Name of Campaign: Powering awareness for Braun in SA
Client: Fore Good (distributor for Braun in SA)
The Powering Awareness for Braun in SA campaign demonstrates that positive and relationship-based media relations can form the foundation of powering awareness for companies and brands. This campaign reflects how a well thought-out media relations strategy, in-depth planning and positive implementation drove high visibility for a brand that was faced with damaged trade relations and negative consumer perceptions. This PR campaign has been an integral part of the success of Braun in South Africa during 2010.
Statement of Problem/Opportunity
Janine Lloyd through Livewired PR was awarded the Braun campaign. The brand was neglected which had resulted in damaged trade relations and negative consumer perceptions around service levels.
With the appointment of a new distributor it presented an opportunity to rejuvenate and re-launch the brand.
Our role was to assist the brand to create high positive consumer and trade awareness for Braun’s products in Hair Care, Male Grooming and Female Grooming, through traditional media relations. Since there was no budget for traditional media, PR was the main driver for the Brand to gain high visibility in the market and regain the confidence of retail buyers.
Many challenges presented themselves:
- There was no above-the-line budget
- In Braun’s absence competitors gained the upper hand in sales and share of shelf in various sub-categories and cemented themselves further with retailers
- There was high competitiveness in the male shaving category and female hair care
- Braun was at a higher premium versus brands imported from the East
- Much work had to be done to get “share of shelf” in-store and there were challenges to get the right product mix
Braun is a global leader known for its award-winning innovations and design.
This presented a huge opportunity for us to prove to media and the public the high quality of Braun. Innovations in product design and feature development provided talk-ability and points of interest when speaking to media and consumers.
- Review of international Braun research, target audiences, consumer behaviour and product differentiation.
- Telephonic conversations with media and trade regarding the Braun brand to analyse what the extent of the pessimism was and to determine the best tactical strategy. The research showed that there was a high affinity to the brand; negativity centred around consumer stock availability, support and repair services.
- Meetings with Marketing and Commercial teams at ForeGood to assess:
- – level of damage to reputation and general perception
– retail strategy
– launch plan
- Review of competitor analysis.
- Internet and clippings search as to tactics and visibility of competitor brands.
- Analysis of brands and relevant media targets. Review and assessment of circulation and target audiences of media (utilising Encyclomedia) to select the top targeted media for each brand.
- Review of consumer conversations and complaints on online forums and portals.
- Create high positive awareness for Braun products in South Africa
- Influence retailers to re-list products in major chains
- – reiterate that strong PR exposure was indicative that the new distributor was serious about re-launching and providing sublime stock and service levels
- Build positive press relations with key media and correct negative perceptions
- Start creating consumer demand for Braun’s new innovative products which South Africa hadn’t seen yet
- Plan for any crises communication required
- Assessment of positive media relationships vs. negative media relationships
- Content of exposure
- Value of exposure – as this exposure was our main driver for the brand awareness, consumer demand and trade trust
- Increase in listings
- Positive feedback from consumers who engaged with the Brand through our efforts
- Brand market share growth/influence on sales Quality and impact of crises communication if required
– LSM 7-10
– Age18 – 35
– FHR – Female Hair Removal(wax and surface hair removal users)
– HC – Hair Care (fashion involved/ambitious)
– LSM 7-10
– Series: 18-55 (innovation/technology seekers)
– Cruzer: 17-29 (fashion involved/ambitious)
Audience and messaging was defined in a WHO document which was utilised at the planning stage and on an ongoing basis to consider content for submission to the media.
Communication channels identified
- Consumer print magazines – women/men & lifestyle consumer publications
- Daily, weekly and Sunday newspapers – lifestyle, fashion and technology
- Websites of consumer print magazines
- Trade media
- Custom publications – retailers (Dis-chem, Pick n Pay etc)
- Consumer technology publications for tech lovers
- Internal – reporting on successes to showcase to retailers
- Media engagement (meet and greets/ongoing relationship building)
- Media drops for trial of products
- Competition giveaways
- Editorial programme
- International visits
- Media tests
- What’s hot product announcements
It was critical to ensure commercial teams, marketing and the PR agency worked closely together to ensure a positive consumer experience and to minimise any negativity arising out of incorrect prices given to media and lack of product in stores. In addition, in order to gain the exposure we needed, product had to be made available to PR for media drop offs, reviews and consumer competitions. Agreement was reached and product was made available for media. Overall, the public relations team disseminated over 300 products.
In addition, meetings were held to setup structures/a process to accurately identify pricing to go to press and ensure products we were using in our media campaign were in-stock and available in SA. Lines of communication were also kept open on an ongoing basis to check and review the above.
Kickoff international visit
We kicked off our media campaign with an international visit for two key media to attend the most prestigious international Braun event – Design Changes Lives – in Germany. The visit showed:
- New product briefings (in Female Hair Removal, Male Grooming, Food Creation and Haircare)
- Look behind the product (R&D lab tours, plant lab tour, speak to the designers and innovators)
- Understand the future brand vision
- Meet the people leading Braun forward (1:1s upon request)
The aim of this initiative was not to generate high media exposure but to allow media to experience Braun and get excited about its innovation and vision.
Our media engagement programme involved meet and greets with media where our PR team visited consumer media to showcase Braun products, design and technology and to provide media drops for trial of product. We also shared with media the product roadmap and planned ahead for future issues.
We have an ongoing monthly engagement telephonically and personally with key media to exchange ideas and look for further opportunities for the Brand.
New products are also reserved for select media as gifts.
Our editorial programme focused on product announcements – short, what’s- hot snippets with engaging photography as these would accompany our competitions and giveaways with the media. These announcements were used to stimulate the media and get them excited for the product to pave the way for us to negotiate competitions.
We also developed by lined articles – lifestyle orientated editorial/hair care/grooming; sought out features where we have the opportunity to discuss the style and technology behind Braun products; and we created angles to co-incide with occasions: father’s day, winter, summer and so on.
Product giveaways to support editorial via a consumer competition was a key tactic to getting coverage in high reach consumer media. Through our media engagement programme we were able to have line of sight into upcoming media schedules and editorial topics which gave us the opportunity to motivate for Braun product to be included.
We also supplied product to media to review and in some cases linked this to competition.
At the outset of the programme, we sought out broadcast media exposure through topical interviews around lifestyle, hair, fashion. We needed to rope in hairstylists/experts and this proved difficult to co-ordinate and their time was limited. This tactic was placed on the back burner to re-consider at a later stage.
During 2010, Janine Lloyd took the lead in communication around the recall of two hair care products globally, which also affected South Africa. Janine developed a plan with the P&G team to communicate the recall effectively, within best practice, regulatory and legal requirements, with a view to minimising the impact.
We motivated that research be conducted with the local Braun team to look at the sales data and see how many consumers would be affected. The data showed a low number of affected consumers, despite this we decided to ensure the recall was advertised to consumers in all major newspapers. This sales research was used in discussions with the media to assure them there was little affect in SA.
We setup meetings with P&G and local relevant stakeholders (including the call centre manager and support company to handle the product swaps). This ensured a common message was driven through all channels and that all parties were aware of their roles and responsibilities. Scripts were drawn up for call centre and support staff.
Personal calls were made to media in advance of the press announcement to explain the situation. Scripts and messages were developed for spokespeople to field media calls. Please see support documentation in the file supplied.
Assessment of positive media relationships vs negative media relationships
- All media who had negative impression of the brand were converted
- Target media have positive opinion of the brand and continuously seek out products and content from Braun
Content of exposure
- Key messages defined for each product were accurately communicated in the media. Statements showing Braun innovations, style and unique selling propositions and features particular to each brand were positively and accurately reflected.
- Content which did not push product was also regularly used by media to complement their stories such as hair and shaving facts.
Value of exposure – as media relations was our main driver for the brand AVE played a big part in our evaluation criteria.
- R3.03 Million A.V.E. was received.
- 285 press cuttings.
- Series 7 and the CruZer were rated as GQ choice in The Razor’s Edge.
- South African Convenience Store Retailer Star product
Increase in listings
As a result of the PR drive which in turn also created consumer demand, exposure lead to slowly regaining the retailers trust and confidence. Clippings formed a major part of trade presenter kit and to date (in just over a year) we’ve secured the following major listings:
- PnP Hyper
- PnP Supers (Selected)
- New World
Positive feedback from consumers who engaged with the Brand through our efforts
- Competition entries and comments to media showed positive views on the brand.
Brand market share growth/influence on sales
- On average revenue is growing at 28% per quarter
- On average revenue has grown 49% vs. Same Period Last year (SPLY)
- Successfully launched Epilator range which now contributes over 12% of the business
- Successfully launched Lifestyle (Hand Blenders) which jumped to 15% contribution
Quality and impact of crises communication
- Impact of negativity around the product recall was minimised due to best