Got a relevance challenge?
The answer might be in finding a better problem to solve
Reframing the way customers perceive your brand is the most effective way to regain brand relevance.
As an agency it can be easy to solve the wrong problems by getting caught up the excitement and jumping straight to ideas and solutions. But the key, and the real value for clients, is in taking time to reframe problems. The way we frame the problem is arguably the biggest factor in getting to a great answer.
That’s about looking, taking time to consider the big picture and examine the nature of the problem to challenge your assumptions. It’s about asking questions of different people within the organisation and broadening the view.
Secondly, as is often said, reframing is not about finding the real problem, but finding a better problem to solve. And you only do that by asking bigger and better questions.
Which? came to ODA Branding asking ‘How do we become more relevant?’.
The organisation wanted to help more consumers by attracting a broader audience. Although brand awareness and trust were high, relevance was low.
We asked the question of consumers “What does Which? mean to you?” and learned unequivocally that Which? meant washing machines, fridges, in other words, product reviews. This narrow perception of what the brand stood for completely eclipsed everything else it was doing and contributed to many people believing ‘it’s not for me’.
This insight prompted us to ask a better, more pointed question, “How do we challenge this notion of narrow expertise?”.
That was the question that began to change everything, giving us a fresh perspective on the challenge.
The answer lay in unlocking the depth and breadth of expertise within the business. Which? are an amazing not for profit organisation employing a diverse mix of experts. Beyond product testers in white coats, Which? employs journalists, subject matter experts, lawyers, and mystery shoppers, all with the shared purpose of helping make life simpler for consumers – no hidden agenda.
But there was another related relevance problem. People also thought of Which? as a members-only subscription service, when in fact the brand offers a range of free-to-access advice and content supporting people in making purchasing decisions.
The challenge: “How do we change peoples’ perceptions of Which? as being members-only content?”.
We posed another question, what’s the benefit to consumers of knowing that this content exists? In other words, what’s our “so what?”.
This time the answer lay in context. The brand had 65 years of helping make life simpler, fairer and easier for consumers. Today, with the sheer complexity of information and amount of misinformation, consumers needed help navigating day-to-day life and the current Cost of Living crisis.
And if not Which?, who?
The better, bigger question became, “How do we change the relationship we have with consumers to become more useful every day?”.
Our new brand proposition “Your trusted home for everyday advice” answers the brand’s relevance challenge by changing the relationship from transactional – ‘somewhere I occasionally get product reviews’ — to something deeper, ‘somewhere I visit often for trusted answers to everyday questions’. The answer to greater relevance was in unlocking some core truths about Which? that answered key needs and that ultimately gave the brand a bigger, broader role in peoples’ everyday lives. It also gives the organisation a clear focus on actionable advice.
If we’d jumped straight into solutions we might have said the brand needed to do more relevant reviews. We might have said it needed to look and sound more modern, feel more digital and reflect the diversity of people visiting the site. All of the things we addressed in our new refreshed brand world. But that alone wouldn’t have answered the bigger questions. It wouldn’t have led to a more meaningful brand. And most importantly, it wouldn’t have changed the way Which? see themselves, or energised people within the organisation and reshaped the way that they think about everything from web architecture to communication strategy the way this answer does.
The proof is in the pudding, so to measure success our client has put metrics in place. Measurement will focus on relevance and increasing brand consideration and regular site visits, including through search. We really hope our answer gives Which? a new lease on life. It’s such a valuable organisation and arguably has never been more relevant.