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Insights from Jon Connolly: Why awareness doesn’t necessarily resonate

Insights from Jon Connolly: Why awareness doesn’t necessarily resonate

The Essence of Branding

Within the world of digital marketing and user experience, understanding the essence of branding has never been more important. In an exclusive interview, Jon Connolly, the Group Marketing Director of Ceuta Healthcare, shares his profound insights into why mere brand awareness falls short and why resonance with the audience is the true measure of success.

As the driving force behind building brands in health, wellness, and personal care categories, Connolly delves into the purpose of a brand, emphasising its role as a shortcut for consumers to make informed decisions. He challenges the conventional metrics of success, urging companies to go beyond recognition and invest in real and continuing traction.

Join us as we explore Connolly’s perspective on measuring traction, the resilience of trusted brands in the face of challenges, and the strategic advantage a brand provides as a barrier to entry. In a digital age where consumer choices abound, Connolly’s insights offer a nuanced understanding of how brands can not only survive but thrive, adding substantial value to the balance sheet.

In this blog, we unravel the layers of brand significance, drawing on Connolly’s wealth of experience and wisdom in navigating the complex landscape of consumer perceptions. As digital marketers and brand strategists seek to create meaningful connections in a crowded marketplace, Connolly’s thoughts provide a roadmap to building enduring brands that resonate and stand the test of time.

“Strip away the hyperbole and in one sentence, what is the purpose of a brand? Jon Connolly, group marketing director of Ceuta Healthcare delivers the perfect elevator pitch. “In reality,” he says, “a brand is essentially the perception held by people, a shortcut by which they will make decisions about a particular product or service. “But of course when the cost of living becomes a more significant issue, brand owners have to sharpen the pencil because low price own label offerings from a retailer can have an appeal. “People are increasingly time poor and the role of a brand should be to enable them to make a quick and easy purchasing decision with a sense of assurance that they are making the right one. “So brands have the potential to add substantial value to the balance sheet, but that can only happen if they have real and continuing traction.

An objective assessment of a brand is whether your target audience has actually heard of it and knows what it stands for. If there is, say, only thirty percent prompted awareness, chances are you’ve got a trademark rather than a brand.” He should know. Ceuta Healthcare are versed in building brands in the over-the-counter health, wellness, and personal care categories, providing strategy guidance and developing marketing and sales plans which are cohesive.

Measuring Brand Traction and True Value

And according to Connolly, successful companies will recognise the investment required to nurture a trademark into a brand, otherwise they would be attempting to leverage something which might have some recognition from its audience but no resonance. “A fundamental difference between a brand and a trademark is that it’s the brand which actually builds trust,” he explains. “By itself, a trademark is only about identification. When we are exposed to an entity for the first time there’s a trust deficiency, but the march to brand status can be accelerated if we see it on premium media such as prime time television, and if it has listings in reputable retailers known for selling trustworthy brands.

The Resilience of Trusted Brands

“Being the purchase of choice means the customer is more likely to stick to your brand, which will be of benefit in negotiations with retailers. If the customer’s usual retailer doesn’t have it in stock, they’ll go elsewhere to find it, and retail buyers will respect brands that have that kind of loyalty.” From a marketing perspective, Connolly sees too much business emphasis being placed on commonly-used audience definitions such as Gen Z and millennials. “They might sound enlightened,” he says, “but they are essentially one-dimensional in that they reflect imprecise periods of time relating to dates of birth.” According to Connolly, what brand status can provide parent companies is an enormous amount of latitude. “If you consider the strength of Coca-Cola now, you might never guess that its fabled history includes one of the biggest marketing blunders of the twentieth century,” he points out. “After nearly a century of product consistency that underpinned ‘the real thing’, a reformulation created a consumer firestorm that triggered a humiliating u-turn within three months of launch. “And the power of a brand means that it can even survive something that could spell the end for lesser entities. One might expect a corporate decision to install software that falsifies diesel emission results might threaten the future of a car brand. However, Volkswagen’s premium priced cars continued to sell in sufficient quantities for it to retain its number three position in the UK market.

Brand as a Barrier to Entry

“A trusted brand can also provide an effective barrier to entry. Let’s take the case of oral analgesics, the biggest category in over-the-counter medicines. Today’s market leaders are brands which have accumulated consumer trust for decades, and numerous attempts to penetrate the category have fallen by the wayside.

If you are looking to increase your businesses trust through brand, let’s have a chat.

This interview was conducted by Gary Frost.