Global recognition for our pioneering approach to brand strategy

October 22, 2014

Source: Nice Seafront by loan Sameli (Creative Commons)


We are proud to have recently received global recognition for our pioneering approach to brand strategy.

In addition to being nominated for a Research Effectiveness Award at the 2014 ESOMAR Congress for work undertaken with Simplot in 2013, The Lab received nominations in all award categories (Best Paper Overall, Best Case History and Best Methodological Paper) for our Cricket Australia case study.

In that case study, we demonstrated how a mixed methods approach – anchored in cultural and semiotic analysis – can help organisations manage the complexities of brand architecture and create a meaningful, unified master brand position with powerfully targeted sub brands.

The paper, which was co-authored by The Lab’s Neale Cotton and former Cricket Australia Marketing Manager Julian Dunne, proved particularly prudent given the landscape in which brand managers and marketers currently operate. 

Today, product commoditisation, competitive intensification and a shifting balance of power in the retail landscape, have heightened the importance of building deep brand connection with target audiences. Simultaneously, market fragmentation, channel proliferation, rapid product innovation often result in a product portfolio with unique benefits, with different targets, with seemingly dissimilar drivers and needs, which ultimately makes the construction of an effective and cohesive brand architecture increasingly more difficult.

Our paper revealed a method for overcoming these common brand challenges and demonstrated its application through our work with Cricket Australia.

Cricket Australia manage a portfolio of game formats, each with unique benefits and each with different target audiences.For example, the flagship format of Test Cricket, is a game loved by cricket purists for characteristics of mental strength and strategy, whilst T20 cricket, is a fast paced, high-octane format targeted towards younger generations.

Through the use of semiotic and cultural analysis, which identified a number of contrary and contradictory relationships that exist within Australian culture and cricket. With these insights, we organised a portfolio structure that not only enables each of Cricket Australia’s sub-brands to have an unique and powerful position, but also ensures that the sub-brands work synergistically to connect and reinforce the master brand positioning of Cricket as part of Australia’s cultural fabric.

If you’d like to hear more about our paper and how cultural and semiotic analysis could provide new possibilities for your brands, please get in touch with any of our strategy directors.