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The evolution of brand planning at Naga DDB Tribal

This post is sponsored by Naga DDB Tribal.

“Why would people care?”

That question is the core of everything the planners do at Naga DDB Tribal.

Today, we have access to a lot more data points and platforms to build the most robust consumer portraits imaginable – but over the years, I have realised the real challenge is not the lack of consumer knowledge.

The reality is people have much better things to do with their lives than to care for what brands (and ad people) have to say. Our job is not only to understand consumers, but to overcome indifference.

This led us to rethink the way we look at consumers today, and in the past two years, the planning team at Naga DDB Tribal started building some new capabilities that we have integrated into the planning process. Here are a few:

1: Behavioural science

We’ve always felt the classic view of one insight equals a winning brand proposition is a rather one-dimensional view of human behaviour. For that reason, the planning team recently launched the Naga Behavioural Lab, a behavioural science consultancy that designs ideas to “hack” consumer behaviour. Led by Josephine Phang, the principles of Naga Behavioural Lab are integrated into the core planning process – resulting in ideas that influence consumer action.

2: Newsroom

We believe that a firm understanding of consumers also should enable us to accurately predict the ever-changing consumer’s preferences and priorities. For that reason, we integrated all our data and analytics tools to create Naga Newsroom. This allows planners to constantly monitor the pulse of consumers every single day, and through a predictive model, anticipate what brands can and should do next

3: Pop-culture ethnography

Over the years, we have seen numerous big-scale studies aimed at explaining what consumers are like and what their preferences are. While those are important, we tend to feel it lacks context and cultural nuances. Using all our data tools, we created a methodology to study the changes in pop-culture and how it impacts people’s priorities and values. As a planning product, this helps us explain not just the “what”, but “why” people behave the way they do.

These three initiatives are some examples of the things we have developed to answer the question: “Why would people care?”

Since consumers are changing so rapidly, I believe that we as a planning team need to adopt less “planning models” and more of a “garage mentality”, where we constantly experiment and find new ways to develop better insights that inspire great ideas evident in the eventual creative output.

About Naga DDB Tribal

Naga DDB Tribal is one of Malaysia’s largest marketing communication and brand strategy agencies that also offers data analytics capabilities and renowned creativity that delivers business results, fully fledged digital marketing expertise as well as media advisory and planning/buying capabilities. Founded 30 years ago, the agency has consistently been ranked as one of the top three agencies in Malaysia for more than a decade.

The writer is Piwo Chia, chief strategy officer, Naga DDB Tribal.