Coca-Cola, Under Armour, Ryanair: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all this week’s major marketing news including Coca-Cola’s new brand purpose, Under Armour’s shift to brand marketing and the departure of Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs.

coca cola natasha lyonee

Coca-Cola launches new brand purpose

Coca-Cola is getting political…kind of. The drinks giant’s European arm is launching a new brand platform and purpose that it hopes will help unite a divided world.

The positioning, ‘Better when we’re open’, is launching across Europe and hopes to act as a rallying cry to consumers to make the world a better place.

The new platform and purpose is an evolution of its previous ‘Uplift and unite’ positioning but Coke says it is rooted in “old values” of standing up for social causes. Coca-Cola’s Western Europe marketing director Walter Susini is adamant these issues aren’t “political but social”.

To communicate the new purpose to consumers, Coke is launching an ad, created by Wieden+Kennedy London, that calls on everyone to listen more to different opinions and ask, “Could I be wrong?”.

Coca-Cola is looking to position itself as a company that stands for something but younger consumers won’t stand for wishy-washy ads so Coke will need be more explicit than its iconic Hilltop ad if it wants to get cut-through. MF

READ MORE: Coca-Cola introduces new brand platform as it vows to take a stand on social issues

Under Armour changes its media strategy to put more money behind brand

under armour

Under Armour is investing a greater proportion of its marketing budget on brand and top-of-funnel activity as it looks to “spend money the right way”.

Having launching a major brand campaign at the start of 2020, it plans to increase its proportion of spend to 12% of revenue this year, from a low of 10.5% in 2018. However, CEO Patrik Frisk says the important thing is not the increase in spend but where the investment will go.

It has dropped spend it previously committed to sports marketing in favour of brand. And it is pulling back from product messaging to talk more about what the company stands for.

“It’s not just the amount of money you have, it’s how you’re able to activate that spend,” he explained. “We had a lot of committed spend in our marketing from 2016, 2017, 2018. As we started coming to 2019 and now into 2020, we’re starting to be able to activate more of the money top-of-funnel and mid-funnel and that’s incredibly important.

“That’s why I keep saying that there isn’t anything wrong with the brand, the problem is consideration. To be able to drive consideration you need to spend against the brand.”

Investing too much in short-term sales activity and discounting, rather than brand, is a lesson many companies are now learning. Whether it’s Gap, Booking.com or Under Armour, many are realising they went too far one way and neglected their brands.

Admitting that was the case and working to rectify the problem makes Under Armour a brand that many others could learn from.

Monzo and MoneySuperMarket top customer recommendations

YouGov’s 2020 recommend rankings came out this week and the winners are in: MoneySavingExpert.com and Monzo are the brands most recommended by their own customers, followed by Trailfinders, Universal Studios Orlando and OnePlus.

That MSE and Monzo have taken the top two spots shows that brands with alternative approaches to finance are doing something right when it comes to winning over their customers. This is bolstered by TransferWise, another fintech brand, ranking eighth.

Consumer advocacy is an increasingly important measure of brand health, especially as people trust more and more what their friends and colleagues say and recommend. Monzo is a prime example of a brand that has created success through word-of-mouth advocacy, which also shows how powerful a communications channel recommendations can be.

Four travel companies make up the top 10. This is worth pointing out because purchases made through travel and holiday-related brands are usually higher in cost, meaning consumers often prefer to research thoroughly before committing large amounts of money. A high recommend score here could have a larger positive impact on a brand’s reputation and therefore its sales.

With customer advocacy being a vital part of a successful business, these brands should expect to perform well over the coming year. SV

READ MORE: Under Armour shifts strategy to invest in product and brand

Ryanair CMO leaves at turning point

Ryanair’s CMO Kenny Jacobs is leaving budget airline Ryanair after six years.

Jacobs was behind the airline’s ‘Always Getting Better’ brand positioning that it launched as part of a charm offensive as it targeted 110 million annual passengers.

He also led a focus on the digital customer experience, overhauling its website and mobile app, and boosted the proportion of its revenue from optional extras such as assigned seating and additional baggage from 20% to 30%.

He is leaving at a turning point for the company as it looks to appeal to eco-conscious millennials. Jacobs recently helped launched the brand’s ‘low carbon emissions’ brands positioning which got banned by the ASA.

His successor will have to navigate a difficult climate as airlines work to offset negative images of flying. MF

READ MORE: Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs to depart after six years

Monzo and MoneySuperMarket top customer recommendations

YouGov’s 2020 recommend rankings came out this week and the winners are in: MoneySavingExpert.com and Monzo are the brands most recommended by their own customers, followed by Trailfinders, Universal Studios Orlando and OnePlus.

That MSE and Monzo have taken the top two spots shows that brands with alternative approaches to finance are doing something right when it comes to winning over their customers. This is bolstered by TransferWise, another fintech brand, ranking eighth.

Consumer advocacy is an increasingly important measure of brand health, especially as people trust more and more what their friends and colleagues say and recommend. Monzo is a prime example of a brand that has created success through word-of-mouth advocacy, which also shows how powerful a communications channel recommendations can be.

Four travel companies make up the top 10. This is worth pointing out because purchases made through travel and holiday-related brands are usually higher in cost, meaning consumers often prefer to research thoroughly before committing large amounts of money. A high recommend score here could have a larger positive impact on a brand’s reputation and therefore its sales.

With customer advocacy being a vital part of a successful business, these brands should expect to perform well over the coming year. EH

Nubian Skin shows brands how to do diversity

Nubian Skin has won TfL and City Hall’s second annual competition to improve diversity in advertising with a campaign that shows the wider advertising industry what it really looks like to represent people of colour in a realistic way.

Ade Hassan, who founded the hosiery brand six years ago, said the aim of the campaign is to open up the conversation and help people see what being black is as something a bit less “one-dimensional”.

There are no end of examples of brands portraying ethnic minorities in a negative, stereotypical or tokenistic way. And this is largely to blame on the lack of diversity in the teams making the ads and calling the shots.

So Nubian Skin’s campaign speaks to a much wider problem: a lack of diversity in the marketing industry, which Marketing Week’s 2020 Career Salary Survey also points to.

How can brands expect to represent ethnic minorities better and in a less stereotypical way when so many of the people in decision-making positions are white, male and from a certain socioeconomic background?

“As a black woman I can pull from my experience and put that into a campaign,” Hassan said. “If you have a team that doesn’t have any black people or ethnic minorities on it, it is going to be hard to portray them in a way that is natural because you’re not pulling from experience.”

Which is probably (/definitely) why Pepsi with its Kendall Jenner ad and the Government with its anti-knife crime/chicken box campaign got it so unbelievably and unforgivably wrong. EH

READ MORE: ‘What does being black mean to you?’: Nubian Skin wins TfL’s ad diversity prize

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