Brand!t Brand Experience
Our team has worked on advertising, promotions, merchandising and/or media for some of the biggest names in the world and some of the most successful niche marketers. We’d love to add your name to our list.
|7-Eleven||Hermann Hospital||PGS (Petroleum Geo-Services)|
|Blue Bell||Houston Astros||Pizza Hut|
|Budweiser||Houston Metro Transit Systems||PMRG (PM Realty Group)|
|Cap Rock Winery||HP||Right Step|
|Courtyard on St. James Place||Igloo||Saurage Research|
|Dr Pepper||Jiffy Lube||Spirit Lodge|
|Exxon||La Porte CPAs||Star Furniture|
|EX Tan||Messina-Hoff Wine||Texaco|
|Frito-Lay||Mississippi Power||Texas Commerce Bank|
|Farnsworth & vonBerg||NSL Aerospace||Texas Monthly|
|Goff Financial||Pearl Resources LLC||United Way|
The venerable Pennzoil brand was in decline, losing sales and market share to several competitors, most notably Castrol. Read more.
Restoring The Crown To The King of Beers
Budweiser sales momentum was in reverse. Additionally, the brand was being challenged by Miller High Life with a new, exciting image and a big infusion of cash by its new owner, cigarette king Phillip-Morris. The crown was slipping from the King of Beers. Read more.
Rx for Columbia Healthcare
A new national player in the healthcare market, Columbia, purchased 35 Houston-area community hospitals. Each had a following in its nearby service area. The Columbia name was a complete unknown, and research showed that the public did not like the idea of a corporate conglomerate taking over their neighborhood hospital. Read more.
The venerable Pennzoil brand was in decline, losing sales and market share to several competitors, most notably Castrol.
The issue was first analyzed to determine why. The competitive landscape was reviewed to assess the go-to-market strategy of all major motor oil brands. Additionally, consumer research was conducted to determine strong and weak perceptions among both Pennzoil users and non-users versus competition.
The results were both alarming and obvious. Pennzoil was not well received by motor oil users, particularly those under 50 years of age. In fact, Pennzoil did not fare well as a second or third choice purchase.
What became obvious was that Pennzoil was being outspent by brands half the size, by default relegating the brand to ‘less than industry leader’ status. What was less obvious, but surfaced as well, was that Pennzoil’s positioning was not delivering what consumers or even retail “recommenders” were now looking for in a motor oil, newness, technologically advanced, or even a contemporary image. Pennzoil was old and stodgy — for old cars.
To resurrect this once-respected brand, a three-fold strategy was initiated:
- Positioning, message, packaging and all other support elements were designed to reclaim the leadership role, projecting an innovative, technologically advanced and more contemporary image.
- A differentiating message was crafted that made something of a simple generic molecule, by naming, and thus claiming the molecule as proprietary: the exclusive “PennStar Molecule” was born, and “Works Like Liquid Ball Bearings” was support copy that was immediately relevant to the target consumer.
- Media, previously spent at identical levels in 54 spot markets, was now strategically planned to consider category development index, brand development index, market share, market profitability and sales trend. Other marketing support was put through a similar test.
- Advertising message was placed in high profile media vehicles that the consumer target regularly watched, read or listened to, and which reflected their lifestyle.
In less than 8 months the brand’s sales and market share declines bottomed-out. Within the next 12 months Pennzoil was increasing its lead over #2 Castrol, regaining its status as the industry leader with consumers and retailers alike.
Budweiser sales momentum was in reverse. Additionally, the brand was being challenged by Miller High Life with a new, exciting image and a big infusion of cash by it’s new owner, cigarette king Phillip-Morris. The crown was slipping from the King of Beers!
To address this situation, a deep-dive Brand Fitness Study was initiated, including primary research to determine Bud’s brand and product perceptions with the target consumer versus that of the competition. Another component of the study was a thorough competitive analysis of all like beer brands’ marketing.
Findings were that the shine on Budweiser’s crown had dulled with nearly all target demographics, except for one, men 50+. With all other age groups Bud had become “your old man’s beer”, not good news since individual beer consumption drops as the drinker ages. The competitive analysis confirmed that (at least) the Miller brand was attacking with lifestyle marketing to build a strong consumer bond.
To restore Bud’s crown, a three-pronged attack plan began:
- A new positioning and message was brewed. Miller had been using “Now Comes Miller Time.” And after all, who doesn’t like a cold brew after a hard day’s work? But Budweiser virtually stole the after-work occasion with a very unique positioning, not talking about the beer, but talking about the beer drinker. Saluting the American worker for a job well done, the message said, “For all You do…This Bud’s For You!” This new messaging was applied throughout an integrated marketing campaign.
- Market segmentation was pretty new to Anheuser-Busch, but not to Phillip-Morris’ cigarette brands. And it was clear that Bud had to tap into specific sub-segments of the beer-drinking consumer if it was to catch up. So the new message was applied to ethnic groups and to the entry-level drinker, by twisting the salute somewhat. Music and entertainment interests were paired with For You, Budweiser. And for the Latino segment, strong family ties and the contributions of family members received a fitting salute in Spanish, “Es Para Usted, Budweiser!” Knowing that the devil is in the details, messages were individually tailored to the three major Latino nationalities, Mexican in Texas and California, Puerto Rican in New York and Cuban in Florida.
- Segmented marketing programs were initiated and spending levels were increased to competitive levels, but not beyond. Miller actually continued to outspend Bud for some time.
Budweiser became the new, contemporary beer — America’s beer. Category leadership was recaptured and grew to an unheard-of 25% market share. Budweiser was re-crowned The King of Beers. Salute!
A new national player in the healthcare market, Columbia, purchased 35 Houston-area community hospitals. Each had a following in its nearby service area. The Columbia name was a complete unknown, and research showed that the public did not like the idea of a corporate conglomerate taking over their neighborhood hospital.
Change 19 names and also change people’s minds at the same time. No problem! The graphics, advertising and public relations had to be friendly and approachable, yet convey a sense of improved technology and quality of care, both assets that Columbia made possible. The Columbia stamp on any institution needed to breed confidence in area consumers.
We implemented a “teaser” campaign to generate “word of mouth.” A traditional tease ad baits viewers with an intriguing question, then answers that question in advertising that follows weeks later. We wanted people to ask their friends, “Did you see that billboard? What did it mean?” to get some publicity and buzz circulating. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or money to do both the tease and answers ads separately. So we ran them simultaneously. In The Chronicle, the teaser ad was on a right-hand page and the answer ad was directly on the back side of it, as the reader turned the page. Similarly, billboards carried teaser ads facing one direction (for example, inbound traffic) and the answer billboard faced another direction (e.g. outbound).
TEASER: You know us. You just don’t know our name. (photo of medical staff)
ANSWER: We’re Columbia. 19 hospitals in the Houston area.
TEASER: You know us. You just don’t know where we are. (blank map)
ANSWER: We’re Columbia. 19 hospitals in the Houston area. (map with 19 locations shown)
The campaign ran on radio, billboards, The Chronicle and other community newspapers.
A Gallup survey measured awareness before and after the campaign. Awareness of Columbia and hospitals that belonged to the system went from 0 to 300% — amazing! Later the same year, Columbia’s national parent ran a TV campaign that was three times more expensive. The awareness needle only moved 120%.