I love this piece from the great Mark Ritson on how Guinness has been winning lately – leveraging its distinctive brand assets (the white and black pint) and social listening (people missing pints of Guinness during Covid and seeing the white and black everywhere they went) and, in doing so, becoming the most popular pint in the UK.
He outlines nine lessons for marketers to take from what Guinness are doing right.
- The raw material is good – it helps if you’ve got a great product to begin with, but that’s just the start.
- It is a team effort – unlike some brands (looking at you Burger King) there is not one Marketing Rock Star taking all the limelight, it’s very much a team success.
- Social listening – uncovering trends like the one mentioned above, not just using social media as a customer service tool.
- Play the long game – they didn’t pause marketing spend during Covid like a lot of big brands.
- Integrated marketing communications – they developed their own in-house marketing mix modelling (MMM) system and used it in an integrated campaign across television, social, OOH and point of sale.
- Use Your KBAs (Key Brand Assets) – they leveraged the iconic black and white pint.
- Category entry points – varied the context of their messages to reinforce various category entry points across different customer groups.
- Set a handful of long and short objectives – Don’t be focused solely on short-term KPIs.
- Learn from the year before – A good brand plan starts with the lessons from the previous year. What were the objectives, were they achieved and what was learned?
“In your planning sessions for the year ahead, be brave and smart enough to first look backwards. Spend a day on what you learned from last year and how those learnings will alter the approach you will adopt in the year to come”. Wise words Mark.
I bloody love this campaign.