which the brand shows its prioritization for its customers’ needs with innovations and partnerships

Reckitt Benckiser, a company manufacturing household product from condoms to stain removers is a company driven by the vision and mission to deliver quality products to its consumersthat make a real difference to their lives in the home, health or personal care (Reckitt Benckiser, 2008). Vanish started as a stain removing bar in 1983 and today the brand is a global leader in fabric treatment care and is available in over 57 countries (Greco, n.d.). The primary focus of this report is around improving consumer engagement by building a strong and meaningful relationship with consumersusing digital platforms, primarily Instagram. The issues identified include: the brand is currently lacking consumer engagement on social media channels and low penetration due to developments of fabric materials in the fast fashion industry where most stains can be removed easily with just detergents. On conducting a detailed situation analysis and exploring academic research by using both primary insights from thecompany and secondary sources, it is suggested that one of the most efficient ways to increase customer engagement via multiple touchpoints isthrougha consumer intimacy strategy. Following in order, consumer engagement theories and the Value DisciplinesModel are used to support the strategy. Recommendations are twofold: short-term and long-term strategy. The short-term goal is to establish a brand presence and audience base on Instagram, while the long-term strategy focuses on building on the short-termstrategy by maintaining the long-term relationship with the audience. The report will finally deliver the conclusion based on research findings and the recommendations.2Analysis & Theory This sectionwill briefly go through current trendsin the laundry industry and the emergence of digital engagement to determineboth the challenges and opportunities forVanish in the market. Some related theories and framework will also be examined tobuild a solid foundation for theproposed strategies. 2.1Laundry industry and Vanish overviewWith strong momentum in the success of liquid detergent, more advanced mono-dose technologies from leading players are driving the demand for convenient products. This resonates well with the increasing number of time-trapped consumers in the UK (Passport, 2020). Hence, the market is fuelled with new multi-functional detergent pods with multi-chamber technology and advanced enzymes.Playing in a very niche market, the brand relevance of Vanish has always been stain-removal. However, with the new shift in demands as well as the launches of multi-functional detergents, Vanish’s USP is being taken over (Vanish, 2020). Due to technological advancements in the stain-removal market and growth in the fast fashion industry where most stains can be removed from synthetic fabrics easily with just detergent, Vanish’s market penetration is falling (Vanish, 2020). With new fast fashion materials like synthetic and blends, most stains can be removed easily with just detergent and consumers aresimply disposing of the old garments if they see tough stains (WARC, 2019).FromtheSWOT analysis,key trends in the laundry market, advancements in fast fashion industry, increasing number of unmet needs and benefits in the industry due to disposable fashion have altogether opened up more opportunities for Vanish to regain its position in the market[Appendix A]. The brand is planning to reposition itself from a mere stain removal brand into a multi-purpose brand while still maintaining its core feature as a stain removal product[Appendix B]. Additionally, with the proliferation in technology as well as the younger consumer profileconducted, several new products and services are in the pipeline to carter the untapped opportunities [Appendix C].2.2Digital Engagement and Social MediaAs the laundry market enters its maturity stage, customer engagement has gained more attention from brands and major players are urged to invest more in digital efforts and focus on consumer loyalty to maintain their positions (Passport, 2020). Consumer engagement refers to consumers’ voluntary investment in brand activities, which are generated via several touchpoints along their customer journey (Hollebeeket al.,2019; Dolan et al., 2016). A recent report showed thatthere is direct correlation between the level of customer engagement and business profitability. Companies that improved
5their engagement noticed revenue growth (Fertik, 2019). With the evolution of the Internet, most touchpoints are now virtual (Valos etal., 2014). A highlight form of digital touchpoints is social media, which employs web-based technologies and interactive platforms while creating trillions of connections with people across the globe (Hansen, Shneiderman and Smith, 2010).The integrationof social media in the UK is at a record high, with 68% penetration in 2019 (Statista, 2020a). As of 2018, 9 out of 10 businesses in the UK have accounts on social media (Statista, 2020b). Among younger audience, media sharing networks such as Facebook, YouTubeand Instagram are leading platforms in the UK, namely, Instagram with roughly 56% users being millennials and Gen Z[Appendix D and E]. Hence, digital or social platforms have become the main channels for brands, namely those in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, to engage with their consumers.An epitome of this practice is Persil with its most recent ‘Home is Good’ campaign, which is highlighted in the Appendix F. By optimizing their website and social media accounts, Persil successfully brought the brand closer to its consumersvia relatable topics while maintaining their voice and identity.Having understood the importance of consumer interaction, RB has taken on a new digital journey in the past few years (Fleming, 2018). This reflects in the CEO’s commitment to making the company more connected to better engage with consumersat every touchpoint (Gallen, 2019). Hence, it is only wise for Vanish to start adopting digital transformation to better market its innovations and deliver its extended benefits toconsumers. The SWOT analysis also shows that the brand has effectively penetrated Facebook and YouTube channels, however it can take its digital marketing a notch-up by venturing into other social media platforms [Appendix A].2.3Value Disciplines Model –Customer IntimacyVanish is believed to have adopted a ‘customer intimacy’ approach, which aligns with the current business plan of Vanish, in which the brand shows its prioritization for its customers’ needs with innovations and partnerships. Value Disciplines Model, which comprises of customer intimacy, product leadership, and operational excellence, gives the most generic and original explanation on this concept [Appendix G]. The model suggests that leaders in the market tendto narrow their focus when delivering their value to customers and strive to excel in one discipline while meeting the market benchmarks in the other two (Treacy & Wiersema, 1993).In the case of Vanish, the brand has exceled with regards to product leadershipas it is seen asaleader in the industry,whilein terms of operational excellencethe brand for many years has been seen as a brand that provides its consumers with reliable products atcompetitive priceswhilst delivering the product with minimum inconvenience to consumers(Vanish, 2020).Hence,the only aspectof the model thatthe brand currently fallsbehindinisthat if consumer intimacy.Customer intimacy reflects how a brand takes on a more proactive and customer-centric approach in identifying their target market, thus gaining more customer knowledge and building lifetime relationships with consumers. Organizations should continuously tailor one-on-one solutions for consumers with an aspiration to be a champion in this discipline (Treacy & Wiersema, 1994). Three main methods that measure the success of customer intimacy strategyinclude (1) reach and range, (2) cycle time, and (3) productidentification (Wiersema, 2002). While the first method involves the accessibility as well as the presence of the brand across different channels, the other two measurehow efficient the brand is in realizing the needs and their attempts to address what consumers want.3RecommendationBased on the VDM model, the brand has successfully adopted the latter two aspects by customizing their products with disruptive innovations and solutions to meet the latest needs of the customers. For instance, developing products for new sub-targets such as semi-professional resellers and rental businesses (Vanish, 2020). However, in terms of reach and range, the brand’s social presence is still behind the curve compared to other major players in the market.With more touch points being shifted online, a coherent digital marketing plan focusing on social media would be more effective for Vanish. An increasing number of UK brands have reported using social media to reach their target audience and retain their customers, especially through Instagram (Battisby, 2019). Due to the popularity of Instagram as well as
6the prevalence of competitors in this network, the following strategies will be tailored with an emphasis on Instagram while incorporating it with other digital platformssuch as Facebook, YouTube and the Vanish website [Appendix H]. To evaluate the success of these strategies, SMART objectives and KPIs are set accordingly.Objectives:•Increase online sales through the ‘Shopify” feature by 20% over the next 4 months•Increase consumer engagement through Instagram by 35% over the next 6 months•To educate the audiences about the brand & its productsKPIs include:•Click-through rate•Impressions & Reach•Conversion rate•Engagement rate•Followers gained•User-generated content3.1Short-Term Recommendation:The short-term goal is to establish a brand presence and audience base on Instagram by keeping the brand (image)and what the brand stands for as the focal point.As the brand is new to Instagram, paid advertisements will be used to build brand presence and try encouraging the target audience to follow the page. Through these digital platforms, the brand can advertise itself and engage with consumersto gain a better understanding of their needs and wants.Below are the three campaigns that will be conducted to raise awareness of the brands Instagram presence and engage with consumers.Water Conservation CampaignA 2019 poll conducted in the UK revealed that the environment is the third most pressing issue faced in the country (Carrington, 2019). People are concerned about the growing environmental problems and want to find solutions to curb the same. As consumers are growing environmentally conscious, a campaign supporting this movement will showcase the brand’s support for consumers needs andsustainability (Jones, 2020). This campaign would revolve around reducing the amount of water by using Vanish. It would be an informative post that will help consumers realize the amount of water that is wasted through washing machines and how this can be reduced. For example, a regular detergent takes multiple washes to remove a stain and some may even require a pre-rinse, thus increasing the water consumption. By using Vanish, the consumer will be able to get rid ofthe stain in the first wash itself, therefore saving water.This post will show the brand’s support for sustainability and state the benefits of using Vanish.As seen in Appendix I, the post will be avisualimagery of how water is continuously wasted by consumers daily routines and how Vanish can help in reducing this problem. Such posts will encourage consumers to purchase the product as in their own way they can help reduce water wastage. An article by Harvard Business Review, also stated that there is high growth in consumer purchase of sustainability-marketed products, especially in laundry care (Whelan & Sacco, 2019). Therefore, such campaigns will help improve sales.Did it Vanish CampaignTo generate engagement a competition will be conductedon Vanish’s Instagram. As seen in Appendix J, the lid of the Vanish box will contain an interactive challenge –‘Did it Vanish?’ which would include a QR code that would lead to Vanish’s Instagram handle. The audience will be asked to post a picture of a product before and after using Vanish and along with the results tag Vanish UK with the hashtags -#DidItVanish #VanishUK. These consumers will receive a shout out from the official account of Vanish. Additionally, there would be a personalized Vanish filter and GIF on Instagram, which will help attract more consumers and encourage them to participate in the competition. The winners of this
7competition would receive a gift prize. Having such contests will keep consumersengaged and create a stickiness that will help attract and retain consumers(Zhang et al., 2017). Having the QR code feature that links to Vanish’s Instagram handle will also help gain new followers and make consumersaware of Vanish’s presence on Instagram.‘Not Asking For It’ CampaignRecent reports show that instead of recycling, British consumersare purchasing and discarding clothes at a faster rate each year.One of the main reasons being distrust incharity donation bags. Evidence shows that scam companies posing as charities collect these items for a good cause but resell them for personal benefits. This has led to an increase in clothes thrown in landfills (Horton, 2020).Vanish’s current campaign ‘Love For Longer’ raises awareness on this issue. A digital campaign will be conducted to reach a wider audience and make them aware of this problem. The campaign, ‘Not Asking For It’ will be a series of posts that will discuss the importance of recycling and reusing products and how consumerscan help reduce the number of garments inlandfills [highlighted in Appendix K]. Vanish’s partnership with various re-commerce and clothing rental businesses such as Bump, Depop, Hirestreet etc. will also be a part of this campaign. By granting Vanish’s approval to these businesses, the brand will show its advocacy for these sellers and increase its brand exposure.A lot of consumers may go through a financial strain during the pandemic. Therefore,having a Vanish approved stamp will actas a seal of confidence in purchasing a second-hand garment as it will look as new as before. This partnership can be promoted via re-commerce social media sites. Hence, Vanish can gain more ‘buzz’not only from its owned and shared media but also from earned media such as partners’ sites as well.Overall, this campaign will emotionally appeal to consumers and encourage them to reuse and recycle their clothing items. The next section will delve deeper into the long-term recommendations.3.2Long-term recommendationsWhile the short-term strategy focuses more on trying to build up the platform and audience base, the long-term strategy tries to build on the efforts and success of the short-term strategy by creating a strong and meaningful relationship with the audience. The long-term recommendations consist of the following.Firstly, the creation of a content strategy is imperative. According to Halvorson (2011) content strategy involves (1) planning (2) development and (3) management of content. A content strategyis important to any successful marketing strategy as it allows for the following benefits to be realized. Quality content helps attract and engage with an audience and thus build consumer trust, furthermore, quality content helps consumers remember a brand and thus allows for consumers to engage more personally with a brand (ibid). With regards to sourcing content for their Instagram platform, Vanish can use a mix of created and crowdsourced content. Created content is usually tailored by the company itself to showcase its brand personality, thus, enhancing the brands credibility and lastly cultivating meaningful relationships with audience members (ibid). Whereas, crowdsourced content involves engaging with a ‘crowd’ to help with the creation of content that is valuable in terms of innovation, efficiency and problem solving (Budaket al., 2016). Crowdsourcing is a great way to communicate and engage with consumers and helps gain primary insights about what consumers think about the brand and its products.Vanish can use crowdsourced content on Instagram through the use of the ‘polls’ and ‘ask a question’ features to better gain customer knowledge and insight on their product choices or content preference in a more cost effective manner, thus, helping the brand to customize its marketing mix accordingly. An example of this is shown in appendix L. A content calendar should also be created as this will allow Vanish to stay on schedule and plan, an example of a content calendar is shown in appendix M.Utilizing Instagram as a CRM tool. One way of doing so is by using the ‘Direct Message’ feature on Instagram to track, record and monitor customer queries to avoid any negative word of mouth.Vanish must ensure prompt responses so that consumers feel valued and listened to. (Malthouse et al., 2013). A strong CRM strategy will capture and retain potential consumersby encouraging engagement between brand and its targets. (Malthouse et al., 2013).
8Instagram can be used to educate the audience as QR codes can be added to the product’s packaging whereby scanning the QR code will lead the consumer to the IGTV page, in which videos are used to demonstrate and guide viewers from the moment they purchase, use the product till the time they dispose of it.While the short-term strategy strives to ignite the initial conversations and engagement with the audience, it is vital to have a strategy to keep the conversation going. For the same, it is crucial to have data of those engaged with the brand to retarget them using various remarketing techniques. A route that can be explored to achieve this is by implementing the #SpinAndWin campaign. Everyone likes freebies, discounts & special offers (Lim & Ting, 2012). Playing on this insight, the idea of this campaign is to introduce a virtual spinning wheel with exciting gratifications on it.The teaser communication and launch of the campaign will be done by using Instagram posts, in which a call-to-action (CTA) message will lead readers to a microsite. To participate in the competition, individualsareasked to fill in a small form with some basic information. Along with the spinning wheel, key information about brand and products will also be displayed in the micro-site to reinforce brand identity with consumers.Instagram posts willbeused asthe primary mode of communication by utilizing the ‘link in bio’ and ‘swipe up stories’ with hyperlink features. Using a microsite will help communicate specific information while engaging with the audience(Kogan, 2020). Datacollected can later be used for continued communication via newsletters, emails, phone messages etc. An example of how a micro-site can be used is seen in Appendix N.The campaign will be created in such away to ensure it is GDPR compliantas a data consent form will be used along with furtherinformation in the terms and conditions section.Another important factor is ensuring that all social media platforms and the website work cohesively. To achieve this, the marketing team should ensure that no content is contradicting across platforms and the other platforms are linked in the ‘bio’ section of the Instagram account, as this might convert leads into sales. The ‘Shopify’ feature on Instagram can also be utilized to sell products directly to consumers (Thomas, 2020). The next section of the report of this report discusses the overall conclusions.4ConclusionsThis report starts by initially analysing the current situation that Vanish finds itself in along with various theories regarding consumer engagement and consumer intimacy. Through this analysis, it was discovered that the major problems that Vanish currently faces include a lack of digital consumer engagement as well as a decline in market penetration.For the digital marketing plan, the brand is suggested to adopt the consumer intimacy concept, which is demonstrated through the VDM model (Wiersema, 2002).With regards to this model the brand has not yet fully adapted in terms of ‘reach and range’ as the brand’s social presence is lacking when compared to its competitors. Hence the recommendations have been developed to further the brand within this regard and to meet the objectives that were set out for this report. Based on the CBA analysis, the recommendations section will be twofold, with a focus on Instagram. While the short-term tactics try to communicate with audiences via relatable and relevant campaigns, the long-term strategies strive to build on this momentum and bring the brand closer to its targets.Overall,the recommendations have been crafted in such a way to develop a dialogue rather than a monologue, something not many players in the industry are doing.However, one limitation of this report is how its central focus ison elevating consumer engagement viadigital approach.Since this digital marketing strategy report concentrates solely on inbound marketing and particularly on social media platforms namely Instagram, vanishshould also consider the outbound marketing approaches when implementing these strategies. By incorporating these strategies with traditional approaches like TVC and prints, Vanish can fully optimize its presence utilizing every available touchpoint throughout the whole customer journey, thus, enhancing its reach and range measurement.

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