More than a rebrand.
There’s been something interesting going on at Choice. More than a logo refresh, it seems the stalwart reviewer is starting to develop its activist side. While Choice is known for its product reviews and buying guides more than it’s disruptive activist side, things are defiantly changing. As a member-funded, non-profit organisation Choice has always had a true independence. Naturally this funding model means that without members it struggles and while it offers general information, there’s always been a challenge and drive to acquire members. Their ‘Shonkys‘ award has traditionally been their biggest promotional effort over the last dozen years. But of late Choice seems to be branching out into other activities and funding models that are all powered by the brand value Choice has grown.
Taking the battle to comparison brands
While there was a brand refresh that rolled out earlier in the year the more interesting aspect of Choice’s brand seems to be a strategic change: the commercialisation of the Choice brand. The fist steps were the licensing of the brand for promotion. The Choice brand has started appearing on products in supermarkets and billboard ads for white goods as an endorser of the products qualities. This also nicely builds the value of the Choice brand. As the value of social media influencers is going more mainstream, it seems Choice has realised its influence as a mega-influencer. Shaking itself from its more passive history, Choice is starting to mix it with the competition like Canstar building both brand value and revenue at the same moment.
The weaponisation of a brand.
While licensing the brandmark as a revenue and brand building development is interesting, it’s the creation of the Choice Transformer sub-brand that is really interesting. Focused squarely on the for-profit comparison brands like iSelect and Compare the market , whose business model relies on consumer churn, Transformer is a clever take on the membership model. It is simple and clever. Email them a bill, they’ll find you savings of $500 a year (on average). Then you join for $99 a year to get the saving and Transformer keeps reviewing your bills and will automatically move you to a cheaper supplier if they become available. It’s a no-brainer proposition for consumers, once they keep saving you at least $99 a year.
The next step for Choice is interesting, they are suddenly going to become a large power broker on the cost of electricity. They’ll have the power to switch all their members, which no power supplier can ignore. There are obvious growth models following the aforementioned comparison sites into other utilities, insurance or finance. If they start to bundle memberships benefits across the brands they can achieve massive growth, which might be Silicon Valley thinking, but for an influencer brand, it is still interesting. Now they must protect their brand value and their independence, which is the cornerstone that enables all this. As a consumer I trust them and I’d recommend them. I love their new disruptive activist attitude, it’s a natural evolution of what I feel is their brand essence.
Derek is the Creative Partner at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in creating beautiful, effective and unique brand identities that bring strategy to life and resonate with audiences. Derek has extensive experience developing consumer, business, community and government brands. Find out more here…
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