Understanding customer paths is a key learning to know how customers move within the 5A’s ladder from brand awareness, appeal, ask, act, and advocate.
Paths often varies due to various touch points that comes with relative risks depending on the products or services. Bigger brands tend to have more touch points while smaller brands has less. Hence, purchase risks and customer involvements depend on these indicators. In order to address these, 5A’s framework is derived to help define patterns to several key industry types as follows:
Four Major Industry Archetypes (Plus One)
Door Knob Pattern
This pattern’s most distinctive feature is the high commitment despite the low curiosity level which can be associated to consumer packaged goods (CPG) Industry. Purchases are often instant and impulsive due to low prices and tempting promotions. Hence, customers do not feel the need to learn more about the brands.
Gold Fish Pattern
Most distinctive feature is the high curiosity level (ask>appeal) which are usually found in business to business (B2B) contexts. Here, customers see the need to ask further questions, consider 3rd party advices, and if needed, multiple interactions even with competing brands before making decisions. Travel industry is a good example in this category.
Unique to this pattern is the high affinity level (advocate > act) which is mostly found on lifestyle categories such as luxury cars, watches, and designer bags. Customers fully recognized brand quality and they are willing to advocate brands even if they do not buy or use those brands.
In this pattern, customers go through each stage of the customer path. Here, most purchases are well-planned with high customers’ involvement in the purchase decisions. This pattern is usually found in consumer durables and service industries.
Bow Tie Pattern
This pattern reflects the key traits of perfect brand where customers are aware about the brand and they are willing to recommend the same (aware = advocate). Brand appeal is strong and likelihood to buy is high. This is the benchmark of all other patterns to identify areas for improvement.
Four Marketing Best Practice
Brand Advocacy Ratio, also known as BAR, essentially represents customers’ willingness to recommend a brand. The BAR Range – gap between highest and lowest BAR – reveals interesting insights to industries as to how much dominance is achieved for a better marketing strategy. Accordingly, there are four major industry groupings derived using BAR analysis as follows:
High BAR median, wide BAR range – Customers are generally willing to recommend several leading brands.
Key Success Factor: Brand Management – developing sound positioning and executing it through marketing communications. Ex. CPG
High BAR median, narrow BAR range – Customers are generally willing to recommend certain brands even though there is no player with a dominating BAR score.
Key Success Factor: Channel Management – developing omni channel presence and driving customers to buy. Ex. Retail Industry
Low BAR, wide BAR range – Customers do not generally recommend brands though they sometimes advocate leading brands.
Key Success Factor: Service Management – managing service processes and service people as well as physical evidence. Ex. Airline Industry
Low BAR, narrow BAR range – competition is tight and customers are generally unwilling to recommend competing brands.
Key Success Factor: Sales Force Management – managing productive sales people and driving the right sales activities.
Which archetype best describes your industry? What are some of the key improvement opportunities for your business based on that archetype?
Considering above archetypes, I considered Avon being in the trumpet pattern. Company is focused on the best product quality and safety through rigorous testing before launch in the market. Volunteers and consumers are invited to evaluate efficacy to ensure its authentic brand characters and ease of use. Hence, it creates transparency to consumers thus create strong influence through word of mouth. In doing so, company geared to achieve high advocacy rating for globally known and locally produced to consumers.
On the direct-selling framework of the business, this entails huge human interactions through sales representatives who are also ambassadors and advocates of the offline market. On the other hand, digitally online markets are tapped through online marketing and selling communications using social media, highlighting online shopping convenience, experience and inclusive events such as makeup tutorials, beauty for a purpose campaigns, corporate social responsibilities and flexible earning opportunities.
What is the key success factor in your industry? How can you learn from other industries?
I believe that Avon is in a high BAR median and wide BAR range which would require strong and sustainable brand management initiatives as a key success factor. The company has created iconic brands since its existence for more than 130 years and continuously developing new and innovative brands that carry the brand quality and safety, whether for global or local markets.
Although, Avon is not recently visible to TV advertisements, it has leveraged on the vast number of more than 6 million sales representatives across more than a 100 countries to communicate the brands offline and online through door-to-door selling and use of social networks and media.
Key learning from other industries might be on high quality brands sustainability and, at the same time, achieve the most affordable price and accessibility in the market. Brochures and campaigns are available both offline (through Sales representatives) and online (web shopping) but the physical products, among the many SKUs it maintains, should be highly available within reach. Hence, production, marketing, support groups, selling outlets and branches should closely collaborate to achieve the most efficient supply chain to customers.
(This is author’s personal blog in reaction to topics about “Industry Archetypes and Best Practices”, Marketing 4.0 – Moving from Traditional to Digital, Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiayawan)