Faaez Samadi
Aug 19, 2016

Combat cynicism with data and learning: Top 1000 Singapore briefing

The tools to win over cynical consumers are only as good as the manner in which they are used, while drilling down on what people want remains the bedrock of top-level branding.

Olivier Bockenmeyer
Olivier Bockenmeyer

Learning from consumer feedback and using data to get the right message to the right consumers are two of the most effective ways for brands to counter the leap in consumer cynicism, delegates heard at yesterday's Top 1000 Brands Breakfast Briefing in Singapore.

Presented as a complement to Campaign's Asia's Top 1000 Brands research, the Top 1000 Breakfast Briefings, in Shanghai on 11 August and Singapore yesterday, brought together senior marketing executives from top companies to discuss how their brands remain on top.

Customers are sick of being too targeted by messaging, and it’s easy to fall into the trap if you’re analysing them across several data touchpoints, said Jamshed Wadia, director of digital marketing and media for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Intel (which hit its highest ranking ever at 89 and was one of the year's biggest risers).

“You may be over-communicating and you don’t know it, because different teams are targeting the same consumer," Wadia said. "You need to set up proper governance processes.”

Wadia added that a message being contextually relevant was the most important part of successfully engaging a consumer, together with finding “the right level of information and interaction at every touchpoint”.

“If you respect boundaries and are contextually relevant, you will get it right most of the time,” he said.

Jamshed Wadia

Combining this with a relentless focus on improving your products in line with consumer desires is key, said Olivier Bockenmeyer, director of consumer and market insights for Southeast Asia and Oceania at Samsung, the number one brand in the study for the fifth year in a row.

“It’s clear that loyalty can’t be bought, it has to be earned, especially in the technology sector,” he said. “By iterating and learning together, we will learn what will make the most impact on people’s lives.”

Pankaj Batra, CMO at Pizza Hut Asia (ranked 23rd, its highest ranking ever), said among the most important ways of gaining consumer loyalty and fighting cynicism was to meet their expectations of your brand.

“For Pizza Hut, consumers are looking for good food and an easier experience. It’s all around the space of ‘easy’, like remembering your last order, or your payment details,” he explained.

“If you really want to be seen as a friend of the consumer, then you have to become part of their conversation, rather than forcing your own conversation on them. That’s what you would do at a party or social gathering, join the ongoing conversation.”

Having the right interactions with your consumers allows brands to differentiate themselves from competitors, said Judah Ruiz, regional brand development director, beverages, at Unilever, which is crucial in highly competitive markets.

“You need a clear purpose,” he told delegates. “Before it was good enough just to go with innovation and high-quality products, but the competition now is always catching up. Loyalty is a combination of the functional and the emotional.”

Look for full coverage of both Top 1000 Breakfast Briefings in the September Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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