So following a bunch of great assignments, the last a great one from Andrew (aka Northern Planner), it's my turn to set the assignment.
What I thought I'd do is try and set something that feels very 'real world' in nature. The majority of brands we spend our time working on are not new or 'challengers', rather they are established brands that are often number 1, 2 or 3 in their category. They have a rich history, a lot of established associations in the minds of people and a lot to lose if you screw up. More often than not our job is not about brand invention but about brand maintenance, re-expression and refreshment; the defensive not just the offensive role of communications. It's a rare treat to have a blank slate.
So here's the challenge. It's an American icon (at least on the supermarket shelves). It's about Mr Clean:
This is the brief (I may have taken some liberty with the numbers but the general thrust is real):
Mr Clean been the leading brand in home cleaning products in the US since World War Two. For many years, it's been a two brand battle in American cupboards with Clorox. And then came along a young upstart called method. Although its distribution is focused in the number 2 supermarket Target and its like-for-like product sales are overall a minor irritation to Mr Clean currently, it has quickly established itself as the brand with the most momentum in share term in Target and it has now signed a distribution deal with America's biggest retailer Wal-Mart. It's clearly a real threat. Our share of the category has been flat for over ten years, whereas method has gained 20% of sales in Target in less than five years.
P&G have become increasingly irritated by the success of this young upstart and feel they need to look beyond their existing agencies for new ideas. Your boss has just pulled you aside to tell you that your agency has a brief fifteen minute window in three weeks to convince the P&G CMO Jim Stengel that you are capable of developing a new approach to refresh the brand to fight off this threat. And this will primarily fall to you. You don't work on the brand but management like the work you've done on the brands you currently work on and want a fresh perspective. Which means your friend is the internet, not all the cabinets packed full of research and the relationships built up by the current account team. One final complication. The agency CEO is on vacation and you have to email him your presentation by September 15 so he can familiarize himself with it in time for the meeting.
So this is the task. Develop no more than ten slides for a 15 minute presentation that shows an approach to how Mr Clean can begin to not just defend share but actually grow volume share and profit over the next two years.
Some things to think about: What's the context? What's the challenge? What's the opportunity? How should the brand be reframed (if at all)? What can communications do? What's the strategic approach? How might this manifest itself? Who's the target audience - for brand growth, and the presentation itself?
As it's such a mainstay in the cupboards of American homes there's lots about it's history out there. The internet is your friend and this, this, this, this, this and this are not bad places to start.
Clear? Any questions drop a comment below. Powerpoint slides or word docs emailed to me by 11.59PM EST September 14.