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Why being different still makes a difference

Why being different still makes a difference

Why Being Different Still Makes a Difference is a study that looks at how best to achieve growth for brands.

In Brief

Magnetic tapped into the expertise of Millward Brown and their wealth of data sourced from thousands of brand equity projects and a multitude of R&D studies to help us understand the roles of different media channels in creating meaningfully different brands and how brand perceptions translate into sales success.

In particular we investigated brand growth through the prism of Millward Brown’s Meaningfully Different framework. Their framework shows that successful brands share five key characteristics:

  • Consumers feel an affinity for them
  • Consumers think they will meet their needs
  • They are seen as unique
  • They are dynamic and set category trends
  • They are top-of-mind to consumers

These characteristics were then further distilled into three dimensions; salience (top of mind), meaningful (affinity & meets needs) and difference (seen as unique and dynamic).

We also explored the role of different channels in creating meaningfully different brands using the five key metrics that feed into the Millward Brown Meaningfully Different framework and found that:

Key Findings

  • Our work with Millward Brown has confirmed that saliency is undeniably important and that brands can achieve growth with a strong focus on salience
  • Brands that are meaningfully different are much more likely to enjoy repeat purchase by consumers and more likely to maintain a price premium over their competitors
  • Brands that have high meaningful difference achieve twice the growth rates enjoyed by brands that rely on saliency alone. This would suggest that brand differentiation should be a planning KPI alongside salience for brands to grow
  • Audio visual channels play an important role in driving salience
  • Big visual media like cinema and OOH play a key role in achieving affinity (brand love)
  • Informative media like newspapers and TV help consumers understand whether a product meets their needs
  • Targeted media like cinema and magazines help consumers understand what makes a product unique
  • Specialist channels like magazines and radio help brands achieve dynamism (sets the trends)
  • Magazines’ sweet spot is as a key driver of the differentiation required to supercharge growth, but magazines also uniquely featured in the top three channels across all dimensions
  • When these dimensions are combined into a single metric which shows the ability of different channels to deliver meaningfully different impact (MDI), magazines not only deliver the highest level of MDI overall, but do so most cost efficiently. 

Implications for Advertisers

  • Advertisers shouldn’t rely on saliency alone, long term brand growth can be moved by other brand metrics such as brand affinity
  • Magazines are an essential media choice for brands that want to improve their brand equity, and ensure long term sales success.
  • Magazines are a top performing channel when it comes to driving brand differentiation and should be considered by advertisers with these types of objectives
  • Magazines are not only good at moving brand metrics they also do so cost effectively, there is a strong case for their role in the brand building media mix