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.