On a mission to regain number one revenue share in retail as well as grow its business audience without alienating its retail customers, Brother needed a strategy that conquered some unique industry challenges.
To achieve these goals as well as increase the sales of SMB, grow SMB and Managed Print Services, and increase overall awareness, consideration and preference, Brother set out to align with its business audience using on-demand video platforms, and billboards with a wider audience to capture retail audience as well.
Previously perceived as a retail printer business, two recent developments presented the brand with the chance expand into the business world.
These included becoming the authorised distributor for Konica Minolta’s A3 office equipment enabling Brother to widen its product offering, especially in the corporate sector.
Brother was also appointed a member of the All-of-Government Print Technology and Associated Services panel which helped with expanding into the public sector.
These developments signalled the beginning of a new chapter for Brother and required a reassessment of the brand, who its customers were and what they wanted.
Brother had always prided itself on providing reliable technology and this was reinforced by Consumer NZ who listed Brother as New Zealand’s top printer brand from 2019-2021.
An opportunity was found here to match this awareness and association with being reliable to that customer need for trust. And when it comes to printers, trust equals printers that don’t break down when you need them most.
Through research and workshops, Brother identified its unique value proposition: the Unsung Hero. The tagline ‘It Just Works’ resonated with the audience’s desire for reliability, pivoting from over-exaggerated promises that inundate the tech industry.
The campaign’s simplicity presented both a challenge and an opportunity. While ‘It Just Works’ resonated well on billboards, crafting an aspirational and motivating video message required a careful balance. The campaign’s success hinged on allowing customers to see or imagine themselves within the narrative, celebrating their accomplishments rather than the product’s features.
Addressing the industry norm of exaggerated promises and innovations, Brother’s risk in focusing on reliability paid off, positioning the user as the true innovator. The campaign’s success lay in its commitment to transparency, promising reliability while being available to troubleshoot any issues.
Working alongside brand strategy and creative partner Wave Agency and media partner MBM, Brother spent 18 months on this campaign from concept to execution. This cross-organisational engagement went well beyond the marketing team, involving executives, sales, and operations teams.
Once in the market, the strategy resulted in Brother’s market share outpacing competitors, reclaiming the top revenue and unit share positions in multiple categories.
It also increased brand awareness, prompting Brother to become the second most preferred printer brand.
Learning from this success, Brother recognised that authentic communication, acknowledging customers’ needs, and creating relatable messaging were key to engaging both B2B and retail audiences and has committed to the Unsung Hero platform.
Excellence in B2B Marketing Strategy
Brother: It Just Works
Wave Agency, MBM
The two deciding factors in making Brother the winner was the breadth of research, data, and validation across all stages of the funnel, was truly impressive, in a traditionally competitive market. An industry where product innovation is often incremental, the marketing strategy took a disruptive approach in a shrinking market disrupted by digitalisation.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kilwell Fibrelab, Kiwibank, RAGT NZ
This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.