Jamming brand and insurance
SCOTT OXFORD 02.680 [music] G'day. I'm Scott Oxford and welcome to Brand Jam, the podcast where we jam about brands because brand is our jam. [music] Today I'm jamming with Mim Haysom, Suncorp's Executive General Manager, Brand & Marketing. Mim leads Suncorp's network of brands, which include Suncorp, AAMI, GIO, APIA, Shannons,and Vero, and a bunch more I noticed. She's responsible for setting the overall brand strategy and the end-to-end marketing program across all the brands in the portfolio, including brand strategy and positioning, digital and programmatic marketing, marketing automation, social and content, sponsorships, one-to-one customer life cycle management, master media management, and strategic and commercial partnerships. Man, that's a serious portfolio. Big job description. Previously general manager for M&C Saatchi, Australia's largest advertising strategy. Mim's been globally awarded for building the brands of some of Australia's most recognised companies, including Commonwealth Bank, IAG, ANZ, Woolworths, Lexus, and Optus. And in 2017, under Mim's leadership, M&C Saatchi was named Australia's most innovative company by the Fin Review. Great [inaudible] there. So Mim is one of us and one of them, knowing life on both agency side and client side. And I know she has just acres of great stories and rich knowledge to impart. We only have one hour, so let's dive into it. Mim, welcome. Thank you for jamming brand with me today.
MIM HAYSOM 01:31.013 Thanks for having me, Scott. I'm looking forward to it. And I have to say, what a lovely intro you've just given me. Thank you.
SCOTT OXFORD 01:38.252 Yeah. I thought, "Wow. That's a lot of KPIs," but I'm sure you have a pretty amazing team underneath you as well. And you have--
MIM HAYSOM 01:47.882 I do indeed, so thanks for giving them kudos up front because they're amazing.
SCOTT OXFORD 01:52.148 I bet they are. I bet they are. And I know them by reputation. But let's talk about insurance. Some of those brands I just rattled off, they're Australia's biggest household names you look after. How do you think a brand becomes a household name?
MIM HAYSOM 02:09.184 Look, it's always through a combination of things. There's no magical source. I think you've got to think about a few things to become a household name, as you call it. One is around making sure that you're investing the right way. You've got the right investment levels to drive awareness. You've also got to have, of course, really compelling propositions that customers want and need because that helps drive consideration. And then from a commerce perspective, you want to have exceptional creative to drive [inaudible] because if you've got all of those things and you keep doing all of those things consistently over time, you've got that really constant and relevant presence, and that's how you become a household name.
SCOTT OXFORD 02:50.152 Yeah. Absolutely. It's just that sheer volume of sheer voice, isn't it? Just making sure that you're part of those conversations and those powerful ways that keep on giving. When I was talking to Vanessa from Who Gives a Crap, and she was able to rattle back jingles from her childhood, including phone numbers. There's something really, really powerful about that. And I think we're going to get into a few jingles today a little bit later.
MIM HAYSOM 03:19.977 I do like a jingle. Happy to talk jingles.
SCOTT OXFORD 03:22.936 Yeah. Well, I love that you run an ad agency too. That's got to be incredibly useful in your role working within Suncorp in this kind of way because you would have a roster of agencies, and you know exactly how they work and what they're about. And I would imagine that helps you get the best out of them?
MIM HAYSOM 03:43.251 Yeah. Look, I hope they would have that perspective as well. I think it is really helpful because from an agency perspective, you know those clients that from your own experience, you felt like were really great clients to work with. And clients that really not just encouraged you but gave you the information and the support to get to really great creative work that ultimately is effective for their own brands. So I think having had that experience, there are some things that I definitely took with me into being a client and that is definitely having very honest and transparent relationships and conversations. But I think really importantly as a team, we bring our agency partners quite far upstream, I would say, in terms of our strategic development and our brief development. Because from my experience, the more collaborative you are the earlier on, then the better the understanding of the business challenge that you're trying to solve for and therefore the outcomes that you're looking for. So I do think the very collaborative nature of an agency person has definitely stayed with me and helps set our relationships up for success for sure. I mean, there's a whole lot of other things of course, but I do think that probably as a marketing team, we really lean into that hard. So yeah, that's definitely stuck with me from my prior life.
SCOTT OXFORD 05:12.733 Yeah. Well, you're letting them be-- you're letting your agencies not just work on your brand but be essentially part of your brand. And I think you're one team then working to tell that story.
MIM HAYSOM 05:24.532 Yeah, that's spot on. That's exactly right.
SCOTT OXFORD 05:26.693 So we won't get to all of your brands today but there's a few of them I'd love to ask about. And I've got to start with AAMI because I'm a Queenslander so Suncorp's a big brand for me, but AAMI is a brand that I think has got to be the most iconic. And it certainly feels like it's been around my entire life. And the AAMI girl, that amazing jingle, lucky you're with AAMI, I can sing it in my head. It's one of those ones that I'll go to my grave with your jingle in my head. Tell me about a jingle, the power of a jingle. We mentioned that before.
MIM HAYSOM 06:04.961 Look, it's interesting that you called that out, and thank you for saying that you think it's one of the most iconic brands because without pre-discussing that, our brand ambition for AAMI used to be Australia's most iconic national insurance brand. So great to hear that you feel like it is.
SCOTT OXFORD 06:21.960 Yeah, and we did not discuss that.
MIM HAYSOM 06:23.886 We didn't. No, we didn't. But the jingle is very much part of that, along with another suite of what we call brand assets. So part of the brilliance of AAMI is the simplicity in the brand but also the consistency of it. And in some recent research, we saw that the AAMI jingle is currently recognised as the most recognisable jingle in Australia. And that is because it's been consistently present for a long period of time. But I think that's not the only thing that makes it iconic. If you think about the AAMI brand, it's consistently delivered a really clear proposition and value to customers. And there's also other brand assets. It's the line itself, lucky you're with AAMI. It's the jingle. Yes, it's the colour red. It's also the AAMI girl who's present there in all of those-- in all of those ads and in frames and billboards. So there's lot of what we call brand assets that are really consistent and present across all of our AAMI [cons?]. And then I think the other thing that AAMI does really well, and that helps make it iconic if we can be bold enough to call it that, is that it really taps into cultural moments as well, and has creative that is very likable. There's always a humour to AAMI and a relatability. And I think about the work that we've done partnering with the AFL. There's been some great creative that's come out of that and it's enabled us to really tap into some great cultural moments. And similarly, I think, we've done work with the Broken Heel Festival, which is a fantastic event. And then we've got the only Lucky Club as well, which is a club that our customers can become members of and we enable them through that club to get access to money-can't-buy events, tickets, those kinds of things. So there's a lot that [rests?] up around AAMI, beyond just the comms, it's the total experience, as well as those very consistent communications assets.
SCOTT OXFORD 08:27.452 And that's a great point. Customer experience go back to that idea that a brand really lives in the conversations that are had about you, and these are the things that the salience, the discussions, the chats, the things-- and you give people engaging things and little things that they can't get otherwise. And that's absolutely sort of building that sort of warm place. But I think for me, you've earned the right because you've been around. You're not a new player on the block who's jumping into talk culture or topical. You've earned that right to do that, and I think that's something that is very, very subliminal and subtle to understand, but you kind of have that space. We mentioned the sense of humour as well and the fact that the AAMI girl, she just always looks sort of cool, calm, collected. She has a good laugh with you but never laughs at you when you do something stupid in your car. She's just there to kind of help you and pick up your pieces. She's like customer service personified. Yeah. I think that's really interesting. When I interviewed Darren from Flight Centre, he was talking about the captain. The captain is kind of part of that kind of customer service as well. These are the human touchpoints of a brand. And the AAMI girl is every time we ring up, we're imagining her. And there's been various-- I'm sure there's been a number of AAMI girls over the years as well. But it's that she represents the customer service and what you're going to expect every time you call this business.
MIM HAYSOM 10:13.127 Yeah. That's right. And I think, again, she's a brand asset as is the pilot for Flight Centre, which you just mentioned. And those kind of assets can be incredibly powerful because they make-- not just make a piece of communication immediately recognisable for a particular brand, but to your point, they can represent or create a representation of a brand's value. So in the case of the AAMI girl, you're absolutely right. She represents service. For Flight Centre, when I think about the captain, for me, he represents expertise and trust.
SCOTT OXFORD 10:45.389 Yeah. Absolutely. He's in the cockpit. He's keeping you up.
MIM HAYSOM 10:48.992 Exactly. He's your guy flying the plane. And both of those assets are immediately recongisable and they create the halo of that brand value perception really, really quickly, which is what you want for your brands. But it's interesting because to create really strong brand assets like that, you've got to be really tight with them. But the longer you have them, you can start to build a bit of flex into them. So we've got our [inaudible] recently. Earlier in the year, we [took to?] market a new campaign for AAMI called AAMI Does. And we've got a new character, Keith, who's a lovely chap, and he seems to be resonating very well for us through all the creative tracking. And I think he's got the potential to be another iconic character in Australia in advertising. But what you might not have picked up is the AAMI girl is always present in all of those ads, but it's always a different AAMI girl. So the AAMI girl is not one girl anymore. And part of that was a very conscious decision to modernise her somewhat and represent more diversity in the AAMI girl to represent our culture. So while she's there and she's present and she's very familiar, there's actually many AAMI [AAMI girls?] and they're designed to represent our Australian culture and our Australian society more broadly now.
SCOTT OXFORD 12:08.476 Yeah. Yeah. And that's brilliant. And look, from a purely practical side, one would never want one particular actor to sort of be sort of defined as that because the AAMI girl's the spirit of every customer service person in the organisation. So I even love that mix up, helps achieve that as well.
MIM HAYSOM 12:33.479 Yeah. Definitely.
SCOTT OXFORD 12:34.827 My last interview was with Jaynee, who's a global brand manager for SPAM. And I asked her whether they'd done anything really sort of interesting. And in the Philippines, they created a boy band. And I look back on AAMI and you guys created a soap opera, so Rhonda and Ketut. Who came up with the idea of a soap opera? Presumably, your agency, but maybe one of you guys. Where did that come from?
MIM HAYSOM 13:05.114 Well, yeah, it was the agency. And look, I wasn't there at the time, so I certainly can't [claim?] to it. It's almost [inaudible] by now. But yeah, the agency came up with that. And I think through the creative [tracking?] and seeing how much that resonated with people, people wanted to know more. And so very smartly, they continued on with this story. But Rhonda and Ketut, they just don't go away. I mean, while we were in lockdown in COVID, we picked up through our social listening on a whole freight of conversation on people wondering what Rhonda and Ketut were up to and if they were still together. So we very quickly got on the phone and contacted Ketut and got him to do a piece to camera from home, where he was with Rhonda and the kids in another room homeschooling. So it was a very-- again, having the ability to have some agility and respond to cultural moments or being able to respond to your own brand's conversation that your customer's having is a really important thing to be able to do. I mean, you've got to be careful with it, yes, but it's having the ability to do that is fantastic. And it created its own little life of its own for a moment there in social media when we brought Ketut back for a moment to say, "G'day," and let everyone know he and Rhonda were well and homeschooling their kids, so yeah. So those great characters, if they become intrinsic to a brand like those characters did through that particular campaign, it's really a gift, and it is a gift that can keep on giving, I think.
SCOTT OXFORD 14:43.479 Definitely. And you followed that great sort of-- not just soap opera, but drama rule of leave them wanting more. We don't mind them having a happy ending. In fact, we're really happy they've got a happy ending, but yes, we didn't spoil it by taking it on too long. And I think that's really clever on the part of you guys anyway. Like you said, you've got Keith now. You've got more stories to tell. You've got new people to meet and new things to do. And a long-term brand has to keep shifting and keep reviewing the underlying principles remain the same. But you're bringing freshness, and I love that those are a part of that and really bring out that lovely good natured sense of humour that the brand has. So in Queensland, Suncorp and AAMI-- Suncorp Insurance ad AAMI Insurance compete side by side in the marketplace. So that's obviously got to have some good internal friendly competition involved. But they would play differently in the marketplace, wouldn't they?
MIM HAYSOM 15:53.424 Yeah. Absolutely. So as you touched on, Scott, in the intro, we've got a portfolio of nine insurance brands. and so for us, strategically we really focused on being clear on the role for each of our brands within that portfolio. So, to manage it, we make sure that there's distinctiveness across the portfolio. We really lean into what markets the brand's operating in, what customer segments are they serving, and delivering on the different needs of those segments and markets. So obviously, there's some complexity in that, but to try and really simplify it is a top line view is an example. As you called out, AAMI is a national brand. It's got a really strong value and convenience proposition. Suncorp is a Queensland-only brand, and it knows really well the unique requirements that come with that geography and that market. And Suncorp particularly serves those needs really specifically. So they both have a role to play in that context and there are different roles for different customers. But having a portfolio of nine brands, it's really important that we focus on that that we've got clear propositions for each of the brands and clear customer segments in that we're delivering on the needs of those customers.
SCOTT OXFORD 17:02.953 Yeah. And look, from the outside, I look across them all and I can see very clearly that-- I mean, they're always going to butt up against each other, I'm sure. But I can see very clearly that you've really honed in on different customer groups there. And so rather than being jack of all trades and sort of a mediocre offering to everybody, each brand has its audience, has its feel, has its spirit, has its story. And for Suncorp and plenty of listeners outside of Queensland, but for me as a Queenslander, Suncorp-- they feel like one of us. The brand just feels really familiar and really sort of local. And if the brand were a person, I probably went to high school with him or her. That's the thing, just in a way, that's someone born and bred here in Brisbane kind of would know.
MIM HAYSOM 17:59.859 Yeah. And it's interesting. I think Suncorp is quite unique in that respect as a brand. And when I first took the job at Suncorp and went up to Brisbane and started meeting people and getting a sense for the brand and spent the time in Brizzy, it was incredible because so many people-- outside of Suncorp, customers I'm talking about, had the most amazing experiences and stories of the interactions with the brand. And I could not believe how many people replayed to me the amazing role that Suncorp played in Brisbane 10 years ago during those catastrophic [flights?].
SCOTT OXFORD 18:37.954 The flights, yeah. Absolutely.
MIM HAYSOM 18:38.689 It was unbelievable. I mean, I'm talking a couple of years ago I started in the role, so it was eight years after the flights. And people were still talking about how Suncorp was there on the ground, how they were going above and beyond what people expected an insurance company to do, that they were really there, not just for their own customers, but for the total community in the clean up and the support. And there was this incredible love for Suncorp as a brand for what it's done within the Queensland community when there are those catastrophic events. And I've actually never experienced so much kind of community and love for a brand as I did in those early days working for Suncorp and experience that with customers up in Queensland. It's quite unique, I think.
SCOTT OXFORD 19:27.352 Yeah. I think the big aspect of brand, which is around trust. And also, a brand is able to just be there when you need it and operating naturally, rather than some fabricated response. When it's that instant and that natural and done without too much hullabaloo. That's really what it's about, and that's when we start to feel the brand is a bit more like a person than a business dealing with us. And that's, yeah, pretty incredible kind of feedback and the kind of goal that any customer research-- you long to uncover that. That informs where you manage the brand from here, which is basically just don't undo that.
MIM HAYSOM 20:16.648 Yeah. Exactly. And look, I think as marketers and custodians of brands, you hear lots of us talk about purpose often. And at Suncorp, across the group, our purpose is building futures and protecting what matters. And for us, I think when there are-- particularly where there are events like that, you just see our whole organisation rally around the customer and supporting the customer and community. And we really do live and breathe by that purpose. And as a marketer, that just makes your job so much easier because you're not putting lipstick on a pig, to use that old analogy.
SCOTT OXFORD 20:52.418 I love that. Yeah.
MIM HAYSOM 20:53.237 It makes your job so much easier because you know that customers are actually going to have that experience that you're promising them because it's what the whole organisation believes in and rallies around.
SCOTT OXFORD 21:04.330 Yeah. Absolutely. And the thing is is that this whole kind of-- so cynical can say, "Oh, this is all a bit [Pollyanna?], isn't it?" Sort of like anyone can-- but you can't make this stuff up. This is what people actually experience. This is what they actually feel, and this is what I love about customer research. And for me, as a creative, particularly when I'm writing creative and especially in the behaviour change space, I love being able to get that honest, authentic response, which is just deeply from within the experience where there's been a personal connection and an emotional connection. And the brand has taken a place in the heart that isn't going to be easily taken away. And so then for you, as a marketer, you are basically just ensuring that you're protecting that and that you are ensuring there are opportunities at the right place and right time, that your customers remember that and reflect on that. And I think that is so much easier than, as you say, trying to get someone to believe something that you know is true but that they haven't experienced or hoping that they'll try when they've-- friends and family have had that positive experience and it's all in the news coverage and the like, then it's pretty authentic.
MIM HAYSOM 22:21.685 Yeah. That's right. And it was actually-- you've triggered a reflection in that conversation there. It was actually through that experience that I kind of had that moment where I said, "Actually, I think we need to relook at the brand platform, the creative platform for Suncorp." Because I really wanted to bring to life that DNA of the organisation and what we do for customers and communities. And it was literally through that first-hand experience hearing about customer's experience that the brief came about that led to the work and the brand campaign around the Suncorp spirit, which at a brand level is actually all about bringing to life those amazing customer stories. So that campaign came about through my real-life experience of getting involved with the brand first hand. So it did kind of write itself in that respect.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:17.193 Yeah. For sure. That's awesome. All right. We've talked AAMI. We've talked Suncorp. I'd like to talk Shannons because I'm a bit of a car [buff?] and my dream--
MIM HAYSOM 23:28.403 Me too.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:29.470 Yeah. Well, nice. Well, what's your dream car?
MIM HAYSOM 23:31.794 I love an old school Mercedes convertible. That would be my dream car.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:37.316 Yeah. Beautiful.
MIM HAYSOM 23:39.341 Driving on the Great Ocean Road with the [inaudible] on like a scene from a movie.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:43.731 Yeah. Absolutely. Actually, I think a mate of mine was in a Tourism Victoria ad about a million years ago. And he and another guy were wearing dark suits and dark glasses, and they were chasing this couple who were in a Mercedes convertible driving along the Great Ocean Road I'm pretty sure. So yeah, it's a beautiful dream. There you go. There's a bit of a brand Tourism Victoria that's hung around for a while for me, certainly. But yeah, no, absolutely. For me, it's a Jaguar E-Type and convertible or fixed head, I don't mind which. And if I was going to have a car like that, Shannons makes sense to me as a brand because when I look at it, it's an insurance company, but it actually feels more like a community or a movement. You look on their website and it's more than a club. There is kind of these people who drink the same Kool-Aid who love their cars and it's like your brand facilitates some sort of community. Is that the brand story?
MIM HAYSOM 24:51.980 Oh, 100%. I love the way you're describing Shannons and look, it is a really, again, another really unique and I think wonderful brand. Shannons has been around for nearly 50 years. And it is, within our portfolio, what we call one of our niche brands and that's because it has a really tightly and clearly defined audience which, you called out, is our motoring enthusiasts. And we're there to protect and insure their classic cars, their classic motorcycles, etc. So when you're talking to a niche audience like that, you have a bit of a gift because you know exactly what they are into. What their passion is. What they love. And it's their cars, and it's the stories of cars, of other motoring enthusiasts, and so it gives you an opportunity to create a connection and an engagement that otherwise can be quite hard to do. Particularly for insurance. We're a really low-interest category, right? And customers engage with you probably once a year at renewal time and in the main, they don't really want to have a conversation with you. So Shannons and that niche target market of motoring enthusiasts who have this very strong passion is an absolute gift. So we really lean into creating regular and valuable engagements for that target market. So we've got the Shannons Club which you alluded to which is great content. Content that they love. Content that they're interested in. We run live events. We do roadshows all around. We've got this thing called the Big Rig which is this huge amazing trailer that's kitted out with all of this great technology which we take to motor shows and live events. And then we've also got the Shannons Auctions which we run and we have them a few times a year and we actually sell classic cars and unique number plates through the Shannons Auctions. And we get huge turnout to those auctions and--
SCOTT OXFORD 26:57.006 They're great cars too. I had to click the window closed because I'm like, "Oh. I could start spending money now." And, yeah, beautiful.
MIM HAYSOM 27:06.966 Yeah. Oh, they're--
SCOTT OXFORD 27:08.577 Amazing cars.
MIM HAYSOM 27:09.208 --incredible cars. Incredible cars. And so you're absolutely right. It is so much more than just an insurance brand that provides insurance products. Shannons absolutely has built a community of fantastic motoring enthusiasts who regularly engage not just with the brand but with each other. So that is the intent of what we've built with Shannons. It's got very high levels of advocacy. Very high levels of retention and loyalty. And it's quite a unique brand in that respect. Absolutely. So yeah, I think we're really blessed with Shannons and that is something that you want to protect when you've got a brand that resonates that well with customers. And to your point, they do trust you. And even in our contact centre, when we're hiring staff to work in our contact centre, it's quite hard to hire for because they have to truly be motoring enthusiasts. So if you, Scott, ring up and start wanting to talk about your E-Type Jag, whoever you're on the phone to is going to know about that car and be able to have a conversation with you about cars and motoring. And so again, that motoring enthusiast love and passion is so true to the brand's DNA and it resonates through every single touchpoint and every experience the customer has with us. And that's why it's as strong and successful as it is as a brand.
SCOTT OXFORD 28:38.309 Yeah. Oh, I love that point about the call centres because I think the call centres are going to continue more and more and more to move up higher and higher calibre across different brands, as you say, where there is a quality of person who can have a rich conversation, not just read a script, but have a rich, spontaneous conversation about the product because-- in niche brands because they sort of care that much about it. I've had that in wine in terms of wine club, that sort of thing where you can talk about it, but this even more so, yeah, where it's debating which year of Jaguar was better, all of that kind of stuff, so it's great. So from one niche to another, Australian Pension Insurance Agency, Apia, I first became aware of this because my parents, who are avid listeners of this podcast. Hello, Graham and Sicily. I remember that they chose very specifically and were able to articulate-- my mum, in particular, was able to articulate for me very, very clearly what I [actually did?]. And it was at a time I think when for me-- because I'm not in the target market. Well, and truly, still not in the target market. But when it first arrived, I must've seen an ad, and there was what we knew as the Apia lady. She was a lady who was sort of the face and the voice. She was definitely in the target group and she was relatable and authentic and real. And when she spoke about the brand, you very clearly knew that as a person of her age that this was clearly the only brand to look at anymore because they're the only ones who got who she was at her age; and therefore, would only get you. So she's like, I guess, the AAMI girl, but the Apia lady, is that right? Do you remember her? She might be ancient history now, is it?
MIM HAYSOM 30:43.227 Well, I hate to say, I don't actually remember her. There's been a few iterations of Apia in terms of their creative platform, I imagine, since then. But I think what's interesting about that is obviously, I'm assuming that through-- excuse me, the use of her-- because you're right. Apia is a niche, right? We don't call it Australia Pension Insurance Agency anymore. We just call it Apia because interestingly, pensioners has a really bad stigma. Years and years ago, people were probably quite happy to say they're a pensioner. But currently, in today's world, if you do research [inaudible] with 50 to 65 and then 65 plus, they don't want to be referred to as pensioners. So we dropped that reference in the name and we just talked to Apia. But I think when you're dealing with a niche like that, I imagine a benefit and the intention of using that lady was exactly for the outcome that she created with your mum, which was to make it really, really easy for the audience to identify who this brand is for. And in the case of your mum, for your mum to say, "Okay, well, if that's who's buying the brand and that's a reflection of me, then this brand is for me," and it makes it more relatable. So I think particularly in the early days, a really smart move to use a character or a personality that reflects that very niche audience to reflect and say, "If you look like me, then this brand is for you."
SCOTT OXFORD 32:19.159 Yeah. Absolutely. That's certainly the advice I've given to clients, particularly in the B2C space, which is-- you want someone to either see themselves as someone they know or someone like someone they know. When they look in, it's like the kid who looks into the playground and they see five groups of people, brand new playground, brand new school. And you don't need to see someone exactly like you. You just need to know they're your people. They're your people and you gravitate over to your people. And I think from my recollection in those conversations with mum, that character, that actor just did a really great job of very [trust?] verbally showing that this is where your people are and can be trusted. And so, clearly, that was a big [star?]. And yes, I do not blame you for not remembering it because you're not in the target market, either, and most certainly weren't back then [laughter]. I don't know. It says a lot about what I was watching [laughter] when I was a teenager or something like that, doesn't it? Scary. Scary.
MIM HAYSOM 33:24.211 Yeah. Yeah. Well, but I do. I think you're absolutely spot on, though, right? If you are building a brand and a product for a 65 plus audience, which is what [APIR?] is now, then it would not make sense to have comms and characters full of 25 to 30-year-olds.
SCOTT OXFORD 33:43.840 God, no.
MIM HAYSOM 33:43.876 Because you're not talking to them. Yeah.
SCOTT OXFORD 33:46.591 Exactly. Exactly. So, yeah. So I want to dip, for a moment, back into, of course, your current world but also your sort of former life in agency land, too, and just talk a little bit about creative effectiveness. I know that that's something you're really passionate about and I know that our industry really values it, too. Our highest calibre awards are not about creative, they're actually about the effectiveness of creative. What's the intertwine, I guess, between sort of brand and creative effectiveness? What do you think? I mean, creative is about bringing a brand story to life, so what's the secret to creative effectiveness, do you think?
MIM HAYSOM 34:29.859 Yeah. Again, it's one of those things where there's no secret source. I think you've got to start with a definition of creative effectiveness, right? And for me, creative effectiveness is work that works, not just creative for the sake of creativity. So my brief might be around building brand equity or brand saliency. Whatever the work is that comes out needs to make my brand meaningful, differentiated and salient. It can't just be a great piece of film for the sake of it if it's not anchored in what we want the brand to stand for. So I think, that, as a starting point-- I think, sometimes we look at work and we go, "Wow, that's great work and it's really creative." But if you think about, "Is it doing anything for the brand?" potentially, it's not always the case that it is. So for me, as a CMO, I want to do great, brilliant, brave, creative work, but I also have a responsibility to make sure that that work has a positive impact for the brand. Now, that could be a brand outcome, as I talked about around brand saliency, of course, not just short-term business results. But I think as CMOs, we have absolute responsibility and accountability that every dollar that we spend has a positive halo effect for the brand. So I think, how do you get there? How do you get to that kind of work? I think it's about having both propositions and executional ideas that are anchored in great customer insight, as a starting point. And that then, as you execute them out, as I mentioned before, you know that you're tapping into the current mood and the sentiment of the culture. And then, probably, the icing on the cake is being a bit brave, having ideas that are brave. And that can be as simple as, how are you standing out as being different to what everyone else in the category or the market is doing? And those are the things that I think make great creative, and creative that is effective.
SCOTT OXFORD 36:27.672 Yeah. Look, and for people outside our industry listening to this, I think they'd be a bit surprised at how many moving parts there are in that. And that's the magic of what we do in our industry, is to be able to pull all of those things together. As you say, it cannot be taken for granted that every supplier will see-- will add the effectiveness in. And I personally shudder at the idea of doing a piece of work that's beautiful, but then doesn't deliver in the way we all have to then live with that afterwards. It feels a little unthinkable to me but there is a time to go and do that in your art. If you just want to do art for art's sake and do something beautiful and go and make a feature film and then come back to the industry and remember that this is commercial art, to borrow that phase. But there is always going to be a commercial aspect to it. And look, I just had this conversation as well, what you've raised there about the idea that we might be building our brand but there actually has to be-- there always needs to be some level of lead generation or some outcome as well. We're not just building the idea of a brand in our head. We've got to be, at any opportunity, someone who is responding to that needs to have a nice, easy path to connect, and to get what they want, what your brand promise is. And every piece of brand building is brand promise. And yeah, I've seen some big, expensive pieces of work in the past that build the brand really well but show no clear path to action. If I'm ready right here, right now, if this is my day of the year where I'm renewing my insurance, your brand ad needs to give me that ability to connect and to step on and do that. So, I'm totally with you on effectiveness and you're with your people here on that one. I wonder if there's a piece of work, either in your work now or recently, or even back to your [Saatchi?] days, that you probably are most proud of as an effective piece of work?
MIM HAYSOM 38:33.042 Well, I mean, I'm incredibly proud of all of the work that we're doing at Suncorp. And as I said up front, I've got the most incredible team who are really passionate about our brands. But I'm not allowed to have any favourite children so--
SCOTT OXFORD 38:48.503 I had to strike that question off my list, which is your favourite one?
MIM HAYSOM 38:53.524 I love them all. And we've touched so much of the great work that we're doing across the group at Suncorp so I'm going to reflect on a while back now and it was when I worked on ANZ at TBWA in Melbourne. And the campaign I would be most proud of probably from all of my career in fact was the GAYTM campaign, the very first iteration of that. So that came to us as a brief for a full-page ad in the Mardis Gras program to promote ANZ's sponsorship of Mardis Gras, which they'd had for a very long time by the way. But they hadn't really done a lot with it. So the brief came in, we're sponsoring it again this year, we just need a full page mag ad. And we saw the opportunity to do so much more than that. But this is back in, gosh, 2013, 2014. So while most financial institutions now talk about diversity, inclusion, equality, all of those things, no one was back then. Everyone was a bit nervous to dip their toe in the water there. But we saw the opportunity to do something quite bold and quite brave and make a bigger statement about our ongoing and long term support of Mardis Gras. So we took this sponsorship beyond an ad in the program and we wanted to take it out onto the street and actually into the event itself. And so we came up with this idea along the pathway of the Mardis Gras march to use ANZ's owned assets, which of course was their ATMs, and to use them in a way which had never been done before. So we bedazzled and bejeweled 12 of their ATMs along the walkway to the--
SCOTT OXFORD 40:38.408 The parade.
MIM HAYSOM 40:38.622 --along the pathway of the Mardis Gras. The parade. Thank you. I couldn't think of the word. The parade march. And even down to the receipts when you took cash out, we put rainbow coloured receipts and on the back of it said, "Cash Out and Proud." And we just created this beautiful immersive experience and I guess created joy and celebration along that parade pathway in a way that had never been done before. And that campaign, first of all, it elevated the conversation around diversity and inclusion quite significantly. And I'm very passionate about that space so that was something I was incredibly proud of and proud to be part of. But it also, I mean, it did fantastic things for ANZ as a brand but it also was very highly creatively awarded. So that actually won a Grand Prix and Cannes and many, many awards at Cannes. And it was a really small group of us that worked on that and we had an amazing client called Carolyn Bendall who just backed it all the way when it was quite high risk for a conservative finservices brand at that point in time she had trust in us and she was incredibly brave. I spoke to bravery being a key part of creative effectiveness and great creative. And so I'm still incredibly proud of that piece of work. It's probably a career highlight, apart from what I'm doing now of course.
SCOTT OXFORD 42:09.956 Of course. Absolutely. But it's different. And it would be fair to say that it's lovely when a piece of work like that is-- I'm sure that was not massive budget. It's all about the idea and the commitment and the execution. And there's just something lovely and kind of grassroots about it and just so very authentic and just fun. Great copy. I love it when copy is great. It's just so much fun like that. So it's--
MIM HAYSOM 42:45.523 Yeah. And we were talking about purpose and passion before and you're right, it wasn't a huge budget. It was a very small budget. And the client had a certain amount of budget and we need a little more so the agency paid for part of that initial campaign to make sure that it happened. Because that's how much we believed in it. So yeah, it's amazing what a small group of people can do when they really believe in something.
SCOTT OXFORD 43:12.983 Yeah. And that's purpose in its truest sense. It's commitment to the outcome and to making it happen and just, I'm sure, having a whole lot of fun along the way. So.
MIM HAYSOM 43:25.525 Yeah.
SCOTT OXFORD 43:26.144 Yeah. I love it. I want to take you back to childhood then after that. Is there a brand that took a hold of you as a kid that, I don't know, it might have been the first time you became aware of brand or one you remember now that stuck with you. What's your childhood brand and why?
MIM HAYSOM 43:45.045 I've got really random ones. Well, the first one's not random. I loved the Coke ads. So I was kind of a - I'm exposing my age - late '70s, early '80s kind of a kid. And I loved those Coke ads because the world of Coke just looked so fun. And I wanted to go to that beach and be one of those teenagers, which I wasn't yet.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:07.217 In that big plastic ball that they got inside.
MIM HAYSOM 44:08.735 Yes. Yes.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:10.164 How did they get inside? How did they breathe? How did they survive? It was amazing. It was magical.
MIM HAYSOM 44:15.258 See, you are the same as me. That giant blow-up ball. I was so desperate to go to that.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:20.838 I know. To this day. To this day [inaudible].
MIM HAYSOM 44:23.365 Yes. It was just so aspirational as a kid. We talk about brands being aspirational. I'm [glued?]. Right there in a Coke bottle. I loved that ad. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be one of them.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:36.827 I wanted the tan. I wanted the clothes. I wanted the beach. I wanted the weather. I wanted to be there. It was absolutely magical. Yeah.
MIM HAYSOM 44:44.888 Yeah. And the other one I loved, which was aspirational as well but just so quirky and weird, do you remember the Cussons Imperial Leather soap ad--
SCOTT OXFORD 44:53.130 I do.
MIM HAYSOM 44:53.670 --where they were in a private jet in a spa. And then what does she say? Not [inaudible], somewhere like that.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:58.796 Tahiti. Tahiti.
MIM HAYSOM 44:59.544 Tahiti. Tahiti child. I thought that was hilarious. Loved it.
SCOTT OXFORD 45:05.133 I know. Yes. So for those listening, you see this woman in this beautiful spa bath in this incredible suite. And then she picks up a phone, I think, and we don't know who she's going to speak to but it turns out she's talking to the pilot and she's in this jet airliner and they're redirecting the plane to go to Tahiti instead and it's like, oh my God, that's everything you want to grow up and be, isn't it, when you--
MIM HAYSOM 45:29.840 Sounds a bit [tossy?] now when we're talking about it, doesn't it? It was a fun, fun ad. What else did I like? Oh my goodness. Louie The Fly. The Mortein ads. And we were talking before about a great jingle. I mean, talk about the case of how to use a jingle and having a little fly character as a consistent brand asset. I mean, they made the most boring of products fun and I could still sing that Louie the Fly jingle.
SCOTT OXFORD 45:56.172 Oh, yeah. I'm hearing it in my head. Yeah.
MIM HAYSOM 45:58.143 Yeah. So talking about brand assets before, that's a cracker. And the other one is one of my current brands now. I used to love this Shannons ad, "G-O-G-G-O." And that guy had Goggomobil that no one will insure that Shannons would. And my dad used to imitate this guy and it was so funny. We were all rolling around in the living room laughing at my dad imitating the Shannons guy. So yeah, a bit of a mixed bag there that--
SCOTT OXFORD 46:29.253 I love it. It's so good. And because we're the same vintage, Mim, these are all of mine as well. I just want to draw a comparison there. The guy from the Goggomobil ad, he was a bit like Rhonda in terms of being an actor who probably either went on to have a career because of that or had some extra salience because there was a familiarity and a charisma to them. And they just both gave great performances as well. So I'm sad I can't remember either of the actor's names, but I'll remember them forever because they're such charismatic actors. But yeah, a great script in both cases and a brilliant execution, which, of course, if more than an actor. It's a great director. It's a great art direction. All of the many moving parts that thanks to [grew?] and transfer, we're all a bit more aware of for those of us outside of our industry. But yeah, some excellent, excellent brands there. Some of those brands still exist, obviously, Shannons does as well. But aside from your portfolio and any of those brands, is there a brand today that has earned your trust, which we talked about before. If so, why do you trust them? And why is that-- how do you think they earned your trust?
MIM HAYSOM 47:53.917 I think it's actually quite a hard one. I sound like a real [sketchy?], but I don't know. Trust is a pretty big thing, right? I don't like that there's that many brands I actually trust. There's lots I enjoy. There's lots I think do a great job, but trust is quite a big thing. Probably the only one I can think of is-- the ABC is a brand I think that still has an element of trust in it. They've got some journalistic integrity and tackle the challenging issues and you feel like there's still some morals and ethics there in the making. Apart from the ABC-- and I know we've got research companies that track trust and sometimes Australia Post and Coles and all those kind of brands are right up there. I just don't have-- personally, I don't have high levels of trust associated to brands, per say. I would hope that I could trust all of the financial institutions to do the right thing. Yeah. I think that's quite a hard one. I sound like a sceptic, don't I?
SCOTT OXFORD 48:57.429 No, no.
MIM HAYSOM 48:57.641 You weren't expecting me to say that, were you?
SCOTT OXFORD 48:59.617 No, well, no, it's a really valid answer because at the end of the day, a brand is not a person. But we know that different people, for different reasons, and it's usually around an experience that's really won them over, like the one's you mentioned with Suncorp. Other guests I've had had mentioned moments where there was a place that they earned trust, or similarly, broke trust as well. I mean, there are plenty of stories of where a brand that we believed in suddenly just doesn't behave the way they did, or we have a personal experience with them. That's a hard one to answer. Actually, for you, it would probably be a bit easier, would it, to ask you if there's a brand that's broken trust with you?
MIM HAYSOM 49:47.467 Well, because I haven't got the expectation of trust with a lot of brands, not so much. But I had a pretty terrible customer experience on Delta Airlines in the US, so I swore I would never fly with them again. And it was just a really bad customer experience with sort of a lack of service and helpfulness. So off the back of that, I wouldn't fly with them because I don't trust that they reliably get me from A to B again. So that's one experience that really kind of stuck with me in terms of broken trust because there's an expectation I think when you are dealing with airlines, particularly that they're going to try and help you if you're in a pickle, and there was just that-- just didn't come through. So that was broken trust there. But to my point before, trust is pretty sacred and it's hard to get, and I heard a quote once which I just loved which has really stuck with me, which is, "Trust comes into town on a tortoise and leaves on a galloping horse." And it just really brings to life so beautifully. It's a long hard road to build trust as a brand, and you can break it with one experience like the one I had with that particular airline. So I think that that quote really resonates with me, and I think as custodians of brands and as marketers, we need to be really conscious of that.
SCOTT OXFORD 51:07.977 Yeah, absolutely. And I have talked to a lot of very clever, very smart leaders who have built powerful brands, but who have some key areas in either people who are touchpoints, people answering phones, people interacting, people who can actually undo all of that great brand work because they're part of the brand too, and somebody forgot to give them the memo on the fact that as a business, we always say yes and they're saying no, for example. Just a quick one. And your trust experience there was people letting down a promise that probably at a leadership level they confidently made but forgot to give the memo to their people. So we've talked about trust. So maybe not trust, [Mim?], is there a brand that you love? Love is different to trust.
MIM HAYSOM 52:05.575 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. There's a few that I love. And again, it comes down to customer experience, right? So one that's a little bit left of centre, there's a local brand I love called Husk. And it's a retailer and it's fashion and homewares all that kind of stuff. And I love it because everything that they've got is quite unusual and beautifully made. But you go into that store and it's a brilliant sensory experience. I could just stay in there for hours fossicking and searching, and you can always find something to wear and a great pressie.
SCOTT OXFORD 52:35.675 Yeah, full experience.
MIM HAYSOM 52:36.153 I love that brand. And it's really good quality, so I love that brand because I've never had a bad experience ever in terms of the product or the customer experience. And it's a lovely sensory experience. So I love that brand. If you put it through sort of a marketing lens, is there a brand I love from a marketing perspective? I think locally, Aldi. I love the Aldi brand. I just think they've got a really unique proposition in a really generic category. And they've done such a good job of building brand personality and a positioning that's consistent, and it's brave, and it's quirky, and it's likable. And from the coms to the store experience, that store experience is really basic, right? Bring your own bag. But you've got a clear expectation around what that is going to be. So I just think they're brilliant in the simplicity of it and that they're so true to their promise and you always get exactly what you expect. Although, some days you might not have been expecting to go home with a ski suit. [laughter] I just think it's brilliant. The whole proposition and the consistency of it and the quirkiness of it is really brilliant, and I think they've been so category-breaking in this market. So I love of that brand, I think it's great.
SCOTT OXFORD 53:55.552 I think what's so interesting, too, is that they manage expectations, but also there's always the opportunity for a surprise. Like a $2.50 Brie that turns out to be better than any of the French ones, or the $15 that you buy anywhere else. And then all you hear about for the next six weeks is everyone asking, "Oh did you try that Brie from-- " Like they get into the conversations because-- or the 3D printer. Someone I know bought a bloody 3D printer the other day. Came home with one of those. It's like-- and it's good, it's a good one.
MIM HAYSOM 54:32.187 And there you go, right? Listen to what you just said. And you think about the lines-- that's if they're tag lines-- good, different. And like [gloom?] How simple is that? And it's so consistent. I think they do a great job. So hats off to the Aldi team if they're listening, I think they're great.
SCOTT OXFORD 54:46.791 Well I'll be dropping them a line, and asking them if they will join me on the show. Because we need to do a supermarket, and I like the idea of doing a good, but different one, so. We're running out of time, but I have a couple more questions to ask you. I just wanted to know if you had some, really, I guess, good advice around brand, that you'd love to share. Anything that's certainly in your cannon, that you share with your team. That you would say, "Just never forget this" or "This is for me, that what stands for." Is there any big advice?
MIM HAYSOM 55:20.489 If I could only talk to one thing, it's to put the customer at the centre of everything that you do. Because if you haven't got customers, you haven't got a business. And if you don't know what your customers want, then you're not going to meet their needs and no matter how brilliant or creative your ads are, they're not going to be effective because you're not providing a compelling proposition. So as marketers, we should be the voice of the customer and the organisation, and we should put the customer at the centre of absolutely everything that we do. And make sure that we're staying very connected to their changing needs.
SCOTT OXFORD 55:54.144 And look, that is absolutely at the heart of so many of the pieces of advice coming from guests, but it also strikes me that in this country we have an awful lot of big brands that seem to have missed that, sort of point, that are kind of forgetting who the customer is, and how to kind of connect with them. And I think there is a real art to understanding what customers think. And a lot of businesses, I find, it's like, "Well we serve our customers. We ask them." And it's like, there is an art to understanding what people really think and what they really feel. And this is the joy of a great market researcher and, or-- even those other methods where you have-- I've worked with some great psychologists, as well, when we're really looking at tapping into the neuroscience of behaviour, and how people work and think. And I just think, there's some pretty amazing ways. Because I've found, myself, that people, sometimes the great facilitator needs to help me understand what I really feel about something. So, what a minefield, then, if you're just making assumptions, or just ticking the box on that, so.
MIM HAYSOM 57:06.335 Yeah. And I think if you are working in an organisation where you have the opportunity to be customer facing, don't just rely on research. Go and be customer facing. So I frequently sit in on-- with the contact-centre team. I'll spend half the day sitting there listening to customer calls. I'll go into the bank branches, spend half a day with the teams in the bank branches. If there's a weather event, when it's safe, and I'm not getting in the way, I love going and visiting communities that we've helped to rebuild or are rebuilding. And it goes back to, I guess, that story I talked about when I first came to Suncorp and met the customers in Queensland. If you've got the opportunity, not just to hear a research findings and look at data, but to speak to real people. You will get goals from that. And that's how you stay connected to what's really happening with customers, and in the community.
SCOTT OXFORD 58:02.523 Yeah. Well you know, Mim, I look back on some of the campaigns, and the work I've done in Quit, in quit smoking campaigns and other behaviour-change campaigns, and I would have to say, I wrote those campaigns, sitting in the research room. Sitting in a group. Watching a group. There is nothing more powerfully stimulating than the insights you get from being amongst people who are being enabled to share what's really going on for them. And there's no greater feeling for us as consumers, or even, in a B2B context, there's no greater feeling than someone who gets you, and understands you, and has taken the time. And it's a great courtesy that we pay to our customers when we take the time to really find out what matters to them. And that work you do, that's just going to keep you absolutely connected, absolutely relevant. And it's a great lead that you do for your team, to not just advise that, but to demonstrate it too, so. We are near the end. We're right near the end, we're at time. But I have my last big question for you, which is, "A dream brand that you've never worked on, but it doesn't matter how impractical-- or practical. What's a brand, that if you had the opportunity, you'd work on? In fantasy land"
MIM HAYSOM 59:30.475 Yeah. Yeah, well of course I'm working on my dream brands now at [Paul's?] I am a-- this is going to sound so cliche-- but I truly am a really big, huge fan of Nike. Their purpose, their products, their innovation in the marketing space and the bravery in their creative. And there's so many examples of that. So I do have a lot of admiration for what they manage to do, and what they're brave enough to do. So I'd have to say Nike, I think. Or Aldi. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 59:59.503 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think the really interesting thing about Nike, too, it is a very big brand. It's got a lot of things going on and there's nothing uniform or dull or boring about it, either. It's not just one, there is one central idea, obviously, but the way they out-work it, but it always beautifully serves that overall. For a global brand like that to do such different and interesting things that reveal more and more facets to their story.
MIM HAYSOM 01:31.195 Yeah. We talked before about tapping into cultural insight. It brillianted that. It brillianted building communities. You know the Run Club. And that's where I sort of talked, I wrapped it up-- innovation in the marketing space. But there's so much that sits underneath that, and I think they're incredibly innovative, and brave, so-- yeah, that would be my pick.
SCOTT OXFORD 01:52.615 Absolutely. Yeah, no I love it. And yes, I've used their Run Club for many, many years. Back when I had a Nike watch on my wrist, and now using on my Apple watch. It's still a familiar interface, and I've got my entire history of running, in case anybody wants to read it. [laughter] So I can sit back and reflect on just how many thousands of kilometers I've done. But they've earned a place of importance in my life too, so I totally get that. And what I love too, is that they would-- that's a business where you have an opportunity to bring something new. And it cannot be said for all of these brands-- like it's going to be hard up you landing at Apple, and bringing something new at Apple, isn't it? But they do new things, but at Nike, I feel like you could have your moment where you can do your life's work in a piece of work there. And it's something they've never seen before, and I love that about it. Mim, we could talk all day, I live talking about your brands, and yeah, I love hearing those stories, and I love that we're the same vintage. So thank you so much and maybe we'll come back for a part two next year. You never know.
MIM HAYSOM 01:02:04.482 Such a pleasure, Scott, thanks for having me. I've really enjoyed the chat too. [music]
SCOTT OXFORD 01:02:10.102 So if you have a burning brand question you'd love to hear me either ask or answer, or a brand category, such as insurance, like we discussed today, head to brandjam.co and use the contact form to let me know. Same for if you have a potential guest you'd like to connect me with. And right now, if you haven't all ready, please hit subscribe on your podcast app. This is last episode of Series 1, but we will be back with more Brand Jam in 2021. And because brand lives in the conversations people have about you, I love to finish Brand Jam with the words of the dapper and brand-savvy Don Draper from Mad Men, "If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." So go on, go do it. See you next year.