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Brand Analysis The Economist

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A study on journey of The Economist as a brand, taken up as part of a Marketing course in MBA.

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Brand Analysis The Economist

  1. 1. Please view this in Slideshow mode For the optimal experience Press F5 to start
  2. 2. The Economist Interpret the world. Sharaddha Sareen / Aravind Suresh PGCIM 2013-14 Interpreting
  3. 3. A brand is born • Started as a weekly commercial newspaper, in 1843 • Became one of the first to invest in brand-building, in 1988 • Conducted market research amongst target audience • Came out with a highly differentiated poster campaign • Carved out a niche position for itself • Bagged more than 70 advertising awards • Created a premium club image among customers • Holds good till date…
  4. 4. “There’s always something in there which you can use to drop into conversation which make you seem really clever. I wouldn’t admit it but it’s great for impressing people.” - A respondent, at the 1988 survey Lose the ability to slip out of meetings unnoticed. The Economist
  5. 5. The backdrop • Company • Hedonic brand • Connects business and politics • Claims strong PoDs like ‘no by-lines’ and ‘weekly newspaper’ • Competitors • No real competition • Closest are Financial Times and TIME • Customers • The niche ‘higher’ reader • Collaborators • Book stores • Colleges • Climate • Flurry of newspapers and magazines • The brand maintains its position around the world
  6. 6. The seeker of value • Directed at “the worldly, intellectually curious.” • Many people start to read The Economist “after it’s recommended by a mentor, a professor, a parent,” • Start at a life stage where they are “open to new habits, new ideas” • A reader of The Economist in US enjoys average yearly income of $175,000 and average net household worth of around $1.7 million
  7. 7. Creating value • Segmentation criteria • Stage of life • Education • Occupation • Income level • Target Groups • Senior corporate executives • Students
  8. 8. The value proposition To the curious reader, The Economist is a weekly newspaper that delivers a compelling view of the world over multiple platforms through high quality independent analysis.
  9. 9. Positioning value • Liberal, not conservative • Commentator, interpreter and forecaster of the phenomenon of globalisation • High-quality, independent analyst • Objectivity, through editorial anonymity • Presence and strength across multiple platforms "It is to the Radicals that The Economist still likes to think of itself as belonging. The extreme centre is the paper's historical position“ - Geoffrey Crowther, Editor (1938 – 1956)
  10. 10. Value in words • The Economist : a weekly international news and business publication, offering clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world current affairs, business, finance, science and technology, culture, society, media and the arts. • The Economist Intelligence Unit : provides country, industry and management analysis worldwide. • The Economist Store : the online store offers various books (Brand and Branding etc.), diaries posters with excellent quotes, etc. “…not what you think it is. It's NOT about the economy. It's not dry or dull” - Paul Rosi, Executive Vice President – Economist Group
  11. 11. Bringing value to the seeker • Sales of 1.5 million copies, both by subscription and at news agents, in over 200 countries • Increasing online presence thorough website and mobile apps • Novel delivery channels, like Economist Radio “In the UK print copies are dispatched late Thursday, for Friday delivery to retail outlets and subscribers. Elsewhere, retail outlets and subscribers receive their copies on Friday or Saturday, depending on their location.” - The Economist Website
  12. 12. Appropriating value • Hedonic pricing model • Subscriptions priced 1.4 to 2.5 times above TIME in India • Promotes subscriptions at half the news-stand price • Online edition priced at par with print edition
  13. 13. Communicating value • Out-of-the-box ad campaigns, like ‘White out of red’ • Social media campaigns directed at the youth • Pricing promotions • Promotes trial by offering 69% discount for 12 months, with auto- renewal • Encourages long-term contracts by offering discounts between 72% and 77% • Targets students by offering 20% discount on list price and custom plans • Bundles newer online modules with print edition and offering higher discounts “…opportunity…to get people to engage deeper and connect with the premium content …” - Andreas Combuechen, Chairman – Atmosphere Proximity [Ad agency]
  14. 14. Changing Brandscape • Re-branding campaign in 2009 • Focus on students and ‘Generation Why’ • Public Customer perception as right-wing rather than neutral “Rossi frets that a big challenge for the Economist is getting prospective readers to shake off suspicions that it is a wonky periodical that's more of a homework assignment than a day at the beach.” - Paul Rosi, Executive Vice President – Economist Group
  15. 15. Challenges • Exclusivity Vs Readership expansion • Possible fall in advertising premium due to dilution of exclusive audience • Competition from free online resources provided by credible sources • Governmental restrictions in different geographies • Subject to censorship in India whenever it depicts a map of Kashmir • Sale of The Economist banned in Iran • Accused of hacking into the computer of Bangladesh Supreme Court Justice, in 2012
  16. 16. Critics of the critique “The Economist suffers from British class snobbery, pretentiousness, and simplistic argumentation.” - The Washington Post “The Economist uses ‘marketing genius’ to make up for deficiencies in analysis and original reporting.” - New Republic
  17. 17. Sample survey • 33% of respondents read The Economist • 55% of readers start at Graduation • 50% believe online should be free • 40% think TIME is the closest competition • 35% buy based on content • 30% read it at their workplace/ college Employee 28% Self- employed 24% Professional 19% Student - Other disciplines 19% Employee - Senior Executive 5% Unemployed 5%
  18. 18. Recommendations • Do NOT dilute the brand • Create awareness amongst young graduates • Communicate content above price • Sell multiple copies to libraries at institutions and corporates • Be conservative about online pricing
  19. 19. “You don’t want to be seen on the tube reading the Mail but you’d be rather pleased if you were spotted with a copy of The Economist under your arm” - A respondent, at the 1988 survey “I never read The Economist.” Management trainee, Aged 42
  20. 20. Thank You - Sharaddha / Aravind