other generations, with 58 per cent of them saying they are deeply involved, compared to just 43 per cent of Generation X, and only a third of Baby Boomers.