Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

Nigel Hollis Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst, Millward Brown

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Insights 2020 demonstrates the value of customer centricity

Insights 2020 is one of the largest studies of the role of insight and analysis ever conducted; spanning over 60 countries, 10,000 participants, and tapping into some of the smartest institutions and individuals on the planet. Any company seeking to improve its own performance would do well to review the results and then take a long hard look at their own operations. You can find an overview of the Insights 2020 findings here but I am going to call out three findings that I believe are particularly important.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sorry, Professor Sharp, that is simply not true

In a recent WARC story titled, ‘Byron Sharp Bites Back’, Professor Sharp is reported as suggesting Millward Brown was "a little bit hostile" to his book, How Brands Grow. Sorry, Professor Sharp, that is simply not true. We love your book. After all, it validates so much of what Millward Brown has advocated for decades.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Takeaways from the AMA Annual Conference

Last week I attended the AMA Annual Conference, and I had the chance to sit in on some thought-provoking presentations. Here are four takeaways that stood out for me:

It is only a principle if it costs you

JP Kuehlwein, EVP of Frederick Fekkai, and Wolfgang Schaefer presented the principles of prestige branding. They stated that aligning a brand around a specific purpose or mission means that the brand cannot appeal to everyone, or chase additional revenues...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brand attitudes: sometimes a chicken, sometimes an egg

There is a prevalent view in our industry that attitudes follow behavior and therefore do not matter. In many cases that is true, but in others it is not. Marketers who ignore brand attitudes risk making a big mistake, because in many cases attitudes do lead behavior.

Monday, September 28, 2015

What will it take for Jaguar to succeed in the USA?

The purchase of ailing brands Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford in 2008 has reaped huge rewards for Tata Motors of India. According to this article in the New York Times, the brands combined to produce $1 billion in pretax profits for Tata in its most recent quarter. If continued, that is enough to pay back the sum paid to Ford in less than a year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Aldi adopts a strategy from the global brand playbook

Aldi, the discount grocery store, has a long history, but only in the last twenty-five years has it really started to expand on a global scale. The Aldi brand now operates in 18 countries. Like many global brands, Aldi begins its life in a new country as an outsider, disrupting the status quo, but thereafter the challenge is to become accepted as a truly local brand.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A new advertising scale: understand, feel, experience

As is often the case, a post by Faris Yakob, Co-founder of Genius Steals, titled Reality advertising’ got me thinking. I have no doubt that these days, when so much of our day-to-day experience is mediated by screens and staged for effect; there is huge value in delivering a real, positive experience. And that idea reminded me of a ‘scale’ of advertising response that I had been exploring some time ago.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Premium metric measures what really matters for brands

I believe that brands must maintain their pricing power if they are to create sustainable financial value growth. Yes, brands need to sell more in order to grow, but they also need to maintain their margins while doing so. All too often brands end up trading margin to support market share, and never regain the same profitability.