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May 09, 2017

Cecy Shveid, SVP, Planning, RAPP Dallas

Gone are the days when you could live a secluded and anonymous life. Sure, you can lock yourself at home and avoid seeing anyone for months — but if you have a phone, a credit card, or an email address, someone can potentially know you better than your spouse does. Worse yet, you may not even be aware of it.

Relying on the Internet comes at a cost, and security issues are becoming more common. In 2012, one in four Americans fell victim to a data security breach, and in 2015, nearly every American was affected by at least one breach.

So what’s at stake in a data-driven, digitally enabled world?

Most of the time, security breaches occur when hackers target company databases, which store millions of customers’ and employees’ private information. And these data breaches don’t harm individuals alone; the companies affected also experience plummeting stock values and sales, as well as a loss of customer confidence.

These types of ongoing threats have consumers rattled, and 45 percent of the public is more worried now about online safety than a year ago, according to the U.S. Consumer Privacy Index 2016.

Companies that experience customer data breaches also face backlash, with 54 percent of customers saying they’d think negatively of those companies, 75 percent saying they’d stop purchasing from them, and 59 percent even threatening to take legal action against them.

That being said, many Internet users aren’t taking extra precautions to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. Most people rarely change their passwords, and only two-thirds of those surveyed use antivirus software. In addition, only half regularly update their operating systems, and 73 percent of online accounts are protected by passwords that match those users’ passwords elsewhere.

The Challenges of Repositioning

It’s against this cultural backdrop that Zix, a pioneer and leader in data security, asked RAPP to conduct a repositioning and rebranding exercise for the company. Led by new management’s desire to modernize the brand and grounded in their improving and expanding protection capabilities, a core objective for RAPP was finding ways to connect with new audiences without alienating those that drove it’s success in the first place.

Additional challenges included designing a messaging hierarchy that ensures relevance across a number of decision makers driven by different needs; elasticity to connect throughout the customer journey where needs evolve over time; and positioning the company not just for its current offerings but also for where it could organically grow in the future.

To achieve this, we first had to understand the barriers behind the inertia that so often kept consumers, companies, and governments hesitant to act to protect sensitive information.

What We Found

Our team conducted extensive research among data security decision makers, and we uncovered a key insight: Although everyone shared the rational desire to protect information, their emotional motivators were quite different. Each segment had different fears and concerns, which often hindered their ability to align and act.

We tested a number of concepts aiming to address the tension between deep concern and difficulty to act and uncovered the keys to driving different target audiences to act based on their specific needs and pain points. This allowed us to create a messaging hierarchy that clearly defined the best way to connect with and motivate each specific target segment.

An additional discovery was that popularity doesn’t necessarily drive persuasiveness, and being friendly and inclusive can in some cases be counterproductive. It’s a dangerous world out there, and when it comes to data security, people crave powerful protection more than warm and fuzzy feelings.

In summary, it’s key to remember that when conducting an exploration focused on brand positioning, we need to consider data analytics’ ability to facilitate segmentation and hypertargeting that allows you to communicate meaningfully with people driven by different priorities.

Equally important is to consider the entire journey and relationship you want to build between the brand and its customers in the long run, keeping in mind their evolving mindset, challenges, and needs during the different stages of the path to purchase and beyond. With these things in mind, you’ll be able to position a brand that’s built for today’s data-driven world.

SVP Planning Cecy Shveid, RAPP Dallas, has 25 years of experience building global brands and business through heart-opening insights and data-driven strategy. She brings a broad range of experience in multichannel marketing communications, applying qualitative and quantitative research and proven methodologies to drive perception, engagement and behavior to transform brand experiences. Clients include Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Diageo, Samsung, HP, Citibank, Chase, Walmart, Sears, AFI, and Cinemark.

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