The Blueprint for Brand Growth: How marketers can influence revenue and profit

Kantar combined a decade of data and expertise to establish the framework for Brand Growth
14 May 2024

EVP Global Thought Leadership, Kantar

Amid constant uncertainty and economic turbulence, the question on every CMO’s lips is “How do I deliver maximum impact for my brand and my business?”  

Marketing leaders have hard financial targets set by their boards, so linking their strategy to financial outcomes is the holy grail – allowing them to prioritise and optimise marketing activity and influencer other business decisions. At the same time, AI and advanced analytics are opening up new avenues to inform the decisions that maximise brand growth, making a laser focus on business results more important than ever. 

Decades of data and expertise in what consumers think and feel (attitudinal data), and what they actually do (behavioural data), gives us a unique perspective and rock solid evidence on what influences the choices consumers ultimately make. To ensure our clients get the most out of our expertise, we set out on a year-long project to bring together this data under one unifying framework. We did this by analysing more than 6.5 billion attitudinal and shopper data points from the past decade. This project – unprecedented in Kantar’s history for its scale and ambition - is the evidence base for our Blueprint for Brand Growth, our new quantitative decision-making framework. 


Why Meaningful Difference makes the difference 

So, what did we learn from assembling our finest thinkers, and crunching billions of datapoints? We were able to quantify that brand perception strongly correlates with greater market penetration – the share of category shoppers choosing a brand, over time.  

Our Meaningful, Different and Salient (MDS) framework, accredited by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB), asserts that difference – not just distinctiveness – is crucial in forging strong mental connections between consumers and brands. The new analysis that forms the basis of the Blueprint quantifies the importance of difference – finding that brands that are Meaningfully Different to More People command up to five times the market penetration compared with brands that are low in meaningful difference. In addition, brands with high Meaningful Difference are so attractive that they can command up to 2X the average category price point, underlining the crucial role of difference (and indeed, the marketing function) in defending margin. 


The three rules of brand growth 


The Blueprint’s principles will be familiar to marketers, building on and enhancing existing research on how brands grow. But this new evidence illustrates that while growing market penetration is necessary, it is insufficient to holistically drive sustainable brand and revenue growth. Our analysis uncovered three Growth Accelerators which are the core of putting these principles into action: 


 - Predispose More People - Increase the probability of purchase by strengthening the predisposition everyone has towards your brand. When optimally executed through exposures and experiences, this drives nine times higher volume share, two times higher average selling price, and four times the likelihood of growing share in the future.  

 - Be More Present - Optimise marketing investments to convert consumer predisposition and capture choices from other brands. Brands with strong equity that also activate well grow at 2.5x the rate of those with weaker activation.  

 - Find New Space - Find the most incremental spaces to stretch into through meaningfully different innovation, expanded distribution, and communications. A brand’s chance of growth doubles if it can find new moments or contexts for its range. 


From knowledge into action

So how do these new quantified rules of marketing actually help marketers do their job better, and to prioritise what they do? As well as a valuable evidence base for how brands grow, the Blueprint offers practical decision-making frameworks, called Starting Grids, to guide marketing investments for maximum impact.  

While these new Growth Accelerators are universal – applying to brands in any sector, and B2B of course, each brand will have its own starting point which they need to be aware of. They can then use the Blueprint’s decision-making frameworks to devise the strategy that makes sense for their brand, its size and stage,and for their category. 

We are enormously excited to now be able to share the result of this thinking and analysis with our clients and the wider community. Our Blueprint for Brand Growth sets a new standard for strategic marketing understanding and excellence. Every marketing leader can use it to evaluate their brand’s own competitive positioning and then shape their strategic response and marketing investment priorities. Whatever the challenge, the Blueprint serves as the starting point, and the evidence base for marketers to shape their brand future. 

If you’ve’ missed the webinar introducing the Blueprint for Brand Growth, you can watch it on demand here
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Blueprint for Brand Growth

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