Douwe Egberts shows how this can be done. The advertising of this traditional Dutch coffee brand offers a mix of modern home situations and brand assets that have been around for more than fifty years.
Brand building takes a lot of time. That’s why consistency is so difficult. It is not for sale. You have to keep at it yourself.
Consistent execution of marketing policies is essential for strong marketing results. Winning companies are therefore twice as likely to indicate that the marketing policy is applied consistently throughout the organization. “You can expect that result,” explains Ronald Jansen of Marketing Consultant Mark Stronger, Benchmark Initiator. “Winners do this better than fallers. The striking thing is that winning companies are also critical of the consistency of their marketing policies. This means that this is proving to be a challenge for most brands.”
Consistency challenge for all brands
Winners of the National Marketing Benchmark are companies that have achieved better business results in the last two years. Half of these companies rate their own marketing policies as consistent or very consistent. Among companies that did not perform well, this share was more than half lower. Only 22% of these companies believe that their own marketing policies are applied consistently throughout the organization.
It is also noteworthy that the winners are much more vocal about consistency: 21% of the benchmark winners answered neutral, compared to 58% of the declining ones. Jansen: ‘We think it has to do with instruction. The winners have greater control over their marketing. As a result, they apply their marketing policies more consistently or know better where it can be done more consistently. Dalers may not even have this picture. ‘ The benchmark study previously showed that winning companies have greater control over marketing and marketing communications.
The support from the management is very different
Management support is essential for consistent control of marketing policies. To carry out the marketing strategy, after all, marketers rely on departments or business units over which they have no hierarchical control. Jansen: “The company top must ensure coherence throughout the organization. This will only work if there is support from management for marketing. This is usually the case with winning companies and usually not with the losers. Overall, the support from every fifth company seems insufficient. It makes it difficult for marketers in those companies to succeed. ‘
In the Netherlands, Douwe Egberts is an example of a brand that is particularly consistent when it comes to marketing and brand policy, while keeping up with the times.
Many generations of coffee drinkers have grown up with the savings program, the distinctive red wrapping of Aroma Rood, the pay-off and the distinctive piano music. These elements all appear in a modern setting in the coffee brand’s latest TV campaign.
Ellen van der Linde, Marketing Manager at Douwe Egberts: ‘Our brand has a huge legacy. We have been around since 1753, our savings program has been running for almost a hundred years, and the taste of Aroma Red has also been distinctive over the years. Our pay-off ‘And then there is coffee, Douwe Egbert’s coffee, tasty coffee’ and promotional music have been used for more than fifty years. This connection ensures that Douwe Egberts radiates a lot of quality and expertise, instills confidence among consumers and has strong associations with cosiness. ‘
Nevertheless, consequence was not always self-evident for Douwe Egberts. Before and after the turn of the century, the brand has been less consistent in fire communication for a period of time.
Van der Linde: ‘Douwe Egberts has long stood for connecting people. Five years ago, we decided to start using pay-off and our promotional music as a brand asset again. It immediately worked very well, especially because many coffee drinkers still recognized us on the familiar advertising elements. ‘
Jansen: ‘It takes a lot of time to build brands. That’s why consistency is so difficult. It is not for sale. You have to persevere throughout the organization, even when things go wrong and when marketers change jobs. Marketers and their agencies need to build more on the work of their predecessors and not reinvent the wheel. Consumers are not waiting for that either. Knowledge and recognition are much more relevant to them. ‘
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