Only one third of Czech consumers can recall a unique brand

11/04/2022

According to a new study, The State of Brand Experience in the Czech Republic1, only a third of people have been positively surprised by a brand recently. The vast majority of surprises were related to products and their features, while only one percent of respondents appreciated the unique approach or service of the brand. In light of the new shopping reality, intensified by the pandemic, the study examines a total of sixteen established brands across seven consumer categories2 and evaluates in detail if they are really delivering what they promise to their customers in their philosophy and marketing propositions.

Today, brands are in a difficult situation – they have to fight for their place in the sun on more fronts than ever before. The customer is much more demanding than before, so to stand up, they have to really deliver what they promise. "We were interested to see which of the brands on the Czech market actually have a real impact on people and their lives. We focused on which brands can surprise in a positive sense and deliver memorable experiences – and because of that, they have a place in the minds of customers. The results show that the differences in the perception of brand uniqueness are diametric. Companies often do not have a realistic picture of their own services and the experience they provide to customers," said Jiří Jón, Head of Strategy & Consulting, Ogilvy, and Petr Tomáš, Consumer Research Skillhead, GroupM.

"The age group under 29 is the smallest socio-demographic group in term of representation in the population, so there is a lot of possibilities for differentiation and reaching out to the older population. With all the marketing arsenal available to brands, it is also an interesting finding that the primary source of satisfaction and positive emotion is product features and quality. Although, product and price are only half of the classic marketing mix."

― Jiří Jón, Ogilvy Consulting

Nicely brands surprise only a third of people.

Only 33% of people have been surprised by a brand recently. Women are the most likely to be surprised by brands, but the main differences are between age groups. "The under 29 age group is the smallest socio-demographic group in term of representation in the population, so there is a lot of possibilities for differentiation and reaching out to the older population. With all the marketing arsenal available to brands, it is also an interesting finding that the primary source of satisfaction and positive emotion is product features and quality. Product and price are only half of the classic marketing mix," explains Jiří Jón from Ogilvy.

In a simply way, consumers are surprised that the product is exactly as it should be, or even better – the coffee tastes better than expected, the shampoo washes well, the vacuum cleaner vacuums reliably. After product features (35%) and quality (29%), price (12%) is also a reason for surprise, but in significantly fewer cases.

The best customer experience is provided by Air Bank, Lidl, IKEA or Starbucks.

Air Bank, dm drugstore, Lidl, Hornbach, IKEA, McDonald's and Starbucks are the best brands in credibility and delivering on their marketing propositions. "At first glance, the category leaders do not have a big lead over the others in terms of how they deliver on their propositions. But the differences in brand strength are huge, even if it is a small difference in scores. In the categories we focused on, there were very few moments of surprise. People simply don't notice the brands' unique approach much in them. They are more likely to be surprising by default where people are experiencing the category for the first time or after a longer period of time. On the other hand, the categories studied are used relatively frequently by people, so it is worth investing in the brand experience within them. It is the unique experience that can differentiate a brand from its competitors in the market," explains Petr Tomáš from GroupM.

"At first glance, the category leaders do not have a big lead over the others in terms of how they deliver on their propositions. But the differences in brand strength are huge, even if it is a small difference in scores. In the categories we focused on, there were very few moments of surprise. People simply don't notice the brands' unique approach much in them. They are more likely to be surprising by default where people are experiencing the category for the first time or after a longer period of time. On the other hand, the categories studied are used relatively frequently by people, so it is worth investing in the brand experience within them. It is the unique experience that can differentiate a brand from its competitors in the market."

― Petr Tomáš, GroupM

Due to the legacy of the past, old habits or being tied to corporate processes, it often happens that brands try to differentiate themselves with creativity. However, remain the same or similar to all others in terms of product, operating model and visual style. This results in little differentiation from competitors. Brands find themselves in a sea of sameness and lose their uniqueness. In addition to the research results, the State of Brand Experience in the Czech Republic study describes three current challenges for brands in terms of "brand experience" and includes specific recommendations on how to build a unique brand experience.

You can download the full study with complete results, including detailed brand rankings, at this link.

[1] The State of Brand Experience in the Czech Republic study was created in cooperation between Ogilvy Consulting and GroupM. A total of 973 people across the Czech Republic, who are also users of individual categories, were surveyed (each person could rate a maximum of three categories). The research was conducted in two parts in the form of an online questionnaire – in the first part respondents answered general questions about the uniqueness of the customer experience, in the second part they directly evaluated the marketing propositions of selected brands.

[2] The categories surveyed were Super/Hypermarkets, Drugstores, Hobby Markets, Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores, Banking Services, Fast Food Chains, and Café Chains.