Staff Reporters
Aug 2, 2023

JKR x Ipsos: 85% of marketing spending on brand assets are not 'distinctive'

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Only 15% of brand assets are labelled gold and defined as truly distinctive, by marketing research and consulting firm Ipsos and independent global branding agency JKR.

Credit:JKR x Ipsos
Credit:JKR x Ipsos

Source: Be Distinctive, Everywhere is based on the survey of 523 brands and over 26,000 respondents. 

The report quoted the Forrester Global Marketing Forecast stating that 4.7 billion USD will be invested in marketing every year by 2025. However, only 15% of all brand assets tested were truly distinctive, inferring the majority of marketing budgets are spent on non-distinctive work. Ipsos' study also shows the strong connection with “the presence of distinctive brand assets" and "positive branded attention effects". 

The study labelled brands' distinctiveness as gold, silver and bronze. Gold means assets that immediately and uniquely brought the brand to mind and could be used in isolation, silver equals above-average level, and bronze is weak associations. Brands successfully differentiate products to achieve a distinctive grade, but underperform in intangible assets such as colour and slogans.

  • Logos: only 19% were reaching the gold standard, while 59% of logos tested were bronze.
  • Slogans: 81% of logos are bronze which means almost entirely forgettable, but only 6% are gold and timeless 
  • Mascots: 16% of mascots transcend languages and build closer connections with consumers, and 60% were marked as bronze.
  • Colour: Only 4% of colour assets tested struck the gold standard, which is the weakest link across all five categories, and 80% were bronze.
  • Products: 31% of products were labelled gold as they were presented in a distinctive way, but 46% were still bronze. 

JKR and Ipsos conducted the survey from five perspectives: Brand assets, logos, slogans, mascots, colour, and products, discussed classic examples of branding, explained why brands need more rebranding, and gave advice on what brands should do as three steps to distinctiveness: 

  • Understand the essence of who you are, defining and delivering your true self. 
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as the true power lies in all the brands' elements. 
  • Be distinctive. Everywhere, with so many new channels. 
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