Brand Strategy: 6 Lessons Learned – Tourism Queensland’s Amazing Campaign

How do you get 53.9 million page views by 8 million unique visitors in six weeks while generating a 60-minute BBC documentary and 6,000 news stories worth $US165 million in free coverage?    

 

Turn a media campaign into a job search, was the response for one of the most successful brand campaigns ever. Tourism Queensland’s 2009 “Best Job in the World” campaign provides a stunning case study — and it was all done on a relatively modest budget. We take a closer look to determine six ways the brilliant brand strategy employed here is applicable to brands outside of travel and tourism and can be scaled up or down to suit your brand and resources.

  

First, we’ll look at the product and its competition. Let’s say you want to go on an island adventure  holiday. What springs to mind? The Caribbean, Hawaii, the Seychelles and Maldives, perhaps? Islands of the Great Barrier Reef were aiming for that kind of top-of-mind-awareness among global experience seekers in their eight key country markets.

  

Tourism Queensland consulted ad agency CumminsNitro in Brisbane as the recession hit new lows. They determined the only solution was to capture public interest with something that seemed too good to be true and eminently shareable. In fact, they said, don’t just visit this gorgeous place, live here. And we’ll pay you, too. 

 

Why not promote an international search for the best job in the world?

 

  

The Campaign

 

The Challenge: Create International Brand Awareness

  

For Tourism Queensland officials, the islands of the Great Barrier Reef were the product. Substitute your brand here.

  

 

The Budget: Small

 

A budget of $US1.2 million for a global campaign was appropriate for developing the brand strategy and creating multiple print ads in seven languages, placing these as classified ads on recruitment pages of newspapers in selected markets around the world, creating a YouTube channel with compelling content together with a Facebook, Twitter and Myspace presence and a landing page for job applications.

  

No fixed budget is required to model this campaign, which doesn’t require international reach to be successful. Scale it to suit your brand needs. A city-wide or nation wide ‘job search’ brand campaign can be extremely effective too.

   

 

Best Job In The World Print Ad 

 Image via www.teq.queensland.com

 

 

The Idea: Offer a prize that’s not a prize. Make it a Job

 

Call it “The Best Job in the World” and buy classified ads in newspapers in the key markets around the world. The position? Vacant Island Caretaker. Job responsibilities? Clean the pool, feed the fish, collect the mail, explore and report back. Salary? $AUD150K for 6 months. (Accommodation and transportation included.)

 

Message: Anyone can apply. And they did…

  

  

  

   

The ROI: Priceless

 

On day one of the launch, the landing page received 4 million hits an hour, beating out Google searches. By the end of six weeks, 1.4 million applications were received. 34,684 one-minute video job applications included one from at least one person in every country in the world, including Vatican City. Worldwide media attention supplemented the reach to an estimated 3 billion people. 

  

  

Tourism Queensland Hamilton Island Caretaker 

 Image via www.teq.queensland.com

 

  

The Top 6 Takeaways

 

Social media evolves quickly. When Tourism Queensland brainstormed in 2008, Twitter had only 6 million occasional users. Facebook pages for business were “nice to have,” an afterthought. 

  

  

Levi's Girl Job Ad 

Image via www.levi.com 

 

 

Mirroring Tourism Queensland, at the start of 2011, Levi’s launched a Facebook search with crowdsourced voting for the next “Levi’s Girl” selected to model and be the online voice of the brand for six months in a job based at headquarters in San Francisco. The following year, #iamlevis hit Instagram. In an article about the latter campaign, Esquire magazine wrote, “Will someone explain to us what the hell Pinterest is?” Need we mention Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat?

 

 

Lesson 1: Be Everywhere

 

Integrate social media to deliver real results. Tourism Queensland had fully integrated all their key brand marketing elements on and offline, including a website, print advertising and public relations. If you want to maximise your brand reach you must integrate social media across multi-device, multi-channel platforms to tap into viewers wherever they are, fostering sharing. 

   

   

 

  

  

In 2010, Procter & Gamble introduced the Old Spice guy on TV to appeal to men’s fragrance buyers (the women), but when ad agency Wieden+Kennedy plugged into shareable channels YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, sales increased by 107 percent.

  

 

Lesson 2: Be flexible. Be bold

 

Hard times call for tough decisions. For a luxury brand, fewer consumer dollars directed at discretionary spending during a global recession was felt even more deeply by a long-haul destination with strong appeal to youth.

 

“The Best Job in the World” campaign had a built-in deadline six weeks after launch, which meant gaining agreement for pouring the lion’s share of the entire year’s budget into a single campaign conducted in January and February.

  

 

Lesson 3: Review and Repeat

 

Extend reach. Tourism Australia re-introduced the campaign in 2013 to involve more states in a single voice by expansion into six regions. The 2013 re-launch of “The Best Jobs in the World” acquired 60 strategic partners, including Virgin Australia, STA Travel, Citibank, DELL, IKEA, Sony Music and Monster.com.

   

   

 

    

  

What about the ‘losers’? Tourism Australia Director Andrew McEvoy said, “We’re now going to capitalise on the enormous interest in this campaign by working with Virgin Australia and STA Travel to sell holidays and working holidays to those who missed out on one of the six best jobs.”

  

 

Lesson 4: Be Ready and Prepared

 

User-generated content has its challenges. According to Chris Chambers, digital marketing lead in Queensland, they were unprepared for submissions wildly above estimates, not to mention crisis management due to the demands that mass media attention garnered. 

 

In addition to watching nearly 35,000 videos, some 20,000 emails required responses. By creating a URL for shared content, as Tourism Queensland did with the video job applications, anything can be posted.

 

A brand must be ready with both policy and people to curate, post content and manage content.

 

  

Lesson 5:  Surprise and Delight

 

The evolution of social media for brands means that the interactive aspect of brand response takes on immediacy far beyond what happened in 2009. Early campaigns such as “The Best Job in the World”  and the guy from Old Spice have taught us that brands must develop marketing plans to engage with consumers, surprise and delight, drive sharing via brand evangelists and ambassadors and work with social media pros to maximize impact.

   

   

 

 

   

With an eye-watering 35 percent of the lingerie market, Victoria’s Secret has the world’s top models under contract and hardly needs a hand. Yet, in 2009, they launched a nationwide search for the newest runway Angel to represent the brand. The online and media presence are closely aligned to the retail stores. 

   

 

 Victorias Secret's Angels

 Image via Cyril Attias, flickr 2.0CC  

  

  

Lesson 6: Crowdsource Content

  

We’ve been hearing that content is king for several years and the crown remains securely in place. However, not all content is created equally. User-generated content resonates more loudly, drives distribution, creates word-of-mouth, prompts engagement, builds loyalty, gets shares that maximize tapping into free networks run by other people. As a bonus, social media activates mass media.

Here’s the million dollar question, where and how do you think you could take the learnings from these various examples discussed and integrate them into your branding strategy? Maybe your brand needs a complete overhaul and revitalisation with a strong rebranding strategy to give it a new lease of life.

 

Regardless of your business size there are opportunities here which even the most modest budgets could potentially leverage to great effect — with some solid strategic thinking and creativity.

  

You may also like:

  

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Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

Branding Amazon: 3 Lessons to Learn for Your Brand Success

  

Entrepreneurial Branding: 5 Top Tips for Brand Success

 

World Cup Branding: What Can You Learn from the World Cup Campaigns?

  

So, what do you think?

  

• Does your brand need repositioning or revitalisation and would a ‘job search’ brand strategy work for your brand? Full-time or interim?

  

• What is the most desirable aspect of working for your brand?

  
• Does a ‘job search’ brand campaign fit with your company brand culture?

  
• Would user-generated content work well for your brand?

  
• Where can you harness the best resources to develop your brand strategy, execute the plan effectively, get the required return on your investment and ensure all your brand collateral is cohesive, both on and offline?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Brand Trends: Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

As 2014 draws to an end, now is the time to review, revamp, and update your branding strategies for the year to come. Successful branding is the key to driving business growth and profitability – and in 2015, it will be more important than ever to have a strong, thriving brand.

 

In the coming year, to be successful branding will need to be even more customer-centric. Honesty, transparency, personalisation, and social responsibility will hold center stage, and the technologies that drive an effective brand strategy will be mobile, responsive, and real-time. Here’s a look at the top 20 branding trends your business can expect for 2015.

 

Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

  

1. Authenticity Drives Success

More than ever, your customers want to feel connected to your brand. Being authentic enables this type of connection, so make this a key strategy for 2015. Use valuable content and brand collateral to engage your target market and give your customers the opportunity to participate in your brand story. You can see more about what we mean by this in our recent blog about ‘Millennial Branding’ with particular reference to how Marriott International is making its customers feel authentically connected and participatory in their brand. With authenticity, you can create an audience of powerful brand ambassadors and harness the single most effective marketing force: word of mouth.

 

    

2. Mobile Matters More

While mobile markets have been growing continually, expect 2015 to be the year they explode. More of your customers will be using mobile than ever before – and you’ll need a brand strategy that responds to their needs.

Recent research from eMarketer shows that:

  • 50% of shoppers who conducted local searches on smartphones visited the store within one day

 

  • 18% of local smartphone queries led to a purchase

 

When it comes to marketing brands online, mobile inclusion is headed into mobile-first. Make sure you’re prepared with responsive design and increased mobile spends for your brand campaigns.

 

    

3. Metrics Turn Toward Revenue

Technology continues its rapid advancement, and in 2015 brand analytics will be more focused on revenue. This is made possible through automated marketing tools that measure brand performance in real time, allowing brand strategies to adapt quickly to suit emerging trends and changing customer tastes. Real-time brand analytics will also be critical to gain a competitive advantage for your brand.

 

 

4. Segmentation is Key

Many brands have the capability of appealing to different market segments, but not all are taking the opportunity to segment and diversify their brand campaigns. But in 2015, increasingly savvy customers will know exactly what they’re looking for – and your brand needs to deliver. This includes diverse sets of brand messaging, brand channels, and marketing approaches customised to each of your target demographics. A brand needs a well developed brand profile, using a system like our Personality Profile Performer™ which is used to create its story, values, promise, mission, personality, positioning and so forth in order to achieve cohesive brand messaging and effective segmentation successfully.

 

 

5. Brand Targets are Ultra-Personalized

Closely related to segmentation, 2015 will be the year of the customer, with individualised brand campaigns to match. Advanced customer data capture and innovative manufacturing techniques have made it possible for brands to deliver unique customisations, shifting the brand target from the masses to the individual. For example, Holiday Inn is moving its branding strategy toward customised holiday experiences that meet the personal needs of the traveller – from families to business travellers, young couples to adventurous singles.

  

   

6. Packaging Goes 3D

Brand packaging is a crucial component of your brand’s success, and the arrival of 3D printing technology has made it possible for brands to create innovative, customised packaging designs that draw in customers and stand out on retail shelves. In 2015, consider giving your brand packaging a boost using the latest technologies.

 

 

7. Streamlined Naming Conventions

The market is incredibly crowded, and customers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. To boost brand recognition and foster brand consistency, more brands will re-engage fundamentals and use clear, relevant names for products, services, and the overall brand itself. These short and simple names pair well with quick descriptors, creating easy-to-grasp concepts – think Google Wallet, Google Glass, and Google Play or Apple Watch and Apple TV.

 

 

8. Brand Stories Take Centre Stage

A compelling brand story will be an even more vital part of heart and mind capture to drive your brand sales strategy in 2015. Powerful and authentic stories that are worked into every element of your branding strategy can lift your brand, and provide the connection your customers are looking for. A great brand story evokes an emotional response, and most importantly, reinforces the brand experience for your customers. Creating irresistible brand stories is a key part of our brand profiling service when working with clients to help them create and build the personality of their brands, using our Brand Story Selling System™.

  

 

9. The TMI Line Blurs

For branding in 2015, there will be no such thing as too much information. Today’s customers crave transparency and want to know everything they can about a brand, often before they decide to make a purchase. Much of this transparency will be provided with updated brand packaging that clearly and efficiently conveys a wealth of information, including the brand story. As an example, Stone Creek Coffee’s Lab Series prints detailed coffee bean information on each package, including the elevation the beans were grown, the harvest date, and the name of the farmer who grew them.

  

   Stone Creek Coffee Ethiopia Chelba Cupping Notes

  Image via www.stonecreekcoffee.com

  

   

10. Cross-Channel Integration is Crucial

Brand consistency has always been one of the most important factors in the success of a brand. With more brand channels and customer paths than ever before, integration across channels is a must. Your brand design, messaging, and metrics should be presented uniformly at every touch point – from website and social media platforms to packaging, retail locations, and traditional media channels.

  

 

11. Customers will Not be Sold to

The marketing noise level is reaching critical mass. Brands that continue to “pitch” their products or services in 2015 will find themselves ignored. Customers are no longer interested in the salesy, hard-sell approach, and they’re savvy enough to know when your brand message is all buy and no bargain. Look to value-added brand strategies that highlight perception, inclusion, and the customer experience to help your brand sell itself.

 

 

12. Brands as a Consolidated Experience

Once again in the vein of brand consistency, the most successful brands of 2015 will present a singular customer experience – no matter where your customers interact with your brand. Your customers’ experience should not vary from PC to mobile to social. Look for ways to streamline your brand collateral and exceed customer expectations, delivering on your brand promise through a seamless presentation on all fronts.

 

 

13. The Video Explosion

Online video will continue to expand rapidly in 2015, and video should be an integral part of any branding strategy. Video is a popular, powerful, and engaging medium that helps brands strengthen their messaging and increase profits.

Some of the most recent statistics for online video include:

  • 100 million Internet users watch online video every day

 

  • 90% of online shoppers find video helpful

 

  • 64% of online shoppers are more likely to buy after watching a video

 

  • 80% of Internet users recall a video ad they’ve watched online in the past 30 days – and 46% took some action after watching the video ad, from visiting the company’s website to making a purchase

 

  • Video increases marketing email click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent

 

 

14. Brand “Smarketing”

The line between sales and marketing is becoming increasingly blurred, and 2015 will see even more integration as online selling converges with internet marketing. Both functions use many of the same techniques for promoting brands, including content creation and real-time engagement, and both have the same goal of revenue generation. Effective brands will combine marketing and sales into a fluid and cohesive set of strategies.

 

 

15. Brands Mobilise with Click-and-Collect

UK marketing research firm Mintel predicts that the popularity of click-and-collect (C&C) services will increase in 2015, and about 17% of all Internet retail sales will be collected by customers at these physical service points.

C&C services currently used across the UK include:

  • Amazon lockers in London Underground railway stations

 

  • Doddle pop-up parcel collection stores

   

  • Asda and Tesco C&C vans

 

  • Waitrose chilled food lockers

 

  • Argos food lockers (coming in 2015)

 

In a survey by Mintel, 35% of UK shoppers have used C&C services in the past year, and 64% say they’ll shop more online because of C&C services.

 

   

  

  

 

16. CSR Packs a Bigger Punch

Look to corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an even bigger brand trend for 2015. Today’s customers are concerned with both human rights, consumer rights and giving back to the community, and will reward brands that engage in visible social responsibility – while punishing brands that violate those rights.

Issues that matter in particular to UK consumers, according to Mintel, are returns policies, ethical treatment of workers, environmental policies, and negative press coverage. And for millennials, many make purchasing decisions based on a company’s ethical or political stance, such as brands that support the LGBT community.

 

 

17. Green Brands

More environmentally conscious consumers mean that brands must be aware of the environmental impact they have, and take steps to mitigate damage and leave a clean footprint. Packaging plays a large role in the battle for environmental friendliness. Brands that emphasize responsibly sourced, recycled, minimized, or biodegradable packaging can expect to be welcomed in 2015. This is a key consideration in all the brand packaging design projects we’re involved in with our clients.

 

 

18. Big Data Delivers Brand Insight

As the use of big data becomes more refined and accessible, brands will use it in 2015 to generate more personalisation and segmented brand approaches. Pretargeting is an emerging market strategy that uses big data to target customers based on their behaviours and preferences by delivering relevant messaging during the buying phase, instead of after it.

This type of advanced analytics can allow brands to predict trends before they’ve actually happened. Unilever partnered with Google in 2013 to do this, using big data to predict and capitalise on a rising trend in hair care. The YouTube channel launched by Unilever in response to this trend forecast, All Things Hair UK, became the number one hair care channel in its markets.

 

 All Things Hair You Tube

 

 

 

19. Social Brand Success is Pay-to-Play

Customers may be spending more time than ever on social media, but they’re spending it being social. The effectiveness of social branding as an organic strategy has diminished but pay-to-play advertising platforms on major social networks have increased in sophistication and effectiveness. Successful social brands will invest strategically in paid social media for smart, segmented campaigns, which will trickle down to increase owned and earned media effectiveness.

  

   

20. Facebook Fades for Millennial Brand Audiences

Speaking of social, in 2015 Facebook may not be the go-to network if your brand is targeting millennials and a younger crowd. While the social network with its own major motion picture is still the dominant channel, it’s far from the only game in town. Young people in particular are drifting away from Facebook – so if your brand targets millennials, it may be in your best interests to grow your presence on up-and-coming social platforms, such as Instagram and Tumblr.

  

  

  

 

At the close of 2014, take the time to thoroughly review your brand strategy. Consider a comprehensive brand audit to gain an accurate picture of your brand performance, and incorporate the trends that will change branding in 2015 with heightened transparency, authenticity, and customer-focused experiences.

 

So, what do you think?

• Is your brand strategy on track for success in 2015?

 

• How consistent is your brand presentation across all platforms?

 

• What is your planned spending for mobile? Video? Social?

 

• Are you targeting the right channels to connect with your target audiences?

 

• Does your brand platform represent timeless appeal? Could it benefit from a refresh for 2015?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

YouTube : The 2nd Biggest Search Source After Google, Is Your Brand On?

In announcing its daily traffic flow back in 2010 the video channel YouTube revealed they were the second biggest online search source after Google. That put it higher than Firefox, Bing and even Yahoo. The YouTube report said it received 2 billion views a day. That’s a statistic that put YouTube in front of all the major US TV channels combined.

 

Three years later nothing has changed audience-wise, except the site has increased in popularity. There are now four billion visitors a day and 60 hours of video uploaded on to the site every minute.

 

Meanwhile Google rates it even higher in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). YouTube videos show up separately so your page gets listed for the text and the video separately, effectively like two for one! Another interesting statistic is that eCommerce stores which show their products via video have much better conversion rates (says Google owned YouTube) then those that don’t.

 

Brands Can Have Their Own Online Channel on YouTube

Now the online video search source (bought early on by Google) has come up with an even better opportunity for brands, with the resources to invest in video content, with their own branded video channel.

 

Called One Channel its part of a redesign for YouTube which involves allowing content developers to start charging subscribers for viewers. To date there are 50 paid channels on YouTube including National Geographic Kids (US) and Samsung UK. Switching to One Channel means more tools to add and curate content, better graphics/art work and the ability to produce a trailer which can be targeted at non-subscribers – all of which greatly enhances to your brand’s marketing activities.

 

 

 

 

All this of course requires some upgraded skills, not to mention resources and agencies are already offering comprehensive packages to big brands.

 

The Benefits of a Brand Channel

Regularly uploading content and engaging with customers makes it easier for a company to build brand loyalty through cultivating an ongoing relationship – which is exactly what YouTube is hoping for.

 

Earlier this year YouTube made a huge leap towards its future strategy model. No longer is it simply a site where people upload videos. Instead it’s now a true social media site in terms of providing a platform where brands can engage with consumers in a dynamic and entertaining fashion.

 

Video Is More Effective Than The Written Word

Even if your brand isn’t at the One Channel stage yet, videos are still more likely to get your message across than a blog post or press release in isolation. That’s because they require less effort and time to watch, tend to be more entertaining and attractive to look at and give a stronger, more personalized sense of what the brand is all about. It’s a platform that really helps ‘bring your brand to life’.

 

 Zappos Advert

Image via Business Insider  

 

Online US eCommerce store Zappos has a YouTube video option for 50,000 products on its site with ‘real’ people talking about and reviewing their shoes. This ‘humanizes’ the brand and provides a sense of trust for consumers when they see that the person they’re watching is ‘just like them.’

  

 

 

 

 

 

Video Can Help Educate Consumers

‘How To’ videos have always rated highly on YouTube and this is where many smaller brands selling unique products – or those involved with DIY and crafts – can really excel.

 

US firm Homedepot show how to customize a pathway using the QuikRete WalkMaker they sell. Potential consumers who were perhaps ambivalent about buying the product because they weren’t sure if it was for them can now see how easy is it to use.

 

 

 

 

Video Can Enhance Customer Engagement

Tip-ex demonstrated brilliantly how a YouTube video can engage consumers. Its bear/hunter video received one million views within the space of just 36 hours and 100,000 shares on Facebook.

 

After 100 days the video had picked up a total of 35.5 million views in 217 countries. Brand exposure was estimated to be around five minutes per person. European sales went up 30 per cent.

 

The reason it was such a hit was because it asked viewers to come up with an ending to the script which involved a hunter who didn’t want to shoot a bear. The company went on to film what they regarded as the best endings.

 

A clever aspect of this campaign was the number of viewers who returned to see the different endings played out. Meanwhile, by giving consumers the opportunity to create their own ending, it made them feel as if they ‘owned’ the video and by association, the brand.

  

 

 

  

Other Reasons Your Brand Should Be Using YouTube 

  • It doesn’t cost much money to produce video content now, thanks to improvements in editing software and camera equipment. In other words, a video production company with an editing suite isn’t necessary unless you are producing high value video content. Video ‘blogs’ or ‘vlogs’ can be produced and uploaded using your smartphone.

   

  • You Tube is available on Smartphones and iPhones – just about anywhere that the internet can be accessed. Videos are easy to embed and share too.

   

  • Just like PPC adverts on search engines or advertising on Facebook, YouTube has a means of advertising via keywords. Advertising on YouTube is just as effective as the aforementioned but with one big difference – it’s less expensive.

 

Engaging with customers via a two-way process is one step away from encouraging them to become brand ambassadors through building brand loyalty. Video is such a mainstream activity today that companies which aren’t on YouTube can seem rather behind the times – particularly with a younger audience.

 

One Channel for brands makes it easier to bring together all forms of social media, while Google is putting particular emphasis on video when it comes to SEO.

 

Providing your brand’s story in an entertaining fashion and quick-to-digest format is more likely to attract visitors – and therefore customers – to your products and services.

 

• How are you using, or planning to use, online video to promote and grow your brand and connect with your customers more effectively?

 

• What type of video content could your brand upload onto YouTube – educational, informative, comedy?

 

• Have you investigated how easy it is to film your own videos as part of your brand strategy?