US Insights

Lessons from the World's Most-Chosen Brands

Kerry Corke

U.S. Country Manager, Kantar Worldpanel

Brands 11.28.2016 / 14:00


Want to grow your brand? Make it famous.

How can you make your brand bigger?

The answer is simple. Fame. You need to be known and loved by as many people as possible. To figure out how to do that it’s a good idea to take a look at some of the world’s most-chosen brands.

Global brands such as Coke, Colgate and Lays often lead the pack when it comes to consumer choice. But is it the case that 100% of households are buying these brands and buying them most often? Is that really what we’re seeing?

Simply put, no. There are four rules to follow to get your brand among the most chosen.

Penetration is King

Our analysis of thousands of brands shows that brand penetration is king. Brand growth and size are driven by the number of buyers of your product. How often they buy it -- the frequency -- is less variable and hard to shift, but is propelled higher as you drive penetration. According to this year’s Brand Footprint ranking, 79% of brands that grew did so by recruiting more shoppers. Of those that declined, some 84% lost shoppers. Only 2% of brands we analyzed reached more than 80% of a country’s households. There is room for growth whatever size brand you are.

Coke Penetration

Most Buyers Only Buy Brands Once

Most buyers will only buy your brand once. This pattern is universal to all brands and categories. While these light buyers might seem insignificant, their collective contribution to your brand’s success is invaluable. That is a lot of fragmented shoppers that you need to appeal to. But, brands with a higher penetration rate almost always see an accompanying increase in frequency. 

Buyers Don’t Belong to Your Brands

Customers aren’t monogamous when it comes to brand loyalty, and that’s what you want. Buyers who are 100% loyal tend to be infrequent category buyers. For example, the most loyal buyers of the 10 biggest brands in the UK account for only 8% of that brand’s spend. As a result, you want to drive more category use and purchasing and then you can use your marketing tactics to recruit them to your brand.,

Buyer Bases are in Constant Churn

No matter how well you attract buyers, half of them will not buy your band next year. This is often circumstantial -– you weren’t available in the store they were in, it was out of stock or not on sale. Your base of shoppers is constantly fragmenting. Just to stand still you’ll need to attract more. To grow, brands will need to improve on that figure further.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

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