You may be familiar with Michael Porter’s ‘Five Forces of Competitive Strategy.’ This famous publication provides an infrastructure for how to build a competitive advantage. Porter talks specifically about the powerful influence suppliers have on that goal.
In our pursuit to provide the highest quality market insights, suppliers have always been an integral part of our client service model here at BuzzBack. They play an important role in every project we do. We treat them as an extension of our team, and are therefore very choosy when deciding with whom we work. For example, when it comes to global studies, we partner closely with Lionbridge, a leading provider of translation with global solution centers in more than 26 cities. Since language is such an important component of the insights we deliver, Lionbridge ensures we provide top quality translation. This partnership adds value to our clients’ studies – particularly those around naming and messaging where clients want to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation… literally.
Beyond the niche expertise our suppliers bring to the table, we seek to mutually build our businesses and share ideas. “Lionbridge and BuzzBack complement one another very well. Like Lionbridge, the team at BuzzBack enables their customers to engage global audiences in new ways. In our partnership, we challenge one another to bring fresh ideas and solutions for BuzzBack clients. Our relationship is mutually beneficial and continually evolving. We are proud to be a BuzzBack partner.” says Jason Hobart, VP , Global Markets and Strategic Partnerships.
These days, it seems like everyone’s jumped onto the ‘going green’ bandwagon. Fast fashion retailer H&M is offering its customers a coupon for 15% off their next purchase every time they bring in a bag of used clothing to any store. In Sweden, McDonald’s launched a campaign in which you receive a free burger or cheeseburger for every 10 empty beer cans you bring in; 40 cans gets you a Big Mac. In further promotion of the campaign, McDonald’s has even installed billboards that double as trash bags for those walking by to easily pull off and fill with all their cans. What do these campaigns and earth-friendly initiatives have in common? They’re all aimed at Millennials.
Having recently become the largest generation group in the country, Millennials are the ones shopping at fast fashion stores and they used to be McDonald’s key customer base, until recently. This month, McDonald’s reported their biggest decline since 2003 and also found that diners between the ages of 19 to 21 have gone down by 12.9% since the start of 2011. The fast food chain has admitted that its latest campaign was an attempt to reach out to the Millennial generation, specifically the young music festival attendees in Sweden.
But, the question remains: are these efforts to appeal to the Millennial generation through green initiatives working? Millennials may say that they place a high value on issues such as social responsibility and sustainability, but are they actually following through on that? Or maybe it’s the campaigns that need to change – are companies able to effectively communicate their green initiatives to their Millennial consumers? When it comes to these topics, what are their perceptions? When it comes down to making a purchase, do they really care about companies being committed to sustainability?
We will be exploring several of these questions in our upcoming webinar in which we do a deep dive comparing Millennial, Boomer and Gen X perceptions on the word Sustainability. If your brand is tackling the challenge of increasing the connection consumers have with sustainability, check out our latest webinar.
I like to think some of the things I do ultimately make a difference. Changing things for the better drives me and was the inspiration behind founding BuzzBack to innovate market insights. But I also wanted to create a company culture that continually seeks to make a difference beyond the industry. This founding and defining characteristic has been a magnet for like-minded people – particularly millennials who are especially purpose driven. This quest contributes to our strong sense of tribal pride and shared vision.
That’s why days like yesterday are so personally meaningful.
Participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Central Park, we came together to make a difference while representing our core value of Teamwork outside our NYC office walls. I’m pleased to share that our own small group of racers exceeded our fundraising goal. We were surrounded by many of our clients: Pepsi sponsored the event and Pfizer was there with a team of their own.
It didn’t matter if we won. That wasn’t the point – making that all-important difference was. We were excited to be together, enjoy the day and support a worthy cause. I didn’t have to tell anyone to participate. They came because it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t have been more proud of the group that represented the brand we’re building together. I thought to myself, “This is who we are.” Compelled to make a difference. It’s as plain and simple as that.
A few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to come across my name on a bottle of coke next to the name of a friend’s (both part of the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign). Of course I then had to purchase the Coke with my name on it, but only after texting a picture of the bottles in the vending machine to my friend. As I looked at my name written in the iconic Coke font, I felt a strong emotional connection between myself and a brand I’ve been familiar with most of my life. Talk about breaking through the clutter and convincing me to reach for another Coke the next time I’m craving a soda.
The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign has truly proven successful in helping Coke develop their brand loyalty. The 2014 marketing initiative was adapted from the 2011 Australian campaign of the same name, specifically targeting the millennial generation, and has gained a lot of positive attention throughout the summer, increasing traction on social media platforms in the US. According to Networked Insights, 95% of consumers had positive/neutral reactions to ‘Share a Coke’ and Coke reported over 125,000 posts across all digital channels at the start of August. Now as the campaign comes to an end, here’s a closer look at why Coke’s campaign stood out this summer…
One probable psychological explanation as to why the campaign was received so positively by consumers is the Name-Letter Effect. Unsurprisingly, research by social psychologists suggests we associate positive emotions with our names, and generally prefer our initials over other letters in the alphabet. Furthermore, studies show that the Name-Letter Effect causes us to select products and services that share our initials (not to mention our full names). Applying the Name-Letter Effect to my experience, it becomes obvious why I strongly identified and connected with the brand when I saw my name on the bottle in the vending machine.
It is important to note the positive influence high levels of personal identification within consumers can have on brand loyalty when viewing a campaign. I think it is safe to say that all companies want their brands to not only be purchased, but loved and valued above all others in their category amongst consumers. In an ideal world, companies want consumers to connect with their brands on such an individual level that they conceptualize the branded products as an extension of them as a person. Any brand an individual deeply associates with then becomes a means of self-definition, as well as a way to outwardly express themselves to others. This is commonly known as Self-Brand Connection, and describes the ultimate ideation of brand-loyalty.
The key takeaway here is that companies should strive to develop clever marketing strategies that cause consumers to view brands as an important facet of their life, and not just a simple, impersonal product. Reflecting on this as it relates to the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, I don’t think there is a better way to build Self-Brand Connection than replacing the name of a product with those of its’ consumers.