How to Generate Stronger Claims

Monday, May 30, 2022

What compelling promise can you make about your brand, or about a hero product that you are about to launch? This challenge is especially relevant when product innovation and research budgets are tight, but you are desperate to bring "new news" to your current range of products. 

This blog highlights a few "top tips" to help you generate new and compelling claims for your business - even when budgets are tight!

1. Use an Insights-Driven Approach to Develop Winning Claims

Before generating new claims, focus claim generation on clearly-defined benefit platforms and associated consumer insights. Take the time to gather deep consumer insights linked to these agreed benefit platforms for your product. And don't feel that you need to commission new research - take time to revisit "old research" with fresh eyes and exploit insights from social media and from different consumer forums. Click on the following link to watch a short movie that outlines the different techniques you can use to quickly capture and identify deeper insights to inspire new ideas and claims.

2. Virtual Claimstorming Workshops

With great insights, you should be ready to generate and develop some great claims, and this can be combined with different "out of box" thinking exercises. We do this in a number of different ways, including virtual claimstorming workshops with innovation teams, together with our network of Creative Agents. We also look to get fast feedback to leading claims from target consumers in key markets from around the world. Watch the video below to find out more.

3. Involve Creative-Thinking Consumers

Run a claims generation workshop with creative-thinking consumers and cross-functional internal teams. It can also be beneficial to involve regional and global teams in the process as they can help identify potential claims that work in more than one market. Take a look at at a movie of how we run Ideation workshops with creative-thinking consumers. We worked closely with this team over two days to develop and refine a range of new and bold product claims for a leading drinks brand.

4. Build on Existing Brand Equity

Look to generate claims that link and build on the existing equity of your brand. Aim to develop claims that are truly insightful, different, memorable, aspirational and fit with the consumer perception of your brand. Take a look at the next TV ad below is a great example of a claim for Johnson's Baby that reinforces the powerful "soft and gentle" emotional equity of the brand...."our softest yet for even more cuddles".

5. Be Bold and Different

Don't be afraid to be bold and look to use compelling new claims to step change the positioning and appeal of your brand. Consider a wide range of potential claims covering single benefit platforms such as superior claims, influencer claims, ingredients claims etc. Watch the following TV for a great example of a claim that was very bold, and that drove the business for the Roc skincare brand for over 5 years.

6. Give a 'Reason to Believe'

When writing and testing early claims, consider involving creative agents and external copy writers to help refine language and specific words to make the claims more appealing. To overcome any credibility gaps in the claims, ensure they include words that give a "reason to believe". Watch the next TV ad of a strong claim ("actually repairs sensitive teeth") supported by a "good reason to believe" (novo technology demo and dentist endorsement).

7. Use Simple Language That is Clear and Compelling

Some of the best claims use "every language" that is clear and compelling...which can be equally supported with clear advertising images and consistent point of purchase messaging. External creative agents and good copy writers can provide strong support in this area. Take a look at a great example from the Innocent brand, with a clear and simple claim ("packed full of natural fruit and nothing else") supported by empathetic and insightful language that connects with the target audience ("probably like us, you are probably a bit rubbish at eating fresh fruit").

8. Make Final Claims Using Pictures and Not Words

We have run many projects where brands are limited by the claims that they can make, either for regulatory or for competitive reasons. However, this shouldn't stop the creativity as some of the strongest claims that brands make, turn words that brands would like ot use, into powerful visuals and advertising. One great example is an old campaign from Virgin Atlantic that ran a successful TV campaign with visuals supporting the launch of a new business class seat, with an inferred claim that you will "get such a great night's sleep, you will wake up looking and feeling years younger". I think they must have stolen the idea from Roc Skin Care in the example above! Watch the ad for inspiration, it is also great fun!

9. Link Winning Claims to the Name of the Product

The dream scenario is to have a winning claim that is linked to the name of the product, or an associated "on-pack" trade mark. On some projects that we run, patent and trade mark attorneys are involved at an early stage in helping to select the winning claim to progress e.g. if they are able to obtain legal protection for the key markets where the main claim will be used. The launch of Adidas Boost is a great example of how a name is linked to the main claim that they are using. In a highly competitive market, dominated by two brands, Adidas used a new technology with a compelling claim and name to stand out from the crowd.

10. Use Online Tools to Generate and Test New Claims

There are numerous ways to quickly engage target consumers via different online tools, both to develop early claims and importantly, to screen and gain feedback to claims with greatest potential. For example, in 2019, we launched a new platform called Zip-Zap Ideas®, an online collaboration tool makes it faster and easier for large teams to share and refine new ideas linked to a specific business challenge....in workshops and for on-the-go brainstorming (that's the "ZIP"). But importantly, Zip-Zap Ideas® gives innovation teams a fast and effective way to evaluate leading ideas with their wider target audience, including target consumers, to identify and focus on the winning ideas with greatest potential (that's the "ZAP"). Watch the video below to see how it works.

Some Final Thoughts

In addition to the top tips listed above, it's a good idea to involve people from regulatory affairs at an early stage in the process. They can advise on 'no-go areas' and ensure people involved in the project understand what it takes to own a claim / trademark or even a product name. Finally, don't just rely on your own judgement - ensure you have the budget in place to screen a range of potential claims with target consumers to make sure you select the strongest and most compelling claims for your market.

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

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