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MAS CON MENOS” / “MORE WITH LESS

Have you heard this phrase? Or have you even asked your work group?  

We have all been at some point asking to have more and better results with equal or less resources.  At times when the economy shrinks, and also in those that do not, it is like the forced subject.

Understanding that the business must be good for all parties or there is no business, we must provide viable alternatives to meet the goal of "MORE WITH LESS".
This process has different possibilities being the budget maximization one of the most basic and important.  Here are some variables that can help us:

• Strategy changes - use of Media

Having proprietary - specially designed for this market- tools allows us to provide various alternatives and in the end, the most efficient and effective scenario

• Renegotiation of terms

Based among other things on a combination of budget allocation, comparison vs. prior periods, changes in audience and bargaining power, it is possible to improve the customer benefits environment.

However, this is not all.

In our current business model, we seek to go further, we want to increase our exposure, achieve greater recognition, create new opportunities, generate interest and associate our brands with what is important for our consumer. When all of the above is within the same scenario of efficiency and maximization, we call it added value.

Added value is a concept that involves a relation of belonging in itself. It has value when it is relevant to the brand and interacts with what the Brand represents and it can make a big difference in the final results.

Want to know how to get "MORE WITH LESS"? Let us help you. We are Initiative San Juan, an affiliate of Initiative and member of Horoma3, the largest Media Buying group in Puerto Rico.

This blog post was written by Fernando Alcázar, Partner and Strategist for SGA. It is intended to present a point of view that can help you improve your brand’s performance. If you want to start a dialogue, please share, comment or email me at falcazar@sajogarcia.com.

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Emotions, the Holy Grail of Branding…

“Buying is an activity understood by economists. Shopping is a phenomenon of interest to anthropologists and sociologists.” Marc Gobe

Much has been written about the effectiveness of “emotional branding” ever since the concept was first published by Marc Gobé over 15 years ago. The premise of the idea is how creating unique connections between brands and consumers make names and logos mean something different, special & desirable.

The success of many brands with emotional connections suggests that this theory is the holy grail of brand development. Think of brands like Apple, Nike, Starbucks or Disney, they all sell products in very competitive segments, yet are able to strive and command premium pricing for their products, because the “connection” is uniquely relevant and extremely strong.

I recently read a quote by Tom Ford, the fashion designer, that summarises “emotional branding” well. In it he says “My customer has her own sense of style and knows herself really well. My goal is to understand them in a way that allows my designs to help them become the best version of themselves”.

This consumer centric mindset is the fundamental shift required in brand strategy and planning to create connections. Brand centric strategies yield promises, consumer centric brands deliver engaging experiences that create preference.

Intrinsically undifferentiated, social and premium brands are three of the most relevant examples of how consumer emotions define preference. Coke -a brand I worked with for over 10 years- and Pepsi are essentially the same product, they are both refreshing, thirst quenching colas, yet Coke commands the lion share of the category across the world by owning, in market relevant terms, the emotional concept of “happiness in a can”.

Medalla Light is -and has always been- a quality light beer, with taste. Nevertheless, when we first started working for it, their market share was under 5% because a highly social brand had no emotional connection with its consumers. Once we corrected the extrinsic perceptions and connected, the brand gained momentum and became the market leader it is today.

For over 10 years SGA has worked for Garage Isla Verde, Mercedes Benz of Puerto Rico. In our multiple conversations with luxury automotive consumers, they consistently conveyed the notion that the “star” meant more than just outstanding German engineering, it meant accomplishment. Consumers who purchased the brand did so as a reward, as a luxury experience and as a symbol of how they wanted to be perceived, all emotional variables that helped make the brand the top selling luxury automobile in the island.

In today’s social media environment, the emotional connection between brands and consumers is even more relevant. Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point” conveys this notion by stating “the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts”, the marketing interpretation of the Parapeto Principle.

As your brand “connects” and creates raving fans, social media peer-to-peer platforms allows them to become brand ambassadors and promote your brand with a higher degree of influence and credibility that any other form of brand communication.

In essence, emotional brands are stronger than rational brands. If your brand preference is anchored in the rational, it will only be effective until a competitor improves or discounts the offering. Owning the emotional connection -and renewing it to remain relevant as generations change- will secure a highly successful brand for years to come.

This blog post was written by Fernando Alcázar, Partner and Strategist for SGA. It is intended to present a point of view that can help you improve your brand’s performance. If you want to start a dialogue, please share, comment or email me at falcazar@sajogarcia.com.

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Why P25+ isn’t a target definition…

Think of a yourself as a 25 year old, new reality & responsibilities, striving to make your mark in the world, changing lifestyle & evolving circle of friends. Then envision yourself as a 5o year old, maybe by now grandparent, more set in your ways, with defined interests and lifestyle, likely taking few meds to cope with aging and more health conscious, probably less “connected” to the world than your kids…

So, what could these two versions of yourself have in common as a consumer? Now think of a 5o year old who’s circumstances, mindset & means allow him to live “young” and a conservative 35 year old who is more Baby Boomer than GenXer…

What do these two consumers have in common? The answer is psychographics, the process of target profiling through emotional and lifestyle variables, rather than just by age, gender, education, income and place of residence.

I recently read a quote by Richard Branson that illustrates the point… “To succeed in business you need to be original, but you also need to understand what your customers want”. In branding “needs” are rational, “wants” are emotional. You need a car, you want a Mercedes Benz. You need a computer, but you want a Mac. In brand selection, the link between consumer emotions and brands create engagement and preference.

Through time I’ve seen and worked for brands that became successful when they got emotionally connected by redefining their promise and delivering on an required experience, while remaining the same product. Emotional drivers have always been used to crete engaging content. Nevertheless, digital has changed the media landscape from push to pull, making psychographics highly relevant in media planning too. While traditional media remains highly relevant in elderly consumers and now-events like sports & news, the shift in screens and selective consumption of content requires us to know sentiments, interests, lifestyle, attitudes, values and aspirations for efficient media placement today.

There are several ways to understand psychographics, observation and informal conversations, using your database, webpage and social/digital-media data to collect insights, or conduct modelled consumer research. In structured research, the key is to define expectations and select the right method. While quantitative models are best for statistical analysis of behaviour, the format renders them mostly ineffective in helping understand the reasons why behaviours are adopted. In brand strategy, understanding “why” is the important premise, since the “what” is a recollection of a historical event for consumers.

Spending some time with your customers, watching them use your product in their consumption environment while conversing, small qualitative sessions with a flexible questionnaire, moderated by skilled, informed and insightful people are methods better suited to understand behavioural drivers. In essence, precisely defining your targeted consumer and understanding his motivations towards your category and product is what allows brand’s to be moulded into relevancy. This blog post was written by Fernando Alcázar, Partner and Strategist for SGA. It is intended to present a point of view that can help you improve your brand’s performance. If you want to start a dialogue, please share, comment or email me at falcazar@sajogarcia.com.

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