FCB Group’s BRSM throws light on consumer-brand relationships

The Brand Relationship Style Monitor, a tool developed by the FCB Group’s Cogito Consulting, has been brought to India for the first time. A look at how the tool operates and can prove beneficial to Indian brands

The FCB Group’s Cogito Consulting recently unveiled the Brand Relationship Style Monitor, a tool for measuring brand relationships, brand loyalty and profitability in India.

The tool has been developed after extensive study across 342 brands and 45 categories in seven countries. The studies were conducted in Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US. Some of the categories in which the tool has proved useful are packaged goods, food and beverages, computers, communications, financial services, automobiles, healthcare, toys, fashion and apparel and airlines.

MG Parameswaran, executive director and CEO, FCB Ulka, Mumbai, said, “The BRSM will be a very powerful tool for marketers. It will help them develop great brand strategies.”

The BRSM consists of two basic components – a set of 13 relational dimensions connecting customers to brands, and seven relational styles describing the nature of the customer-brand relationship.

The relational dimensions are ambivalence, cost, stature, chemistry, sensitivity, empathy, recognition, satisfaction, comfort, compatibility, involvement, trust and devotion, the ultimate goal for a brand.

The seven relational styles are ‘Non-Committal’, ‘Price Based’, ‘Follow the Leader’, ‘Reliant’, ‘Caring’, ‘Delights Me’ and ‘Perfect Fit’.

Kinjal Medh, COO, Cogito Consulting, gave the example of Dockers, a brand that was revived after using the BRSM model.

Medh said, “Dockers, despite several marketing initiatives, faced a downward swing in its YoY figures. Two factors contributed to this: identical offerings from competing brands at better prices and Dockers being associated only as a ‘khakis’ brand. An apparel brand needs to be strong in both the ‘Perfect Fit’ and ‘Delights Me’ relational styles. Dockers was strong in the former, but our study showed it was not doing anything spectacular to delight its consumers.”

Medh said the brand then experimented with fabrics, colours and textures and came up with innovative ranges such as ‘Wrinkle Free’ and ‘Stain Defender’. These innovations helped Dockers move from a ‘safe’, conventional khaki brand to a brand that delighted its consumers.

“This is just one way of demonstrating how the brand helped in the area of product development,” Medh said.

Further, Medh pointed out that brands in categories such as telecom and consumer durables are strongly skewed towards the ‘Follow the Leader’ relational style, whereas some financial brands suffer in crucial relational styles such as ‘Caring’ and ‘Reliant’.

The BRSM also highlights certain diagnostic measures that can be used for brands to move up the relational ladder for better brand equity.

The BRSM study in India was done across 1,125 brand users and revealed close to 2,400 brand mapping scores. The initial product categories of the study included automobiles, consumer durables, telecom and financial products.

Medh added that Indians are very different in their relationships with brands vis-à-vis foreigners. “In India, the ‘Perfect Fit’ and ‘Price Based’ parameters are crucial to any brand, whereas in the UK, ‘Reliant’ tops the list.”

Medh cited a few examples where some parameters were more important than the others for certain brands. Onida, for instance, revealed a high ‘Price Based’ relationship as opposed to LG and Samsung. In the banking sector, ICICI shares the biggest bond with its customers as compared to IDBI and HDFC.

Medh concluded by stressing that in India, the seven styles boil down actually to five styles – ‘Perfect Fit’, ‘Caring’, ‘Reliant’, ‘Follow the Leader’ and ‘Price Based’.

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

Have news to share? Write to us