Y&R unveils brand behavior study

After spending $7.5 million on a 19-country study involving 30,000 consumers and 6,000 brands, including 650 in Canada, Young & Rubicam thinks it has figured out what makes brands tick.The study, called BrandAsset Valuator, provides insight into such questions as how...

After spending $7.5 million on a 19-country study involving 30,000 consumers and 6,000 brands, including 650 in Canada, Young & Rubicam thinks it has figured out what makes brands tick.

The study, called BrandAsset Valuator, provides insight into such questions as how brands are built, how they age and why they erode.

Bill Power, president and chief executive officer of y&r, says ad professionals have long been able to come up with intuitive, anecdotally-driven explanations for why brands behave the way they do.

‘The specific factors have always been around,’ Power says.

‘What I think we have learned are the interrelations, and how to put them together, and how to manipulate them,’ he says.

In a nutshell, BrandAsset identifies four key measures of brand building: differentiation, relevance, esteem and familiarity.

According to the research, a brand establishes itself initially by being perceived as differentiated.

Next, it must prove its relevance.

The combination of differentiation and relevance leads to esteem.

Finally, if a brand is successful in the three preceding areas, the outcome will be consumer familiarity.

Serge Rancourt, y&r’s managing director, says an understanding of the four measures of brand building provides the insight needed to anticipate the growth and eventual fading away of brands.

Rancourt says the proprietary study has set y&r apart in the cluttered agency marketplace, adding it is proving to be a powerful tool in account pitches and new business proposals.