12th July 2011, by Andrew Bowyer
Driving Brand Loyalty Through Digital Content
As the biggest non-food brand in the UK, everybody knows Andrex – yet nobody notices it. Maybe it suffers from ‘puppy fatigue’. So another great speaker, Andrex’s Matt Muniz, talked us through how they solved this problem by re-launching the Andrex puppy in a new CGI form, and how the brand is generating content and, therefore, loyalty from this property.
Matt did a great job of simplifying the case study, and if there is a clear theme to this year’s Brand Republic Forum, it is real-world practicalities. Very little conversation is focused on highbrow strategy. Instead, marketers are keen to find out how to actually implement social media and content activities.
Within agencies, the story of the strategy is often the acid test. If it doesn’t make sense on one slide, the chances are, it is too complicated. The Andrex study is a great example of this. Everyone in the room got it.
The Brief: Encourage existing customers to spend more.
Very simply, there are two ways to ask existing customers to spend more. Repertoire customers can buy more often, and loyal customers can trade up.
- Increase Andrex loyalty.
- The brand is seen as expensive and is not noticed enough.
- Engage with the consumer like never before.
- Offer better value every day.
I’ve talked about the first point here and will save the second for another day.
The brand looked for the piece of insight that would help them build a richer, more meaningful relationship with customers. Statistics show Andrex’s sales increase in the run-up to Christmas. Households up and down the country invest in premium toilet paper when they are expecting guests. This is possibly the most stereotypically British buying trend I’ve ever heard of!
Andrex interpreted this as a small act to show our guests we care - it’s the little things that make a difference. And so the new line was born: “It’s the little things”.
Everyone loves the Andrex puppy, but apparently we find him (I’m guessing it’s a him) commonplace, part of the furniture. A jolt was needed to shake buyers out of their routine, and so the CGI puppy was created and launched online. With a great uptake and 7,000 page Likes a month, the challenge is now to maintain momentum. Judging by the audience reaction and the flood of questions, this is a key challenge for brands that perhaps have just completed their first 12 months in the social space.
Another great, simple slide: by looking at the competition, Matt’s team found that sustainable content ticks three boxes:
For me, ‘focus’ was the most interesting point. Many brands suffer at the hands of the Gartner Hype Cycle (more about that to follow…) and suffer a dip in visibility as they become disillusioned with the activity. Andrex had a clear brand promise to deliver and Matt was honest enough to say that keeping the internal and external teams focused on this was the biggest challenge, but one that gets easier once everyone lives and breathes this common purpose of delivering value through the little things.
I’ll admit that I struggled with the ‘relevance’ argument, and one question from the floor asked if Puppy’s Facebook profile just spoke to the dog lovers out there. I asked if he could see a day when they ran out of things to say about Puppy, but with Puppy’s 40th birthday around the corner and ‘the little things’ theme to explore, there’s little chance of that.
Matt revealed a killer tactic to win over the doubters. Negative comments about the new CGI puppy, like “I don’t like you as much as the old one” often get a reply back from Puppy such as “that makes me sad”. Perhaps this is relevance and focus in action, but I couldn’t help but think of the executive who has to pretend to be a puppy all day.
Another interesting point is that Twitter was rejected by the brand. While a feed straight from Puppy sounds endearing, the brand found a low representation of consumers and, instead, a lot of industry users debating the re-invention of the brand. Facebook, on the other hand, has worked very well and, while campaign spend has now stopped, they are seeing organic growth of 250 Likes a day.
Have your questions answered direct from the Brand Republic Forum. Leave a comment below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it that some companies can ride PR crises with relative ease? The recent tax scandal, which revealed that Starbucks has been sneakily avoiding corporation tax payments to the UK, although certainly bad news for Starbucks, has not delivered irreparable damage to the brand.
Back in the ‘80s, the coolest thing in the world was Optimus Prime. Or he was to the five-year-old me who wanted to be a fireman, ice cream man or JCB digger when he grew up – and who'd never heard the term ‘copywriter’, or ‘Expert Councils’.