How to Own a Compelling New Claim?

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Finding a winning claim can help step-change the consumer appeal of a brand or product; communicating a memorable promise about the product's benefit that is more compelling and that grabs the attention of the relevant target audience (making them want to buy and try). However, the holy grail for marketeers is how to exclusively own a winning claim for your brand? 

We have been helping leading brands develop new claims for the past 15 years. This short blog touches on five thoughts to consider, when looking to develop new claims, either in support of an existing hero product, or to maximise the launch and growth of a new brand. And in addition to the thoughts below, take a look at last month's blog post on the steps to follow to develop winning claims.

1. Link Claims to Names and Trademarks

Owning a winning claim is a dream scenario for many brands. Being first certainly helps; “keep repeating the claim” is key; but real ownership is normally achieved if you can link the claim to the name of the product, or to an associated "on-pack" trade mark. The launch of Adidas Boost in 2013 was a great example, with their claim: "a new running shoe proven to boost your energy and boost your running performance. Sole made with thousands of BOOST™ energy capsules that provide more energy than any other running shoe. Running will never be the same."  Ten years later, the Boost name continues to be used with the latest UltraBoost® range together with claims linked to improved running performance. So with this thinking, before you even come up with a name for a new product....start to think about what you want the brand to stand for and the claims you want to keep on making. 

2. Being First With The Claim....Probably Helps

There are clearly advantages of being first to the market with a new claim, especially if the claim is truly disruptive, compelling and challenging to competition. Facial skincare is a fiercely competitive category where we have worked as an agency, and one of our first claims projects was for Roc, a french based skincare brand owned by Johnson and Johnson. Our work with the internal innovations team produced the following winning claim: "clinically proven to give ten years back to your skin so you can dare to tell your age."  This claim was used extensively in advertising and promotional materials for over 5 years, driving the brand's growth and market share until competition finally caught up, with products that could deliver similar benefits.  The brand clearly had a huge advantage by being first, however, the advantages are short lived if you don't have the confidence and funds to keep investing in the claim, helping to make the claim synonymous with your brand.

3. Support Your Claims With Evidence

Whilst a new claim might be disruptive, is also has to be credible. Maintaining "claim ownership" therefore requires clear evidence and data, not only for regulatory bodies, but also that can be easily explained to your brand's target audience.  A good example comes from GSK and how they continue to support Sensodyne®, a brand of toothpaste that is over 60 years old and is specially formulated for sensitive teeth. In 2013, they launched their "Repair and Protect" range, with new NovaMin technology with supporting ongoing TV campaign and demos communicating that the "revolutionary toothpaste can actually repair the sensitive part of the tooth".  The claim continues to be made by the Sensodyne today, with the sub-brand name "Repair and Protect", together with ongoing evidence and endorsements by dentists worldwide.

4. Be Consistent With Brand Equity Values

Your chances of owning a new claim are truly enhanced if the new claim is linked to the existing values of the brand, and your target audience's feeling about what you have offered before.  It is also important that the claim's tone of voice is consistent with language that is associated with the brand.  So, if your brand stands for simplicity, make sure your claims are clear and simple. If humour is a key part of the brand, make sure the claim makes you smile. Innocent smoothies, a UK drinks brand uses simple language to communicate that "our drinks and smoothies are packed full of natural fruit and nothing else!"  And humour is consistently used by Unilever's Axe / Lynx Brand, appealing their Gen Z audience with their latest "Goat campaign" for Lynx Africa, the "greatest fragrance of all time".   

5. Keep Repeating Your Core Claim

Finally, ultimate "claim ownership" truly comes if you are confident in the core claim and are prepared to keep repeating it, year after year (along with associated marketing investment).  Of all the brands we have worked with, Johnson's Baby is a great case study of a brand that consistently communicates product benefits of softness and gentleness, with their iconic "no more tears" logo.  This appears on almost all of their packaging as a registered trademark, and underpins other claims made in support of new products that are launched.  For example, "as gentle to eyes as pure water" or "our softest formula for even more cuddles".   

If you want to know more about how we write winning claims, take a look at one of our older blog posts on how to write more compelling claims

Get in touch if you have any questions or comments - we'd love to hear from you.