MAKE A $4BN
Despite the pressure of a multi-billion dollar merger, we developed a highly-creative and category-changing positioning and identity and a unique brand architecture solution.
In 2009, WPP’s Kantar Group completed a takeover of global research business TNS resulting in a $4bn merger and an extremely complex brand architecture challenge.
BRAND STRATEGY & ARCHITECTURE
The merger brought together over 30 separately branded businesses, including established brands such as Millward Brown, Added Value and TNS. The goal was to rationalise these into a more streamlined and coherent offer under the Kantar name. This required extremely sensitive management of stakeholders who would be asked to surrender their own brands. The Partners worked with the group to develop a new brand that united the new business and aligned the diverse internal audience of 30,000 people behind the new brand.
We conducted interviews with individual CEOs to understand the business strategy and opportunities for each brand. From this we defined the market-facing brand architecture that simplified its portfolio into solution platforms for customers. We developed strategies for separate business units: Kantar Retail, Kantar Health and Kantar Media that aligned individual operating brands, supported by a tier of stand-alone established brands, such as TNS and Millward Brown.
We knew that success in this strategy would mean creating a powerful Kantar brand story. We discovered that a ‘kantar’ was a unit of measurement, dating back to the C14th. We combined this with the insight that clients buying research don’t want to buy data or information, but rather inspiration – an idea they can act upon – to create a compelling proposition for Kantar: A Measure of Inspiration.
The idea of A Measure of Inspiration was translated into a dynamic and modern identity to allow each individual brand within the group to retain its own personality. We turned the ‘K’ of Kantar into a device to highlight the impact of inspiration wherever it was found, and commissioned unique art-style imagery to give the brand its own voice, unconventional in the market associated with research. We then worked with each individual business unit to make the brand real throughout the business.
The strategy has created a strong Kantar family feel, but also allowed the specialist operations to communicate appropriately with their own unique audiences.
Today Kantar is one of the world’s largest data investment companies, connecting 12 specialist units under one brand. With over $5bn revenues and 34,000 people working across 100 countries, the group inspires national governments, media owners and over half of the Fortune 500 companies to make better and braver business decisions to succeed.