Sonar acquires Preely. A new era of consumer insights awaits.

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Sonar acquires Preely

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Master Brand Perception: The Power of Consumer Narratives

Brand perception is not just a buzzword in the marketing world—it’s a critical element that shapes consumer behaviour and decision-making. The way consumers perceive your brand affects their trust, loyalty, and purchasing decisions.

Yet, mastering brand perception is not much of a joy ride. Most of the time, marketers and brand professionals will flat-out ignore it and focus only on brand identity – much to their loss, really.

In fact, the clash between your brand identity (a.k.a. how you would like to sound) and consumer brand perception (a.k.a. how your consumers hear you) can only morph into messaging mismatches, which will only frustrate your communication efforts.

So, how do you focus on and master consumer brand perception? In this blog post, we’ll show you how understanding your consumers through their narratives will help you discover, master, and influence their perception of your brand.

So…What Is Brand Perception?

In short, brand perception refers to how the outside world views and interprets your brand. It encompasses your consumers’ beliefs, attitudes, and impressions of a company, product, or service.

Brand perception is instrumental in shaping consumer behaviour in decision-making. Indeed, positive brand perception builds trust, loyalty, and consumer advocacy.

Think about it: don’t you have that one brand that, for your own reasons, you’re inexplicably loyal and attracted to? It may be a specific snack whose flavour elicits childhood memories, or a clothing brand that instantly makes you feel fashionable.

This leads to a key challenge: while companies may have one brand identity, they can have as many brand perceptions as they have consumers.

Circling back to our prior example, your favourite snack may be seen as unhealthy by others; your top-choice clothing brand as cheap or distasteful. And yet, both you and the rest of the world are exposed to the same brand!

How Do You Influence Brand Perception?

As a marketer or a brand professional, it’s your role to choose what consumers you want to appeal to most, and how to influence their perception with your messaging. And the most traditional influencing tools you are going to use are:

  • Branded promotion. Brand messaging and advertising play a significant role in how consumers perceive a brand.
  • Customer experience. Interactions between consumers and the company at every step of the journey reflect the brand and values of the company. For instance, your customer service, website, or physical stores can shape brand perception.
  • Online presence. Social media, review platforms, and online communities contribute to how a brand is perceived.

Yet, using these levers without understanding your customers is like shooting at a target blindfolded: you may have the fanciest and most efficient gun out there, but your chances of hitting the bullseye are slim.

To get to the bottom of consumer understanding and put your influencing levers to good use, you’ve got to gather deep and meaningful consumer insights. And one effective way to do that is via consumer narratives.

The Key to Perfect Brand Perception: Consumer Narratives

Consumer narratives are the stories and experiences that consumers share about their interactions with a brand. They hold tremendous importance because they offer unique insights into how consumers perceive your brand.

By capturing and analyzing consumer narratives, businesses gain a deeper understanding of their target audience, their needs, and how they perceive their brand.

Qualitative consumer research, like unmoderated and moderated interviews, is perfect to help you collect your consumers’ stories. Ask your consumers to open up and share their stories on video: you’ll end up with a trove of deep, qualitative data you can use to understand how they see you and your brand.

In turn, you can use their insights to shape your branded promotion, consumer experience or online presence.

At Sonar, we have spent the past four years building a proprietary AI-powered platform to help you do just that, with no qualitative research experience required. In simple terms, we have built an AI that has learned to code and structure information and emotions provided in video interviews into actionable insights.

This means that when our platform has captured video of, for example, 15 participants delivering interviews based on a designed study for brand perception, our AI will turn these interviews into structured data and clear, actionable insights within minutes. This task would normally take hours upon hours of work by experts listening to and analyzing the data. If you want to learn more, you can book a demo here.

How to Master Consumer Narratives: a Case Story

Consumer narratives provide a wealth of information that businesses can use to uncover and improve the way consumers see your brand. By condensing individual stories into key themes, you can spot the common emotional drivers and produce actionable, contextualised insights.

But enough theory. Let’s see how EPOS used consumer insights to realign its brand efforts. The Danish Computer and Electronics Manufacturer used stories from its gaming audience to learn how its brand was perceived by gamers worldwide. It also learnt how it stacked against other popular gaming brands in terms of quality, prestige, reliability and gaming relevance.

By hearing stories from its audience, EPOS discovered how to refine its multimedia communication, the venues where it could promote its brand more aggressively, where gamers spent most of their time using its products, and why. You can read more about this story here.

Wrapping Up…

Understanding brand perception is vital for businesses to establish strong connections with their target audience. Consumer narratives serve as a powerful tool in uncovering these perceptions, allowing businesses to make informed decisions to enhance their brand reputation.

As a marketing or brand professional you must embrace consumer narratives to influence brand perception effectively. So, listen to your consumers’ stories, analyse their experiences, and use these insights to shape your brand strategy. As a result, you will improve your brand’s position, attract loyal customers, and ultimately drive business success.

Eye-Rolls into Eyeballs: Why Is My Campaign Not Performing?

Hundreds of work hours. Weeks of preparation. Alignment meetings, timelines, kanbans and all kinds of charts imaginable. Glossy agencies. Internal debates. Spotless ads with copy so crisp it teethers on Japanese Haiku symmetry. And the budget, BOY the budget. And for what? A fast-sinking campaign, a handful of sh***y leads, and zero conversions to show. But hey, those banners sure looked pretty!

The frustration is real. You look around, wondering what you missed. Was it the poor design? The insufficient data crunch? The wrong GTM strategy? Or worse: the product itself? In short, why are your campaigns not performing, despite all your efforts – or better still, how can you make them work?

If you have ever found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. The frustration of pouring countless hours and resources into a campaign, only to watch it fall flat. The feeling of being lost in a sea of data and analytics, trying to make sense of what went wrong. We get it.

But here’s the thing: the answer to these problems may be simpler than you think. In this article, we’ll share our take on what you can do to boost your next marketing campaigns (spoiler: it will involve your consumers).

The Changing Landscape of Marketing Campaigns

Let’s start with the usual suspects: our potential customers. In the Mad Men days of marketing, we could neatly categorize them into “Marketing Personas” based on their demographics or trust our gut feelings, because “We KnOw HoW pEoPlE wOrK”. But guess what? Those people, your consumers, are no longer cardboard cutouts.

Today’s consumers have evolved, and so have their preferences and behaviours. They’re savvier, more nuanced, more sceptical, and bombarded by thousands of ads (between 4,000 and 10,000 every day, according to a recent study). So, if you think your soulless high-budget campaign with the influencer of the hour is going to make them buy whatever you throw at them (we’re looking at you, Pepsi), think again.

Capturing the attention of your target audience is the first challenge you’re going to face, and dangling some shiny ads in front of them like a bunch of kids high on sugar is not going to cut it. You need to talk their language and, most importantly, understand what needs, pains and values make them tick and why.

In short, you need to do your research homework.

Quantitative Insights: Are They Enough?

Now, don’t get us wrong. Quantitative analysis and A/B testing are essential to understanding your audience, creating better ads, and improving your marketing game. As any good Growth Marketing person would tell you, hard numerical data provides creatives with valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. But here’s the kicker: hard data can only tell part of the story.

So, let’s break down the tools any good campaign slinger should have in his/her holster… and explain why they’re still not enough.

  • Quantitative Analytics Tools. Digital performance marketing tools like GA, Google Ads, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Meta for Business can tell you how your digital campaign is going, which ads work, and which dont’s.
  • A/B Testing. Want to see how different ads, landing pages, CTA or other marketing collateral would work against one another? A/B testing helps you learn what elements and optimizations impact user behaviour the most.
  • Quantitative Survey Tools. Ever used heat mapping, polls and countless other quantitative testing techniques to have a finger on your campaign pulse? Quantitative survey tools are instrumental in exploring consumer behaviour, defining user journeys, and building amazing customer experiences.

Now, would you say a mix of these is enough for your campaigns to succeed? Think about it: have you learnt why your audience prefers certain ads over others, or why certain elements work better on your landing pages? Have you discovered the reason why they are/are not attracted by your messages? Best case, you have barely enough insights to make an educated guess. So, what are you missing? In case you haven’t paid attention to our not-so-subtle word spamming, you are missing the why.

Enter qualitative consumer insights.

The Missing Link: Qualitative Consumer Insights

Here’s the key that will transform those campaign eye-rolls into eyeballs: qualitative consumer insights. These insights are extracted by observing your audience interact with your campaign ideas, concepts and assets and by hearing their outloud comments and observations.

Qualitative insights are key to understanding the motivations behind your consumer’s pains, needs, and behaviours. By mixing them with your traditional quant-driven consumer research portfolio, they will help you plunge deep into the minds of your target audience.

Getting these insights is instrumental in sparking new ideas, influencing or validating existing campaigns, or learning how to improve future ones. In business terms, qualitative insights will convert into sharper marketing campaigns, shorter development time, fewer internal debates, and higher customer conversion rates.

The Fault(s) in Traditional Consumer Insights

Now, you may be thinking, “Great! But traditional qualitative studies like focus groups take forever and cost an arm and a leg.” And you would be right but for one small detail! Traditional qualitative research is indeed slow, expensive, and requires a whole team of experts to navigate through its complex process.

However, the rise of AI in consumer insights and AI-powered insights providers has democratised access to qualitative insights, making them cheaper to acquire, faster to produce, and more understandable to a non-expert eye. We’ve written a separate article on this topic, which you should definitely check out!

Speaking of which, at Sonar, we have spent the past four years building a proprietary generative AI. The key to its success is a digitalised dataset of 100,000 qualitative studies that we have conducted in the past 10 years. Our data is proprietary, meaning that companies do not have to worry about open-source sharing of their data, which has proven to be a big discussion point for big enterprises when it comes to using AI. Want to learn more? Book a demo here.

With the no-small caveats of time and cost solved, you’ve got to ask yourself two questions: When can you add consumer insights in your campaign development process, and how often should you lean on your audience feedback?

Insights: Not Just a Late Validation Tool

Contrary to popular belief (and, unfortunately, to what some insights platforms claim), qualitative consumer insights should not be used just as a last-minute validation tool, and for two reasons.

  1. Sheer convenience. Picture this: you have created your marketing campaign, worked long and hard on your assets, and are ready to push the “publish” button. Granted, bringing in your audience at this stage can get you some validation, but what if your campaign is completely off? That’s your time and money down the drain…Circling back to our Pepsi example, here’s one brilliant SNL skit showing how NOT to gather consumer insights at the 11th hour.
  2. Wasted potential. Qualitative insights have the power to spark new ideas by uncovering unique perspectives that fuel innovative strategies and captivating campaigns. Furthermore, insights can influence existing marketing ideas, refining messaging and design as they are under development. Finally, they can validate marketing collateral throughout development, ensuring messaging is impactful and resonates with your target audience, and giving you full confidence as you iterate them.

Insights: More Than a One-Off Gig

How often should you rely on your consumers for feedback? According to Forresterinsights-driven businesses with advanced capabilities are 8.5 times more likely than their beginner counterparts to report annual revenue growth of 20% or more (24% vs. 3%).

Does this mean “Test everything, just for the sake of testing”? No! Rather, it means you should be strategic in the way you test. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your qualitative testing efforts.

  • Start high, and get down to details later. Why test a single ad of an already defined marketing campaign, when you could test your whole campaign concept early on? The earlier you test high-level concepts, the more likely you are to spot misalignments between your marketing campaign and your consumers. This enables you to validate/influence/correct your entire campaign; not just one collateral.
  • Test. Iterate. Repeat. Testing once will help you, but true insights magic sparks when you adopt an iterative approach to slowly fine-tune your campaign until it rings true with your audience.
  • Create an enterprise-wide consumer understanding. Don’t keep your consumer insights siloed within your team, or your consumer understanding journey may be short-lived. When you have insights from your target audience – especially if captured on video – you must share them across teams, your boss, and your boss’s boss. This will help them see your consumers, hear their thoughts, and create a real customer-centric company culture.

Wrapping Up…

The world of advertising is ever-changing, but you don’t have to drown in frustration. By embracing consumer insights and adopting a fresh, down-to-earth approach to ad creation, you can turn those eye-rolls into eyeballs.

So, if your campaigns are leaving you puzzled, it’s time to embrace the power of consumer understanding. By leveraging qualitative insights and integrating them into your quantitative marker research efforts, you can elevate your campaigns, capture your audience’s attention, and steer your brand towards lasting success. Remember, true marketing magic happens when we truly listen to our customers and let their insights guide our journey to excellence.

Painting the Full Picture: How Jotun Explored Online Customer Behaviour


Jotun, the leading Norwegian paint manufacturer, wanted to understand how current and potential customers began their search and found inspiration online when looking for paint.

This study was particularly interesting for the company since Jotun’s website did not have an e-commerce function. Therefore, when consumers visited its website, they would look for inspiration, but would eventually have to move ‘offline’ to purchase their paint.


Jotun picked a custom-made version of Sonar’s “Website” study, and let Sonar recruit 10 B2C users from its well-established Swedish market and 10 B2C users from the UAE, a new market in full expansion.

The study asked participants to complete several tasks on Jotun’s website. The goal was to better understand how the website met users’ needs in terms of their ability to locate and select specific indoor and outdoor paints, as well as find a Jotun dealer.


The study revealed customers could perform all tasks with ease, and found the website visually appealing, easy to navigate and intuitive. However, they also wanted more e-commerce features – such as price comparison across dealers and the option to buy online, as well as additional customer stories, visuals and editorials for inspiration.


The company recognised its website had potential beyond being an inspirational hub. As a result, the digital team at Jotun received clear content directions from its customers, as well as the validation it needed to champion the company’s need for a website e-store.

Customer Empowered Marketing: The Strategy Behind Sydbank ‘Favorit’


One of the great challenges in customer retention is to make your customers valued for their loyalty, without breaking the delicate equilibrium a new reward system may threaten.

To optimise its customer retention programme, Sydbank worked with Customer Empowered Marketing on its new customer loyalty programme ’Sydbank Favorit’, which rewarded customers depending on their level of financial engagement with the bank.

In order to make sure that the system would be well received and easy to use, Sydbank understood that gaining precious customer insights before launch would have been fundamental for the success of the programme. 


We helped Sydbank define the objective of its study – to discover if its customers understood the loyalty programme, were interested in using it, and appreciated how important it was for Sydbank to include them throughout the development phase.


Sydbank tested its initiative several times, using the “Loyalty concept validation” study from our Marketplace. Every time, the bank got clear insights from its customers on video within a few days, which it then used to make minor adjustments to its ‘Favorit’ initiative before launch.


Thanks to real customer insights, Sydbank has had great success in launching its new customer loyalty programme. Almost half of the bank’s customers went through ’Sydbank Favorit’ – and almost 90% of those agreed to be contacted by the bank. Eventually, the programme would be nominated for the Danish Digital Award.

Insights That Matter: How Alm. Brand Boosted Newsletter Signups by 20%


When it comes to communicating with your customers, choosing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it is essential. This is especially true for insurance companies: after all, when your job is to ensure your customers’ most valuable possessions, you want to be sure they will read and understand your updates without the risk of finding them irrelevant.

But how can you make sure your content is read and understood by all?

For Alm. Brand, the answer laid in its newsletter. More in detail, the company wanted to understand what content was readworthy for its customers and use this knowledge to craft a compelling email series.


Sonar tested Alm. Brand’s newsletter using the ‘Newsletter’ study from its insights marketplace. For this study, Sonar interviewed 10 people from the company’s target group- half existing customers, and half not. This design gave insight into both biased and unbiased interactions and behaviour towards the newsletter, showing what content customers found really valuable.

Each interview was filmed and broken down into qualitative data, then analysed by a team of specialists and aggregated into a set of actionable, customer-backed insights.


Alm. Brand received all full videos, an executive summary, and a report with 3 key takeaways, suggestions for next steps, and 9 concrete optimization points addressing potential initiatives to better reach its target audience.


With actionable insights from its customers, the insurance company had all the tools to reforge its newsletter and make it more attractive to its target group. The results were immediate: upon implementing some of these insights, Alm Brand increased its newsletter signups through referrals by 20%.

Revving Up Adoption: How Toyota Optimised Its Insurance Service


Toyota was offering a new free insurance service named ‘Toyota Relax’ to all Toyota owners that serviced their vehicles yearly in any of its dealerships. The initiative aimed at retaining clients, increasing customer loyalty, and boosting customer lifetime value. However, despite the convenience of this new service, Toyota was not seeing the adoption rate it had hoped.


Toyota partnered with Sonar to conduct a concept validation test with its Danish customers. Sonar designed the study, recruited and interviewed the participants, and aggregated their feedback into a set of actionable insights on video. To minimize research bias, half the study participants already owned the service “Toyota Relax”, while the other half did not.


The results of the test showed two key insights: existing service subscribers had no knowledge of how to use the ‘Relax’ insurance, whereas other Toyota owners were not familiar with the service at all. These findings gave Toyota a clear indication of the barriers preventing adoption, as well as how to optimize communication to both Relax subscribers and non-subscribers.


With clear customer insights, Toyota optimised its communication strategy across touchpoints. This led to a higher service adoption, increased customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.

Beyond Analytics: How Bambo Nature Used Customer Insights to Boost Online Sales


Bambo Nature, a skin and eco-friendly baby products manufacturer, was looking for a way to boost conversions from its UK online store. The company’s e-commerce team was already using all of the traditional analytical tools, such as Google Analytics and A/B testing, to optimise conversions. However, it wanted to take it one step further and discover how customers experienced its website.


Bambo Nature needed rapid insights on video into the customer’s purchase experience. Therefore, the company decided to run a usability test with Sonar, using the ‘e-commerce flow’ study from the Sonar insights marketplace. Sonar then recruited participants in the UK market, interviewed them and aggregated their feedback into a set of actionable insights.

“Sonar’s easy-to-digest format and powerful insights helped us gain internal buy-in and quickly implement changes that benefited our customers.”

Helle Merrild Hansen, eCommerce Manager, Bambo Nature


Sonar provided Bambo Nature with a comprehensive list of insights and customer-backed recommendations. The company was surprised by the results: the test revealed customers found the navigation intuitive, but struggled with confusing terminology and pop-ups interrupting the flow. Furthermore, it gained a clearer perspective on its customers’ pain points and barriers, validating some of its internal assumptions.


The insights provided by Sonar gave the e-commerce team the authority and validation it needed to make meaningful changes to its website and optimize it for maximum conversion.

A Window to Success: How VELUX Boosted Conversions with Customer-Optimised Webshops


Although VELUX’s products are best experienced in person, many customers first interact with them online. Indeed, VELUX offers a variety of digital products including their website, apps, and other digital tools, to help their customers explore their product catalogue and make a purchase. Therefore, delivering a high-quality user experience is a fundamental need for the company.

To bolster online sales and improve the online shopping experience, VELUX renovated 2 of its webshops. The company set as a usability benchmark that at least 80% of its customers should be able to find what they were looking for on the two webshops within no more than 3 steps.


VELUX tested the two online stores with its customers, using a customised version of the ‘E-commerce flow’ study from the Sonar marketplace. By aggregating VELUX customers’ impressions, suggestions and reactions on video, Sonar compiled these results into actionable insights and recommendations.


VELUX received all full videos, an executive summary and access to our insights dashboard, containing 3 key takeaways, suggestions for next steps and 10 concrete optimization points that described potential initiatives for our client to increase customer satisfaction.


By implementing these recommendations and taking action on its customer insights, VELUX reached its KPI and increased customer satisfaction and usability, which resulted in quicker customer purchase journeys and higher offline sales.

How Novozymes Leveraged Customer Insights to Create a Human-Centric Health Brand

But how can you, as a company, bring biological answers and find solutions for your consumers in an increasingly demanding marketplace?

You ask them about their needs and aspirations, of course.

Rethinking how to address health and solve challenges

Novozymes has been dedicated to enzymes and microbes for more than 70 years, working to solve biological problems and make a difference in the world.

But with the appearance of new health paradigms such as stress-related diseases, the company needed to rethink how to address health and solve society’s modern challenges. As a first step to tackle these new paradigms, Novozymes wanted to uncover more about its customers and their brand perception by combining customer insights with technology, to take those insights to adapt the brand.

But, according to Ulrich Irgens, General Manager of Novozymes OneHealth, the conclusion was not what they were anticipating…

Understanding the surroundings in the market landscape

Before Novozymes could figure out a way to grow, it was essential to know the competition, which meant scanning the market landscape and their brand’s perception: “We started with lots of insights on the perception of Novozymes in the health industry,” Ulrich Irgens explains.

The research revealed that while the company was up against some very established players in a competitive entry:

It was pretty clear that Novozymes was a market leader in biotechnology, [but] in health, we were a completely unknown entity

Ulrich Irgens

Consequently, it prompted the company to consider how it could increase its brand awareness. And so, OneHealth was born: a brand business unit used to market solutions within human health under one singular umbrella.

“We realised that we needed to build something quite specific.”

Novozymes sought to uncover consumer needs and develop tailored solutions to their issues. Therefore, the company needed a means of understanding its consumers on a deeper level.

Enter customer insights.

How do you make a leap at the very beginning of your innovation or development project into the unknown? It’s scary [but it] can be triggered by consumer insights. We had to take insights as a way of working and embed it as a cultural way of thinking in everything we do.”

Ulrich Irgens

With insights into its customers, the company wrote a core story to leverage the value of the company while creating a strong and dedicated health brand: “[It was] us saying ‘what do we need to do, who do we need to do it for and why are we doing it?’” Irgens explains.

According to Irgens, helping consumers live better and healthier lives is not just achieved through scientific expertise, but with empathy as well:‍ ‍“We realised that we needed to build something quite specific” in order to stand out and solve the needs of the consumers of tomorrow – and this requires empathy and the ability to set oneself in someone else’s shoes.

Putting empathy and human understanding at the forefront

Novozymes OneHealth aims to create clinically proven probiotics and enzymes tailored to meet end-user needs. And to meet the specific needs, the company has to put empathy and human understanding at the forefront of everything they do:

“You have got to show consumers and customers that you are a business, a team of people and a culture that is there to understand people.”

For instance, all the visuals Novozymes use show actual employees and team members, “there to communicate that we are here to understand and here as human beings, not just as technology providers,” Irgens says.

Additionally, this is the company’s way of putting empathy at the fore of their work, which he states is a “supercritical [element]“, just as it is to ensure “that customers and consumers are at the front of everything“.

According to Irgens, the goal was to ensure that the consumer hasn’t moved on: “We must make sure that we check in at every point along the way to make sure that we have the consumers with us,” he concludes. And this was ensured by actually using the insights they gathered.

As a result, the company improved in both positioning and branding

Novozymes validated extensively with its consumers, needing the human side of things: “We pivoted and adapted our story and we tested again and got some really, really interesting insights out of it,” Irgens explains.

For instance, the company concluded that some concepts stood out more than others in the core story. Words such as “trillion” and “cutting-edge technology” were the most noticeable ones because of being the strongest claim of the core story. Additionally, the visual identity gave the impression of a human-centric and scientifically sound company, which was the aim.

Both examples enabled Novozymes to develop a tone of voice and a visual concept that resonates with its audience.

Ulrich Irgens explains that using the gathered insights has helped the company grow. However, he notes that:

If you don’t listen and use these insights along each of these steps to either pivot or adapt or change, […] the market [can] move on and the value proposition [will] no longer [be] relevant.”

As a result, the company landed with a brand personality that translates its philosophy, culture and beliefs: the One-in-a-trillion brand idea.

Thus, empathy helped Novozymes amplify data development

Irgens explains that consumer insights show consumers are becoming more activist-oriented regarding health. “They are looking for a prevention more than a cure; they are looking for health care, not sick care,” he states.

This conclusion helped the company in its task of figuring out how to address health to resonate with consumers’ needs. Additionally, it helped establish the OneHealth brand as well as the ‘One-in-a-trillion’ vision and culture: “We want health to be an aspiration, not a need,” Irgen reveals, which correlates well with what the customers are looking for.

Novozymes validated the final concept with consumers by creating and testing several idea propositions. Ultimately, this ensured that the company offered its customers solutions verified by end-consumers. As Irgens states, it’s “not just [about] driving insights, but [about] understanding them” as well.

Using insights has been an excellent way for the company to ensure that the value proposition and innovation remain relevant. Combining trustworthy technology with actionable insights has enabled the company to build a business from the ground up, going from six people to hundreds of employees. In addition, it has helped deliver real breakthrough innovation to happy customers.

But, as Irgens explains, “Insights are not a single source for us”. Instead, it is used to amplify other data, such as scientific insights.”

Novozymes managed to create a vision and a culture with the OneHealth brand that resonates with the customers. Moreover, the brand’s goal to be “purely driven by insights” has enabled a considerable commitment to the customers, which is what “stood out in insights [into] what customers like,” Ulrich Irgens concludes.

How Maersk Used Insights to Create Compelling Marketing Campaigns

“Our audience is exposed to huge amounts of content. Each day they typically scroll around 90 metres on their phones and see two and half thousand advertisements. So we need to create something that’s going to stand out, that tells our story”

Dominic Pope, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Maersk.

Dominic has been with the company for four and a half years. During that time, one of the main marketing focuses has been the repositioning of the global brand of Maersk. In that transition, Sonar played a significant role.

The transition started in 2019 when Maersk decided to not only focus on ocean shipping but become an end-to-end logistic partner for their B2B customers.

We needed some insight into our customers’ views on what logistics is and what it means within their organisation. We wanted to validate what they like and engage with and if they understood the core message of our communications. We did that in order to create these large brand campaigns that could tap in and really form an emotional connection with them.”

Essential insights from different markets

It has been a challenge for the marketing team at Maersk to cut through to their audience in a competitive media landscape. Their approach was to push boundaries and create content that intrigues and interests people. But they needed to validate their content, and they needed validation from a global audience.

“We are a global company, and Sonar allows us to test globally. This gives us the ability to target specific people from our customer segments and show them our creative output and use their reactions to understand them”

With the help of Sonar, Maersk has received customer insights from different markets and industries around the globe. These tests have informed them that although some things might work in one market, they may not produce the expected reactions in another.

The understanding and feedback we get are really rich data for us. We use it to tweak the creative and make changes or even go back to the drawing board entirely. It gives us the assurance that we are developing something that will really connect”

Validation is critical when investing in large campaigns

When Maersk is creating a global marketing campaign, they invest large budgets and want to get an indication of the reception. So in 2020, they released a campaign film called “Disconnected”.

However, as they were developing it they were balancing between making it mysterious and compelling but also more complex.

“The story is quite complicated. It is about these people in a different world of logistics and how they are all connected. Would it really stand out or not? We used Sonar to validate that. Our segment really understood and appreciated it taking away our message,” says Dominic Pope.

The social media benchmarks confirmed this. The campaign scored within the top 5% overall. In addition, when Maersk released the film into the market, it achieved over 150 million views globally.”

“The work with Sonar really helped us in achieving these fantastic results ” Pope emphasises.

The insights deliver a more profound understanding

Maersk is highly focused on being a customer-centric organisation. To improve the delivery of their customer’s needs, Sonar has been a vital partner in providing in-depth insights.

There is a very fast turnaround, which is vitally important to us because we need to be able to understand whether something is ready, needs a rewrite or isn’t going to work at all”

For Dominic and his team, Sonar delivers analysed and organised data from their target audience, for example, whilst testing a film for a campaign. He highlights the quantitative amount as a useful barometer. But it is not the most critical part.

Those insights present us with a really deep dive into the data. The level of understanding we receive tells us how people feel about certain things. So it is the qualitative that gives an important understanding of whether a project is going to present a challenge.”

Sonar’s understanding of their business and what Maersk is trying to achieve has Dominic Pope describing their relationship as “so much more than a service provider relationship.”

For Dominic, these insights are the cornerstone of their work.

“A campaign is nothing without insights as a foundation. That is everything. You can do the best creative work in the world, but if it doesn’t create a connection with your customer, it will not resonate. It’s not going to drive your business,” concludes Dominic Pope.