NEWS22 April 2010

Engagement pays: that’s the bottom line, says Hall & Partners


UK— There’s money to be made from having an engaging brand, according to Hall & Partners. The agency’s new Engager model boasts a validated link between a brand’s index score and its profitability.

Engager breaks down engagement into nine key components, including brand advocacy, knowledge, understanding, integrity and participation.

Consumers use 14 questions to score a brand on these components, with each then feeding in to a composite index score which has been validated against the Forbes 2009 database of brands and their sales and profitability figures.

Richard Owen, Hall & Partners’ global head of innovation, said that using regression analysis the agency found a “0.67 correlation between our engagement model and company profitability”.

In layman’s terms, he explained, this mean some two-thirds of a company’s profits could be explained using the Engager model.

But the index score is just the starting point, said Owen. Once companies have been rated against their competitors and category averages, work can begin on identifying how to improve the various facets of their engagement ranking.

For instance, Hall & Partners identifies the strength of emotional connection as “the most powerful influence on engagement”, closely followed by the influence of others’ behaviour on our brand behaviour.

“It’s clear that some categories are more successful than others at building stronger engagement and brand relationships, particularly technology and entertainment brands versus finance and automotive,” says the agency.

In light of that, Owen says brands will be encouraged to look outside their own categories to learn the lessons of other brands in other sectors.

Engager is already being put to use by Virgin Atlantic. The airline is using the model to analyse perceptions of its brand in various countries and to identify how its communications strategy should be tweaked to address any weaknesses unique to individual markets.