If relevance is the goal, then insight is key. When marketers have clear and actionable information on key customer issues, they can drive brand updates and increase relevance while maintaining the brand’s core advantage
There’s room for improvement on that front. Fewer than one-in-four respondents have in-depth insights into brand-critical issues, such as brand perception, media and channel preferences, purchase patterns, and others.
“There were no insight bright spots where marketers seemed better informed,” says Christopher Ross, VP Analyst, Gartner.
To keep brands relevant, marketers need to understand what appeals to customers about the brand and what drives customer action.
Marketers also need insights into their competitors. The fact that they don’t have them, notes Ross, “Seems like an ‘Achilles’ heel.”
The insight gap rolls up for brands to the highest level of the organization. Though marketers believe in the relevance of brand, they lack ways to measure and communicate it. Thirty-one percent say that quantifying the brand’s impact on the business is among their top three challenges they face.
If marketers need evidence of the value powerful brands get from continual renewal, look no further than Nike. The Just Do It trademark celebrated its 30-year anniversary with a campaign featuring top athletes of color, including former NFL quarterback and human rights activist Colin Kaepernick. Some complained about Nike’s support for the NFL star, but the athletic brand knew from its customer analytics that true Nike fans supported the social justice movement in sports.
In the mode of continuous improvement, Nike has kept “doing it,” most recently with the Nike HQ at the Church campaign featuring the renovation of a Chicago church into youth center. That latest effort won a 2019 Cannes Lions Craft Grand Prix award, but it’s not just the critics who’ve rewarded Nike. The marketplace also approves, as Nike customers continue to show up in their swoosh-adorned kicks, the clearest sign of brand value.
Learn more about brands in the complimentary research “Presentation of Brand Survey 2019: Marketers Believe in the Power of Brand but Struggle to Respond to Disruption,” by Christopher Ross and Elizabeth Shaw.