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Belief-Driven Brands: Reshaping Retail Landscape in 2019

be the change - brand activism

Consumers today are more plugged into social issues and concerns than any group since the 1960s. And that impacts the way they shop, too. That’s according to a new Edelman’s report  “Brands Take A Stand,” which examines how belief-driven purchases are reshaping the retail landscape in 2019. So, how can brands take a stand in the new year, while also helping their bottom lines stand tall?

gen-z-holding arms together

Brands Can Drive Revenue by Standing for Something

For a long time, the prevailing logic was that a brand’s marketing should not ruffle any feathers. If there was political or social turmoil in the air, your branding should avoid it, and instead focus solely on the merits of your product. But as the name of the Edelman report suggests, the market is changing, and brand marketing is changing with it.

“Consumers’ purchases are becoming more and more belief-driven, particularly over the past year,” the report states. “In every market surveyed, more consumers were taking a brand’s mission and activism into account when making decisions about what to buy.” The report suggests that not only should brands not avoid social activism, but in fact should embrace it as a new driver of revenue in 2019.

“Taking a stand, no matter the cause is no longer something brands can shy away from if they want to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds,” the report says. And Edelman CEO Richard Edelman agrees, saying that “purchasing activism” is a simple and effective way for shoppers to feel like they’re making a difference.

“People go with their pocketbooks, in a way,” Edelman explains. “They want business to take the lead on change, and they want to feel as if they’re making an impact.”

green initiative-sustainability

The Bottom Line is The Bottom Line for Brand Activism

Brands used to steer away from activism because it would hurt their bottom lines. For each shopper who was happy with that brand’s stance, there were likely to be two or three more who either didn’t care or chose to boycott the brand for that same stance. The numbers didn’t pan out. It just didn’t make good business sense.

But all that has changed, as the cultural zeitgeist has shifted back towards activism, especially as Millennials and Generation Z make up more and more of the market (approximately 40% of all consumers and over $1.4 trillion in buying power by 2020). And, according to the Edelman report, businesses can now bolster their bottom lines by investing in brand activism.

The report reveals, 65% of global consumers are making belief-driven purchases. That’s a 50% increase over last year – an enormous shift. It also found that an estimated 57% of American consumers are currently buying or boycotting at least one brand because of its position on social issues. A similar study by Havas Media reports that belief-driven brands outperformed the overall stock market by 120% this year and that the top 50 belief-driven brands outperformed the overall S&P 500 index by more than 1200%. The bottom line is clear: for brands, the time is now to take a stand and bolster revenue with belief-driven marketing.

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The common marketing logic for brands used to be avoiding activism and belief-driven advertising. But not anymore. Today, brands must take a stand to win an ever-increasing portion of the consumer population. By doing so, they can not only improve their revenue but can win lasting, powerful brand loyalty that is built upon something greater than the color or quality of a product.

And that’s the bottom line.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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How Marketing and Procurement Can Work Together to Improve Revenue

There is no responsibility more important to marketing leaders than driving revenue. This can be done in two primary ways: growing existing revenue streams by acquiring new customers and improving customer retention, or by improving profit margins by effectively limiting costs. Nearly all marketers are focused on the former: “How do I win and retain more business?” But as Jon Smith of Marketing Week explains, there is another, even smarter way.

Procurement has a major role to play in managing revenue and marketing costs. So, how can marketing and procurement work together to improve revenue? We’re glad you asked!

people in the meeting room

Strategic Alignment for Procurement and Marketing

The name of the game for marketers today is accountability. Whether it’s in the form of revenue attribution, ROI, or highly granular cost analysis, new technology has made KPIs an even bigger part of marketers’ lives than ever before. As Worldwide Business Research Digital reports, “marketing teams are being held increasingly accountable for ROI.” Of course, for procurement teams, this level of accountability is nothing new. Cost reduction, optimization, and business process outsourcing (BPO) have been their primary job roles forever. Which is why aligning the goals of your marketing and procurement teams is so important.

Thanks to BPO, procurement can offer powerful solutions to marketing’s biggest problems. Solutions around time-to-market, brand control, cost reduction, and responsiveness are all under the purview of procurement but matter immensely to marketing as well. That’s likely why, according to WBR Digital, 51% of companies rely on BPO for marketing execution, especially around print production. By recognizing this natural synergy, and formalizing the alignment of their goals, procurement can help marketing departments do more with less.

Why BPO for Marketing Procurement?

Optimization can only follow where visibility exists. That’s why your marketing and/or procurement teams should always be looking for opportunities to achieve greater efficiency, optimization, and cost reduction through BPO. This visibility opens the door to more profitable outcomes. With reliable, granular information about marketing costs, delivery timelines, and critical areas to improve these figures, marketing can not only make more accurate predictions and plan for success, but can better understand – and subsequently optimize – how they maintain brand control, guarantee quality, and keep production velocity running smoothly.

As Smith says, it’s a “win-win” for marketing. With BPO carried out by marketing execution experts, your marketing team can focus on improving their customer experience and sales results, and leave the optimization to trusted partners.

meeting in the conference room

Marketing Execution and Print Procurement

According to WBR Digital, the majority of businesses already agree that they reap greater benefits from managing their print procurement externally. 58% of those surveyed believe that their supply chain and marketing execution partners do a better, more efficient, cost-effective job with print procurement for marketing materials. In fact, they identified the top 4 reasons why they prefer to outsource their print procurement to partners:

  1. Cost Reduction
  2. Improved time-to-market versus competition
  3. Better ROI
  4. Stronger brand and quality control

These are powerful benefits to marketers, made possible by outsourcing their print procurement.

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Procurement has a major role to play in managing revenue and marketing costs. By outsourcing it to a trusted partner, your business can enjoy the benefits of greater visibility, optimization, and success. Whether your marketing department measures success by ROI, cost reduction, or overall revenue, understanding the value of aligning your marketing and procurement goals, and the insights BPO can deliver, is a sure-fire way to increase your odds of hitting your annual goals.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE