Passion Branding is all about harnessing the power of passion to build strong brands and drive sales.
Mobile phones, margarine, petroleum and fizzy drinks – not products which would normally get your pulse racing – but by carefully allying their brands to events which excite passion and loyalty in the consumer, Orange, Flora, Shell and Coca-Cola have succeeded in ‘passion branding’ themselves.
Shell’s sponsorship of the Ferrari F1 team has resulted in an 18% higher preference level for Shell amongst consumers aware of Shell’s alignment with F1 as opposed to those not aware of it. Guinness Draft experienced an increase in sales in many key regions during Guinness’ sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup in 1999. In Great Britain sale of Draft increased by 17% and in France by 178%. MasterCard’s Major League Baseball Memorable Moments campaign was the most widely supported campaign by member banks ever initiated by MasterCard in the USA.
Passion Branding is about more than just sponsorship – Passion Branding is all about harnessing the power of passion to build strong brands and drive sales.
Neill Duffy, author of Passion Branding: Harnessing the Power of Emotion to Build Strong Brands, states ‘I believe that the time is now right for a new way of marketing, a way centred on a relationship between a brand and its consumers, around a consumer passion, and the leverage of that passion in order to create value for all involved in the relationship; a new way of marketing which I call ‘passion branding.’
Neill Duffy shows how to approach and develop effective passion branding campaigns, providing a passion branding road map which passion branders can use to guide them through the process of identifying the role that passion branding can play in their business and how to get maximum results from the passion branding initiatives.
Passion Branding: Harnessing the Power of Emotion to Build Strong Brands:
• Contains examples of successful sponsorship programmes from around the world including: Guinness Rugby World Cup, Mastercard Major League Baseball, and Shell Ferrari F1 as well as successfully executed passion branding campaigns executed in South Africa including: MTN Gladiators, Proudly South African and Old Mutual Save Chapman’s Peal Fund borne out of Old Mutual’s sponsorship of the Two Oceans Marathon.
• Includes ‘leading thoughts’ from some of the world’s leading passion branders at Coca-Cola, FIFA, the IOC, Unilever and Diageo
• Provides marketers with the tools and insights to persuade their boards that the huge spending commitment involved in sponsorship is worthwhile.
• Includes the latest thinking on sponsorship’s role as a brand-building tool.
• Provides the tools of measurement of the return on investment and valuation methodologies.
Stemming from the writing of Passion Branding, Octagon initiated, Passion Scan, a proprietary research project which further investigated the power of passion as a marketing tool.
Passion Scan substantiated the thinking in Duffy’s Passion Branding and showed that when a sponsorship is correctly attributed to a particular brand, the positive spin off for that brand is that, as peoples’ passion for the activity sponsored increases, usage can be enhanced by an average of 3.25% and can be as much as 17.5% in some cases.
Change in usage is modified by market sector and not all brands can expect their sponsorships to produce the same positive usage effects. Easy to change market sectors are more sensitive to these sponsorship effects. As such, where consumer ‘interest’ in a brand is low, the necessity to leverage the sponsorship increases. For example, it is not a particularly difficult decision to switch from one soft drink to another, however to change one’s bank account requires major admin for the man in the street and therefore would not be an easy switch even if such brands engage with their customers by aligning with an activity they are passionate about. However, that is not to say that it cannot be done. Another ‘low interest’ category is petroleum, where convenience is a significant factor in determining where one fills up with petrol, and yet Shell’s sponsorship of Formula 1 has shown a significantly positive effect on preference levels amongst consumers aware of the sponsorship.
Passion Scan found that currently sport sponsorships tend to be more effective than cultural or cause related campaigns in bringing about increased usage where passion for the activity rises. This is most likely attributable to the fact that cultural and cause related sponsorships have not historically been leveraged to the same extent as sports sponsorships have and consequently don’t generate high levels of awareness. Since the causes covered in Passion Scan elicited higher levels of passion overall than sporting activities, tremendous potential exists to improve the leveraging of these sponsorships to have a greater impact on usage and brand loyalty. This is especially true in a market such as South Africa, where companies are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility credentials as evidence of their commitment to improving the future of South African society, and cause related marketing initiatives are therefore more relevant than ever as an area for future marketing exploitation whilst also serving a corporate social investment role.
The key to any passion branding initiative, is to align with an activity that one’s target customers are passionate about, whether it be a cause, a sports event, a sports team or individual or a cultural activity, and then to leverage the association in such a way that the brand adds value to the fan’s experience of their passion. This holds true regardless of the brand’s market sector or the selected passion branding platform. Only then can a brand truly harness the power of fan emotion as a means by which to enhance brand equity.
Passion Branding is published by Wiley UK and is available in hardback at major book stores or via the web here.
About the Authors
Neill Duffy, together with colleague Stewart Banner, combined his passion for media and sport to start what is now Octagon South Africa, the country’s leading sports and event marketing consultancy. Octagon was named as 2001 and 2002 Financial Mail AdFocus Specialist Agency of the Year and are considered thought leaders in the area of sponsorship marketing. Octagon employs over 100 staff in offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town ad Durban. Neill is Group Managing Director.Octagon Worldwide works with over 100 major brands, global and regional events, star athletes and television properties including the likes of MasterCard, Guinness, BMW, Coca-Cola, Vodafone, World Cup Soccer, Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup, World Cup Cricket, Western Union World of Soccer, World of Rugby, FA Cup, Gravity Games, FIM World Superbike Champs, Anna Kournikova and Lleyton Hewitt.
Jo Hooper has spent 8 years at Octagon South Africa and is currently responsible for Strategic Planning and Research. Working together with Neill, Jo has been instrumental in developing many of Octagon South Africa’s proprietary sponsorship tools including Game Plan and evalu8 and has worked closely with a diverse range of clients including the Cape Town 2004 Olympic Bid, Coca-Cola, Castle Lager (SAB Miller), Major League Baseball, Engen Petroleum (Petronas) and Old Mutual.
About Passion Scan
Passion Scan Phase I was conducted by AC Nielsen in 2003 as part of their omnibus survey, using a sample of 2480 adults across South Africa. The questionnaire covered levels of interest or passion for a range of sports, cultural activities and causes; sponsorship awareness levels; usage of selected sponsoring brands and services and statements concerning consumer attitudes towards sponsorship and advertising. Analysis of the results was carried out by Marketing & Media Research Brokers and Data Management & Statistical Analysis cc.
Phase II consisted of a series of qualitative probes into a selection of passions to establish the triggers that impact on the way people interact with their passion and its sponsors and the primary drivers of their loyalty.