Prosumer Report: Building Brands That Matter

Brand preference and loyalty are not static; they must be earned and re-earned over time. With this new study, Havas Worldwide explores what brands must do to stay relevant in consumers’ lives. This has always been important but is especially vital at a time when consumers have so many choices at retail.

What does a brand have to do to convince a shopper to choose it above all others? It must embody—and communicate—two vital factors: trust and dynamism. Though the optimal combination will vary by geography and category, no brand will win for long without encapsulating both.

Highlights of the study include:

1. Social brands win
Consumers’ perceptions of brands increasingly are tied to their sociability—how they interact with consumers and others, especially in the digital sphere. Around two-thirds of Prosumers and half of mainstream consumers now consider a strong social media presence an important factor in brand reputation.

2. The value of “local” is tied more to actions than provenance
Though “buying local” has gained favor in developed markets in recent years, a brand’s provenance is less important than how it behaves locally and the extent to which it caters to local preferences and needs. Having a positive presence in local communities is an important factor in building a brand’s reputation, say 87 percent of Prosumers and 72 percent of mainstream consumers.

3. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem
As companies have grown larger and more powerful, consumers’ expectations of them have magnified. Eighty percent of Prosumers and 65 percent of the mainstream believe that businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving positive social change. It’s no longer acceptable to operate solely in service to one’s profits.

4. Consumers want a role to play
Consumers don’t just want brands to do good; they want to be able to contribute to the effort—and feel good about themselves as a result. A growing number of brands—from TOMS (shoes) and Warby Parker (eyewear) to Smile Squared (toothbrushes) and One World Futbol (soccer balls)—are adopting a “buy one, give one” model, enabling each purchase to double as a donation to a person in need.

5. Transparency is essential to trust
Companies can no longer hide behind iron gates, parceling out information as they see fit. Consumers expect full disclosure on a whole host of subjects, from environmental impact to the treatment of workers.

6. Authentic roots offer a direct path to the new consumer’s heart
In an era of disposable goods and artificial everything, consumers derive value from products linked to what they perceive as a more “authentic” time or place. A majority of Prosumers (71 percent) and mainstream consumers (59 percent) say having a rich history or backstory is an important factor in building a brand’s reputation.

7. Your employees have the potential to be your best brand advocates—or most damaging detractors
Policies or no policies, employees are going to talk about where they work—and that can be a tremendous boon or bane in the era of social media. In fact, what employees say about a company online is more convincing than any advertising or news article, say 67 percent of Prosumers and 53 percent of mainstream consumers.

8. Digital consumers have no patience for disconnects
Consumers are looking for seamless interactions with brands—across platforms (PC, mobile phone, iPad) and wherever they are. There is increasingly less tolerance for brands that don’t let people access and use them however they’d like.

To learn more about the study and to download the full report, click here.

And follow us on Twitter

One Young World: There are no words worthy

This year’s One Young World summit saw over 1,200 delegates from over 190 countries coming together in Johannesburg to debate and formulate solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.

Here, two of our bright young sparks, Lauren and Harriet talk to us about what they describe as “a truly inspiring and overwhelming experience which words cannot describe”, sharing “some of the incredible experiences we were fortunate enough to be a part of during the 2013 One Young World summit”.

The event kicked off with the opening ceremony at Soccer City during which we were welcomed by Co-Founders David Jones and Kate Robinson who introduced us to the panel of 2013 counsellors, including Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof and Professor Muhammed Yunus.

All three gave incredibly captivating opening speeches, and from the point when Mr Annan stated “I feel confident that the future is in good hands”, we knew we were all there for a reason and left feeling motivated, eager and with high expectations of what the coming days would have in store.

Day 1 was packed to the brim with inspirational stories, challenging statements and thought provoking insights, primarily focused around Education, Human Rights and Sustainable Development.

Whilst the subject matter of the sessions ranged from heath care to terrorism, tunnel farming to human trafficking, rape to corruption and so on, the commonality was that the initiatives created by delegates to combat these issues were born from just two resources each of us possess: creativity and passion.

That was when we first started to realise that there is nothing to stop us from undertaking similar actions to those taken by the delegates we heard from that day.

We were also fortunate enough to hear again from Kofi Annan who gave us another powerful reminder that our generation really does have the power to create change by leading those in positions of power in the direction we want to go in by stating “when leaders fail to lead, the people can make them follow”.

Whilst all global leaders called for young people to play a more prominent role in attempts to tackle global issues, on Day 2 Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, advised us on how to create epidemic change, by redefining success in our current climate. Arianna spoke passionately about how women are less invested in maintaining the status quo within the workplace which lent itself well to the Special Session named Women Up where the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO spoke about her movement ‘Lean In’.

The Plenary sessions on Youth Unemployment shortly followed and with a resounding 91% in agreement, it was safe to say that nearly all in the room felt passionately about the subject and on leaving the session were all asking ourselves if it was our job to find the solutions.

Friday’s afternoon saw delegates take a step out of the Sandton Convention Centre into the surrounding area of Johannesburg, where we took part in Breakout Sessions, where delegates would assemble into smaller groups and learn first-hand about issues we had heard about at the Summit.

A session we were lucky enough to attend was call ‘Limitless Youths’ and allowed us the opportunity to visit a township in Soweta run by Kliptown Youth Programme a programme, which seeks to eradicate poverty of the mind, body and soul, and fight against the disadvantages imposed on the children of Kliptown.

The visit was a real eye opener and by the end of the day, which incorporated an outstanding performance by the community there, it was clear that the goodbye’s we were saying would not be the last.

The final day of the Summit commenced with a plenary session on Global Business, which saw delegate speakers including those from the Havas Network illustrate that despite being young, we can be the driving force and play significant roles in our organisations in making them more responsible and sustainable. Using a renowned African saying, Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, stated “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” which summed up the advice he gave all delegates on their role in developing sustainable business growth.

The final plenary session was held on Leadership and Government which ended the event with Ashish Damle, the youngest Politician on India state ‘Today, youngsters on Facebook write, ‘I hate politics.’ But I want them to say, ‘I will change politics’, which encouraged all young people there to use ‘new power’ to drive positive change through the likes of digital and social media. The power of collaboration was later reinforced by Ron Garan, NASA Astronaut, who stressed “the key is WE” in his Special Session on The Orbital Perpective.

One thing was for sure, even though the Summit has ended, 1,200 inspired young people from 190 countries have returned home to try and change something in the world for the better good. So to One Young World 2013 Summit, on behalf of all One Young World Ambassadors, we do not bid you a farewell, this is only the start.

Written By Harriet Grange – Account Manager & Lauren McIlroy – Planner

Data and creativity: a beautiful unison

Data and creative are rarely spoken about in the same breath. Data has, until fairly recent times, been kept far away in a brand’s IT or insight department where the creation of engaging consumer conversations is not on the agenda.

Samsung uses real-time social listening software to understand consumer sentiment and adapt marketing strategies accordingly. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In this week’s Guardian Media section, our Group CEO, Tash Whitmey gives her thoughts on how brands that can marry data with creativity are finding new ways to develop targeted conversations with consumers.

To check out the article in full, click here.

Nurturing and attracting young, creative talent

Check out our COO, Matt Fanshawe’s response to Campaign Editor Jeremy Lee ‘Do agencies still have the resources for creativity?’ (Campaign, 10th October) where he questions if agencies are doing enough to support new talent in producing genuinely impactful creative.

Some cars, some freerunners, no broken bones (one broken sun roof)

Our digital film to launch Peugeot’s new compact SUV, the 2008 Crossover, has now hit cyberspace. It features two freerunners, Tim ‘Livewire’ Shieff and Katie McDonnell, and, of course, a Peugeot 2008.

Tim won the Barclaycard World Freerun Championships in 2009 and in terms of competitions placed and won, he is currently the most successful freerunner in the world, so we consider ourselves very lucky to get him for our film.

This is me at the shoot with Tim. I wasn’t at all excited because frankly, he’s a bit ugly, and I totally kept my cool. Totally.

Tim and Katie helped us illustrate the 2008 Crossover campaign line ‘See the city in a different light’ by throwing themselves off pillars and doing windmills on car roofs, as you do, in the glamorous riverside location of Deptford.

But while our fearless athletes survived the process without breaking any bones, the Cielo sunroof on one of the cars wasn’t so lucky. That’s what you get for asking someone to do a headspin on a glass roof, I suppose!

The film is cut to a great track by Nat Jenkins, which is just about to be released from Camouflage Records, and Irresistible Films patiently and expertly ran the shoot and production.

So big thanks to the whole team, and of course the rest of our own crew – James, Mark, Ingo, Sean and Elliot. Both films and a 20-second pre-roll can be seen in the wild as of this week. But if you can’t be bothered to go looking for them, you can check out the main film above.

One Young World: My incredible experience

Pittsburgh; a town rarely visited considering it is an old industrial city with a history in steel. Recently the bankers and hedge funds have seen an opportunity in its proximity to NYC and built up a mini financial centre in the backdrop of two ‘great’ sports teams the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates. So when 2,100 ‘young’ people from across the globe descended on the city they couldn’t help but notice and welcome us!

One Young World Pittsburgh began on October 18th 2012, 2,100 people from 183 countries began a four day, 20 hour a day, intensive information overload into world affairs across topics ranging from leadership and governance, new technology, the food epidemic affecting the world today, war, peace and many more topics.

One Young world was conceived in 2010 by David Jones and Kate Robertson, since then each year has got bigger and, more importantly, more change has been achieved.

2012 was a big year for One Young World as we all merrily arrived from the far flung corners of the earth little did we know we would meet friends, colleagues and be inspired not just by the councillors but also the impassioned stories, pledges and promises of the delegation ranging from 18 to 30 year olds, from all different backgrounds and ranging from students, delegates from large corporations to those who self-funded to attend.

The first day we got to see what Pittsburgh hospitality is really like with the city coming to a standstill as we were paraded from our hotels to the river for a boat cruise and flag ceremony. From here we were police escorted through the city to Heinz Hall to formally open the ceremony and meet the councillors who would be spending the next 4 days with us, listening to our stories, thoughts and opinions and sharing theirs.

The councillors were introduced as boxers are to the ring! Bob Geldof, Mohammed Yunus, Fatima Bhutto, Jamie Oliver, Jack Dorsey, Anthony Jenkins, Paul Polman, Kofi Annan, Pete Cashmore, Jeremy Gilley to name a few. Slowly we all started to see suited men fill the exits, their small yet discernible silver badges giving away their role (you’ll forgive my distraction here, it was pretty awesome to see real life Presidential security service!)

To begin a conference with Bill Clinton brings its own problems, beyond the logistics of getting an Ex-President to attend. Some of us are old enough to remember his politics good or bad. Others may only know him as the Mr to Mrs Clinton, but for the organisers it was ‘How do we beat this?!’ His ‘speech’ at the opening ceremony was a masterclass in how to give a Q&A session. An open conversation with the audience on 5 key topics and questions from the floor, each question holding his unbridled attention and passion with knowledge he would be forgiven for forgetting due to health, age and time out of politics. But instead he was an encyclopedia of facts and figures on topics as wide as the Arab Spring to food standards.

From here on in the days roll in to one; each plenery slot includes 6 delegate speeches, a Q&A session for the whole floor and a summation by the councillors. Check out some of the most amazing moments here:

Jamie Oliver – Empassioned food standards plenary

Paul Polman – Unilever Global CEO – Doing business well and for good

Mohammed Yunus – Changing his country and showing a beacon to the world on how to do this

Spaceman here on earth! What world do we want to live in?

Peace One Day – Fit as much as you can into 15 minutes. Rockstar entrance!

You can find out more about OYW on their website, talking to David Alexander who helps Kate and David run it here in the UK office, coming and talking to me or speaking to Matt or Tash. We are also setting up a Havas network where you will be able to see the type of work ambassadors from previous years are doing and connect with people across the network and the globe if any of the initiatives take your fancy! So watch this space!

So to sum up! The power of OYW is not just in the councillors (however amazing they may be!) that attend and the knowledge/ passion that is shown at every moment of your four days there. It is the overwhelming sense of confidence, drive and ambition to change something/ make a difference/ inspire something no matter how big or small that is collectively felt and acted upon by the delegation of amazing young people.

It may be idealistic but the delegation are realistically hopeful of change and, more importantly, willing and ready to take on the responsibility to shoulder the change of the future to the extent that real action is spurred on. To the point that even the most cynical amongst us can’t help but recognise the change that is possible and is happening.

Take a look at some of the initiatives and if you want get involved!

Thanks for reading and bring on Joburg 2013!

Hannah Slater – Senior Account Manager & 2012 Ambassador

Havas EHS picks up IPM Automotive award for Volvo

We were delighted to see our multichannel launch campaign for the Volvo V40 awarded Bronze in the Automotive and Consumer Durables category at this year’s IPM Awards.

The Volvo V40 was created around human requirements, using advanced people-centred technologies and giving users the ability to adapt the car’s features to their current mood.

A car model with such a range of unique features requires marketing that explains them clearly, that drives traffic to the website and people to dealerships. The “It’s you” campaign, therefore, was highly interactive and demonstrative.

Most notable were the interactive ads in bus stops around the UK’s biggest cities, communicating during the “dead time” of waiting for a bus. By giving them something to personalise and have fun with, the ads invited enjoyable engagement with the brand in a public space.

A take-over of the Yahoo! homepage and personalised Spotify playlists were used to encourage traffic to the Volvo website and V40 microsite.

“It’s you” was a highly successful campaign, with each bus stop averaging 5,000 interactions, with data captured element that pulled users through the sales funnel at that early stage.

This was a first for digital outdoor media, a channel whose potential is still being unlocked by marketers. This work shows that commuters are willing to engage with brands when the proposition is personalised and fun.

The online activities also delivered tremendous surges in website statistics.

Twitter Spam….Its Worst is Still to Come

I had a thought last night. It was more of a premonition. I spent much of the day talking to clients and colleagues about how brands are increasingly using Twitter and other social media platforms in order to boost their CRM capabilities.

“Social Media is a bit ’1984’” my old Creative Director suggested – yes it is.

I can imagine the Cheshire Cat grins 10-20 years ago when brands realised that they could use the online space to communicate with a near-infinite number of potential and current customers – in the form of emails.

This lead to a global epidemic of SPAM.

I am a casual user of Twitter (some would argue this) and I do, like a few of my peers, get rather excited when I get an unexpected tweet from somebody – this is akin to my excitement when opening my Hotmail account in my early teens.

Unfortunately this feeling soon became diluted as that special “1 new email” or even the glorious “Unread (1) “ soon turned into “Unread (1528)” as I was getting so much SPAM in my inbox ranging from offers from reputable companies that I signed up to, all the way down to “Viagra Offers” and serendipitous lottery wins.

Twitter has already seen its own difficulties with SPAM and fake/hacked accounts which to this date haven’t really deterred the avalanche of brands and agencies alike using Twitter for more than just an online PR tool, but more of an acquisition and retention tool. Not to mention completely turning the media industry on its head!

Whilst looking at a few products that agencies are now offering to their clients, it became evident that the upcoming trend may soon be to start invading their personal space. Facebook timelines have already had to contend this subject, however their argument, and quite rightly so, for the brand was that the user has to ‘like’ the page in order to have them on their timeline. However, what is going to stop companies ‘mentioning’ users on their Twitter? I am not aware of any laws or regulations. The BBC have a brilliant article on what you can’t do on Twitter but nothing that protects the regular user against being inundated with mentions from unsolicited sales approaches.

The main question behind this piece is I suppose: How long will it be until @cocacola starts tweeting you to see if you should have your daily intake of sugary goodness? Or perhaps @webuyanycaruk thinks that as you moan so much about your car, perhaps you should sell it.

Much to my surprise, when I checked my Twitter after my musings, I saw this:

Thanks Mr. Murks, but surely the people following you are all spambots?

I predict that Twitter will start to have increasing difficulties in trying to stop countless mentions, unless they start locking accounts much like the protected tweet accounts but in sort of a reverse way. But doesn’t that go against what Twitter is all about?

By Hisham Lahouasnia, Account Manager

Follow Hisham on Twitter!

Creating citizen journalists with The GuardianWitness

Media broadcasters and newspapers have been using social channels like Twitter to get opinions, images and eye witness accounts for a number of years, but now the Guardian appear to have found a way to own that conversation.

Having begun life as another channel to broadcast their message, Twitter is now a focal point for journalists, with the majority of reporters having their own handle and people encouraged to hashtag a TV programme or topic to allow broadcasters to gauge opinion.

The BBC’s Newsnight is always a popular discussion point on Twitter

Until now, the tendency has been to interact with stories and TV programmes the public like, rather than an individual broadcaster, however the launch of the GuardianWitness, a new crowd sourced news platform, might be the next step, with the public encouraged to upload images and stories directly to The Guardian’s own site.

Existing as a downloadable app, it allows wanna-be-journalists or every day people to submit interesting stories, or in times of need, the Guardian will issue ‘Assignments’ to gather additional photos and video content for bigger stories that are happening in real time…

For the Guardian, this is a much ownable way to invite people to participate in creating news than what’s been around for the last few years (tweet us, email us etc.), but in creating their own platform, the question remains whether people will go specifically to the GuardianWitness, rather than simply using email, Twitter and YouTube as they have always done.

by Henry Riggall, Senior New Business Development Manager
Follow Henry on Twitter!

Is Vine the new GIF?

Earlier this year, Twitter introduced the new GIF-like video app that allows users to create 6 second long videos. I’m sure everyone has heard (sound is optional), or at least seen a few of them by now; quite a few large brands have been early adopters, including American Outfitters and Dove.

Vine isn’t the first of its kind; first came Viddy, Tout, Socialcam, Cinemagram, which are notably available on Android as well as iPhone and iPod touch. But due to Twitter’s backing, it’s immediately being hailed as the Instagram of video. It’s zoomed past Viddy and SocialCam in its first month by gaining steady market penetration to 2.8% of highly active tweeters. But compared to a 0.5% and 0.2% of penetration by the others respectively, media sharing on Twitter is still most reliant on Twitter photo hosting and Instagram (thanks to RJMetrics blog for numbers).

But, rather than replacing still pictures, it seems there’s much talk about whether Vine will soon replace the now 26 year old GIF format, beloved by Tumblr. Interestingly, previous to the release of Vine, noises were being made about the re-emergence of GIFs. Whereas it was previously quite hard to generate GIFs – or at least you had to be relatively tech savvy – in the last year apps such as Cinemagram and Gifboom have been released for both Android and iPhone, allowing users to create GIFs via their cameras. Once again this increases accessibility for the GIF format – known best for its accessibility across nearly all online platforms due to its relatively low download time (compared to high res images).

So, with all the new programmes and apps around, even the GIF isn’t really being left behind – like all technologies with a decent following, it’s evolving into something new.

Anne Street Studio Cinemagraph

From the ashes of terribly looped clip-art animation, it’s now occupying the space of advanced photography that bridges the gap between still image and video and that current fashion of being vintage.

So no, Vine isn’t the new GIF. GIF is the new GIF. It’s just going in a new direction.

by Jen Talbot, Account Manager
Follow Jen on Twitter!