NOVEMBER 11, 2013

If you prefer to read this in a browser, please click here.
The Fundamentals of Building A Proper Brand Positioning
At a recent Marketing Science Institute conference, the executive director of the MSI and Dartmouth marketing professor Kevin Lane Keller outlined his approach to building a proper brand positioning. A good positioning must effectively capture how a brand wants its target customers to think about the brand in respect to its competitors, and consists of four key components: 1. A competitive frame of reference: Which category are you competing in and who are the target consumers in that category? 2. Two to four points-of-parity with competitors:. This is meant to demonstrate your credentials to consumers as to why you deserve consideration within the category. It can also serve to negate competitors' consumer-perceived advantages. 3. Three to five points-of-differentiation with competitors: This is where you illustrate why you're a better choice for consumers than other brands in your category, and how you're unique. 4. Brand mantra: This is not your slogan (that's for external audiences), rather it should be a three to five word phrase that captures the points of differentiation and spirit of the brand. For example, American Express' brand mantra is 'World Class Service, Personal Recognition.' In addition to these key components, Keller's other considerations for proper brand positioning include being aspirational and working to marry rational and emotional benefits of the brand.
So what? Keller's brand positioning exercise is both comprehensive and clear. As magazines continue their evolution into multi-platform brands, the attached document might be a useful set of guidelines for both editorial and marketing staff to use as they further define their brands for consumers and advertisers alike.
> Read more and comment
Nearly Three of Four Children Under 8 Use Mobile Media
A large-scale survey conducted by nonprofit organization Common Sense Media found that 38% of children under the age of two have already used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos or other media-related purposes. That number is up from 10% just two years ago. By the age of 8, 72% of children have used a mobile device, up from 38% two years ago. The percentage of children who use mobile devices every day has more than doubled during that time, from 8% to 17%. The average time spent with mobile devices on a typical day by those who use them is one hour and seven minutes. Time spent with traditional media (e.g. TVs, DVDs, video games and computers) is down by more than half an hour a day during two year period. Despite those changes in media consumption, television still dominates children’s media time, as 58% of children watch TV at least once a day. However, the nature of TV viewing is changing in favor of time-shifting, with 18% of TV viewing done on DVRs, 11% in streaming and 4% on demand.
So what? While the term 'digital natives' has already been coined for older kids who have been around digital most of their lives, perhaps we need to start calling children born in the past couple of years digital indigenous or digital natal. A large portion of the babies being born today will literally grow up with a mobile device in their hands. Although this age group is not among Condé Nast’s target audiences, they will be in a few years, and their mobile proficiency is likely to have a profound impact on the user behaviors and consumption habits we observe on our digital properties.
> Read more and comment
Less Mad Men and More Khakis: Mintel Reports on Modern Work Apparel
Post-recession, the workplace clothing landscape has changed. Corresponding with the rise of less formal work arrangements, like part-time and freelance jobs, the American workforce has adapted progressively informal and casual clothing as workplace attire. According to a recent work wear report by Mintel, among those employed full or part-time outside the home and who do not wear a uniform, about 40% wear business casual clothing to work most often and 32% wear casual clothing most often. Only 6% wear formal business attire to work. But, because the workplace has become more casual does not mean consumers are less style-conscientious -- one-third of those employed outside the home like to wear the latest fashions to work and 50% of women 18-34 agree with that sentiment. Buying new work clothes every season is important to 40% of women 18-34, which is higher than the 30% agreement by the total population.
So what? While more casual, consumers still place value on maintaining a stylish wardrobe to keep up a professional, modern appearance. As Condé Nast brands are fashion leaders, they are in a great position to lead the conversation around workplace attire as GQ did in its October issue (article linked below).
> Read more and comment
When Do Viewers Watch Online Video Ads?
Viewers are most likely to complete ads that appear in the middle of an online video (mid-roll), says a new study from Akamai and UMass-Amherst. Analyzing 257 million video ad impressions that were watched by over 65 million unique viewers worldwide, the study found that an ad is 18.1% more likely to complete when placed as a mid-roll than as a pre-roll, and 14.3% more likely to complete when placed as pre-roll than as a post-roll. The analysis identified additional factors that impact ad completion rates: 1) Ad length: Completion rates decrease with increasing ad length. 2) Video length: Ads are more likely to complete when placed in long-form vs. short-form content. 3) Visitor loyalty: Repeat visitors to a video provider’s site complete ads at a higher rate than one-time visitors to the site. Those who do not complete an ad tend to abandon early – two-thirds abandon by the time half of the ad has played. Overall, viewers have displayed more patience for ads than for performance issues. Viewers abandon at a rate more than three times greater for a slow-loading video than for a pre-roll ad.
So what? The finding that mid-roll placement is more effective than pre-roll placement runs counter to some of the past research that has been conducted on the subject. As online video viewing becomes more commonplace and viewers become more accustomed to ads within it, it will be interesting to see if mid-roll becomes the sweet spot for ad placement. Understanding when video ads are most likely to be viewed and completed can help Condé Nast optimize its monetization strategy for the growing range of videos it offers its audience.
> Read more and comment
Quick Takes
Android Operating System Runs on the Majority of U.S. Smartphones
> Read more and comment
For the First Time Ever, the Majority of Americans Support the Legalization of Marijuana
> Read more and comment
Led By Mobile, Newspapers' Digital Audiences are Growing; PC-only Visitors on Downswing
> Read more and comment
China Has Added 187 Million Mobile Internet Users in Three Years
> Read more and comment
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 |

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights