Drive growth by being meaningfully different to more people

When you have the world’s largest database of how consumers think, feel and act, what do you do? Rewrite the marketing playbook, of course.

That’s what Kantar has been doing – combining the 5.4 billion data points from the global BrandZ database of consumer attitudes to brands with the 1.1 billion data points from Kantar’s Worldpanel of consumer behaviour. In total, the analysis covers 540 categories across 54 markets and spans 10 years, providing a vital longitudinal view.

The analysis focused on one question: ‘How can marketers better drive growth?’

The answer is simple, yet full of nuance. Our Blueprint for Brand Growth proves that brands grow through being meaningfully different to more people. Brands that are meaningfully different to more people command five times the market penetration today, and have a real advantage in driving penetration growth over the next two years.

Mental availability is not enough. A brand’s Meaningful Difference, that comes to mind quickly and easily when prompted with a brand cue, helps a brand grow faster and at the right price.

To adopt the strategy of being Meaningfully Different, you need to define your brand’s functional, emotional and social positioning, and pan your marketing activities to achieve measurable business outcomes. Marketers must be able to articulate this and ensure it’s understood consistently throughout the organisation.

This is effective because brands build mental connections with consumers, with Meaningful Difference at their heart. These connections, when strong and consistent, predispose more people to buy the brand more often, in more places, and at a higher price.

How is a brand Meaningful? By meeting consumer needs with a relevant product or service. Our term embraces all the consumer needs – the physical, emotional, functional, social and other ways that brands work in consumers’ lives.

But what do we mean by Difference? Difference is the perception of being different to your competitors, and being perceived as setting the trends in the category. Difference is not the old-fashioned definition of differentiation, which was limited to product qualities. Rather, we’ve identified that successful brands create memories that separate the brand from others. If brands don’t set themselves apart, they risk falling behind.

Difference really does make the difference. Our data shows that brands that grow penetration start with a 7-point advantage in Difference relative to brands that lose penetration.

And it goes even further. On average the most important driver of pricing power – ie the ability of your brand to command a price premium – is Difference.

The good news is we can quantify your brand’s power in the market using Kantar’s Meaningfully Different and Salient (MDS) framework. We can measure how well brands meet needs, stand out, lead the way compared to competitors, and come readily to mind. Being Meaningfully Different is a strategic imperative because our evidence shows that Meaningfully Different brands are bigger today and have more chance of growth in the future.

At Kantar New Zealand, we’re successfully helping our clients apply these principles to brands of all sizes in all categories, so they can plot a path to profitable growth. Come talk to use to learn more.

David.Thomas B&W

David Thomas
Chief Commercial Director
[email protected]