Diageo, Holland & Barrett, Wimbledon: 5 things that mattered this week and why

From why Diageo is slowing the pace of innovation, to Holland & Barrett’s upcoming brand refresh, catch up on all this week’s marketing news.


Diageo unveils three-pronged strategy to maximise innovation

Diageo is slowing the pace of innovation as it focuses on maximising the impact of its current innovation pipeline.

The brand admits it has reached “peak innovation” and rather than churn out lacklustre products purely to hit consumer trends it will focus on innovations that could change the market – essentially quality over quantity.

It’s a smart move from the drinks brand and its resistance to the pressure of keeping up with the pace of change should be applauded. This isn’t a lack of commitment either, it is ramping up its marketing budgets – a trend it promises will continue. It simply marks a more thoughtful approach to innovation.

The drinks giant has three areas of focus “recruit, re-recruit and disruption”. Recruit is at the centre of Diageo’s innovation plans, with more than half of its new products focused on attracting new consumers – a “major shift” from a couple of years ago. Re-recruit, meanwhile, aims to engage existing customers and maintain loyalty, while disruption looks to more experimental ideas and new trends.

This three-pronged attack allows the brand to cover all areas and put consumers firmly at its heart. In a period where everyone is scrambling to keep up with consumer trends has Diageo found the right strategy for innovation? MF

READ MORE: Diageo slows new product launch rate as it reaches ‘peak innovation’

Holland & Barrett gears up for brand refresh

Holland & Barrett is long overdue a brand refresh. While it has earned its place on the high street – its store portfolio has held steady amid a sea of administrations and closures – its green and inoffensive presence feels a bit stale. Or “dusty”, as its global CMO Caroline Hipperson puts it.

Good job it’s getting a makeover then (apparently in the coming months), and if its showcase event this week is anything to go by, Holland & Barrett has taken a big breath to blow those cobwebs away.

“We’ve been cooking for a long time in our kitchen now and we’re ready to start rolling big programmes out,” Hipperson told Marketing Week. “Innovation, communication and team and culture are the three biggest things you will see changing.”

It’s all very mysterious, but part of this refresh will include more experience-based shopping in-store, a new on-the-go food range, a revamped loyalty scheme and bigger product range. A new logo is almost definitely in the pipeline too.

With Boots opening new beauty halls, and the likes of Whole Foods and Planet Organic providing stiff competition, Holland & Barrett is wise to reassess its brand and offering.

Doing more campaigns like ‘Me.No.Pause’, which Hipperson said we can expect to see, is also in line with people’s demand for more honest and transparent advertising and should help people to see it in a more modern and forward-thinking light. EH

READ MORE: Holland & Barrett preps brand refresh to shake off ‘dusty’ image

Wimbledon to shake off ‘ivory tower’ image with brand refresh

Wimbledon has a long-standing reputation of being the posh grand slam. The one with strict branding rules, a white dress code and an old-fashioned ticketing method, all of which are exclusive to the British tournament.

However, this means Wimbledon risks alienating a wider consumer base and only appealing to the elite, privileged or wealthy. And this is something the team at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is eager to change with a brand refresh and new tone of voice.

The changes – notably updates to the graphics and language used on the website, as well as to match-day programmes and information booklets – intend to reflect the modern game and serve a progressive audience while eliminating the perception the event is only for the posh.

“Originally the way we wrote was very formal – almost like being school master [talking to] school children. And the way we’d humanised that voice through our social media channels was at odds with the way we were writing our formal publications,” the AELTC’s head of communications, content and digital, Alexandra Willis, says.

Harry Kerr, the AELTC’s head of marketing, adds that the club, “can’t just sit on our hands and release a pretty trailer, and not be able to answer the question of what we want to achieve with our marketing.” True.

Which is why Willis is adamant success will be achieved if everything it does – including the brand refresh and new campaign ‘Join the Story’ – is integrated and can deliver growth and scale in audience.

But not just any audience, one that understands what the tournament stands for.

“Wimbledon is not this ivory tower, exclusive, only for the privileged event, it has something for everyone,” Willis says.

Though, many would consider one of Wimbledon’s main lures is that it continues to play to its traditionalist roots. The AELTC should ensure it doesn’t change too much and risk losing its classic touch. EL

READ MORE: Wimbledon on its marketing strategy – We are going beyond just releasing a pretty trailer

Fairy rebrands for Pride to spark conversation around LGBT+ rights

It’s Pride month which inevitably means an influx of brands desperate to paint their products rainbow coloured, with Fairy the latest to join the bandwagon. It has rebranded to Fair with the hope that the single letter change will “startle” consumers to stop and take note of the multi-coloured message.

Brent Miller, leader of LGBTQ+ communications at Procter & Gamble (P&G), says it wanted to leverage “the size and iconic nature” of Fairy to spark conversations about LGBTQ+ rights.

Fairy is right that its iconic product has influence but arguably having a same-sex couple or family in its general ad campaigns would be more effective. In its own research, commissioned as part of the rebrand, it finds a fifth (18%) of consumers, feel LGBTQ+ parenting has no place in 2019 and if marketing is going to help change that mindset LGBTQ+ representation has to exist outside of Pride.

To be fair to Fairy it has partnered with the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) and is donating £50,000 to the LGBQT+ youth homeless charity, plus a donation from each bottle sold.

Also, its owner P&G has done a huge amount for its LGBTQ+ employees including championing LGBTQ+ rights in countries where it is still illegal and helping trans employees seamlessly transition in the workplace.

That being said, so often brands are just as quick to drop the rainbow flag as soon as the summer months are over. Not only does this put off LGBTQ+ consumers it also shows a lack of authenticity. As younger consumers care more about honest purpose, brands need to ensure they stick to these issues, not just when they know it will be trending on Twitter. MF

READ MORE: P&G rebrands Fairy to Fair to get people talking about LGBTQ+ rights

Nike wins big at the Women’s World Cup

As the Women’s World Cup draws to a close, and it’s now just a matter of hours until the USA or Netherlands claims victory, Nike has already emerged as the clear brand winner.

Exclusive research carried out by System1 for Marketing Week reveals the sportswear giant’s ‘Dream Further’ campaign ticked all the right boxes for football fans – both male and female – helping it achieve a score of 4.6 out of five for emotional engagement.

Given a score of three is considered strong, four is deemed excellent and five is “exceptional”, Nike has nailed it with this campaign, which shows both how strong and successful female athletes are while empowering women to drive change.

This is exactly the kind of campaign that’s needed to support the growth of women’s sport and help it be seen as an equal to the men’s alternatives. The ad not only features a bold call to action in ‘Don’t change your dreams. Change the world’ but clearly illustrates the technical skill and performance value of the stars involved.

The fact Nike’s ad resonates so well emotionally is also a good indication it will perform well commercially. While it’s impossible to predict how well an ad will do as creativity is subjective, creating an emotional connection is closely linked to ROI, which is enabling brands to predict the impact of campaigns, and can be used as a guide to measure success.

Nike’s World Cup efforts should be a clear indication to other brands of the success that can be achieved by supporting women’s sport in a powerful and meaningful way.

What’s sad is the fact there were just 10 ads launched by brands to support the women’s tournament this year versus the 28 launched during the men’s World Cup last year. And many feel a bit tacked on and clumsy rather than part of a wider strategic move.

This has been the most watched Women’s World Cup by far, which shows interest in the sport is growing. Brands like Nike that get involved now have a real opportunity to change the narrative around women’s sport, which will be beneficial for both the brand and the future of the game. LT

READ MORE: Nike is the big brand winner at the Women’s World Cup



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