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3 Themes That Top-Performing Brands Embrace

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Margaret Molloy at Siegel+Gale examines the three themes all top-performing brands embrace including climate-conscious innovation, shop 'glocal' and home screen home

3 Themes That Top-Performing Brands Embrace

From where they shop, to the way they communicate, to what they expect from their investments, people put a premium on experiences that are easy to understand; transparent and honest; caring for and meeting their needs; innovative and fresh; and useful. In short, simple.

Brands that authentically and actionably deliver these experiences are heralded as simple brands, as evidenced in Siegel+Gale’s hallmark World’s Simplest Brands study. The index ranks the leading brands on simplicity, surveying more than 15,000 people across nine countries about which brands provide the simplest experiences.

When reviewed collectively and individually, it is clear that the top-performing brands in the study leaned into one of three key, contextual themes: sustainability, glocalisation, and digitisation. Below, I examine the themes, drawing on examples from the Top 10 performers in each of the nine regions in the index.

Climate-Conscious Innovation

Many companies are on a quest to proactively and positively impact people and the planet, spurring sustainability to be a vital component of brand passion and purpose. From Boston to Berlin, Stockholm to Shanghai, people awarded brands that prioritised sustainability and, in doing so, the success of society—both present and future.

In China, KFC is offering more vegan options, including ice cream, chicken nuggets, and burgers. United Arab Emirates’ LuLu Hypermarket has instituted a zero-waste refill program, encouraging customers to use their own reusable containers when shopping. The German retailer dm has created a series of environmentally neutral products called 'Pro Climate.' And the Swedish furniture giant IKEA’s buy-back program resells second hand furniture, embodying the idea of being stylish and sustainable.

But there is a vast gulf between greenwashing and genuine goodwill. When enforcing programs that align purpose with planet, success with sustainability, analyse:

  • On behalf of our brand, what concrete commitments will make a positive environmental impact?
  • Where can our brand travel, as it relates to sustainability?
  • How can we provide all stakeholders with sustainability-related value?

Shop 'Glocal'

Glocalisation involves expanding a global brands’ influence in a local market—making a brand both intercontinental and individual. And, while a global brands’ efforts might have a local accent in each market, the company’s purpose is consistent and authentic. This makes a global brand come to life in the context of the local community, engendering trust and brand loyalty.

Google Pay’s partnership with Groupon—experience-supplier extraordinaire - highlights their commitment to supporting local businesses, as users have access to thousands of unique local experiences. While known for their e-commerce, Amazon has opened a brick-and-mortar hair salon in East London. Exemplifying the 'try-before-you-buy' approach, shoppers can use augmented reality to test new styles. Uniqlo has placed vending machines—stocked with down jackets and T-shirts—in local airports, positioning the Japanese retailer as a travel essential and a household name.

Valuably balancing globalisation and localisation is a complex task facing many brands today. But, when successful, the rewards are immense and, in some cases, necessary for business continuity. When transplanting a global brand to a local setting, explore:

  • Will our brand purpose translate?
  • What role will our brand play in collaborating with the local community?
  • What local values can we infuse in our global brand?

Home Screen Home  

The journey for many brands that we welcome into our lives and homes begins on a screen. In the current era, whether working, learning, shopping, streaming, investing, escaping, communicating, or gaming, pivoting across screens is a part of daily life. As our world becomes increasingly more digital, people across the globe prefer and rely on brands that generate congruency between online and offline.

In the United States, Dunkin’ has opened their first digital-only restaurant. Customers make selections through the mobile app or an in-store kiosk, ordering their coffee with a splash of convenience. In India, the MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp enables users to locate the nearest vaccination centres and book vaccine appointments. And in Saudi Arabia, Snapchat users are utilizing the power of augmented reality to interact with and explore brands across a variety of industries. 

Digital transformation has sped up—and isn’t slowing down. With every digital experience comes a new opportunity for connection. When occupying multiple channels, consider:

  • What is our commitment to taking our brand’s digital experience(s) to the next level?
  • How have we crafted online and offline to be synergistic?
  • How are we serving our consumers in a meaningful way?

Consumers the world over demand simplified brand experiences, presenting challenges and opportunities for consumers and brands, alike. It is imperative that you evaluate how your brand can incorporate these trends in a context that matters and makes sense to your community. Harnessing them will lead to simplicity and success.

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Sweat & Co, Tue, 19 Apr 2022 11:24:21 GMT