Creative Coup https://creativecoup.co.uk A Design Collective Tue, 10 Sep 2019 14:33:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://creativecoup.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-CC_LOGO_FAVICON-512px-32x32.png Creative Coup https://creativecoup.co.uk 32 32 Who owns your brand? https://creativecoup.co.uk/who-owns-your-brand/ https://creativecoup.co.uk/who-owns-your-brand/#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2019 14:33:13 +0000 http://creativecoup.co.uk/?p=205075 Our brands (and yours) exists ‘out there’, in the wild. A nebulous, fickle, grey cloud of opinion and preconceived notion. This, dear brand manager, is your challenge should you accept it.

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Who owns your brand?

Who owns your brand?

When John thinks of Cadbury, he thinks of entire slabs of chocolate consumed while watching Netflix. There’s red wine involved. It’s a happy feeling.

When Jane thinks of Cadbury, she gets kind of annoyed, remembering the hypocrisy of their equality campaign while paying zero tax in the UK. Money she felt would go a hell of a lot further to eradicate discrimination than a novelty chocolate slab. (She’ll still eat one though if you’re offering.)

It was only late in my career, after years of relationships with brand managers and countless conversations around market share, USP’s and brand personality, (insert your chosen terminology if it makes you feel more comfortable) that I started to realise how little control a brand manager has on the brand itself.

Or at least, how fragile that control is.

Our brands (and yours) exists ‘out there’, in the wild. A nebulous, fickle, grey cloud of opinion and preconceived notion. This, dear brand manager, is your challenge should you accept it.

Once we acknowledge that the brand is not owned by the founders, or the company, or god-forbid, the marketing team, but is instead owned by the public; once we let go of the notion that we can tell consumers what and who the brand is and what it should mean to them, only then can we start to look at positioning and pull the trigger on tactics, knowing the brand manager’s role is closer to that of a PR spin doctor.

Too cynical? Maybe.

But let’s consider this: Brand is that unfathomable collection of thoughts inside your consumer’s mind when your brand name is mentioned. It’s only really a series of associations that either reduces your brand’s product to less than a commodity, or more than a commodity. It’s in that difference, in that series of flashed memories, that brand equity lies.

So our task is to try and influence those associations. Influence, not control, because control is impossible. (If only!)

Once public perception of a branded product starts to slide into negative brand equity, we can see how difficult it is to control the narrative.

Like turning a slow tanker around, the force (read: money) required to get back to positive brand equity is enormous and much more expensive than just keeping happy thoughts about your brand where they are. 

This money, sorry… force, will be spent on increasing awareness of the brand in the first instance, and brilliant creative in the second. The creative needs to tell a new story, one that is believable and one that will stick among the jumble of images and words in the consumer’s brain, hopefully drowning out previous negative stories.

We can therefore at best, hope to only influence the narrative for the better.

This is, of course, true for us as creative agencies too. How do we compare to the generic equivalent of ourselves? Are we adding anything at all that gives us our brand equity? How are we aiding marketeers in shaping their brands’ perception? What are people out there saying about us?

So here we are, spin doctors. 

Despite the negative connotations of the term, I’m not proposing brand managers ‘bend’ the truth around our products and brands to tell a fictitious story. I’m merely pointing out that our campaigns and activations pull only faintly at strings that in turn create thoughts and memories inside John and Jane’s brain about our brand. All the while, your competition is doing the same, fighting for space in John and Jane’s mind and fighting for the positive ascendancy against yours.

Still picking on John and Jane… they’ve become disillusioned with our campaigns and our slogans and our ‘purpose’ and our meerkats and our ‘we’re-a-bank-but-also-your-friend’ stories.

The solution? 

Let your brand be what it is, nothing more and nothing less, and tell that story. Amplify it. Spin doctor the hell out of it if you must, while knowing you can’t entirely control the Chinese whispers.

If the story isn’t that compelling, find a new story, but one that happens to be true because nothing will aggravate John and Jane more than a made-up story about stuff they buy. Your brand equity will slide into a bucket and it will cost you more money in the long run.

So, a brand manager’s role is to influence John and Jane’s association of their brand and if all goes well, for those two chocolate lovers to agree on what those associations are.

It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.

Anton Vann
Director, Creative Coup

Creative Coup is a branding and design agency, creating show-stopping moments for our clients and their customers. Specialising in the FMCG market, we deliver print and digital design support to brands that want to stay relevant in a fast-changing digital world.

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A Tale of two butters. https://creativecoup.co.uk/rise-of-own-label/ https://creativecoup.co.uk/rise-of-own-label/#respond Mon, 15 Jul 2019 09:42:03 +0000 http://creativecoup.co.uk/?p=204615 Just as in life, it comes down to relationships. How ‘faithful’ are your customers when it comes to your brand? Will they ‘cheat’ on you at the first sign of inconvenience?

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The rise of own label

A Tale of two butters

We have pancakes on Sunday mornings. They’re easily the highlight of any week, although competition over the last one on the pile is fierce. I tell you, it takes all of my parental love to let my son eat the last pancake.

On this particular morning, there was what you could call, objectively, a pancake crisis.

We’d run out of butter.

Cue a groan from me. Out of respect for our local Co-op cashiers, I would have to get dressed in something other than my pj’s. Then again… pancakes. What are you going to do?

I got dressed and took on the winter morning cold. I was a man on a mission – an important mission, where failure was not an option. 

Arriving at the small local store, I headed straight to the relevant aisle and shelf, muscle memory my guide, a photographic memory stamp my means of identification. Here is where the hero of this story encountered his first antagonising force.

The shelf was empty. My butter wasn’t there.

My overriding emotion was not disappointment, nor was it the deep sadness one might expect considering pancakes were at risk. I was just annoyed. I was going to have to work. Reluctantly, I would now have to engage my brain, read packaging labels, engage with new designs. On a Sunday morning.

You see, I would call myself a simple shopper. Certainly, when it comes to grocery shopping, I head for one brand when I’m looking for any particular item. Maybe two, if my purchasing history has involved such a variety, but mostly — and especially at 7am in the morning— it’s just the one.

So, if my first-choice brand is not available, anything is up for grabs. I’ve had to move beyond ‘what I always buy’ so I need to consider new criteria such as:

How far away the product is from the one I planned to buy originally.

How well I can identify it as a suitable substitute.

How much it costs.

I came, I saw, I conquered. I bought a cheap and harmless-looking own label alternative. It wasn’t the brand I wanted, but it was butter. I knew that it would do the job. After all, I was buying butter, not a new car, and my family was waiting for pancakes.

I came back with butter. It was the ‘wrong’ butter, but those pancakes tasted the same as they always did. Our family was still brand loyal … but now we knew that the own label butter was perfectly acceptable.

Am I your typical customer? Even if I’m not your typical customer, can you ignore me and what happened that fateful Sunday morning? It is an (admittedly prosaic) illustration of how a brand can lose a customer to own label alternatives.

What is an own label/private label product?

Own label products, also known as private label, are products manufactured by a third-party producer and sold under a retailer’s brand name. They give retailers more control over the product – what’s in it, the packaging, the branding, and crucially, how much it costs. They shift the balance of power between the retailer and the massive brands that provide many of their products by providing an element of competition to those brands. They also allow retailers to easily and quickly respond to changing trends, such as the rise of the eco-conscious consumer and the growing interest in meat-free and organic products.

Private labels are found in all sorts of consumer product categories, including cosmetics, personal care, household cleaners, food and beverages. Private label’s share of the wine market is now more than 40%, according to Harper’s Wine and Spirit Trade Review, with half of sales across the grocery sector now going to own label products.

They are particularly successful in products that people buy often, where there is low brand equity, and not a lot of innovation or price sensitivity – like butter. Or bread, cornflakes or shampoo. They are often positioned as value products offering a cheaper alternative to their branded counterparts, but there are premium own label products, too, such as Tesco’s Finest range. 

Examples of premium own label products include wine, specialty groceries, coffee, and prepared/ready-to-cook chilled meals of restaurant quality, says a Nielsen report.

Private label products have been around for decades, but in a world where brand loyalty is on the wane, they are enjoying a resurgence. At the same time, consumers are newly empowered and informed by social media, which enables them to compare prices instantly, and they are more prepared than ever to shop around for the best deal. 

Indeed, the success of discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl shows that brands matter less to consumers than previously thought, particularly for staple goods such as my pack of butter. Rather than stock dozens of brands for any given product, what these guys do is work out what the market leader is, find someone who can make them something that’s just as good and then commit to buying it in enormous quantities to keep the price low.

Shoppers, particularly the millennial consumers who are starting to dominate the market, want the best quality at the lowest price, and if you can convince them that your own label product is as good as the market leader – or even just a good enough stand-in – then sales will soar, as Aldi and Lidl have proved.

The rise of internet shopping hasn’t helped – people buying online are even more price-conscious and less brand-loyal than in bricks and mortar stores. Although it also helps brands, the open nature of the internet creates new opportunities for retailers’ own labels to increase their sales.

Interestingly, if you study the impact of private labels in most categories, the top one or two brands are reasonably protected thanks to the strength of their brands. If anything, they do even better in a world of private label domination, but so-called B-brands, the number three, four and five products, which lack real traction with customers, are particularly vulnerable.

So how do you deal with the rise of the private label?

The key is to pick your battles – and your battleground. In many FMCG categories, brands may in future find themselves restricted to categories with high entry barriers. 

Own brands have the might of a retailer’s marketing team behind them, and every own label product is boosted by the overall strength of the retailer’s brand. But most private labels are just good copies of the market-leading products – they tend to follow rather than lead. And that association with the retailer can be a double-edged sword as the individual product merges into the overall brand, rather than standing out on its own merits.

So, you need to innovate to make your product different enough to be worth buying, while also tapping into wider trends such as eco-friendly products, the move to reduce plastic in packaging and healthier foods. This is also an area where it is worth committing a significant amount of your marketing budget to make your products stand out, not just through advertising campaigns but in-store as well, through point of sale or end of aisle promotions. 

 

At the same time, you can move the point of sale away from the retailers – in this situation, they are not your partner, but your competitor. But they can only sell their products in their stores. Increase your focus on the digital marketplace, where the playing field is more level, and you can get your product in front of your consumers if you commit the resources. And a clever campaign can build a strong organic following for your product to further differentiate it from the crowd.

Be careful, though. There are dangers in digital. Think about people shopping online using Alexa or Amazon Echo. They’re just going to say “butter”, not Lurpak. And Amazon or Google are just as likely – more likely, maybe – to recommend an own-label butter as a branded product. You need to think about how you can get around that.

The digital revolution also increases the opportunities for enhanced personalisation, in shopping as in other areas of life. In the age of the Fitbit and the Apple Watch we track everything. Retailers can take that information and create personalised nutrition or personal care shopping lists. How do you ensure that your brand is on that list?

Maybe it’s time to think completely outside the box. Maybe the antidote to your fast-paced loss of shelf space is wrapped up (see what I did there?) in the title itself.

Change the way you think about private labels. It’s not the big retailer that owns a private label. You do. Theirs is anything but private. It has a big marketing engine behind it, all the shelf space a bar of soap could dream of, it’s out front for every store customer to see it.

Yours is the private label. Hiding in the corner where no-one can see it. Beautifully designed packaging that no-one can see. Very private. Niche. Exclusive.

And own Label: There’s a clue here too. Just as the store’s brand is unapologetically their own, brands should decide what it means to be in control and have ownership of their individual brand. Not just how your product is to be physically labelled, but just as importantly, how consumers will label your product.

Remember branding is the picture you’ve painted in the mind of the consumer when they think of your brand. Decide how you want to be labelled – and own it.

Just as in life, it comes down to relationships. How ‘faithful’ are your customers when it comes to your brand? Will they ‘cheat’ on you at the first sign of inconvenience?

Like I said, those pancakes tasted great regardless of my ‘infidelity’!

Anton Vann
Director, Creative Coup

Creative Coup is a branding and design agency, creating show-stopping moments for our clients and their customers. Specialising in the FMCG market, we deliver print and digital design support to brands that want to stay relevant in a fast-changing digital world.

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Digital Designer Bournemouth Dorset https://creativecoup.co.uk/digital-designer-bournemouth-dorset/ https://creativecoup.co.uk/digital-designer-bournemouth-dorset/#respond Mon, 26 Nov 2018 21:49:07 +0000 http://creativecoup.co.uk/?p=204298 The post Digital Designer Bournemouth Dorset appeared first on Creative Coup.

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Digital Designer, Bournemouth, Dorset

Full time
 
 **No recruitment agencies please**
 
A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an ambitious digital designer looking to join our growing team. Reporting to the Design Director, the successful candidate will be involved in all aspects of digital design, everything from ad banners, social posts, to UX and UI design.
 
About Creative Coup:
 
Creative Coup is a small but growing agency looking for someone with proven digital design experience to help service our bigger clients, some of them multi-national corporates, but also be prepared to work on smaller startups. Though focused on the FMCG market, our work spans across a wide range of sectors so there is the opportunity to work on a variety of subjects while helping us stay at the forefront of the latest developments in digital design.
 
We strive to create a pleasant working environment where you come first, not the client. We figure that if those who work for us are enjoying themselves, our clients ultimately benefit! 
 
About you:
 
You will be someone with a natural curiosity about the digital transformation taking place for our clients and motivated to see them succeed in navigating the current digital landscape.
 
The role will suit someone who loves all aspects of design, as well as always being open to learning new things!
 
You will have:
 
  • Proven 3 years design experience
  • High proficiency and fluent knowledge in Adobe CS: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign
  • High proficiency in Adobe XD, Sketch or equivalent
  • Some proficiency in CSS, HTML and jQuery + JavaScript
  • An ability to create technical, creative and unique design
  • An understanding of effective time management, a great amount of self-discipline
  • An ability to share a professional opinion, and provide and accept constructive feedback
  • A knowledge of Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Pro and/or After Effects will be a bonus!
 
Important: Please read this section about the kind of people we like to work with.
 
Details:
 
  • Location: Bournemouth, Dorset
  • Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full-time
  • Salary: Up to £35K D.O.E.
 
If you would like to apply, please submit your CV and a covering letter to careers@creativecoup.co.uk.

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Middleweight Designer Bournemouth Dorset https://creativecoup.co.uk/middleweight-designer-bournemouth-dorset/ https://creativecoup.co.uk/middleweight-designer-bournemouth-dorset/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:00:07 +0000 http://creativecoup.co.uk/?p=204286 The post Middleweight Designer Bournemouth Dorset appeared first on Creative Coup.

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**No recruitment agencies please**

Middleweight Designer, Bournemouth, full time.

 A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a middleweight graphic designer looking to improve their portfolio and work on a variety of projects. Reporting to the Design Director, the successful candidate will be involved in design and branding projects, at times building on large existing brand architecture, but also frequently working from a blank canvas.

Our clients range from startups to multi-national corporates and you will be involved in all aspects of design, from initial concepts to finished logos, roll out onto various media that include digital and print.

About the Role

Creative Coup is a small but growing agency looking for someone with proven graphic design experience to help service our bigger clients, but also be prepared to work on smaller startups. The work is varied and there is an opportunity to learn other disciplines such as web design and photography if desired. 

Typical duties and responsibilities:

  • Under guidance of Brand Director, following design briefs and guidelines to create collateral for digital and print projects.
  • Creation of branded resources.
  • Support in Social Media Management.
  • Liaise with other third party suppliers (including design agencies and printers
  • Assist with general studio maintenance, filing and organisation etc. 

About You

You will have at least 3 years of graphic design experience, ideally working across a variety of disciplines. Experience with packaging and logo/conceptual design would be a distinct advantage.

You will need to be entirely at home in Adobe Creative Cloud software – Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are the bread and butter of this job, and the faster you are in these, the better. 

Further, good communication skills are key, a good grasp of language and email manner is a must.

You’ll be someone who can self-manage, keeping track of various projects at the same time.

Educated to degree level, ideally within a design based discipline and with the ability to demonstrate previous experience.

How to Apply

Email: careers@creativecoup.co.uk

The finer details

Location: Bournemouth

Salary: Dependant on Experience

Basis: Permanent. 

Required experience:

  • marketing and design: 3 years

Required education:

  • Bachelor’s

Required language:

  • English

 

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Artworker Bournemouth Dorset https://creativecoup.co.uk/artworker-bournemouth-dorset/ https://creativecoup.co.uk/artworker-bournemouth-dorset/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 12:57:38 +0000 http://creativecoup.co.uk/?p=204284 The post Artworker Bournemouth Dorset appeared first on Creative Coup.

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**No recruitment agencies please**

If you are obsessive about detail, meticulous to a fault, we want to meet you!

We are looking for an artworker with 3+ years experience to join our creative team in Bournemouth. Filling a key artworking role in a tight-knit team, you will be the last touch on a wide variety of digital and print-based deliverables. 

Reporting directly to the Directors:

Primary responsibilities:

  • Ensure all artwork is accurately prepared for print/code to detailed specification  Uphold design consistency and quality 
  • Retouch, colour profile and ensure consistency across all photography 
  • Run final spelling checks 
  • Thoroughly check proofs 
  • Develop designs when clear creative direction has been approved e.g. ad resizes 
  • Understand and work within brand and corporate guidelines where relevant 
  • Take an active interest in all studio projects to identify and resolve design, artwork and print challenges 
  • Liaise with suppliers and designers to ensure artwork is supplied to the correct spec 
  • Keep on top of production schedules to ensure we meet all print and digital deadlines 
  • Ensure effective file management and archiving 
  • Produce dummies, mock-ups and presentation boards to a high level of finish when required 
  • Excellent CS skills – particularly in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop 
  • Close attention to detail 
  • Strong retouching skills 
  • Good eye for typography and layout skills 
  • Communicate clearly to the team and suppliers verbally and in writing 
  • Thorough knowledge of print processes and production 
  • Good knowledge of digital processes and production 

This is an excellent opportunity to work for a friendly agency with a great culture/environment who produce outstanding work.

If this sounds like you, let’s talk! 

How to Apply

Email: careers@creativecoup.co.uk

The finer details

Location: Bournemouth

Salary: Dependant on Experience

Basis: Permanent. 

Deadline: 30 Dec 2018

Required experience: Artworking: 3 years

Required education: Bachelor’s

Required language: English

How to Apply

Email: careers@creativecoup.co.uk

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