Brand strategy / Re-positioning the iconic X-Men brand to drive brand growth in Vietnam 🇻🇳

Context:

Despite being an iconic brand, over the years X-Men had been losing resonance among Vietnamese youth and grow was plateauing. There was a need to re-position X-Men in a way that would resonate with contemporary Vietnam.

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Challenge:

  • Atypical challenge - developing a brand key from scratch for an existing, long-known, and reputed brand

  • Usual challenge - limited time, quick turnaround
     

Approach: mixed methods

We began with rapid immersions through friendship triads, self-ethnographies and covert observations at youth hang outs, to identify contemporary psych-socio-cultural perspectives on masculinity in Vietnam. To supplement qualitative insights with hard category and brand data, we ran an insight mining exercise with past brand and category reports to identify barriers to growth vis-a-vis competition. 

Insights were then translated into a universally comprehensible format using Jungian archetypes, highlighting:

  • Archetypes that best represent masculinity values

  • Archetypes that are desirable, aspirational

  • Archetypes occupied by competitors and opportunities to differentiate

To find the sweet spot and write up a refreshed brand key and positioning, we workshopped the insights together with the X-Men team and creative partners which culminated into a robust creative brief. Fast forward to a few months later, a new campaign launch, re-positioning X-Men as a relatable man trying to find his identity, facing challenges but not shying away from risks

Impact:

✔️Distinct shift from the James Bond-esque portrayal of the man as a 'rescuer' to that of a modern man, confident in himself

✔️Significant improvement in brand imagery across almost all key attributes (modern, young, energetic, dynamic, masculine)

✔️Increase in brand meaningfulness scores

✔️Brand growth, bridging gap with competition 

✔️Increase in brand worth scores, 'brand worth paying more for'

"The campaign was really special... the re-positioning got noticed, the brand grew, and more importantly, gave us a platform to build the brand on" 
 

- Vice President, Marketing, Marico SEA