VCCP, the challenger agency for challenger brands, today unveils its inaugural RX Performance Index, giving brands valuable insights into the modern buying experience, and which brands are winning with customers and why. Signalling further investment into VCCP’s retail and commerce capabilities, the index is being unveiled alongside a new senior leadership line-up.
In an environment where a disconnection between brand and buying is rife, VCCP conducted extensive research to identify brands which are winning when it comes to their buying experiences and the emotional connection customers felt post-purchase. The inaugural RX Performance Index, compiled in partnership with Watermelon, the research and insights division within VCCP, surveyed 3,000 people in the UK and overlaid their findings with YouGov ‘brand popularity’ scores. Balancing many components of success in omnichannel retail experience, the index takes into consideration functional, emotional and inspirational factors.
Key findings include:
● The Index reveals the best performing brands come from a wider range of sectors. The strongest performing verticals were Pureplay Retailers, followed by Restaurant and QSR brands. CPG brands broadly scored less well - due to the indirect nature of their sales channels.
● At the heart of the index is a measure of emotional connection to brands before and after buying. Adidas is shown to be the current highest performer by this measure. Those with the greatest disconnection between brand and buying experience scored less well.
● The Power of Amazon - Amazon shone through with having the highest scoring overall RX of the brands surveyed but was let down in the RX Differential, meaning the emotional connection with customers is a key way for brands to beat Amazon (and an area for Amazon to improve).
● M&S came a strong second to Amazon, and similarly scored well across the board, scoring just behind them in practical criteria like clear information, speed of purchase and helpful humans.
VCCP has rich and long standing expertise in retail design, shopper, digital commerce and activation disciplines and the new approach brings together the best of established retail and shopper thinking with new CX techniques and integrated brand building whilst putting the buying moment at the heart of modern connected brands.
The offering will challenge outdated ‘retail’ agencies and disconnected approaches to creativity, talent and customers. Their new approach, coined RX, will be dedicated to connecting the frequently disparate worlds of Brand and Buying experience, helping clients to both effectively win when it matters most: at any point of purchase.
The team will work hand in hand alongside every discipline from within the VCCP Group, from analogue to digital, from brand to CX and in particular with Bernadette (VCCP’s newly launched product & service innovation company) to bring digital activations and experiences to life.
Led by a team of retail and commerce experts, the offering will be led by Rob Sellers, Head of Retail alongside Stephanie Thomas and Stephen Renou. Sellers joined VCCP in 2021, taking on the leadership for the comprehensive retail creative unit that has become an intrinsic part of VCCP in London and its global network. Rob has held a number of leadership roles across multiple major UK and International client mandates, notably FMCG powerhouses P&G, Nestle and General Mills and has helped to drive end-to-end retail integration across clients including Volvo and Helly Hansen for Grey.
An experienced marketeer and retail specialist Stephanie Thomas joins as Business Director. Famed for delivering results, Thomas has worked for top agencies including Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Lowe, Haygarth across European and Middle Eastern markets, and for household brands including Vodafone, Morrisons and Unilever. For a sustained period, Thomas oversaw the McDonald's Retail Experience team at The Marketing Store, during which they famously trail-blazed and transitioned their entire 1400 restaurants from print spaces to a digital estate.
Completing the senior line-up is new hire Stephen Renou, who joins as Head of Retail Strategy. Renou brings a wealth of experience working with global Personal Care, Beauty, Foods and Alcohol brands in different EMEA markets to improve their shopper, retail and in-store experience strategies. Passionate about understanding shopper behaviour as well as retailer and channel insights and how these can lead to breakthrough shopper communication and ideas.
Andrew Peake, CEO at VCCP London, said: “As we continue to evolve our offering at VCCP, it’s evident that brand and retail expertise should be collided - for us and for our clients. As the challenger agency for challenger brands, it’s right that we could be challenging the disconnection between brand and buying.”
Rob Sellers, Head of Retail at VCCP London, added: “The moment that people buy your brand should sit at the heart of your connected brand strategy. Modern brands succeed when they populate and permeate culture. But often the experience people have buying a brand is not the same as the experience promised by the brand in other channels. We believe that connecting these will unlock greater success and effectiveness at the moment of purchase.”
Talking about the department’s mission, Sellers continued: “We firmly believe that winning in modern retails need ALL of this talent, but harnessed in a neutral way so retail experience solutions are not biassed to one approach based on narrow agency heritage.”