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| The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE Chart of the Week | Hotels

January 23rd, 2020 No comments

MSW’s RDE Analytic Framework rests on a study that found that three equity dimensions (Relevance, Differentiation, Emotion) are responsible for driving a significant portion of brand growth.  Our ongoing Chart of the Week series is dedicated to sharing RDE results for a variety of categories.      

If you have questions about your category or want your own Chart of the Week – give us a call.      

TBSM / RDE Assessment of 8 mid-range hotel brands among over 800 male and female users of hotel services led to the following insights:

  • Courtyard by Marriott leads all brands in terms of both RDE composite and brand preference, followed by Hilton Garden for both metrics.  As mid-plus properties, it makes sense that they have the highest levels of both Differentiation and Emotion versus all other brands studied (Hyatt Place is also mid-plus but is likely constrained overall by a relatively low number of locations).
  • In addition, Courtyard, Hilton Garden and Hyatt Place are each particularly strong in terms of RDE among heavy and moderate hotel services users.  In contrast, Holiday Inn Express is the overall RDE composite leader among light hotel services users.
  • Holiday Inn Express is the lone brand for which Relevance is the strongest of the three RDE dimensions.  This is likely due to the chain’s very large number of locations.
  • The contrast between Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn is interesting.  Express has a slight lead in Relevance due to its ubiquity.  Moreover, Express holds a much more commanding lead in terms of Differentiation.  This may be due to generally newer properties and perks (free breakfast, free wifi) that differentiate it from Holiday Inn or also its business orientation that would appeal to road warriors.  On the other hand, Holiday Inn holds an advantage in Emotion over Express, possibly due to heritage and also the presence of full-service restaurants, bars and event space.
  • Fairfield Inn and La Quinta bring up the rear in terms of RDE composite with remarkably similar profiles.  Comparing the two, Fairfield is somewhat stronger among younger people while La Quinta is relatively stronger with 55+.  Fairfield is also stronger in the Northeast, especially in terms of relevance, while LaQuita is relatively stronger among lower income individuals.
  • The RDE composite is strongly related to brand preference in this category, with a correlation of 0.89.  Hyatt Place exhibits somewhat lower preference than might be expected from its RDE level, likely due to the relatively lower number of properties versus the other brands studied.

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| The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE – Chart of the Week | Credit Cards

January 9th, 2020 Comments off

MSW’s RDE Analytic Framework rests on a study that found that three equity dimensions (Relevance, Differentiation, Emotion) are responsible for driving a significant portion of brand growth.  Our ongoing Chart of the Week series is dedicated to sharing RDE results for a variety of categories. 

If you have questions about your category or want your own Chart of the Week – give us a call.

RDE Assessment among major Credit Card brands was taken among 500 men and women. Comparison of the results between American Express, Discover and one of the leading bank card issuers (Capital One) led to the following insights:

  • American Express lagged its rivals in terms of Relevance, likely due to the brand being accepted at fewer retailers given the higher fees the brand charges retailers.  Capital One leads in Relevance likely due to broad acceptance of the Visa and Mastercard networks and the fact that in terms of cards in circulation the brand is close to parity with Chase as leader in the category.
  • On the other hand, American Express leads in terms of Differentiation.  The card is still viewed as a luxury brand which is typically a strong differentiator in the minds of consumers.
  • Capital One and Discover lead American Express in terms of Emotion.  Capital One likely builds emotional connection with consumers through heavy advertising often featuring celebrities such as Jennifer Garner.  Discover also has a strong advertising presence and appeals such as no annual fee and first year cash-back match may build loyalty and likelihood to recommend.
  • Capital One’s lead in overall RDE score reflects its lead versus American Express and Discover in terms of both brand preference and share of cards in circulation.
  • On the other hand, American Express leads the other two brands in RDE among heavy credit card users, driven by very strong Differentiation and Emotion levels among these key consumers.
  • Discover has a relative strength among women, but also surpasses Capital One among heavy users.

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| The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE Chart of the Week | Department Stores

December 13th, 2019 Comments off

MSW’s RDE Analytic Framework rests on a study that found that three equity dimensions (Relevance, Differentiation, Emotion) are responsible for driving a significant portion of brand growth and brand strength. Our ongoing Chart of the Week series is dedicated to sharing RDE and CCPreference® Brand Strength results for a variety of categories.

  

If you have questions about your category or want your own Chart of the Week – give us a call.

  

The holiday shopping season puts beleaguered brick-and-mortar retailers under the gun to perform.  This Brand Strength Monitor and RDE Assessment taken in the run-up to the holiday season among 500 men and women for eight major Department Store brands led to the following insights:

  • Retailing success story Kohl’s leads the pack in both RDE composite and brand preference.  Kohl’s is particularly strong in terms of relevance, bolstered by favorable locations (strip or power centers rather than enclosed malls), smart traffic-building tie-ins (Amazon, WW, Aldi, Planet Fitness), data-driven merchandising and a general shopper-friendly atmosphere.  Kohl’s higher than expected Preference is among older (55+) people in the Midwest who are light department store shoppers..
  • Off-price retailer Ross Stores is another success story.  Much more than any other retailer studied, Ross’ RDE and preference are strongly driven by those with less than the median level of income. Ross is well positioned appealing to younger women who are heavy Department Store shoppers with a particular strength in the West.  Ross is particularly strong relative to other stores in terms of differentiation, which is the dimension for which below median consumers particularly rate Ross high, presumably attributable to the store’s low prices and treasure hunt concept.
  • With steadily declining sales, JCPenney is currently anything but a success story. People are skeptical about JC Penny’s Differentiation, but they are willing to recommend the store to their friends.  It appeals to older men.  JCP still boasts a relatively strong RDE level, bolstered by a high Emotional connection level likely driven by the store’s long history as a retail giant.  However, consumers don’t get how JCP is different in today’s world as its stores are mainly located in declining mall areas, consumers are confused by the retailer’s changing pricing strategies and the company struggles to identify brand-defining elements to incorporate into its retail space.
  • With the off-price segment being one of the few bright spots in the current retail landscape, sister brands TJ Maxx and Marshalls have also seen strong results.  With less extreme pricing than Ross, these stores perform substantially weaker among below median consumers on all RDE dimensions, while performing better than Ross among above median consumers.  TJ Maxx’s weakness is in the North East.
  • With far fewer locations than the other brands included in the study, Nordstrom understandably lags in terms of Relevance.  However, Nordstrom is the only brand included in this study for which Differentiation is the strongest of the RDE elements.  This is likely due to such things as Nordstrom’s customer experience, its e-commerce leadership among major department stores and its successful off-price offering, “Nordstrom Rack”.
  • The RDE composite shows a strong relationship to brand preference (r = +0.90).  In general, the off-price brands have somewhat lower brand preference than would be expected from the RDE level. This isn’t surprising given there is an established trade-off across categories between price and brand preference.
  • Macy’s appeals to people who have a high education, employed with low incomes.  

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