It’s almost unbelievable that this year marks the 15th anniversary of the Latvian Most Loved Brand Chart and the lifestyle study Brand Capital. In turn, this year we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, the must unifying campaign of all time in the Baltics. Although there is still no shortage of companies that continue to operate within the borders of their city or country, most leading companies in Latvian and its neighbouring countries, focusing on their future growth, have expanded their operations on a pan-Baltic scale at least. As a result, there has also been a rapid growth in the proportion of Baltic projects in marketing communications. That is, we had at least three strong reasons to focus on the Baltics as the subject of a special brand chart in 2019 and to conduct an in-depth study of how alike or different we are. And to discover which brands have succeeded in conquering hearts, minds, clicks and wallets throughout the Baltics and why. Admittedly, the title of Baltic Agency of the Year won by the DDB Latvia team this year and last was a powerful signal to focus on researching the whole of the Baltics more actively.
Balts are more alike than we think
In order to retain their freedom and independence to create local communication projects, marketing people skilfully find and highlight the differences in the habits and lifestyle of the residents of the Baltic States. And there is no shortage of differences. Latvian feel the most affiliated to the Baltics, while Lithuanians agree the most with the assertion that Baltic products are local. Estonians believe in God the least and are the most direct in expressing their opinions, while Lithuanians believe the most in life on other planets. Meanwhile, Latvians believe the most that the world is coming to an end and (possibly for this very reason) spend the money they’ve earned the fastest. Lithuanians are so fond of relaxing outside their homes that they are even ready to go to restaurants alone. Likewise, the leaders in terms of taking shopping bags with them when they go shopping are Lithuanians. Latvians trail them on this indicator by a whole 10%. Lithuanians have the guiltiest consciences about eating fast food, while Latvians worry about their excess weight the most. Meanwhile, Estonians keep fit the most and use parcel machines the most (these two things could go together very well). Thus, of course, we could go on and on.
Nevertheless, no matter how interesting it is to highlight the differences between the residents of the three Baltic States, the answers to a lot of the lifestyle questions are very similar. Therefore, if a company’s goal is to create a uniform and powerful brand image throughout the Baltics, this is definitely achievable. Content created on a pan-Baltic level can be more powerful and deliver greater return on marketing investments, which are otherwise divided up creating local content. In turn, the Baltics’ varying traits can prove useful in planning tactical activities, choosing the most effective communication channels and cooperation partners.
How can you become a Baltic heartbreaker?
This year too, love for brands in the Baltics was most influenced by the assessment of the humanity of brands or how much good brands do and how much they bring about positive changes in society. In Lithuania and Latvia, this indicator significantly exceeds the other metrics (uniqueness, greenness, quality and advantageousness). However, in Estonia the metric of humanity was slightly exceeded by the valuation of quality. Most likely, the combination of high quality and convenience of use with active involvement in bringing about positive changes has helped Swedbank to become the most loved brands in the Baltics in each country individually and all three together.
I wish all of us every success in wining Baltic hearts!