March 29, 2023
6 mins

3 brands that made a splash this March—and why you should care

See how consumers feel about the PGA Tour, Estée Lauder, and Pedialyte using data from Harris Brand Platform.

Welcome to the Stagwell Marketing Cloud x Harris Brand Platform monthly brand report. 

Every month, we take brand data from Harris Brand Platform, a brand management tool, and highlight the brands who have made a splash. 

Let’s dive in:

PGA Tour

In the news

“I don’t judge other people,” NBA icon Charles Barkley told sports analyst Pat McAfee last summer. “If someone gave me $200M, I’d kill a relative.” 

Sound dramatic? Not for the golf pros who have to make a choice between joining controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf league and staying with the long-time premier golf league, the PGA Tour. 

As major golfers such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson signed on with LIV Golf for $200M and $150M contracts, respectively, the heat turned up between challenger LIV Golf and the PGA Tour—and almost one year after LIV Golf’s first event, it doesn’t appear as if the feud will end any time soon. 

Just this past weekend, the PGA Tour and the Golf Channel were under fire for showing misleading graphics that scrubbed now-LIV Golf members from PGA Tour stats. “How pathetic is this?” a tweet from @GolfLoverUK said, “The PGAT are rewriting their OWN history.” 

All of that to say, there’s a lot of drama and uncertainty surrounding both brands at the moment. So how is that reflected in the PGA Tour’s brand equity? 

Over to Catherine Ake, content strategist Harris Brand Platform, who analyzed PGA Tour fans’ impression of the PGA Tour before and after the first LIV Golf tournament on June 9, 2022. 

Real-time data

A graph that shows PGA Tour brand equity among PGA Tour fans pre v. post LIV Golf launch.
PGA Tour brand equity among PGA Tour fans pre v. post LIV Golf launch. Base: US adults familiar with, and fans of, the PGA Tour brand. 1/1/22–5/31/22, n=597. 6/9/22–12/31/22, n=487.

“Brand equity measures the value that consumers see in a brand. It is made up of four distinct components: consumer familiarity with the brand, perceived brand quality, purchase consideration, and perceived brand momentum.

Perceived brand momentum (-12.4) experienced the most significant drop among PGA Tour fans. This could reflect fans’ concern that the Tour could lose its dominance (and relevance) with the rise of a new, cutting-edge golf tour. However, fans’ (engagement) consideration (+1.6) and perceived quality of the brand (+2.2) actually increased over this same time span.

The drop in perceived momentum is even less pronounced when you look at responses across all US adults, not just PGA Tour fans. The drop in momentum decreased by just -2.7. Similarly, consideration (+1.2) and perceived quality (+2.1) also increased across US adults.

Despite fans’ impression that the Tour’s momentum had waned, the PGA Tour boasted strong viewership throughout 2022. The Canadian Open had its highest viewership since 2000. Likewise, British Open viewership was up 16% from 2021 and 27% from 2019. The FedEx Cup playoff was the most watched postseason opener since 2017 with 2.97 million viewers.”

Top-line takeaway

We’re going to keep an eye on changing brand equity trends over the next year to continue monitoring changes in fans’ perceptions of the PGA Tour. Despite a drop in brand momentum, fans aren’t fleeing yet. Growth in the league’s engagement and perceived quality segments emphasizes the staying power of a brand with nearly a century of history.  

Read the rest of the PGA Tour brief here.

Estée Lauder

In the news

Bright pink ombre packaging, crisp white sans serif font, TikTok campaigns, and college campus–focused promotion. 

This is not your mother’s skincare. And it doesn’t look anything like the Estée Lauder products in your medicine cabinet.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Estée Lauder launched Nutritious, a new line of skincare made to target Gen Z. The 77-year-old brand wants to reach a market of younger buyers and is going on all out to appeal to the concerns of this demographic.  

“Estée Lauder saw an opportunity to create something specifically geared toward younger Gen-Z consumers looking for high-performance beauty products that are ingredient-focused, consciously formulated and designed to meet their specific skin needs,” Jennifer Palmer, senior vice president of global skin-care marketing for the brand, told beauty and fashion publication Glossy.

Let’s see what Ake at Harris Brand Platform found when she dug into Estée Lauder’s conversion funnel. 

Real-time data 

A graph that shows Estée Lauder sales conversion funnel.
Estée Lauder sales conversion funnel: US adults vs. Gen Z adults. Base: US adults, ages 18+ (grey), n=3,162. Base: Gen Z adults (green) n=479.

“A sales conversion funnel tracks consumers’ progression from initial brand awareness to purchase and active usage.

Above, we use Harris Brand Platform data to compare Estée Lauder’s sales conversion funnels between two consumer groups: overall US adults and Gen Z adults. From the differences in these two funnels, it’s clear that Estée Lauder is still growing its relationship with Gen Z

Across every phase of Estée Lauder’s sales conversion journey, overall US adult consumers outpace Gen Z consumers: brand awareness (+34.5), brand familiarity (+23.5), product trial (+16.9), product usage (+11.8), and brand recommendation (+8.4).

That’s not to say that Gen Z will never use Estée Lauder. The platform numbers highlight Gen Z’s current lack of awareness of the Estée Lauder brand. Estée Lauder must get their brand in front of this young adult demographic to convert new customers, which is exactly what they have been doing through initiatives on the metaverse and TikTok.”

Top-line takeaway

It’s too soon to tell how Gen Z is responding to Nutritious and whether or not Estée Lauder’s investment in this demographic will pay off. What we do know from the data is that there is a ton of potential for growth across every segment of the funnel—will it be possible for Estée Lauder’s brand to attract Gen Z?

Read the rest of the Estée Lauder brief here.


In the news

When you think of Pedialyte, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? 

If you search the brightly colored electrolyte beverage, a few different messages come up on Google. 

The Google snippet at the top of the page reads that it is “an oral electrolyte marketed for use in children.” 

If you scroll down to the first Pedialyte-specific answer under commonly asked questions, the description reads that it is “formulated for athletes with 5 key electrolytes for fast rehydration and muscle support for before, during, or after workouts.” Just a couple more quicks scrolls, and you’ll see a headline from Refinery29: “Why Are Grown Adults Drinking Pedialyte For Hangovers?”

So what is Pedialyte?

The answer is: It’s all of those things. And that’s not an accident. 

Even though the electrolyte beverage was invented over 50 years ago to help kids rehydrate after the stomach flu, the company has since started marketing to both athletes and the regretfully hungover to help everyone who needs a quick hydration hit take advantage of the product. 

Let’s see how this consumer diversification shows up in consumer ad recall with data from Ake and Harris Brand Platform. 

Real-time data

A graph that shows Pedialyte’s sales conversion funnel, by consumer group.
Pedialyte’s sales conversion funnel, by consumer group. 7/1/22–3/20/23. Base (left to right): US adults with kids at home, n=1,562; Regular exercisers, n=685; US adults who consumed spirits, beer, or wine in the last 90 days, n=2,497.

“While parents have a strong lead [when it comes to usage for their children], that’s not to say that they will always remain Pedialyte’s top consumer. Pedialyte has marketed to parents for decades longer than it has targeted athletes and alcohol drinkers. When we examine Pedialyte’s ad recall data, alcohol drinkers (20%) and regular exercisers (18.2%) were more likely to remember seeing an ad for Pedialyte in the last 30 days than parents with children (16.6%), perhaps reflecting Pedialyte’s efforts to engage these new groups.

Previously, Pedialyte sales would rise during cold and flu season and drop once sickness receded. Marketing to adults has steadied their sales throughout the calendar year. Now, adult consumers (buying Pedialyte for their own use) make up at least half of Pedialyte’s overall sales.”

Top-line takeaway

If Pedialyte continues to focus their marketing efforts on partygoers and athletes over parents, these new target consumers could surpass parents in Pedialyte’s brand equity and sales conversion numbers in the years ahead. For now, Pedialyte is still gaining traction with these newer adult consumers, one compelling marketing campaign at a time.

Read the rest of the Pedialyte case study here

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