Marketing 5.1

Google Is Britain's Top Brand

In July 2008, a research study carried out by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA) on behalf of Superbrands (UK) Ltd, a group of experts in the branding and marketing communication industry, revealed that Google had beaten long-established British and international brand names. Approximately 2,200 consumers were asked to rank the brand names from a list of 750 brands compiled by TCBA following an initial selection process involving a voluntary and independent council of marketing, advertising, and media experts collectively called the Superbrands Council.

Google had come third In the 2007 survey, but in 2008, it pushed Microsoft down into second and Mercedes Benz into third. British supermarkets dropped down in brand image, with Tesco coming in 230th and ASDA (owned by Wal-Mart) coming in 253rd. The only food brand anywhere near the top ten was Marks and Spencer, at 20.

Why did an Internet search engine land at the top of the brand pile? The CEO of TCBA and Chairman of the Superbrands Council, Stephen Cheliotis, explained: "Lifestyle brands, particularly those in the technology sector, have considerably more sway with the public than everyday staples such as the supermarkets, which now seem further than ever from the affections of the British people. As the spectre of rising food costs continues, they are likely to come under further scrutiny. The results are also a further sign that Google is continuing its dominance in the U.K. It is clear that Google is the brand that people value at work and in their personal lives."

Google was also voted the top UK Business Superbrands in 2008, following a poll of the independent Business Superbrands Council and over 1,500 industry professionals—the search engine's first win ever in that poll. The poll sun/eyed 1,500 industry professionals, who were asked to rank the top 500 brands in Britain. Google ousted the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from the top position, with Microsoft coming second, followed by British Petroleum (BP). BBC Worldwide dropped to fourth. Stephen Cheliotis said of the significance of this survey: "The top ten positions are

Google has become Britain's most recognized brand.

dominated by companies who are either British stalwarts such as BA (British Airways) and BP—or like GlaxoSmithKline—can trace their origins to the U.K."

Despite the fact that some of the brands in the poll are up to 90 years old, they still continue to resonate with British consumers. In 2007, TCBA had established that the coolest brand was in fact Aston Martin. In March 2007, Aston Martin was sold back into British hands by the car giant Ford for nearly $750 million. Apple's iPod won second place in the cool brands category, followed by YouTube and the Scandinavian business Bang and Olufsen (the manufacturers of hi-fi equipment).

The 2008 brand image surveys were conducted just as many iconic British brands were moving abroad. There were rumours that the Aston Martin would be moving the production of the Rapide abroad. The production of the iconic confectionary brand Smarties had been moved to Hamburg, Germany. The last bottle of HP sauce, featuring the Houses of Parliament on its label, shifted to Elst, in Holland, Cadbury relocated the production of its Curly Wurly and other confectionary brands to Poland. The Burberry brand, which for so many years had been produced in Wales, moved the production of its polo shirts abroad to China.

The shifts in production locations have not taken place without protest. Ray Egan, a retired British police officer, and John Bull, a British impersonator, climbed onto the roof at the HP factory, which had been located in Aston. Other protestors paraded with the Union flag outside Parliament, and inside, a military police officer waved a bottle of the sauce in a heated debate. Executives at Heinz, the company that produces HP, were branded hypocrites because only weeks before they announced the move, they had launched the "Save the Proper British Café" campaign, an effort to help British cafes compete against the rising popularity of the continental-style coffee shop chains A spokesperson from Heinz confirmed that the brand was as popular as it had ever been and that sales had increased and customer loyalty was still strong. Heinz had looked at all of the options but in the end it had come down to financial considerations. Nestlé, the owner of the Smarties brand, also made a statement about having moved the brand's production to Hamburg: "Smarties aren't going to taste any different," A company's Nestlé's spokespeople said. The company was also keen to point out that other brand names would remain in Britain.

How do these moves affect the "Britishness" of the brands? The manufacturers believe that there is no change, and that, one the whole, consumers do not care. Rune Gustafson of Interbrand was firmly of the opinion that customers did know where products were made and that this was

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neai Marketing S.1 Continued important. They did not want to purchase products from dubious sources. Although Britain had declined as a manufacturer since the Second World War, "Britishness" was still important and "Britishness" meant products being made by British people in well run factories.

Perhaps the decline set in much earlier than the aforementioned brands would indicate. For example, Dyson, the vacuum cleaner manufacturer, moved its production from the U.K. to Malaysia in 2002. Is Britain fighting a losing battle to keep its brands? Some believe that it is a battle worth fighting. The British Made For Quality campaign was set up in the same year Dyson moved to

Malaysia. A company that wants to be associated with the campaign must manufacture at least 65 percent of its product(s) in Britain. One of the biggest names to sign up for the campaign was Thomas Crapper, the manufacturer of the traditional toilets. That said,' the campaign has found It hard to attract members, not necessarily because many products are not 65 percent British, but because manufacturers no longer believe that it matters that much to consumers whether a product is, in fact, British at all. This lukewarm attitude comes at a time when U.K. producers of food are benefiting from the current desire consumers have to purchase more locally grown produce so as to eliminate their transportation and damage it ; causes to the environment. But in the case of manufacturing, the proof of the pudding seems to be in the buying.

Sources: Quotes and other information from Superbrands Council (; British Made for Quality (; "Save the Proper British Café" Campaign (; Beyond the Bean (; Cadbury (; and Heinz (

networking Web sites, or even virtual worlds—where people socialize or exchange information and opinions.

Online social networks Consumer-goods maker Procter & Gamble (P&G) has created a huge word-of-mouth

Online social communities—blogs, social marketing arm—Vocalpoint—consisting of 350,000 moms. A This army of natural-born buzzers leverages the power of peer-to-peer communication to spread the word about brands. Vocalpoint recruits "connectors"—people with vast networks of friends and a gift for gab. They create buzz not just for P&G brands but for those of other client companies as well.15

Procter & Gamble couldn't ask for a better salesperson than Vocalpointer Donna Wetherell. The gregarious Columbus, Ohio, mom works at a customer service call center unaffiliated with P&G, where she knows some 300 coworkers by name. Lately, Wetherell has spent so much time at work talking about P&G products and handing out discount coupons that her colleagues have given her a nickname. "I am called the coupon lady," Wetherell says.

Except for educating Vocalpointers about products, the company doesn't coach the moms. The connectors themselves choose whether or not to pitch the product to friends and what to say. What's more, they do the work without pay. What's in it for them? For one thing, they receive a steady flow of coupons and samples. But more important, it makes them insiders, seeing cool new ideas before their friends have them. Second, it gives them a voice. "They're filled with great ideas, and they don't think anybody listens to them," says Vocalpoint's CEO.

Online Social Networks. Over the past few years, a new type of social interaction has exploded onto the scene—online social networking. Online social networks are online communities where people socialize or exchange information and opinions. Social networking media range from blogs to social networking Web sites, such as Badoo,, and YouTube, to

Buzz marketing: The Vocalpoint marketing arm of consumer-goods maker Procter & Gamble has enlisted an army of buzzers to create word-of-mouth for brands. "We know that the most powerful form of marketing is a message from a trusted friend.

entire virtual worlds, such as Second Life. This new form of high-tech buzz has big implications for marketers.

Personal connections—forged through words, pictures, video, and audio posted just for the [heck] of it—are the life of the new Web, bringing together the estimated 60 million bloggers, more than 110 million users (230,000 more sign up every day), and millions more on single-use social networks where people share one category of stuff, like Flickr (photos), (links), Digg (news stories), Wikipedia (encyclopedia articles), and YouTube (video) It's hard to overstate the coming impact of these new network technologies on business: They hatch trends and build immense waves of interest in specific products. They serve up giant, targeted audiences to advertisers. They edge out old media with the loving labor of amateurs. They effortlessly provide hyperdetailed data to marketers. The new social networking technologies provide an authentic, peer-to-peer channel of communication that is far more credible than any corporate flackery.16

Marketers are working to harness the power of these new social networks to promote their products and build closer customer relationships. Instead of throwing more one-way commercial messages at ad-weary consumers, they hope to use social networks to interact with consumers and become a part of their conversations and lives. For example, brands ranging from the intimate apparel maker Victoria's Secret to Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble have set up MySpace pages and Facebook groups. Victoria Secret's Facebook group offers free downloads, contests, and printable coupons—the group has more than 300,000 "members." And Wal-Mart set up the "Roommate Style Match" Facebook group, aimed at jump-starting college student back-to-school sales. Members take a quiz to determine their decorating style and get a list of "recommended products" they can buy at Wal-Mart to match their style with their roommate's.17

A rush of marketers—from Dell and Sears to BMW, Coca-Cola, Adidas, and even the cable TV news network CNN—have now set up their brands and are even selling digital goods in Second Life, the Internet-based digital world that is "imagined, created, and owned" by its nearly six million residents. Adidas has sold 21,000 pairs of virtual shoes in Second Life, and the average avatar (your Second Life character) spends 20 minutes in its store. CNN opened a news-gathering outpost in Second Life, staffed by "residents," by which visitors can get the latest news via kiosks throughout the virtual community.18

Other companies regularly post ads or custom videos on video-sharing sites such as YouTube. Viewers watch more than 2.5 billion YouTube videos in a single month, making it an attractive marketing outlet. For example, clothing maker American Eagle Outfitters posts short, entertaining movies on YouTube. The food-products maker Heinz runs the Top This TV Challenge, which invites amateurs to submit homemade Heinz Ketchup commercials with the chance to win a grand prize of $57,000 and have their commercial aired on national television. And the U.S. fast-food chain Jack in the Box posts specially made, highly irreverent ads on YouTube that draw tens of thousands of page views from its targeted young male audience. Such ads have turned the Jack in the Box character into a cultural icon in that country.19

Following the success of large social networking sites such as Badoo, MySpace and Facebook, thousands of niche sites have popped up that cater to more selective online communities:20

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Using online social networks: Following the success of large social networking sites, thousands of niche sites have popped up that cater to more selective online communities. connects a community of "shopaholics" (chronic shoppers).

is for hip-hop fans: lets music fans find others with similar tastes; and is one of several sites for avid travelers. Some sites cater to the obscure. Passions Network, with 600,000 members, has 106 groups for special interests, including "Star Trek" fans, truckers, atheists, and people who are shy. The most popular group is a dating site for the overweight. Membership on niche networking sites varies greatly, ranging from a few hundred to a few million., which provides an online haven for U.S. expatriots, opened last month and now has about 200 members. has 40 million members who rate movies and gossip about actors.

These more selective sites often provide richer, more targeted marketing opportunities for brands. "The bigger sites have become so cluttered and overrun with advertisers that members are used to tuning stuff out, even personalized ads," says an analyst. "But on networking sites that have a self-selecting demographic, people tend to trust the content, including ads."21 Companies can even create their own social networks. For example, Procter & Gamble set up Capessa (, "a gathering place for real women to share their stories, offer their personal wisdom and practical advice, improve their lives, and be inspired. The only thing that's missing is the kitchen table." The site gives women a place to express themselves and P&G an opportunity to observe and learn more about their needs and feelings.22

But marketers must be careful when tapping into online social networks. Results are difficult to measure and control. Ultimately, the users control the content, so online network marketing attempts can easily backfire. For example, when the automaker Chevrolet launched a Web contest inviting folks to create their own ads for its Chevy Tahoe, a large sports-utility vehicle (SUV), the contest quickly lost control. Says one observer, "the entries that got passed around, blogged about, and eventually covered in the mainstream media were all about the SUV's abysmal gas usage and melting polar ice caps." One user-generated ad proclaimed, "Like this snowy wilderness? Better get your fill of it now. Then say hello to global warming." Another concluded, "$70 to fill up the tank, which will last less than 400 miles. Chevy Tahoe."23 We will dig deeper into online social networks as a marketing tool in Chapter 17.


Family members can strongly influence buyer behavior. The family is the most important consumer buying organization in society, and it has been researched extensively. Marketers are interested in the roles and influence of the husband, wife, and children on the purchase of different products and services.

Husband-wife involvement varies widely by product category and by stage in the buying process. Buying roles change with evolving consumer lifestyles. In the United States as well as many other countries, for example, the wife traditionally has been the main purchasing agent for the family in the areas of food, household products, and clothing. A But with 70 percent of American women now holding jobs outside the home and the willingness of husbands to do more of the family's purchasing, all this is changing. Men now account for about 40 percent of all food-shopping dollars in the United States. Women influence 65 percent of all new car purchases, 91 percent of new home purchases, and 92 percent of vacation purchases. In all, women now make almost 85 percent of all family purchases, spending two-thirds of the United States' GDP.24

Such changes suggest that marketers in industries that have sold their products to only men or only women are now courting the opposite sex. For example, after realizing that women today account for 50 percent of all technology purchases, Dell has stepped up its efforts to woo women buyers. It now advertises regularly in female-focused magazines

▲ Family buying: Family buying roles are changing. For example, in the United States, men now account for about 40 percent of all food-shopping dollars, while women influence 50 percent of all new technology purchases.

and on woman-centric cable-TV channels.

Children may also have a strong influence on family buying decisions. In the United States alone, 36 million kids age 3 to 11 wield an estimated $18 billion in disposable income. They also influence an additional $115 billion that their families spend on them in areas such as food, clothing, entertainment, and personal care items. For example, one recent study found that kids significantly influence family decisions about where they take vacations and what cars and cell phones they buy. As a result, marketers of cars, full-service restaurants, cell phones, and travel destinations are now placing ads on child-oriented TV networks.

As part of its efforts to target families, the automaker Chrysler recently signed promotional sponsorship and advertising deals with the child-oriented TV network Nickelodeon for its Town & Country minivans. It runs ads in Nickelodeon printed publications, Web sites, and TV programs. One of the network's cartoon characters has appeared prominently in the Chrysler Town & Country advertising.25

Roles and Status

A person belongs to many groups—family, clubs, organizations. The person's position in each group can be defined in terms of both role and status. A role consists of the activities people are expected to perform according to the persons around them. Each role carries a status reflecting the general esteem given to it by society.

People usually choose products appropriate to their roles and status. Consider the various roles a working mother plays. In her company, she plays the role of a brand manager; in her family, she plays the role of wife and mother; at her favorite sporting events, she plays the role of avid fan. As a brand manager, she will buy the kind of clothing that reflects her role and status in her company.

Personal Factors

A buyer's decisions also are influenced by personal characteristics such as the buyer's age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, and personality and self concept.

Age and Life-Cycle Stage

People change the goods and services they buy over their lifetimes. Tastes in food, clothes, furniture, and recreation are often age related. Buying is also shaped by the stage of the family life cycle—the stages through which families might pass as they mature over time. Marketers often define their target markets in terms of life-cycle stage and develop appropriate products and marketing plans for each stage.

Traditional family life-cycle stages include young singles and married couples with children. Today, however, marketers are increasingly catering to a growing number of alternative, nontraditional stages such as unmarried couples, singles marrying later in life, childless couples, same-sex couples, single parents, extended parents (those with young adult children returning home), and others.

RBC Royal Bank has identified five life-stage segments. The Youth segment includes customers younger than 18. Getting Started consists of customers aged 18 to 35 who are going through first experiences, such as their graduation, first credit card, first car, first loan, marriage, and first child. Builders, customers aged 35 to 50, are in their peak earning years. As they build careers and family, they tend to borrow more than they invest. Accumulators, aged 50 to 60, worry about saving for retirement and investing wisely. Finally, Preservers, customers over 60, want to maximize their retirement income to main' tain a desired lifestyle. RBC markets different services to the different segments. For example, with Builders, who face many expenses, it emphasizes loans and debt-load management services.26


A person's occupation affects the goods and services bought. Blue-collar workers tend to buy more rugged work clothes, whereas executives buy more business suits. Marketers try to identify the occupational groups that have an above-average interest in their products and services. A company can even specialize in making products needed by a given occupational group.

For example, Spear's Specialty Shoes fills a tiny niche in the shoe world by making highend shoes for—of all things—clowns (and some team mascots and even store Santas). Founder Gary Spear, a former clown himself, discovered a need for good, comfortable clown shoes with reasonable delivery time's. Over the past 25 years his company has built a worldwide reputation. At the company's Web site (, professional clowns can browse different colors and styles and design their own shoes. It's a fun niche but these shoes are no joke. Made for professional clowning around, they are made with lightweight soles and serious padding, at a starting price of $300 a pair.27

Economic Situation

A person's economic situation will affect product choice. Marketers of income-sensitive goods watch trends in personal income, savings, and interest rates. If economic indicators point to a recession, marketers can take steps to redesign, reposition, and reprice their products closely. Some marketers target consumers who have lots of money and resources, charging prices to match. For example, Rolex positions its luxury watches as "a tribute to elegance, an object of passion, a symbol for all time." Other marketers target consumers with more modest means. Timex makes more affordable watches that "take a licking and keep on ticking."

Lifestyle: Consumers don't just buy products, they buy the values and lifestyles those products represent. Georgia Boot proudly targets "guys who are comfortable with who they are."


A person's pattern of living as expressed in his or her activities, interests, and opinions.


People coming from the same subculture, social class, and occupation may have quite different lifestyles. Lifestyle is a person's pattern of living as expressed in his or her psychographics. It involves measuring consumers' major AIO dimensions—activities (work, hobbies, shopping, sports, social events), interests (food, fashion, family, recreation), and opinions (about themselves, social issues, business, products). Lifestyle captures something more than the person's social class or personality. It profiles a person's whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world.

When used carefully, the lifestyle concept can help marketers understand changing consumer values and how they affect buying behavior. Consumers don't just buy products, they buy the values and lifestyles those products represent. For example, BMW doesn't just sell convertibles, it sells the convertible lifestyle: "Skies never bluer. Knuckles never whiter." A And Georgia Boot sells more than just rugged footwear, it sells a lifestyle to "guys who are comfortable with who they are." Says one marketer, "People's product choices are becoming more and more like value choices. It's not, 'I like this water, the way it tastes.' It's 'I feel like this car, or this show, is more reflective of who I am.'"

For example, U.S.-based Pottery Barn, with its different store formats, sells more than just home furnishings. It sells a lifestyle to which its customers aspire. Pottery Barn Kids offers idyllic scenes of the perfect childhood, whereas PB Teens offer a trendy fashion-forward self-expression. The flagship Pottery Barn stores serve an upscale yet casual, family- and friend-focused lifestyle—affluent but sensibly so.28

Shortly after Hadley MacLean got married, she and her husband, Doug, agreed that their old bed had to go. It was a mattress and box spring on a cheap metal frame, a relic of Doug's Harvard days. But Hadley never anticipated how tough it would be to find a new bed. "We couldn't find anything we liked, even though we were willing to spend the money," says Hadley, a 31-year-old marketing director. It turned out to be much more than just finding a piece of furniture at the right price. It was a matter of


The unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to one's own environment.

Brand personality

The specific mix of human traits that may be attributed to a particular brand.

Motive (drive)

A need that is sufficiently pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction of the need.

emotion: They needed a bed that meshed with their lifestyle—with who they are and where they are going. The couple finally ended up at the Pottery Barn on Boston's upscale Newbury Street, where Doug fell in love with a mahogany sleigh bed that Hadley had spotted in the store's catalog. The couple was so pleased with how great it looked in their Dutch Colonial home that they hurried back to the store for a set of end tables. And then they bought a quilt. And a mirror for the living room. And some stools for the dining room. "We got kind of addicted," Hadley confesses.

Personality and Self-Concept

Each person's distinct personality influences his or her buying behavior. Personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to one's own environment. Personality is usually described in terms of traits such as self-confidence, dominance, sociability, autonomy, defensiveness, adaptability, and aggressiveness. Personality can be useful in analyzing consumer behavior for certain product or brand choices.

The idea is that brands also have personalities, and that consumers are likely to choose brands with personalities that match their own. A brand personality is the specific mix of human traits that may be attributed to a particular brand. One researcher identified five brand personality traits:29

1. Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful)

2. Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, and up-to-date)

3. Competence (reliable, intelligent, and successful)

4. Sophistication (upper class and charming)

5. Ruggedness (outdoorsy and tough)

Most well-known brands are strongly associated with one particular trait: the automaker Jeep with "ruggedness," Apple Computer with "excitement," the British Broadcasting Corporaton with "competence," and the Dove brand of soap with "sincerity." Hence, these brands will attract persons who are high on the same personality traits.

Many marketers use a concept related to personality—a person's self-concept (also called self-image). The basic self-concept premise is that people's possessions contribute to and reflect their identities—that is, "we are what we have." Thus, in order to understand consumer behavior, the marketer must first understand the relationship between consumer self-concept and possessions.

Apple applies these concepts in a recent series of ads that characterize two people as computers—one guy plays the part of an Apple Mac and the other plays a PC. The two have very different personalities and self-concepts. "Hello, I'm a Mac," says the guy on the right, who's younger and dressed in jeans. "And I'm a PC," says the one on the left, who's wearing out-of-style glasses and a jacket and tie. The two men discuss the relative advantages of Macs versus PCs, with the Mac coming out on top. The ads present the Mac brand personality as young, laid back, and hip. The PC is portrayed as buttoned down, corporate, and a bit dorky. The message? If you see yourself as young and with it, you need a Mac.30

Psychological Factors

A person's buying choices are further influenced by four major psychological factors: motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes.


A person has many needs at any given time. Some are biological, arising from states of tension such as hunger, thirst, or discomfort. Others are psychological, arising from the need for recognition, esteem, or belonging. A need becomes a motive when it is aroused to a sufficient level of intensity. A motive (or drive) is a need that is sufficiently pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction. Psychologists have developed theories of human motivation. Two of the most popular—the theories of psychologists Sigmund Freud and Abraham Maslow— have quite different meanings for consumer analysis and marketing.

Sigmund Freud assumed that people are largely unconscious about the real psychological forces shaping their behavior. He saw the person as growing up and repressing many urges. These urges are never eliminated or under perfect control; they emerge in dreams, in slips of the tongue, in neurotic and obsessive behavior, or ultimately in psychoses.

Freud's theory suggests that a person's buying decisions are affected by subconscious motives that even the buyer may not fully understand. A Thus, an aging consumer who buys a sporty BMW 330Ci convertiblé might explain that he simply likes the feel of the wind in his thinning hair. At a deeper level, he may be trying to impress others with his success. At a still deeper level, he may be buying the car to feel young and independent again.

The term motivation research refers to qualitative research designed to probe consumers' hidden, subconscious motivations. Consumers often don't know or can't describe just why they act as they do. Thus, motivation researchers use a variety of probing techniques to uncover underlying emotions and attitudes toward brands and buying situations.

Many companies employ teams of psychologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists to carry out motivation research. One ad agency routinely conducts one-on-one, therapy-like interviews to delve into the inner workings of consumers. Another company asks consumers to describe their favorite brands as animals or cars (say, Cadillacs versus Chevrolets) in order to assess the prestige associated with various brands. Still others rely on hypnosis, dream therapy, or soft lights and mood music to plumb the murky depths of consumer psyches.

Such projective techniques seem ridiculous, and some marketers dismiss such motivation research as ineffective. But many marketers use such touchy-feely approaches, now sometimes called interpretive consumer research, to delve into consumer psyches and develop better marketing strategies.31

Abraham Maslow sought to explain why people are driven by particular needs at particular times. Why does one person spend much time and energy on personal safety and another on gaining the esteem of others? Maslow's answer is that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy, as shown in Figure 5.4, from the most pressing at the bottom to the least pressing at the top.32 They include physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.

A person tries to satisfy the most important need first. When that need is satisfied, it will stop being a motivator and the person will then try to satisfy the next most important need. For example, starving people (physiological need) will not take an interest in the latest happenings in the art world (self-actualization needs), nor in how they are seen or esteemed by others (social or esteem needs), nor even in whether they are breathing clean air (safety needs). But as each important need is satisfied, the next most important need will come into play.

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