Growing concern over the ill environmental effects of agriculture, including conventional meat and dairy production, has spurred a range of upstarts to provide science-based alternatives that are less damaging. With consumer interested piqued about these new offerings, the market has gotten increasingly crowded and competitive, which encompasses everything from meat-substitutes to animal-free dairy options.
So how does an upstart brand make an impact in an increasingly crowded market? Contestants at last week's Marketing Works 2022—a two-day, hands-on learning experience for young professionals—were tasked with working on an upcoming brand launch into Asia from Perfect Day, an animal-free dairy protein company.
The brand is seeking to identify a premium niche and make sure its product’s positioning is clear, with a carefully identified consumer segment.
“The programme and case study were designed to push delegate groups to deeply collaborate, and we saw a high calibre across the cohort who responded to each other’s provocations and were open to each other’s perspectives.,” said Jennifer Woollford, founder and director of Neon Leaders and chairperson for the event. “This contributed to quality strategic thinking, clear briefs and creative ideas.”
Chairperson: Jennifer Woolford, founder and director, Neon Leaders
Lead mentor: Andy Wilson, head of Sustainability, Ogilvy Asia, Ogilvy Consulting Asia
Across two days of virtual interactions, teams thrashed out a viable creative strategy for the brand. Participants also got a leg-up from strategic sessions on briefs, strategy, creative development and reviewing creative work from judges.
“I believe we had diversity in terms of mentors and delegates, good inspiring presentations for Better Briefs and we really walked the talk on collaboration," said mentor Danielle Panissa, APAC/China marketing director with Havaianas. "Great open conversations across topics."
After brainstorming, deliberating and crystallising plans, the team of Xea Kho, communications and planning director with Red Fuse, Gloria Tang, digital director at Assembly, and Yuki Lai, brand manager at Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong, were adjudged winners. “The winning team stood out in establishing specific and measurable objectives with a clear consumer target and expression of the key challenge, which led them to a compelling idea,” Woolford said.
Panissa added that the team collaborated strongly, did a great "briefing before the briefing" distilling the strategy, and focused on addressing briefing objectives when working on the creative.
"Seeing folks with very different backgrounds come together and share their different perspectives on the exact same challenges and processes, and then work together to create common ground was a real vindication that the insight behind the event was true: when each team understands the motivations and end-goal of the other, alignment on the end-state is that much easier," said Lyndon Morant, marketing director, integrated marketing communications, Colgate-Palmolive. " It was especially refreshing to see brand teams getting their hands on strategic direction based on a brief and creative ideation, presenting creative ideas and listening to feedback. We all left the sessions with more empathy than we went in with."
Woollford said MarketingWorks attracted an exceptional quality of mentors and speakers from the industry. “They were united in their passion and firm belief that strong collaboration between agencies and clients lies at the heart of developing better briefs and successful creative work; and that we’re [as an industry] losing focus on the appreciation and skill of collaboration,” she said.
Herbert Lam, head of marketing (interm) for Sun Life, said the event provided learning opportunities for both mentors and participants. "The key theme on collaboration was a vitally important piece that many of us are unaware of," he added. The event helped highlight the impiortance of collaboration across the entire creative development process from strategy-brief-idea-execution.
MarketingWorks is designed for mid-level marketers and agency talents with five to eight years of experience, who are now in a managerial role and ideally have a working grasp of developing and managing marketing strategies and campaigns.