Maria Garrido, Global Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Havas Media, says brands must address the personal needs of consumers and levitate towards earned media
By ALLAN DSOUZA
If 74% brands in the world disappeared, no one would care,” says Maria Garrido, Global Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Havas Media, talking to IMPACT on her first ever trip to India, just before hosting a Masterclass on ‘The Most Meaningful Brands’. She emphasises the importance for brands to improve the consumer’s quality of life to stay relevant. Havas Media’s ‘Meaningful Brands’ is an extensive study that samples over 1,500 global brands, 300,000 people in 33 countries, across 15 industries, and calculates the overall brand effectiveness across three parameters - functional benefits (delivering on product promise), personal benefits (making consumer life easy, healthy and happy) and collective benefit (contribution towards society, economy and environment).
RATIONAL APPROACH V/S EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT
According to the study, India ranked high with 69% trust in brands among many other global markets, where consumers have become brand agnostic. Crediting brands in India for the emotional attachment they have managed to establish with consumers, Garrido says, “Unlike Europe and North America, India, Latin America and South Asia perform much better when it comes to having an emotional connect with the consumer. The best thing about India is that the approach towards being meaningful is proportional. While most countries in Western Europe and North America prefer the functional benefits of a brand, in India, consumer choice is evenly distributed between all three benefits. The primary reason for Amul being among our top five brands in India is that it has managed to strike the right balance between all three benefits. ”
FILLING THE PERSONAL BENEFITS GAP
In her three years at Havas, Garrido calls herself ‘a broken record’ as she has about ‘ME’ (iPhone, iPad, iOS) putting ‘I’ in everything, making them leading brands all over the world,” Garrido states.
WHAT IS ‘MEANINGFUL’ CONTENT
Content that is personal, highly targeted and void of gimmickry qualifies as meaningful content, according to Garrido. Meaningful brands have a 71% correlation between content effectiveness and the brand’s impact on personal well-being and quality of life. “Many brands hijack causes that are fashionable and can get them media, but the consumer is smart and can see through the gimmick. Purpose beyond product is important, but it has to be a purpose that matches the creed, or the manifesto of your brand. Coca-Cola has a real belief in having a purpose to their brand, and they have certain causes that they promote regardless of what’s going on or what’s trending in society as social causes,” Garrido asserts.
IT’S ALL ABOUT EARNED MEDIA
The thought of dwindling paid media may be a scary one for most media agencies, but Garrido believes it is the only way ahead for brands that want to stand out in a cluttered content space. “At Havas, we actually advise our clients to spend less on paid media campaigns as audiences itself are the new media today. There are brands out there that have gone from one million to $250 million in sales without any advertising at all. A small paid campaign can help amplify a brand’s media assets such as its websites, social media handles and influencers, but it is essentially earned media that drives users through the decision funnel. It’s scary for paid media agencies, but that’s the new world order of advertising and brands need to adapt towards strengthening earned and owned media assets before planning to spend on media,” concludes Garrido.