With many brands being hit by the recession and a downturn in consumer spending, the announcement by Tetley to bring back the Tetley tea folk (last seen 10 years ago) came as little surprise and follows in the footsteps of a number of other big brands attempting to return to the trusted brand values loved so much by consumers to reverse fortunes.
In an ever competitive market and with the rise of successful own-label products, achieving cut through is becoming increasingly more challenging. One successful method is to capitalise on the heritage, provenance and history of a brand in order to engage and identify with consumers, demonstrated effectively by a number of other brands recently: the return of Fairy’s iconic white washing up liquid bottle to celebrate its 50th anniversary; the successful Facebook campaign to bring back the Cadbury Wispa; and the return of the red car versus blue car race ad by Milky Way.
Many are taking it a step further by using one of the most powerful tools in marketing communications – the revival of the trusted brand icon. The strength of these icons was demonstrated by a recent Marketing survey in which the most popular advertising icons were identified. The Andrex Puppy “trumped” the increasingly popular Meerkat created by comparison website, Compare the Market, reiterating just how powerful these lovable brand icons are in both attracting new, and retaining current, consumers.
The opportunities these icons present is invaluable in such a competitive market and in particular, the dominance of the digital sphere means brands are having to think of new and increasingly different ways of engaging with consumers outside the more traditional realms of TV advertising. As social media continues to grow in popularity, these icons become personalities and brand ambassadors in their own right with their own fan bases on networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The Andrex Puppy, Aleksandr Orlov, The Honey Monster and the return of the Caramel Bunny engage with nearly a million consumers collectively and ensure brands are keeping up with the ever changing face of the consumer.
In order to be successful, brands need to strike a fine balance between their traditional trusted heritage and bringing their icons up-to-date enough to keep up with the modern day consumer. At the same time, their icons must keep the product message at heart or they run the risk of the personalities eclipsing their brand.