Powerful New Ways to Measure Brand and Experience Impact

Making Brand a C-Suite Priority

Aug 19, 2021 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

Request The Full Recording

Key Discussion Takeaways

Too often, branding is seen as a budget line item instead of a revenue driver, especially in a sales-driven company. Company c-suites want to know why they should prioritize investment in branding over short-term gains. For them, the CMO's gut feelings aren't enough: they want objective evidence to justify branding-based marketing spend.

New research involving 24,000 brands across 21 industries has shown that highly successful brands have a few specific attributes in common. These shared factors are measurable, scalable, and satisfy the business case for brand investment. But, what are these attributes and how do you measure them?

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Tracey Smith, Head of Design at Deloitte Digital, and Maggie Gross, Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital. They discuss the struggles marketers face trying to justify brand-marketing investment, the challenges with measuring and benchmarking, and improving brand ROI across the organization.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Maggie Gross shares her insight on how branding is a revenue driver
  • The top four things successful brands do well
  • Perception shift in brand investment
  • How effective is branding in B2B marketing?
  • The balance between driving conversions and brand marketing
  • How do you defend the long-term impact of branding investment?
  • Strategies for measuring your branding impact
  • Key things to communicate about brand performance
  • How to define brand lifting and the role of design in sharing performance data with your c-suite
Request The Full Recording

Event Partners

Deloitte Digital

Deloitte Digital offers strategic, mobile, digital content, digital ERP, web, and digital design, and communication solutions.

Connect with Deloitte Digital

Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Maggie Gross

Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital

Maggie Gross is Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital, where she leads the national practice for brand, digital, media, content, and search game plans. She previously worked at Heat Agency as the Head of Strategy before it became part of Deloitte Digital. Maggie had led the strategy for brands like Dos Equis, Samsung, Keurig, Lysol, and more. Her work with American Express on Small Business Saturday birthed the Shop Small movement, which then became a nationally recognized holiday by Congress.

Tracey Smith

Head of Design at Deloitte Digital

Tracey Smith is the Head of Design at Deloitte Digital, where she leads the creative and design department. Her work combines intentional design and storytelling to create meaningful, authentic connections. Her career spans over 20 years, throughout which she’s been recognized by The Emmy Awards and led creative projects and global brand campaigns for clients like Netflix, American Express, Verizon, Xbox, Nikon, Levi’s, and more.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Maggie Gross

Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital

Maggie Gross is Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital, where she leads the national practice for brand, digital, media, content, and search game plans. She previously worked at Heat Agency as the Head of Strategy before it became part of Deloitte Digital. Maggie had led the strategy for brands like Dos Equis, Samsung, Keurig, Lysol, and more. Her work with American Express on Small Business Saturday birthed the Shop Small movement, which then became a nationally recognized holiday by Congress.

Tracey Smith

Head of Design at Deloitte Digital

Tracey Smith is the Head of Design at Deloitte Digital, where she leads the creative and design department. Her work combines intentional design and storytelling to create meaningful, authentic connections. Her career spans over 20 years, throughout which she’s been recognized by The Emmy Awards and led creative projects and global brand campaigns for clients like Netflix, American Express, Verizon, Xbox, Nikon, Levi’s, and more.

Request the Full Recording

Please enter your information to request a copy of the post-event written summary or recording!

Need help with something else?

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Thursday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect. And we're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of organizations, we that's exactly what we do, we network and knowledge share to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital as a whole. I'm going to keep admitting people in here. So if you see me look off to the side we're going to keep as people are signing in, but we're just getting started here. And just as we're starting three to four minutes after the hour, we're going to wrap up with three to four minutes to go in the hour as well, we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late, and probably give you enough time to grab a cup of coffee along the way as well. You know, housekeeping items, you know, as a whole jump in anytime we're gonna jump around to people that are on you know, that kind of signed in today, we'd love to hear your thoughts. It is a networking and knowledge sharing group. You can also if you have background noise, and you you can jump in, drop any questions you have in the chat there. Or you can always just email them to me Aaron Aaron@BWGConnect.com. And that's an hour after you know, the event today, tomorrow next week, whenever it is you have a question in the digital space never hesitate to reach out, we've got a massive network of almost 10,000 brands now. So there's probably somebody in there that we can connect you with. The other side is, you know, you see anybody on here today, it is a networking group, you want to follow up, just shoot us an email, we'll connect you with anybody that that that join today. But then there's other people in network as well. And feel free to always invite more people across the board, we always like to grow the network as a whole. So I'm talking to about 30 to 40, you know, organizations a week on digital strategy as a whole. And when those same topics come up over and over again, that they're trying to figure out or deal with, that's how we get the topics for these calls as a whole. And so this is something that's come up over and over and over again, you know, digital really, really exploded, you know, during the pandemic, you know, it's kind of reared its head again, here. And so, you know, when we think about, you know, measurement as a whole, right, I think if we look back a year ago, two years ago, there's kind of a free pass a little bit, not a free pass, but less attention at the executive level, on measurement in what's performing and what's not, and what's on brand and what's not. And so, we've got some great friends, great partners of the network over at Deloitte Digital, and they agreed, hey, they can jump on the call today, kind of tell us what they're seeing and the broad spectrum of organizations they deal with, but also, hey, engage in a conversation with us across the board and answer any questions we can throw at them. So, you know, Maggie, I'll kind of kick it over to you first, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and the organization, that would be awesome. And then, you know, to kick it over to Tracey and then kind of kick off the conversation sound great.

Maggie Gross 2:59

That's great. Hi, everybody. I'm Maggie Gross. Nice to see you all. I lead our strategy division inside Deloitte Digital. The the word strategy is just so overused that I feel like we need to add an add a word in front of it. So the strategy that I helped lead here is more brand digital comms content strategy, all of the traditional stuff that might come out of an agency. That's the that's the strategy work that I help lead for us. And I'm a brand person by trade. So my background is from agencies, both traditional agencies, digital agencies, media agencies, and I actually came to Deloitte right as they were acquiring this ad agency called Heat, maybe six years ago. And mainly because I, I wanted to see what might happen if a consultancy got in the creativity business. And somehow we were able to use creativity to solve business problems. So it's kind of every strategist dream to kind of go upstream but without losing touch with creative. And that's what I've been able to build here with, with Tracey and the team. So really nice to see you all and looking forward to chatting.

Aaron Conant 4:13

Awesome, Tracey, you want to jump in brief intro?

Tracey Smith 4:14

Yeah, yeah, so um, I have been at Deloitte, I'm head of design. And I would say, design is such a broad word. So I'd refer to it as brand design. I've been in the industry for 20 something years, and I kind of started as a designer and then I'm moved into the track of creative director and I was at McCann, New York for a really long time. You know, focusing on building brands and creative directing, but always had this sort of design background. So what I was excited by four years ago when I joined Deloitte was essentially bringing that thought and all the the the strategy and the thinking to that I kind of experienced throughout my career and bringing it more to the design world. Just because I feel like when I started in this industry design was just sort of colors and logos. And it wasn't as thoughtful and intentional as it is now. And I think that there's something really interesting about bringing some of that storytelling into how we talk about and think about design for brands, and branding overall, and all the experiences of a brand, not just a logo and a color and typography. So yeah, so I've been working with Maggie for a while and excited to chat with you all.

Aaron Conant 5:30

Yeah, I mean, I think it's super interesting, because when we talk about branding, we talk about marketing, you know, how companies view it? And, you know, is it a, is it a cost center at the end of the day, where you're just driving it to brand and not a performance side? And so, you know, how do you think about, you know, marketing, changing that conversation around brand as a whole, right from this budget line item to a revenue driver? That's what I think a lot of people are being asked about, as a whole.

Maggie Gross 6:01

Yeah, we hear that a lot from our clients. We work the folks in marketing, and even outside of marketing. And there's typically two camps, there's brand believers. And then there's brand skeptics, and most of them are trying to figure out what the role of brand is, and how it either does or does not contribute to revenue. And so we build a thing called brand worth. And it's a pretty massive data set. It's about 24,000 brands, essentially a survey based, sort of quants study, going all the way back to 2016. So we measure this on a weekly basis, but we report quarterly. And we ask folks in our panel, about 200,000 of them what they think about all these different brands, whether they're aware of it, whether they would consider purchase our typical kind of funnel metrics. And then we also ask them, some more sort of soft metrics around brand in general, do they think that this brand shares their values? Do they think this brand has positive experiences that leave them wanting more? Do they remember positively the brand's messages? And then do they think that brand is owning share of culture, and we've especially been able to say brands that are getting it right, and these four elements tend to have an X percent increase in consideration, and ultimately, purchasing been able to tie that to revenue. So it's been really kind of interesting to be able to arm our clients with those numbers to say, yes, when you invest in brands, every 1%, you can increase your brand worth by results in about a billion dollars increase revenue. Now, obviously, that that shifts based on your market cap. But it's been really transformative to our believer clients to help convince the other C suite around the table that might be skeptics. And it's also been really powerful to the brand skeptics to have them see really, that attribution of an investment of brand really does drive the bottom line, not the other way around.

Aaron Conant 8:05

So are you looping in then you know, what overall spend is? And you know, into that into that matrix that you're looking at? Like, what are the things? What are number one, what are brands doing? Well, then I want to I want to jump around to some of the people who have joined in some of the brands doing well that you see in that space? But then what are the different things that you're looking at? If people are having a takeaway, I'm gonna go look at these 10 things. I'm going to track them over the past two years, and I'm going to look for the blips. And then with that baseline, I can then say, hey, when I do these events in this order that this happens, And oh, by the way, these were branding events.

Maggie Gross 8:39

Yeah, well, it's not even as complicated as 10. There's four main thing successful brands do well, and they may not do equally well. And, you know, in certain industries, not all for matter at the same level, we could totally probably do a half day session on all nuances by industry, but essentially, there's four main things that make up a successful brand. The first is values alignment, meaning are they their customers feel like share their values, care about the same things they care about. The brands that do really well on that metric tend to be charitable organizations, cause based think you know, Special Olympics, maybe even National Geographic would be a good example. But brands like Google and Levi's also do a really good job there just because they're kind of a I think the word purpose is maybe not exactly right here, but they're they they've defined their purpose out in the world and it's bigger than the products that they sell. They have a point of view on the world. So values aligned to

Aaron Conant 9:39

drought sweating, like Patagonia. I think it's perfect. Yeah, yeah,

Maggie Gross 9:43

Patagonia is exactly it. And they're not afraid to kind of stand up for what they believe in. And they attract people because they share those values. They can also, you know, not attract people because of that, but that's okay. They know they know the role they play. The second of those metrics is what we call experience, data. And that's some of the stuff Tracey was talking about at the beginning, your brand is not just the way you look or the things you say if experiences give people both in digital product experiences, reels and a good example. And some of the things that do really well, or you might imagine a digital brand like Avon Does, does pretty well because they leave people satisfied. You, you want to buy a portable fan peloton you can get the next day and people generally leave that purchase, feeling pretty happy. Analog Band Aid also do really really well there because they have kind of a culture of human centered design that makes sure that their product is focused on leaving people satisfied. The third metric is message memorability. And that's probably what we might consider traditional marketers are measuring when they do brand tracking, like do people like our ads are we blink testing people remember us, etc. And we see that that actually has a high correlation with media spend. But there's a lot of that happen outside. So Burger King example does a really good job because they look different. Everybody else says get Duluth company is another one that pops there, which we always laugh about. Because there really are. So in the market, they looked if people actually remember that stuff. And finally, the fourth metric that really brands do is what we call share a picture. And that is much more than just mouth. It's are they getting to talk with each other about the whether they're customers or not? Are they engaging in the culture, their audience and participate in it, rather than just talking to people. And when brands do, they don't even have to do all four of those? Oh, when they focus on the one that matters in their three in particular. And then they deliver table stakes and the others they will succeed tend to achieve that impact in revenue returns.

Aaron Conant 12:03

Awesome. And I just, there's just a couple having a little bit of lag with you, Maggie. So also just on the internet side, but we'll we'll keep jumping around though. And can't Tracey jump in as well. But I do want to jump out to Yeah, some great stuff here. Yeah, share of culture as a whole. Love it. But uh, I'm gonna ask to unmute AJ, I don't know if you can jump in, like, how do you looking at, you know, this conversation around brand as a whole? You know, from a revenue driver as a, you're looking at it that way, as opposed to just a budget line item. Now, I think there's a lot more interest from the C suite these days.

A.J 12:47

Yeah, so we really look at that around perception shift. So in the past our our brand efforts were not particularly connected down funnel, a lot of the stuff resells enterprise software historically. And so the way we thought about brand investment was are we driving a shift in perception in a couple of key areas? But are we essential to the future of our customers technology strategy versus just the stuff they're doing today? Now that we're moving more and more towards selling cloud delivered services, were connecting our brand efforts down funnel so that our campaign in market is a true branded demand campaign. And so we're starting to get actual metrics on how brand level messages and solution level messages and customer story messages are creating engagement down funnel. And we just did an experiment trying to engage with bunch of accounts that, frankly, have been dormant for one to five years, and we've demonstrated an ability to engage with them through the through the new campaign, so is having a more direct influence on, on on revenue, if you will, I think within a quarter I'll be able to have some opinion about how much pipe it's generating. But but for the even historically, when we haven't been so focused on that. We don't look at that investment in terms of revenue, but we do see it as a key revenue driver, because if we're not relevant to our customers future technology strategy, then we're just extracting maintenance fees, and nobody wants to be there as a tech company.

Aaron Conant 14:18

Do you do you then do you go back with those with that, you know, dollar figure or whatever, and then request more dollars to be allocated against brand every year. Just want to double check. Yeah,

A.J 14:34

yeah, thanks. Well, and when you're some of the some of the metrics that we use are not ideal, but they're about as good as they get. So if you can show that the adaware versus not aware gives like right now we can show a 17 point lift in top box of rating VMware is strategic for our current campaign, that it's hard not to look at that and say that's a car you want to put more fuel in. So I think we'll succeed in getting more money next year. But we but we definitely saw When we started to invest more, about three years ago, we've kind of had a stepwise kind of a significant increase in investment, we started to see improvements in in brand perception in that top box score. So, you know, it's always a little bit squishy with that. But yeah, I think we've we've made a successful case. And I intend to continue doing that as much as possible.

Aaron Conant 15:21

Maggie's smec Tracey's some of you guys see across the board.

Maggie Gross 15:25

Yeah, I think one thing that really interests me, AJ, when you, when you talk about the b2b side, I think we hear a lot from our clients. Sometimes there's more Skepticism on the role of brand and b2b marketing. And we've actually seen quite the opposite, at least in terms of the data, it shows us that branding, in the b2b space, not only is as effective in the b2c space, but oftentimes there's a lot less sort of competition. So you can, you can have that, you know, higher return on investment, because you're not fighting for share of mind. And you know, nobody else is really doing great things out there. So you can stand out a bit easier.

A.J 16:06

I wish I was true in my category, there's a ton of spending cloud. But the way I look at that is, you know, why is it so important in b2b is the reality is for a lot of these big considered b2b purchases, their investments, they're not small purchases. And so most of the time you're not in market, I'm not going out to buy a new Cloud Platform every week. So how do we remain relevant, engaged in the conversation and influencing customer thinking decisions so that the when they are in market for those really sort of, you know, big high ticket item investment, if you will, you know, that we're in the consideration set, and you're not going to do that by talking about, you know, a product or a solution that they're not in the market for buying? So it's got to be more of a brand level conversation.

Maggie Gross 16:51

It's true, we see, we've seen similar thing, say like the life insurance story, where it takes years and years to ultimately make a choice, really difficult to build attribution model and the traditional sense, because how do you prove that the online ad somebody saw five years ago directly contributed to them choosing your brand? Which lizard was it? Right? Exactly, it's it's really, brand worth has actually kind of proven? Wow, you know, every one, that you can increase your brand, at least in like technology, as an example, results in like a point 2% increase in purchase. Obviously, there's, you know, you're in a sub category of tech. But it's been really cool to see what the what the real impact has been. And brand. Is that data that you're that you're sharing with, with the folks on this call who we get access to? Yeah, for sure we can I can share the white paper with everybody on the line. There's specific industries that kind of break out, you know, every 1% increase in brand worth results in percent increase in configuration, and then purchase with category and then down the line, maybe doesn't see their industry, some sub categorization reach out, we can we can run the analysis more custom.

Aaron Conant 18:12

Right, awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Then I think there's a couple questions that come in. And if anybody wants to, you know, kcra, me, if you want to jump in and ask these directly, you can. I can also read them as well, you know, how do you balance long term value versus GCR media spend, for example, direct response, creative versus more brand mission creative experiences? And PR, this is in the chat here. You know, this is the constant debate, I see across a lot of segments of driving conversions now versus a perception on values for a future purpose.

Maggie Gross 18:41

That's right. It's, it's something that we, I would say, if not every day, it's a couple of times a week, clients. Challenging, I can tell you that most of the brands I work with that have had their organizations focus on direct response, I've seen an erosion of and over time, and let's say you get a 12% return a on this direct response campaign work next year, you may 11% return the year after you may get a tax return and all of a sudden that direct response under looks is compelling against brand that my seven or 8%. And then when you shift back brand, unfortunately, your brands eroded. So now it might be 2%. So brand is a something that you kind of have to continually invest in. It's almost like owning a home. You can't just let it you can't just stop paying attention to it. Otherwise it will do its value but if you minimal upkeep every year, it continues to kind of pay those dividends back.

Tracey Smith 19:44

So I want to I also think it's interesting, just as I'm listening to the conversation, because I'm you know, coming from a creative and appreciating the metrics and everything Maggie's been doing, we're it's interested. Interesting to see Our own company actually investing in brand because of all of this, because of this conversation, you know, so it's like, we're not only helping our partners and and brands in that direction, but we're also investing in our own internal kind of, like, Who are we bringing in that can help drive this conversation? Because we know it's important. And now we can prove it, you know. So it's, it's like refreshing as when I go up in the front of the room and try and talk about how important brand is and you know why it's not just an emotional response that there's actual data behind how it can drive growth, you know?

Aaron Conant 20:43

Yeah, I mean, it's interesting, but it's the age old thing, right? If, if you're doing performance marketing, you get an immediate response. And you know, what it was were brand is a long term, you might wait six months, you might wait a year, you might wait a year and a half before it pays dividends? And then yeah, I think that's your tie it all back? And, yeah, no, I think it's awesome that I let a couple more people here into the room, you know, in Casey, and Amy, I don't know if you guys gonna be jumping, but we kind of tackling what you guys are thinking there.

Casey 21:14

Yeah, definitely. I mean, we've been dealing with that directly at GoDaddy, as some of you may or may not know, of GoDaddy has very strong perception of what it was 20 years ago. And over the course of the past five years, you know, Amy can can speak to her role as well. We've really been focusing on reinventing the brand and who we are and what our mission is, and supporting small business entrepreneurs. And that's been a very challenging discussion at times with that media spend, and Amy can definitely speak more directly to that in her role on more on the creative side. But we've seen great strides, you know, how we're able to create more meaningful connections, social, how we've shifted narratives and advertising and in different channels, but it's still, you know, always a constant debate when you're China don't come to your end and battle for that budget. And, you know, depending on market impacts, and what's going on, you know, sometimes that can be challenging. So,

Amy 22:17

that's why I got really excited when you were like, I was like, wait, I didn't catch that equation every 1% of what equals 60 point 60% of what like, exactly, that's exactly the role that that, you know, like Casey and I worked very closely together. And we, we, we at GoDaddy, lean very heavily into performance marketing, because we do see that immediate return into onto the bottom line, and, but I lead the brand. And so I'm constantly figuring trying to figure out ways to to test and learn and justify the impact that brand has, you know, immediately and in the long term. And so we've done things like, you know, DMA holdout tests, you know, where, where we'll pull brand, you know, we'll pull any sort of brand advertising out, you know, and then we can compare mark, you know, compare markets against markets that, you know, that, that just ran performance that have been then against markets that have brand and performance. And so we can, you know, we can have sort of directional information that way, um, but it doesn't necessarily, like give us all of the fuel that we need in order to make that big, that big shift in in the internal perception that, you know, we're driving the bottom line, you know, brand actually does work to drive the bottom line. So yeah, so this is really super helpful. I'd love to get I'd love to figure out what AJ is, metrics that hurts. So I can steal those in

and see if I can put something into play here so that I can you know, so that I can have that. Everybody's for ammo to fuel

Aaron Conant 24:16

that battle. It everybody's getting their pens out right now, AJ says, we created one and I can see like, everybody's like, All right, let's go.

A.J 24:23

I don't know if it's gonna be helpful for anyone but us. But we we, we measure a lot of things as everyone on this call does. But we got good alignment with our executive stakeholders and said, this is the one thing that is going to be determined whether this money is worth spending or not. And that is this perception shift of how strategic VMware is as a technology partner. And if we're not driving that number up, then we're not we're not doing it right. So we pick that thing. It's a five point scale. We worked very, very hard on getting the question exactly right. And we just aligned to that. And so every thing is focused around that. And it makes it very, very clear to tell the story. And it also helps you really focus our thinking on what we're what we're spending on is driving that. So that may or may not work for, for you guys, for us. That's been very, very helpful and sort of clear.

Maggie Gross 25:17

Have you figured out how to equate that to bottom line sales?

A.J 25:23

No, not yet. But for the stuff that we do as So, you know, for a lot of VMware business is driven by fairly large transformational deals. So a deal might be an $80 million deal. We're spending, if we're spending a fraction of that on advertising and pushing the our perception as as essential strategic technology partner, it's not hard to make that connection. But as I said, As of now, the campaign we launched it, the beginning of this year is a true brand to demand campaign. And so we're just starting to wire up the top of funnel bottom of funnel, but that hasn't been required to get the investment level so far. Although I expect as we get better at showing that connection top to bottom that that'll make it easier for us to get the right levels of investment at the right kind of layer of the communication, if you will. So we're getting there on that part.

Aaron Conant 26:18

Awesome. Yeah. So Maggie, Tracey, you hear that? Like, what what advice is there for AJC putting it together?

Maggie Gross 26:26

I mean, we'd be, we'd be happy to talk to you about what we're seeing. We actually, is there still a lag for me? Or is it coming across? Okay.

Aaron Conant 26:36

Just a slight lag. But well, yeah.

Maggie Gross 26:39

Okay. Um, yeah, we have recently actually done an analysis in cybersecurity. And so AJ, I'd be happy to share some of that with you in terms of what is the typical return of not just brand investment, but like, media dollars, media spend into consideration and purchase both for our b2b and b2c audiences and see if that aligns with some of the data that you've got, if it's at all helpful, I don't mind sharing at all.

Aaron Conant 27:16

I appreciate that. I'm always happy to look at data. Cool. So I want to kick it over to you now want to keep going back to Casey, because from the creative side, because a lot of what I hear and some people are paying over email is like the difference, like in what you're creating for traditional marketing compared to the brand side? How do you look at those two things differently? And because, I mean, there's a huge push, right? If we will have another whole call on the whole performance marketing side, and what's required and digital and content and everything that you need to create, but from your side, you know, what's that, that difference, they're

Maggie Gross 27:58

not gonna say, I don't know that there should be a difference. I feel like if you understand what your brand stands for, and what you're building towards, all of those things should be part of how you get there. And you can be strategic about how they work together. But separating them actually means that we might, you know, not be rowing in the same direction anymore.

Casey 28:21

think strategically, from a greater perspective, they should be aligned, but it gets into the nuances of action, I think, is you're kind of on more the brand awareness side, you can kind of play our tell a little bit more authentic stories to what your values and how they come to life. And what is that execution, whether that's, you know, a YouTube series or an experimental out of home events you do. As far as you get kind of closer into Dr. Because you're looking for a certain type of response, you have to still have certain tone and language that connects into those values, but you're driving them to a very specific action or outcome. And so so I think that it's really just path and alignment and that that also varies by we're finding by like markets and maturity. So when you're in a very mature market that knows who you are, what your values are, you know, you can own those will just come communications but as we go globally, and we're into markets that are more nascent is we're trying to penetrate into them know, they don't know who you are, you don't have a relation that's established, a relationship is established with them. And so you have to build you know, some of that like who you are and what you do and some of your messages so

Tracey Smith 29:43

I think also an important part of that conversation is, is an awareness around where you are communicating. So you know, if I was the brand and I walk into a coffee shop, my my dialogue and conversations probably going to go a little bit deeper versus bumping into someone at a cocktail party in passing, you know, and I think as a brand, really having that awareness, and how you're communicating and engaging with consumers, and doing it appropriately for that touchpoint is is important, obviously staying on values and, you know, consistent about the soul of your brand, but really conscious about where you are engaging.

Aaron Conant 30:29

Yeah, awesome. Love it. I'm gonna jump out to Ryan Ryan Oh, no, he can jump in. We'd love to hear Ryan switch, if you can jump in. Would be great to hear, you know, your thoughts in this. So here's a lot of it. We've had it's like on the b2b side, but, you know, on a more, you know, brand focused side, that would be very also, how do you look at branding creative. And, you know, on the brand side, specifically, we'd love to love to hear your thoughts.

Ryan 30:56

Definitely, it's something really big that we've been focusing on, especially in the last three years. A couple things, one, just how fast we've been growing, and having to make some pretty big changes in who we are as a brand. As far as before, like we first started, we were like, Hey, we're made in America, performance based fabric. And then once we moved over, and we were growing so fast, our supply chain and American couldn't accept, we couldn't keep up with our growth, and just finding better quality manufacturers actually overseas and domestic and all that. And at the same times, because we are a poly base shirt, like Polly's the best Cotton's bad and doing all this stuff to now it we as we expand in, in trying to expand these product categories, we really put pinned pigeon holed ourself into this one category as a brand. And we're trying to change that and convince our existing customers versus your new customers has been a bit of a battle back and forth. As far as, hey, those customers who you've had, you have high LTV with them, they're with you for a long period of time. And you may alienate them. But that's only 10% of your overall group versus, hey, we have the potential to bring on these 100,000 new customers with that. So it's something really big that we've been working through and really focusing in on all that. And at the same token, design is designing product based on like Miami for the summertime. But then our marketing when that came out, they did a like 90s kind of like grunge kind of look to all their marketing. So then there's an offset between that versus that alignment behind brand. And really keeping all that you know, aligned, and it directly goes to revenue if the carpets are pretty with pastels in this way, but the marketing is doing a complete opposite thing in it then, like there's not that jive and you lose that that revenue in that in there.

Aaron Conant 33:06

Yeah, I love it. And that's kind of what I was thinking about was, you know, I was actually like Casey as well is that sometimes the you know, because we can move and pivot and shift so fast on the performance driven side, right, that we can swap out backgrounds, we can swap out, you know, anything around it demographics so quickly, sometimes that slowly starts to diverged from what's being done at a brand level as a whole. And keeping those together. And you're in an interesting spot. If you're pivoting the brand voice as a whole, right? You have brand and you have a core, which is working, but might not be working two years from now. So how do you start the branding efforts and grow the branding efforts and justify those and show those return, when you might really not see it for a year to two years. So Tracey? Maggie, I don't know if you have any thoughts there. But

Maggie Gross 33:57

yeah, the the return on the investment does does take a bit longer. But we do see an increased return. One of the also kind of fascinating things is return is not linear. So for smaller organizations, maybe with a smaller market, sort of penetration, they may have to spend more in order to achieve the same results as like a midsize organization and then when they're you know, the organization is really big, let's say a Coca Cola, they may be also spending more than they're they're getting. So it's a little bit of a bell curve and you have to have that sweet spot. And being able to understand where you fit there can help you invest in brand at the right place. Smaller or sometimes that due to see you know direct response works. Bigger org sometimes you're not going to necessarily see the return on brand but if you don't spend you will see it erode much quicker. So that's kind of where the the sort of science comes in is identifying what what this organization should be spending in order to achieve that right result.

Aaron Conant 35:05

Awesome. So a question that I'll have is around, like the communication to the C suite, what does that actually look like? Is it meetings? Who's in it? Is it a slide deck? Is it? You know, what do you what do you see that works best, because at the end of the day, right now, what I'm seeing across the board as a C suite is looking a lot more heavily into everything that's going on on the marketing side. And a lot of is because, you know, they've had this shift to a huge shift in the digital there that they didn't have to, they weren't as concerned about, you know, two years ago. And now they are they want to know where it's at. And so all of a sudden, it's requiring all these different organizations, because digital is like, Hey, if you're gonna have me give these metrics, Where's everybody else has metrics, and now it's trickling over into brand. And we'd love to hear like, what is that communication look like? What are the what is the cadence? If you have advice on that, for brands around cadence of communication with the C suite? To kind of, there's a lot in there to unpack, I

Maggie Gross 36:11

think I can answer a little bit what we've seen, and then I'm curious to know, if anybody on the line feels differently, is that okay?

Aaron Conant 36:21

Yeah, perfect. Yeah, I

Maggie Gross 36:22

definitely don't want to monopolize. But I think, particularly showing those kind of soft brand metrics, at least what we hear from our clients, they're not cutting it anymore. So they need to be able to have some form of connection of the spend to revenue. And most often, historically, that's look like an an attribution model, which is really challenging to get right and sometimes doesn't really prove the true nature and value of brands. So it's, it's challenging. In terms of timing, we tend to think that quarterly is probably as often as you should do it, sometimes semi annually, or annually, it works out fine for the organization any more sort of regularly than that you tend to have noise in the data and blips. And it can cause the organization to think that brand is something they can react to versus brand being almost the foundation of their growth. It's like the pinnacle thing that they they tweak a little bit. And that's not that's not really what brand is.

Aaron Conant 37:29

Yeah, so if we jump out like AJ, any thoughts there, I carry you community Katie upwards.

A.J 37:35

So we communicate mostly a quarterly level. And in that kind of a little bit more through a formal QPR process. But we also make the latest data available as a as a dashboard, and we make that widely available. So the two things that will that we'll look at is the campaign impact report, what's the advertising piece doing that there's a lot of focus on that, because it's just a big spend item, it's not the, you know, the end all be all a brand. So we communicate quarterly. And then we also, we've changed our we used to do our brand tracker annually. And it's just you can't really do any, like if it's if it's annual, and then you want to add a question, you want to change something and then you need another year to get a baseline. It's like everything's two years out of date. It's it wasn't fast enough. So we're now continuously in market collecting data for our brand tracker, and then we do a snapshot every quarter. And we can, with a little bit of effort, kind of go back and do arbitrary snapshots. And so the whole thing's kind of in a dashboard and all of that. So the short answer is quarterly. And we report through a QB our process, but we also communicate more broadly to stakeholders when you know anything interesting.

Aaron Conant 38:48

But awesome. Yeah. Casey, Amy, I'd love to hear where you're at. And then we're jump out to some more people. I'd like to bring Troy into the conversation as well.

Casey 38:57

That's probably more appropriate of the question for me, but I don't know she's back yet.

Amy 39:01

I'm back. Yeah. But I missed the question. I heard I heard the tail end of AJ talking about a brand tracker.

Aaron Conant 39:09

Yeah. So this was the what is communication looked like, upwards, you know, the cadence for it. They you know, because I think there's a lot more scrutiny on any type of budget right now in marketing. That's what I'm hearing across the board. Because the digital all of a sudden grab this big chunk of it. And now there's all these eyeballs on it. And they they want all these metrics. And then you've got brand, you've got different people say, well, they're not providing metrics, why do we have to provide it and then you're because Maggie was pointing out like these soft ones. It makes sense. Just saying that he's like, these little soft brand metrics don't really cut it anymore. So is there a Is there a cadence of communication upwards? What does that cadence look like? And then are there key things that you're always communicating there anything that's changed over the past 18 months?

Amy 39:56

Totally, totally. And and yes. So I would say probably like a, you know, two years ago, we were really focused on things like our annual brand health metrics. So, you know, awareness, unaided awareness, brand affinity, you know, brand impression through you. gov. Um, you know, like the the big broad things, and we do, we do continue to track those and, and report out on those on a quarterly basis, we have, because we are such a performance based organization, we have figured out, at least, for some of our digital platforms, a cost per lifted user metric. So, you know, we've got, we do pretty much anything that is on a digital platform, we do a brand lift study on, and we've been able to figure out, you know, like, what is the average cost per lift, based on that, based on those brand lift studies? So, um, you know, like, say, for instance, you know, we're on, we're on YouTube, and we've got a brand list study, and we track three things there, we tracked recall, awareness, and favourability. And so we've been able to figure out with our brand and with our brand analytics team, you know, what is that, you know, based on the investment that we make, and based on the lifts that we get, what is the cost per lifted user. And so that is a, that is a metric that we, that we track, and we report out, based on for each of the campaigns that we put on put in market as well as quarterly. So favourability is something that we've added in this year, because, you know, I think it's all well and good, if you recall our ad, but if you don't get like, if it doesn't change your stance, oh, sorry, theory. You know, if you don't, if you don't, you know, if you don't see it as favorable, or if it doesn't have a positive impact on your impression on the brand, then then, you know, that as a brand piece of communication. Just being aware that you saw it isn't necessarily, you know, doing us that big of a service. So there's, uh, you know, so we're kind of debating right now on, you know, it's another one of those shifts for us internally, you know, to go from, you know, well, we, we can get our cost per lifted user on ad recall down to like, 10 cents. But favourability is much more expensive, and, but favourability is the one that's ultimately going to, from a brand perspective is going to have that, you know, I think back to Maggie, what Maggie was saying earlier, you know, the, the, you know, the, you know, are they aligned with your core brand values, that they you know, that's, that's that's where the favourability comes in for me and, and why that, that I'm putting an emphasis emphasis in our organization on that one over, just just recall,

Maggie Gross 43:18

particularly like when you're a big player, like GoDaddy, in your industry recall, might just be growing the category. So are you getting people to think about the category versus Are you getting people to choose GoDaddy?

Amy 43:32

Exactly, exactly. I'm gonna steal that, by the way. When I, when I go into this, I have a meeting later on today to debate ad recall over favourability. So yeah, thank you very much for that. No problem.

Aaron Conant 43:50

So a couple questions that come in. One is how do you define lifted, you know, lifted from a second box, that top box is the first one. And then the next one is was a role of creativity in managing the upward communications to C suite? I like that one a lot. I mean, to Yes, because I just, you know, taking, you know, decks into the C suite, it sits in front of them. They look at the front page for web, the last page, right? Like, how do you engage that I love that one? So let's tackle the first one. How you define lifted crowd second bots to top box and maybe that was directed right, Amy? Was that or anybody?

Amy 44:29

Yeah, that was directed towards me, um, we always have a control versus an arm control. So it's, it's the it's the it's the percentage of lift based on the control for us. So you know, if the control is, you know, if the control is 60, and then you know, the lifted is is at as long as it's static, then then we've got that figured out.

Aaron Conant 44:54

And so maybe I missed a tourist. So this is what is the role of creativity and managing the upward communications the C suite, meaning advocating for breakthrough creative in winning awards?

Maggie Gross 45:08

I think it might be in Tracey's wheelhouse.

Tracey Smith 45:11

Yeah, at first I thought the question was around how creative Can you be when when trying to sell this thinking through, but I think it's more about how do you sell good creative, which

Amelia 45:21

is this is Amelia I can I was one who asked the question, I'm happy to clarify that. I think one of the, when you're building strong brands and making the business case for brands, it requires exposure, but also impactful, creative and strong, you know, creative delivery, and maybe that's being daring. What does the I'm interested from the Marketing Leaders here? Like what does? And also Tracey, of course, how are you framing the importance of, you know, creative that has an impact that might be daring, or risky, but that helps with strengthening the brand and standing out? I hope that clarifies my question. I

Tracey Smith 46:12

mean, I'll let everyone jump in. But from, from my perspective, it's always what is the truck problem you're trying to solve? And how creative can you get when solving that problem? And I think when you hit the nail on the head, that the solution is obvious, because you know, you're coming at it with a new fresh way of thinking about how to solve a problem. But I'm happy to open this up to conversation here.

Casey 46:45

I think that, you know, I can speak from just the history of GoDaddy and other clients when I was agency side working for is, I think that comes down to a really understanding like you do with your customers, your business audience. And so I've worked with many talented creatives that are extremely great at their craft and come up with very innovative ideas, but with your audiences, purely business minded audience, you know, you get a lot of that feedback around, well, how is this going to move the needle? How am I going to get new customers, how many of you know all their KPI checkpoints. And so I think really knowing your audience of C suite and understanding their motivations, their goals per quarter per year, and being able to tie the strategy of your creative back to the outcomes, they're looking to drive. And through partnership in your team, whether that's like a BA, or an analytics partner, whether that's sales team, understanding the sales team KPIs, building that into the narrative of your presentation, as a creative helps create that connection with your audience. So yeah, awesome. Well, I

Aaron Conant 47:57

know we did. One of these were on a brand side, you know, the, the team was saying, they want the skydiving moment, right, where it's super exciting, just as you jump out, but you know, there's a chance it could all go sideways, but it's worth it for the thrill, right, that kind of feeling there, that you're doing something that's really innovative, really fun, it's gonna be really impactful. But, you know, it might go sideways to the chute doesn't open but some really small chance. So no great stuff. Yeah, Troy, I didn't know if you're able to jump in, you know, any thoughts on this as a whole?

Troy 48:34

I gotta say, this has been fantastic. Because what you don't know is, so I lead global marketing and partnerships for . I invited my partner who is the global brand director for. And through this entire meeting, I was like I told you, so that's exactly what he needs. And on the brand side, he's telling me see, that's exactly what we're supposed to be doing. And it's amazing that the conversations that you guys are having, we have them constantly, because on the marketing side, the way that the way that I need to execute a message, the impact needs to be almost immediate. With a young brand like . The idea that the brand would have an impact, it's not going to be immediate, it's going to be in the next 10 years or five years. So some of the stuff that he's creating is further out. His brain works differently than a marketing brain because he has this serial type of atmosphere where he can play it where on the marketing side, I have to prove that it actually actually made a difference and that we sold something and that our customers identified with it. And it's interesting hearing everyone speak because I'm accountable for making sure that our vehicles are being sold and that the I'm amplifying a marketing and brand message But I have to decipher from this brand message, what that actually means in terms of content that I need to execute on. We're not always aligned and how specific that needs to be from a brand perspective. So hearing you guys speak, I thought it was it was actually really entertaining because it was these conversations that you guys are having we have every day. And ultimately, I think at the end of the day, it's just going to be a tie, because I'll let Nilo speak. But he tied he ties very closely with Maggie's saying, I'm very close to what Casey for sure, is saying, indefinitely, Tracey. So these calls are very useful. I think the only the only consideration I would ask is, from a marketing and brand perspective from from is that we don't have a long history in terms of a brand. So what we largely depend on is creating partnerships and utilizing brand adjacencies. So we have a partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders. We identify with them in terms of what their brand is, but we largely for right now will depend on other people's brands to elevate ours will execute our own brand message underneath until we can grow that next five or 10 years. But for someone small, and I came from Lexus and Toyota, which had strong obviously brands, but when you're brand new, it takes a lot of money to create a voice in a very crowded space, which is why brand adjacencies it almost cuts our time in half. If we can get the Raiders on our side, and they amplify our message and they validate our brand, it seems to it's a multiplier of 10, if you can do it, right. So a lot of the conversations we've heard of so far are legitimately significant brands that have been around for a long time. But it'd be nice to get your perspective on brands that are brand new, that the marketing path and the brand path are much different than what an Apple or a Google are going to be doing. But for us, it's it's definitely much more difficult.

Casey 52:04

I think you're hitting right into the bullet I put into chat telephone Troy where it's the market is changing so quickly now, with technology and specifically for your industry to like, whether it's you guys or lucid motors, you know, is coming up right now like that Evie space is just accelerating tremendously. And, you know, to get kind of brand recognition, I forget what, you know, maybe Aaron, or maybe you guys would like to market spend in media to get that your own ability as a market segment. I forget what the spend was, I've heard numbers in the past for that brand recognition. But that is a true challenge for a lot of these like up and coming brands trying to own a segment.

Troy 52:51

I think the other the other piece, we were talking about C suites for us, between Nilo and I know just from Lexus. And I also did Neo for a little while before they went to China is when we go to the C suite and we say here's exactly what it takes to launch a brand globally. And we'll give them this number. And there'll be that's absolutely there's no way that's how much it costs to launch a brand globally in the automotive space. half the battle is just identifying that it does take that amount of money. And then we have to define how are we going to spend it. So I don't know that it's the brand lift or the brand impressions that that we're looking for. It's validating, yes, it does cost this much money to move the needle. That's the biggest, that's probably the biggest sort of block that we have in terms of launching a brand or marketing is, if you're not in the industry, you don't really know how much it takes that Lexus we would spend probably $30 million every month. And that's just on the incentive side. That's just to get people to lease a vehicle. That's not the brand impact. But for smaller company startups like lucid and ourselves, I think the first C suite challenge is just level setting and saying this is how much it truly costs. Me the other. The other one that is definitely important is for a younger company like us is understanding. We use other agencies like Phoenix marketing is just validating where we are today so that we actually know where we're going. So having a true understanding of as a brand today, what that looks like in terms of where the brand sits, is it is it a Is it a consideration and then we move from there. So a younger younger companies have much different problems as you guys know,

Aaron Conant 54:41

and I I'm just gonna have to jump in just because we're right at time here and maybe one minute over. spent an amazing conversation though. I do want to say hey, thanks to everybody who was able to jump in. Everybody was able to share in the chat, you know, thanks, Tracey Maggie, just for all around great conversation. If you're looking for more, you know, insights or guidance or help anything in this space, you know, the team at Deloitte Digital, they just came highly recommended from a ton of different organizations within our network 100% worth your time to set aside and kind of let them explain what they're doing in this space. They're huge ambassadors for a lot of different brands out there. So, Maggie, quick takeaway here before we wrap it up.

Maggie Gross 55:23

Yeah, what we will send to everybody on this call those white papers, it'll talk about the four metrics of brand worth some of the impact that spending on brand tends to have in different industries, and if anybody has any questions, specifically, or industries that, you know, maybe aren't in there, I can follow up with some of the folks who raised their hand specifically for cybersecurity. You know, Troy some of the questions you're asking around automotive, I think we could we could have some specific runs and polls for as well because we see a difference in established auto brands versus some of the new entrants, so that could be really fun as well. So anyway, um, we're still here to answer questions. If anybody has any, just just let us know. And we'll we'll try to army all what the data to fight the good fight.

Aaron Conant 56:12

Awesome. Well, thanks, everybody. Thanks, man. Thanks, Tracey. I hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday. Everybody, stay safe, take care and look forward to having you on a future event. Alrighty, thanks, everybody.

Read More
Read Less

What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
envelopephone-handsetcrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram