Is Your Brand Evolving?

Havas Media is a full service communications agency with operations in 118 countries that believes in the undeniable need to re-draw the communications map. Named “Collaborator of the Year” by global marketing magazine M & M, Havas strives to understand and shape the complex and evolving debate around the relationship between consumers, brands and advertising, in the context of a socially-conscious world. This belief is rooted in the knowledge that strong, meaningful brands are built and maintained when companies focus on how their brands can make a difference and generate positive outcomes for people and society.

According to Umair Haque, Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business, brands have evolved from functional, to aspirational, to meaningful. Gone are the days of marketing to the aspirational consumer. Whether it be that 40% of consumers find that pricey items aren’t worth the money, that skipping top-shelf brands in favor of lower-end ones is most common in households with incomes of $100,000 and above, or the fact that 41% of households with incomes over $250,000 are making a concerted effort to spend less, people are no longer spending as lavishly as they used to. While part of this issue may be spurred by the economic realities of the day, Havas Media Labs has found conclusive evidence that this trend will not be short-lived:

Havas Media Labs is Havas Media’s thought leadership hub. The Labs consist of a team of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences who draw insights from observations and analysis, develop ideas, concepts and models to suggest new ways of working with clients. Their ideas form the foundation of the group’s approach from hubs in Madrid, Barcelona, London, and New York.

The agency’s work speaks for itself. From the survey of case studies represented on their web site, Havas is indeed working to re-frame the context of a brand’s image in a way that is most meaningful to the customer. By re-positioning communications to illustrate the real benefits that improve a person’s quality of life, they are not only creating impressive marketing campaigns but redefining brand experiences.

To better understand how they are achieving this, please click here to view this must-see video about how they helped to re-invent the brand image for Carnival Cruises. Their strategy targeted drive-to-port markets (based on the idea that consumers who wouldn’t have to pay for airfare would be more likely to book a cruise in a down economy) and focused on the idea of bringing the Carnival Cruise experience directly to the consumer through large-scale unexpected group fun events. Tactics included dropping the world’s largest beach ball from a high-rise rooftop onto a city street and parties that featured food, karaoke, and ship entertainment. The agency’s efforts resulting in the highest number of weekly bookings in Carnival history at peak of the recession!

Marketing takeaway: Meaningful brands matter. The world has experienced a “values revolution” that has uncovered a shift from egocentric to allocentric demand. Allocentric demand highlights values that focus on nature, the future, society, one another, and a sense of overall purpose and well-being. Some of the concepts discussed here echo statements made in previous posts, “The Greening of Global Brands” and “Cultural Creatives and the LOHAS Movement.”

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