Volume 10 (2021-22)

Each volume of Journal of Brand Strategy consists of four 100-page issues, published in print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 10 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

Volume 10 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Brand storytelling in the age of artificial intelligence
    Manos Spanos, SVP Brand Marketing, Yogurt BU, Danone North America

    Around 640 million unique items of branded content are posted every day, yet 87 per cent of branded content has no significant engagement. As many as 90 of the top 100 brands have lost market share since 2015 — and 62 per cent have declining revenues. To respond effectively, brands must combine human intelligence with artificial intelligence (AI) to tell better stories, with better targeting and better creative execution. Three case studies illustrate this: first, Danone North America’s (DNA’s) partnership with Public Good to raise awareness of DNA’s brand, Happy Family Organics, via AI-powered contextual targeting to encourage parents to take action promoting sustainability — which earned a 1.79 per cent participation rate. Next, a digital campaign by DNA’s Light + Fit built with iteratively optimised video content, which leveraged AI to perfect both the ad itself and its targeted deployment online, leading to a drastic increase in brand awareness. Finally, a Super Bowl commercial whose concept was hatched by one irreplaceably creative human. Only 6 weeks later, thanks to an AI-accelerated approach, the ad was ready for release — earning more than 40 million unique views across digital platforms — with zero television ad buy. This paper analyses how storytelling matters more than ever. It encourages brands to show up, stand out and deliver.
    Keywords: training, trust, transparency, inspiring leadership, empathy, compassion, storytelling, artificial intelligence, AI, power of AI

  • Sonic branding: The value of intentional audio in the new normal
    Audrey Arbeeny, Founder/Executive Producer, Audiobrain

    Recently, there has been a surge in interest in sonic branding, this untapped, valuable communication tool, and its ability to enhance customer experiences. Why are brands such as KitchenAid, Toshiba, Kentucky Fried Chicken and others investing in sonic branding? What is driving this brand imperative to new heights? 2020 has been a game-changing year. Businesses have had to adopt new ways of operating, employees are working remotely and students are facing distanced learning. At the same time, technology has advanced to deliver exceptional sonic communications. We are in a voice-first/sound-first world. And that will not change, even when the pandemic is under control. This is the new normal and everyone must adapt. This paper shares insights on what sonic branding is and why creating your proprietary sound is a brand imperative. You will learn how to: create valuable brand equity using sonic branding; elevate your brand through music, sound and voice; make your brand more relevant by embracing today’s technology; bring empathy and emotion to your brand’s narrative; improve your ROI by creating a sonic system that is flexible, sustainable and authentic; and most importantly, understand this new shift and what can be done to build a successful future.
    Keywords: sonic branding, voice-first/sound-first, emerging technologies, sonic DNA, audio ROI, audio touchpoints

  • We will not stop until the world dreams in cheese: Redefining the Wisconsin cheese brand
    Suzanne Fanning, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Cheese

    This paper analyses Wisconsin Cheese’s way out of the branding problem it had five years ago. It discusses how Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin decided to rebuild the brand from the ground up. Consumers’ perceptions used to revolve around big, boring blocks of factory cheddar instead of the reality of more than 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese that are made in Wisconsin. The hardest thing a brand can undertake is to go from mass to class. Wisconsin wins more awards for cheese than any other state or country. Needs were identified to build a strong and consistent brand, to be better storytellers to the world and to build authentic relationships with real cheese lovers. With a new logo, new websites, a more creative corporate culture, relationships with Food Fanatics who help drive the speciality cheese marketplace and increased media presence, Wisconsin announced itself, and proved itself, as the State of Cheese. Now, sales of Wisconsin speciality cheese outpace all others in that category, Wisconsin Cheese has more website visitors than ever before, they achieved over US$40m in national and local media mentions in the last year, they have brand ambassadors in all 50 states and are on page one for Google searches for ‘cheese’. This paper details how they did it.
    Keywords: Wisconsin, cheese, brand, public relations, relationships, branding, marketing, community, word of mouth, social media

  • Using crisis and emergency risk communication theory to inform online communication during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Cathy Whitlock, Associate Vice President of Online Communications, Parkinson’s Foundation and Amanda Hicken, National Director of Brand Strategy and Integrated Marketing, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

    This paper serves as a case study showcasing how two health-focused non-profit organisations, the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF), applied the principles from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) theory across online channels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each organisation leveraged online communication strategies to help its vulnerable patient population navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously working to ensure its organisation’s survival.
    Keywords: crisis communication, non-profit, COVID-19, health communication

  • Brand audit: A case study of Lacasa in Spain
    Phani Adidam, Executive Education Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Irene F. Shaker, Assistant Professor, Misr International University

    Assessing a brand’s health is a critical task for any company and brand manager. Several approaches have been offered by various scholars and consultants; however, Keller’s approach to assessing brand health via conducting a formal brand audit remains one of the most robust methods. In this paper, we adopt the brand audit approach and investigate the Spanish chocolate brand Lacasa. In conclusion, we offer three concrete recommendations to Lacasa’s brand managers.
    Keywords: brand audit, brand equity, brand resonance

  • Rebranding a corporate spin-off: Can a new brand name inherit global brand reputation?
    Rian Beise-Zee, Professor of Marketing and Branding, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan and Beat Wäfler, Adjunct Faculty, Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands

    Corporate brand name changes are often involuntary as a result of mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs. In these cases the rebranding campaign aims at transferring the substantial brand equity of its established brand name to a new brand name. On the basis of the case of the spin-off of Holcim’s subsidiary in Vietnam, this paper identifies the success factors of collateral rebranding. After the cement maker Holcim left the Vietnam market, it spun off its subsidiary, which needed to change its brand name. The ensuing rebranding campaign showed that a trusted global brand can be substituted with a new brand name without loss of brand premium. This paper identifies three key drivers of successful collateral rebranding of a global brand: a total focus on the message of consistency of the branded entity, a consistent tangible representation of the brand entity and a global positioning of the new brand. It proposes that perception of consistency of the brand entity can be communicated through the visual similarity of the old and new brands, the maintenance of distributors and facilities and the continuation of management and sales staff.
    Keywords: rebranding, brand name change, brand equity transfer, emerging markets

  • A consumer-centric framework to develop insights for effective integrated marketing communications campaigns
    JoAnn Sciarrino, Isabella Cunningham Endowed Chair in Advertising and Director and John Prudente, Senior Research Associate, The University of Texas at Austin

    While the idea behind insight creation for integrated marketing communications (IMC) in the advertising and marketing industry has been around for decades, there has always been a shroud of mystery behind the actual creation. Often described as ‘more art than science’, insights creation has long been thought of as an unteachable skill.1 Through the use of a consumer-centric framework, this paper examines whether advertising and marketing professionals are able to harness necessary facts to explore, understand and develop a meaningful consumer insight. Based on depth interviews and case studies, the results suggest that practitioners need to uncover important ‘learnable’ components related to business, brand, culture and audience, while also relying on internal mechanisms such as judgment, interpretation and creativity to guide decision-making. The proposed consumer-centric insight development tool enables a fresh look at the learnable components to develop insights for new IMC work.
    Keywords: integrated marketing communications, advertising insights, consumer-centric marketing framework, brand strategy, insight development, marketing insight