On the 10th of March, Anthony Low sat down to have a fireside chat with us, providing insights and tips into brand building. He provided his perspective from over 39 years of experience, most of which he spent at Nestle. He held various leadership positions while he was at Nestle, from Supply Chain, Sales & Marketing Management, Production, and Marketing Communication, to name a few. He is now a mentor at Endeavour, sharing his knowledge and expertise with entrepreneurs in Malaysia.
Anthony shared some great insights with us, including those listed below:
- The key guiding principles of a brand trying to succeed should be knowing their purpose and values, and knowing where and how they make an impact.
- A brand is the total experience consumers have with a company, its products, and its services. This experience is partly rational, but mostly it is an emotional experience with the 'brand promise'.
How do you know you have a strong brand? When consumers feel that your promises are trustworthy.
- Romance product truths. Anthony gave an example of Nestle's 'Read the Label' global campaign, where they believed their own product's ingredients spoke for itself; being healthier than alternatives from competitors. So the 'product truth' of being a healthier alternative was romanced into a narrative that encouraged consumers to take their health into their own hands.
- Always learn from your competitors. At Nestle, they believed that 'size makes arrogance'. To counter this, they believed they could always learn from competitors; big or small.
- Brands have to know their target consumers deeply, put consumers first in everything they do, and learn to leverage the understanding of consumers into insights which will help the brand to grow.
Nestle uses what they call the OBP; the Own-able Brand Proposition. It describes the brand knowing their consumers so well that they can identify a deep insight about them or a human truth, that will then lead to a Big Idea or a sweet spot that will help bring to life the brand promise.
- The Q&A session involved Anthony bringing us back to one important point; talking to consumers being crucial to brand building. Whether it's from market research, from distributors, etc. it's important to keep talking to consumers and understanding them, their behaviour and their needs.
Nestle relies heavily on market research, with SPC (selling price calculation) only being signed off by the CEO if more than 16% of it goes towards brand building, which covers market research.
Anthony calls us to always pay attention and listen to consumers, and to invest in building brands, no matter if it's a new or established one. He believes that a company's brand is their most valuable asset, a sentiment shared by Steve Forbes, who said:
Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.
The three key points he would like us to remember from the webinar are as follows:
- Know your target consumers deeply; understand them so you can identify a deep insight which you can turn into a big idea or Own-able Brand Proposition
- Inspire with purpose and deliver your brand promise
- Keep satisfying real consumer needs and build their trust
Watch the webinar below to learn from the former VP of an FMCG giant!