Monday, 12 December 2011

| Quick summary of the relationship between brands and tweens |

I have really enjoyed looking into the topic of tweens and their relationship with brands. Here is a summary in the book of the 10 factors characterizing the tween audience.
1. Emotions are driving tweens - and so are brands.
    A brand without values is hopeless - it means consequently that there is no personality, and therefore no way in which tweens can identify with the product. For tweens another emotional aspect of a brand is the authenticity of it. It's proven that tweens with travel miles upon miles for the brand that is the right thing.

2. They're in search of solid connections and so are looking for brand consistency.
    Brand consistency is the key to success. In this ever changing day and age we are living in, with nothing being secure as it used to be such as relationships, employment etc..tweens simply want something that they can rely and trust in.

3. Justifying the brand value to tweens means keeping product innovation alive.
    According to a study, nearly 10% of tweens associate newness with coolness. This underlines the the fact that the tween market is a fertile ground for new products. Innovation is linked with leadership, placing the brand ahead of the game and potentially it's competitors. Innovation also allows for renewal, a space where brands can reinforce what they stand for and demonstrate what they can deliver.

4. Tweens are prepared to pay the price for what they want.
    The study from this book shows that price has less and less relevance in the tween market. They buy according to customer value - which is the difference between the benefits a company gives tweens and the price it charges.

5. Tweens don't but products, they buy brand solutions
    For example, when Nestle put their name on the Crunch or the Kit Kat bars, on coffee or on Nesquick drinking chocolate, they are endorsing the quality of the merchandise, and the Nestle name becomes the guarantor.

6. At any given time, tweens are using any given channel so make sure that your message is sent at the right time, through the right channel.
    Tweens don't like to be talked at, and they expect this kind of respect, and even love, to be reflected in the brand's history. Harry Potter was at first a book, then a movie, a game, cards and merchandizing. It was all tied together around the Harry Potter brand, pushing the people from channel to channel.

7. Reading the tween mind helps you manage perceptions in a more relevant way.
    Brand audits are particularly useful when they are repeated consistently year after year, this allows the brand managers to track the progress of brands and detects for any possible threats. Tweens might not be your core audience, but remember if you start tracking their perception of your brand you will know exactly what problems it is about to face or whether they are ready to consume and love it. This shows why it is so important for companies to include tweens in their brand research.

8. No one can predict what tweens will be like in 2 years so its essential that your brand has flexibility.
   Brand flexibly is all about reading the signals in the market and reacting to them instantly. The larger the brand, the harder this becomes - the likes of Sony and LEGO can testify to this. That's the reason why it's so important for a brand is built on flexibility, so that it can survive within the ever changing tween generation.

9. Monologue is out, brand dialogue is in. Interaction is vital. Brands will need to be able to talk, listen, learn and react.
    An example was given in the book about Coca-Cola and the crisis they dealt with in Belgium. Some tweens back in the late 90's were poisoned due to a mishap in one of the manufacturing plants. Despite being the worlds number one leading brand, the importance for dialogue became clear. It so happened that the CEO of Coca-Cola was over visiting Belgium at the time, but he chose to let the local office handle the issue. This left the community in a state of uproar. The problem was not so much that the accident had happened but that Coca-Cola stayed silent and it was interpreted as a sign of arrogance. Coke was subsequently banned not only in Belgium but in several European countries.

10. Tweens only deal with the leader of the pack, so it's important to focus on leadership.
     Brands particularly in the tween segment need to reflect just this sort of leadership attitude. In the same way that tweens like to be seen as the leader of the pack at school, they simply do not purchase brands that do not lead in their field. Being a leading brand within a category is therefore leadership doesn't necessarily mean being the biggest or most well known. In fact being an unknown'secret' leader is almost more attractive among this audience, which loves to discover the news on their own and spread it among  their peers.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Presentation Feel Good.. Have and 'APPy day!

The APP


1.Feel Good Drinks is a company that was created in 2002. Three people who were originally working for coca cola left the company and started up business on their own. Their idea was to create healthy drinks that actually tasted good. This brands image is fun, fruity and healthy and boasts their attitude of ‘no added sugar’. 

Nine years on and the company is successfully selling one Feel Good drink every two seconds. But with the aim to be selling more, two briefs have been created to work on Feel Good advertising. 

2. So to discover what the strategic issues are we worked on a few market research tools to pin point what needs tackled. We created a Perception map to view where the product stood on the market and work out why it wasn’t where Feel Good wants. This is where we found Feel Good to sit on the map (point to powerpoint) and this is where we want to reposition it...

3.This showed us that the problem lies in awareness and availability. The perception maps show our first issue that Feel Good drinks currently don’t stand out against its competitors in the market.  After constructing a SWOT analysis another issue/weakness we identified is that the public feel the brand is exclusive, it’s not easy to track down and they struggle to find shops that sell it. We'd like the product to still be the same but literally just move it along the awareness line. 

4. To learn more about the target market we handed out questionnaires to see how the public felt about the product and to see who our ideal buyers would be.  From this a third major issue was identified as it was clear a large percentage of our target audience were not aware of this product, or company even existing. After this we made up three profile personas to narrow down who we wanted this campaign to target within our target age range. So with this research done and after reading the briefs we decided to combine brief one and two. To create a campaign that raised awareness and also informed the customer who Feel Good are, what their drinks look like and that they are packed full of fruit with no added sugar. 

5. Our solution is based around a Feel Good App. We decided to take different approach to the previous advertising as we felt it was not working. We felt they needed a change from tv adverts and focus more along the lines of keeping up to date with recent technology, and so we created a smart phone app. This app is made up of addictive games that would get people talking, spreading the word and playing. Part of this app is that once levels on the game are completed, you can claim rewards and discounts for Feel Good Drinks.

6. The campaigns process. Our campaign would kick off with a series of leaflets being handed out that advertised our app with a snapshot from the game on the front, and the company details on the back, with  also  a sample of the  juice inside. (HAND OUT JUICES) The sample would be similar to what you are trying now. Feel Good juices are tasty and healthy but as we discovered, are not well known. The brief also stated that not only do people not know about Feel Good, but they are reluctant to try it without knowing what it tastes like, but the company felt pretty strongly that as soon as people have tasted it they will love it. So the solution we have to resolve this issue is by giving out free samples, allowing people to have the  opportunity to try the product and love it. The samples would be handed out in shopping malls, student unions and supermarkets. This would make the public want to know more about Feel Good drinks and find out where to purchase.  This would all be revealed through the app.
     We wanted to be careful to keep the fun, vibrant attitude of the company alive when considering this campaign but also didn’t want to make it seem too childish and put the target audience off which we think may have happened previously, so by creating an app it means that it will interest the people within our age range and they 
will feel like it’s aimed at them.

The business cards

7. Along with the leaflets we have made up a series of business cards. (HAND OUT CARDS) Little cards that are in the shape of the 400ml bottles advertising the brand image and what the bottles look like, so that people know when entering the shop what to look for. The main point of these little cards is to advertise and interest people in the app. On the back will have a QR code which can be scanned on a smart phone to receive a 20p discount of the app which will be retailing at 79p. This will encourage people to buy the app which in return will have people buying more bottles of Feel Good when they complete the gaming levels and receive their offer. 

8. The App is made up of three parts, two are games and one interactive activity. The first one shown here is our interactive activity called Fruit Shake. This allows you to pick all your favourite fruits, pull them into the Feel Good bottle, shake the mobile device and then the bottle will reveal the Feel Good flavour suited to you. Then through a GPS function will tell you where the nearest retailer of the juice is so no more wondering the streets looking for where to buy your favourite juice. 

9. This is the first game (Fruit fall) designed taking inspiration from older classic online games creating a nostalgic feeling. The idea is to control the bottle at the bottom of the screen sliding from left to right and to try and catch the falling fruit. Not only will fruit be falling out of the sky but so will evil sugar cubes which must be avoided. If a sugar cube lands in the bottle, your bottle will spill all over the screen and you will need to start again. This is to highlight that Feel Good drinks have no added sugar and to show that they are only packed full of fruit. 

10. The second game (Fruit Smash) is similar to popular games such as angry birds to appeal to a similar audience who play those games. You will be given four fruits of your choice to ping into walls of sugar cubes. This again shows the attitude of the company expressing no added sugar in their drinks. The fruits will smash into the sugar which will knock the walls down and will complete the level when all sugar is gone. At the end of each level you will be awarded apples.

11. The main point of these games is to be awarded. To receive the awards you need to collect these 'apples'. Apples are awarded when levels are completed on the two games. In fruit fall for every bottle filled correctly 2 apples will be awarded and saved in your cyber fruit basket. In Fruit Smash apples will be awarded depending on how many fruits it takes for you to knock down the sugar wall. Once 30 apples are collected in your basket you will receive a QR code that will save to your phone to be scanned at tills to redeem 50p off 400ml bottles. 

12. This campaign will gain the awareness needed to raise Feel Good's sales. The sample leaflets and will let people taste the goodness themselves and the business cards spreads the word and encourages app buyers. The App will be able to travel virally causing talk and encouragement of playing games to receive benefits. We believe 
this is what it will take to make Feel Good sales rise dramatically.

The games..

Fruit Shake

Fruit Fall (FruitFUL get it?)

Fruit Smash

The Campaign prototype


| "I believe in brands" |

Tweens these days have aspirations in life to not only be famous but to surround themselves with the right brands. Brand have almost become a religion and is high up on the priority list for the tweens of today. Times have changed since the 80's, when the main attraction of products was purely functionality, but since the 90's brand has taken over and is now considered to be far more important than function.

What is also becoming clear, whether a good or bad thing, is up to you... is that tweens now define their worth, popularity, role in the social hierarchy and their success by the brands that they wear, eat and live with. No wonder that a significant number of tweens strive to surround themselves with the best possible brands as it helps them gain the recognition and social status to which they aspire.

Tweens choose their friends by the clothes they wear, the music they listen to and the video games they play. It's all part of the overall package that creates an identity and a sense of belonging. It is sometimes said that those that share brands belong to the same tribe. Members of the tribe share more than brands. The ties that bind these tribes are not necessarily dependent on the traditional definitions of identity such as age, ethnicity, gender etc, but rather based on shared passions. And what I found most interesting about reading all this is that tween tribes are unique in the sense that they have become advocates for the brand. The members share a sense of ownership of 'their' brands, which helps market the product and drive the sales. The role of brands has been a part of the advertising agencies' long term goals -it was initially the advertisers who envisioned turning brand into a form of religion, to increase the sales - and it worked.

It's true though, having been a tween girl a few years ago myself I can relate to this, also having younger siblings I can see what it's like now and how it's got worse. When I say worse, I mean for the parents forking out the money and perhaps the demand increasing. Not so much for the companies, it has very much been beneficial for them and getting better still! It's funny how there is a social status thing related to brands, you aren't cool unless you wore something with a labeled name on it. Those whose parents could afford more, and supply them with all the brands they wanted, they were the popular kids. It was like they had it all and we all strived to be like that. And to those underdogs who looked up to them, striving to be cool again, to be friends with this crowd you had to pay money to look a certain way and wear certain clothes. It was like these kids are a walking advert..you see the prettiest, most popular kid with a specific handbag, and you just have to have one to be like them, to be accepted by them. What kind of way is this framing the minds of children today? No wonder bullying is such a huge thing these days, and hence why labeled clothing was banned from many schools to avoid this very issue. Perhaps not so much in Dundee though, I walked past a primary school to get to uni the other morning and amongst all the kids I saw two 'girls' (who looked more like teenagers) wearing the same quilted Paul's Boutique jacket in different colours..free marketing for that particular brand amongst the eyes of tweens...

The benefits this has for the branded clothing shops now is huge, whereas people never used to really care about brands before, and it was only people with money who could afford it, is out the window. With youngsters these days dressed in designer labels, brands are becoming more of a must to people, especially tweens as they are influenced easily. But it is a technique that companies don't have much of a role in themselves but it has huge benefits for them. Once tweens latch on to a brand and it becomes 'theirs' almost, all they have to do is wear it, and others will see it..want it, ask for it, and more than likely get it. Labeled clothing sales = BOOM.

So like I said throughout, whether this is a bad or good thing is up to you, which side you take... is the minds and attitudes of children growing up today more important, or the sales of branded clothing?