Does a brand need to be ‘always on’ to drive growth?

Michelle Whelan, Geometry



Geometry - Captivate
Geometry's breakfast event was part of their Captivate: A New Perspective series

Geometry UK hosted a breakfast panel event at the end of March exploring the topic ‘Does a brand need to be ‘always on’ to drive growth?’ In a world of infinite choice and round-the-clock shopping, can brands still rely on seasonal peaks, product launches and promotions to guarantee growth? Or is the new reality that all brands have to be mentally and physically available 24/7, 365 days a year?

The panel discussion took place at the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn and was concluded with an informal Q&A with all of the speakers. The speakers explored the importance of both conscious and non-conscious, implicit decision-making and how to unlock incremental growth through an ‘always on’ approach to shopping. They also shared examples of brands and retailers that were doing this well.

The breakfast panel was part of a series of events that are put on by Geometry UK, called Captivate: A New Perspective.


Thom Noble, CEO & Founder, NeuroStrata

Nick Baldwin, Head of Digital Media, tenthavenue

Tom Moore, Head of Shopper, Geometry

Key take outs:

  • Permanent shopability. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to being “permanently shoppable”. Connecting your brand with as many different usage occasions as possible in a relevant way, having the right range and assortment to satisfy all shopping behaviours, in the right channels and once you have the right range, helping shoppers navigate that category really quickly and easily. Neuroscience principles and now tools, can help us understand both what associations are implicit in people’s minds and how to enrich that list of associations. They also uncover how to use your brand assets to get noticed and to help people decode what they see at a non-conscious level.
  • Shopper-centric campaign activity. Your shoppers aren’t just shopping when you happen to be running a yearly seasonal campaign. Part of the ‘always on’ challenge is to create new but critically, still relevant occasions or associations for your brand. Making sure your brand is available in every possible usage or consumption occasion possible. Purina, through a deep understanding of shopper data, recently learned that they can use retail media to feature against sun cream, online. As our shopper thinks about their holiday, they’re also bulk-buying cat food. An unexpected but brilliantly effective use of shopper-centric campaign activity.
  • Total category growth. To deliver long term, incremental growth, brands should be working with retailers to create category driving programmes that establish new behaviours or occasions based on understanding both channel dynamics and the shopper. The Unilever/CVS partnership is a great example. Unilever research revealed that CVS had been losing shoppers in the beauty category to mass and supermarket channels. So, on the heels of CVS announcing a new focus on health and beauty, Unilever stepped up with “Love Your Skin,” an exclusive platform that grouped its Dove, Simple and Vaseline brands together to create new regime behaviours and drive overall growth of the skin-care category. “Love Your Skin” promoted a group purchase but doing so by changing the core CVS beauty buyer’s mindset to “treat” to a new focus on total skin health.


    Ilana Angel, New Business and Marketing Manager, Geometry,

    Guest Author

    Michelle Whelan, Geometry



    Michelle Whelan joined Geometry UK as CEO in May 2017. With innovation at its heart and a full suite offering at the intersection of tech, creativity and life experience, Geometry UK is the flagship agency of WPP's brand activation network, with teams in 56 markets. In her role, Michelle is responsible for the vision and growth of the 250 strong agency. Her ambition is to put data and digital innovation as the heart of the customer journey to truly understand human behaviour and stimulate change that will benefit Geometry's clients.

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