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Chile: The role of communication for Chile’s most valuable brands


Matías Garber (Creative Development Leader) Kantar and

Sergio Jimenez (Media and Digital Expert) Kantar

We know that communication can be a powerful tool for developing and growing a brand by highlighting what makes it different. And we know that this differentiation can lead to higher sales. Growth comes about when there is both a solid brand proposal, and appealing communications. According to BrandZ data, brands that have combined these two factors have managed to grow their brand value by 187 percent in the past 10 years.

However, a basic fact must be dealt with: audience receptiveness towards communication is generally low around the region, and is especially low in Chile. While in Brazil and Argentina, 11 percent and 22 percent of consumers respectively say they don’t enjoy advertising, in Chile, that figure is 39 percent. Coupled with this is the fact that the number of brands advertising in Chile has grown 30 percent in the past seven years.

This situation is more critical online, where there is a greater feeling of consumer control: 66 percent of Chileans skip online ads or pay to avoid them, while 48 percent use some type of ad blocker and 45 percent do not watch advertising – they look away or do something else – when they’re exposed to it.

The Chilean is a disenchanted consumer. Their trust in institutions and in some iconic brands has been rocked by corruption scandals. The modern Chilean is a consumer who is informed, demanding, and very critical of brands and their communication.

This creates a challenging environment for brands, yet it is still possible for brands to win consumers’ attention – in a good way – through advertising.

Beyond maintaining a presence that ensures they are in consumers’ minds, strong brands also generate engagement by developing quality communication that reflects investment of time and creative energy in applying audience insights.

Connecting with Chilean consumers means understanding some distinctly Chilean consumer drivers. For example, the Chilean consumer is quite local. They place a high value on Chilean culture and its integration into everyday life. We have found that fewer than 40% of ads developed outside Chile are as successful here as they were in their country of origin.

Besides developing quality communication, strong brands harmonize their presence in traditional media with investment in new points of contact.

Most successful brands have changed their media mix by populating the digital ecosystem, but these efforts have not always been in tune with their offline communication. Achieving cut-through on television is useful, but it is not the whole task, as people and their media habits evolve.

And while there has been explosive growth in investment in digital media, there are signs that this will slow down in the coming five years. Large brands now face the challenge of integrating their multimedia communications, communicating consistently across different channels in ways that play to the strengths of each. Kantar Millward Brown has discovered that brands become more significant and differentiated when they are capable of being relevant in different media contexts, changing the manner in which they are presented, but maintaining recognizable coherence for the consumer.

Brands in the BrandZ Top 15 are daring to continuously experiment with new media and formats; they’re investing in approaches with proven effectiveness, and are also pursuing avenues that are more risky and perhaps more of a novelty. Marketing teams face the challenge of moving from a classic concept of the consumer, defined by socio-demographics, to new definitions based on the browsing habits and preferences that more closely reflect consumption habits. This approach will be more powerful in capturing the attention of the hyper-connected Chilean consumer. Successful brands will be those that invest continuously in improving their creativity and adapting it to new scenarios.