Identifying distinctive assets for Jacobs Douwe Egberts

According to the ‘Penetration Brand Religion’, brands should consistently use their distinctive assets in everything they do. But how do you identify your most powerful distinctive assets? Read here all about how implicit measurement brought JDE’s ‘Aroma Lady’ back to the forefront of its packaging.

The challenge

Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), a Dutch beverage company; they have a portfolio of iconic coffee and tea brands in over 100 countries around the world. They wanted to get a better understanding of the distinctiveness level of its brands’ assets. The results aided the JDE team to create a coherent, immediately recognizable proposition; at the same time, they wanted to differentiate it from their competitors.

Distinctive assets are brand cues (e.g. colors, slogans, logos) that trigger the brand in the minds when seen, smelled or heard. As emphasized by the ‘Penetration Brand Religion’ thinking, which is inspired by gurus like Byron Sharp, brands should use these assets in communication and packaging consistently in order to build memory structures in the consumers’ minds over time, thus facilitating rapid and easy purchase decisions.

Our solution

Together with JDE we set up an innovative measurement study in 15 countries, using our proprietary implicit measurement tool. As memory structures are implicit by nature, the use of this time-pressured exercise allows to identify the strength and distinctive potential of various brand asset. In a competitive setting, we identified the extent to which brand attributes (logos, colors, tag lines and sound bites) are associated strongly and uniquely with JDE’s key brands. Next to testing the current assets, the approach also incorporated some past assets as well as some competitive ones.

The impact

This research delivered insights into what the most distinctive brands and assets are; and it also brought to light the strength of some former assets which are no longer applied actively, such as the old Douwe Egberts ‘Aroma Lady’ logo and the Jacobs ‘crown’. These results were used in a new communication and packaging design strategy; the ‘Aroma Lady’ occupied a far more central position on the DE pack as for design, color and size; and the new Jacobs design emphasized the key Jacobs brand assets, being crown, cup and aroma.

How did the client experience it?

“Applying the learnings of this survey to new pack designs lead to a significant increase of shelf performance (improved brand salience and SKU-find ability) of our brands.”

Pascal Mignolet, Head of Market Research at Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Would you like to learn more about the ‘Penetration Religion’ and our brand-religion thinking overall? Download the free Brand Religions bookzine or get in touch to learn what this could mean for your brand research.