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Consumer Buying Behaviour of Rebranding by prt59045


Consumer Buying Behaviour of Rebranding document sample

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           Executive Forum on National Export Strategies
 Managiing Compettiittiive Advanttage:: The Vallues off Nattiionall Sttrattegy
 Manag ng Compe ve Advan age The Va ues o Na ona S ra egy


                         Scotland The Brand – Case Study

     Contributed by: Ms Theresa Houston, Chief Executive, Scotland the Brand


Analysis of consumer buying behaviour suggests that country of origin can be a key factor in
triggering a “buying” decision – whether it be a decision to buy a product from or visit or even
invest in a particular country.

Countries such as Ireland, Spain, Japan and New Zealand have over recent years ran
successful branding initiatives to increase awareness and - in some cases - change
perceptions of the country and its products.

Simon Anholt, branding expert and Chairman of “”Earthspeak also writes:

“In today and tomorrow’s consumer markets the country origin of a brand is going to play a
more and more crucial role in its successful marketing…because increasingly, in this era of
globalization, almost the only recommendation, almost the only brand guarantee that comes
along with the product, is where it was made - that’s a natural instinct - the first thing people
ask you after they have asked your name is where do you come from? ”

Scotland has always enjoyed a high level of brand awareness – and the values associated
with Scotland have been very positive – the quality of life, its rich heritage and culture and
products such as Salmon, Whisky, Tartan, Cashmere all evoke positive reactions and
perceptions of high quality.

But while these traditional icons and brands are recognized and are still valid for a modern
Scotland, a great many of the perceptions of Scotland are also outdated and stereotyped - the
reality is that modern Scotland has much more to offer. In order, therefore to successfully
market the Scottish Brand in a way which would raise a new awareness of modern Scotland
and also offer economic benefit through increase sales/exports it was considered essential to
harness the more traditional images of Scotland alongside a new and contemporary slant to
our branding and marketing images.

Against this background, Scotland the Brand was established as a special project with Scottish
Enterprise (the economic development agency for Scotland) to explore the benefits of
integrating the marketing of Scottish trade, tourism and culture. The work at this stage centred
on promoting the distinctive brands of Scotland and capitalizing on their reputation to test the
hypothesis that Scotland and Scottish business could benefit commercially from association
with their national identity and its associated brands.


       2.1     Engaging the Business Community and Proof of Concept

       Prior to the setting up of the organization, the proposition of an organization engaged in
       developing a National Brand for Scotland was presented to the Scottish Business
       community at a conference of 150 business leaders who met to consider whether a)
       National branding was a viable concept and b) whether it would create commercial

       While there was overwhelming support for the concept it was agreed that critical
       success factors would involve:

               •   Validating the Business Proposition
               •   Developing an Generic mark underpinned by Quality
               •   Validating Perceptions/Values of Scotland

       2.2    Validating the Business Proposition

       A pilot initiative was carried out in France in partnership with major retailer Marks and
       Spencer which proved the commercial potential of integrating trade, tourism and
       culture by achieving a 200% increase in sales of Scottish products over the month-long
       period of the promotion. The promotion was focused on food and drink products but
       also involved cultural activities, and was launched on the back of a tourism drive by
       the Scottish Tourist Board.

       This led to further integrated marketing activities in France, the US and the UK (over 30
       of these events have to date been undertaken by Scotland the Brand).

       2.3     Developing a Generic Mark – Underpinned by Quality

       Intrinsic in the brand of Scotland are values such as authenticity, quality and tradition
       and any generic promotion of Scotland as a brand must therefore be underpinned by
       these values. To achieve this, the concept of a Country of Origin mark was developed
       to both authenticate and offer a guarantee of quality.

       Having secured the support of a number of major partners – United Distillers, Marks &
       Spencers, Safeway, Scottish Tourist Board - the new Country of Origin mark was
       launched at a high profile event at Edinburgh Castle by the First Minister for Scotland
       in 1997. It was crucial at that time to secure the support of such high profile consumer
       retailers as the original push on using the new brand was focused on food and drink
       products – for which Scotland was famous and already enjoyed a high reputation for
       the quality of such products.
        At that time Scotland the Brand, the organization, also took on a membership status, to
        protect the integrity of the Scotland mark and ensure there was some measure of
        accountability in those companies who were using it and that a consistent message
        was being presented. Today 350 Scottish Businesses from 23 different sectors from
        both the public and private sector are members and the Scotland mark can be seen on
        a wide range of products, services and marketing and corporate materials.

        Scottish Development International uses the generic branding at all international trade
        events where Scotland has a presence.

        2.4    Validating Perceptions/Values of Scotland

        From previous research work undertaken by a range of private and government
        bodies, there was no shortage of material to point to the values and perceptions
        associated with Scotland. However, in order to test these perceptions internationally a
        project was undertaken to test some chosen core values which were identified in
        qualitative studies as being the most enduring. These were INTEGRITY, TENACITY,

        The Galore Study as it became known was carried out by CLK (now Corporate Edge) –
        the organization responsible for the rebranding of New Zealand and the work on the
        “New Zealand Way” initiative.

        The research was conducted in 7 Countries – France, Germany, Spain, Japan, US,
        England and Scotland – to test the proposition of the above values being associated
        with Scotland – i.e. were these acceptable values on which to build the national brand.
        The results showed that these were indeed valid and acceptable values of Scotland
        and the Scottish people, although remarkably the only one that was rooted in fact and
        therefore could be measured in quantifiable terms – Inventiveness – was in fact the
        least known!


        The original objectives of Scotland the Brand were identified as:-

•    Develop the strong brand values already associated with Scotland in order to increase
     awareness, sales and impact for Scottish Business.
•    Enhance economic development for Scotland by encouraging a coordinated approach in
     the marketing, imaging and promotion of Scotland and its products.
•    Provide Scotland with a Country of Origin mark – an identifier which represents an
     acknowledged quality culture.
•    Offer opportunities for members to capitalize on the benefits through networking,
     e-business and joint marketing ventures.
•    Forge business links with potential customers and partners at home and overseas.
     The key parameters in assessing and measuring the impact of the project and the
     success of these objectives were identified as:-

     •     The number of Scottish companies applying for membership and using the Mark
     •     The “opportunities to see” the Scotland mark including advertising materials,
           products, services
     •     The number of integrated marketing events and promotions carried out and their
           success in terms of press coverage, increase in sales, new markets etc.
     •     Increase in turnover/exports/gaining entry to new markets of member companies
     •     Increase in overall export sales for Scotland
     •     Increased Awareness of Scotland and its products in UK and international markets

     While the measurement of some of the above parameters are within the control of
     Scotland the Brand – and therefore can be more easily quantified – there are obvious
     difficulties in identifying and measuring some of the other parameters as directly
     attributable to the use of the Scotland mark or marketing under a generic Scotland
     umbrella – particularly in terms of increased sales, exports etc.

     There have also been a number of external factors, such as BSE, Food and Mouth,
     Terrorist activity in the US, which have had an impact on economic development
     figures for Scotland in key sectors, notably agriculture and tourism – which are also the
     main sectors for Scotland the Brand. Therefore the success of the project to date has
     largely been assessed on qualitative feedback and research and specific evaluation of
     individual marketing events.

     (As we move into the private sector, the measuring and assessment of impact
     becomes a critical issue for us to tackle and is being focussed on feedback from the
     member companies, which will be fed into the forward strategy for the organization
     currently being developed.)


     4.1      Establish Core Competencies and Values - which should be based on fact
              and involve the perceptions of those external to the country, as well as those
              internally and build the brand based on a firm platform of core values and
              adhere to these.

              For example in developing a strong membership base in order to generate
              widespread use and awareness of the Brand, there was considerable effort
              taken to ensure that the integrity and quality inherent in the brand was not
              compromised. This was particularly difficult given that StB operational targets
              were set by Scottish Enterprise and which largely focused on membership
              numbers to secure ongoing funding.
4.2   Test the Values/Perceptions through independent Research – do not
      assume that external assumptions and perceptions are the same as internal

      Scotland was shocked to discover that the rest of the world did not know what it
      had given the world! But the lesson was one of lack of communication – which
      gave further weight to the argument for national branding and promoting and
      marketing Scotland.

4.3   Communication Strategy - At what stage should the consumers/business
      community be engaged?
      Scotland the Brand took the decision to firstly build visual awareness and
      recognition of the brand by getting companies to use it before the message was
      communicated to consumers. It was reasoned that it was pointless to explain
      its meaning to consumers and encourage them to purchase on the strength of
      “the best of Scotland” until there was sufficient market penetration to sustain
      this. However, while we have achieved a high level of awareness we are
      conscious that there is a lack of understanding of what lies behind it – and
      hence there is no consumer-driven demand for products carrying the Scotland

      A communication strategy on the objectives of the organization and the
      meaning of the Scotland mark is therefore one of our main priorities.

4.4   Securing Buy-in and Funding at the Top Level

      The need for a shared vision and agreement on funding support from a
      significant core of the country’s influencers and decision makers is absolutely

      Having established the “buy-in” of the Scottish Business community at an
      emotional level, much of the efforts of Scotland the Brand have been hampered
      by the failure to translate this into concrete funding commitments across the top
      echelon of private and public sector. This can largely be attributed to the fact
      that the initial core funding came from Scottish Enterprise which engendered a
      lack of ownership from the private sector. However, as the organization is now
      poised to move into the private sector, it is crucial that we address this and
      ensure the longer-term buy-in of the key organizations in Scotland.

      We therefore intend to strengthen our position as the ‘link’ organization which
      cuts across all sectors and interests - including education, health, finance,
      international networks, and government - in the pursuance of the higher goal of
      Branding Scotland and secure direct influence on the marketing budgets and
      spend of these key organizations.

4.5   Defined Objectives and Measurement

      The need for clear objectives and vision in a national branding campaign is
      obvious but it should also be remembered that it will not always be possible to
      measure the success in a quantifiable or even a qualitative manner. A certain
                level of flexibility needs to be built into both these areas – conscious that in
                dealing with national branding the emphasis is very much on perceptions and
                subjective judgement rather than hard facts.

                The need for flexibility also becomes important. When the concept of Scotland
                the Brand was first muted, it was quite clearly focussed on increasing export
                sales for Scotland. However, during the life of the project it has become clear
                that there is also an opportunity to promote the Scottish brand within Scotland
                and indeed having established a core membership base, although we remain
                loyal to the overall Branding Scotland concept, we must also consider the
                individual objectives of our members. We have therefore developed our activity
                accordingly and are also focussing on the domestic market and are
                spearheading a “Buy Scottish “ campaign - “Support Scotland, buy the Brand”.


      A critical success factor of any National Branding campaign must be the commitment
      and backing - both emotionally and practically - by the key influencing organizations
      and individuals of that country. There must be unity of purpose and ownership from
      the top in imaging, marketing and communicating the values associated with the brand.

      Building a country brand is no different from building any other brand – it needs
      resources, time, commitment, a shared vision and clearly understood objectives
      underpinned by the values that the image of the brand portrays to the ‘user’ or the
      potential user of that particular brand.

      The Scotland the Brand experience so far as proved the potential and success of
      aligning individual products and events with country branding and values but the more
      strategic “corporate” branding of Scotland has still to be achieved.

      The new vision and key drivers for the organization has been identified as:

      To position Scotland as a Smart, successful nation which embraces and
      promotes world class standards in its businesses, organizations and people,
      projecting a contemporary and progressive image as well as respecting and
      nurturing our best traditions and values.

            o   Scotland’s finest in the vanguard of the brand – Aspirational Leaders
            o   Core Values of integrity, spirit, tenacity and innovation – real relevance for
                the future
            o   Quality comes naturally
            o   Great Scots worldwide with passion and values

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