LONDON — MSL UK has introduced a data-driven insights tool, Belief Stack, to help brands better understand the deeply-held beliefs and values of their audiences.

The Belief Stack uses definitions of 19 core values and beliefs as defined by social psychologist Professor Shalom Schwartz, combining them with more than one million data points from 40,000 people provided by target audience company GlobalWebIndex.

MSL UK group chief executive Chris McCafferty told PRovoke: “Belief is a human algorithm that helps us act. The Belief Stack allows us to understand in more detail the beliefs that people hold that influence decisions and preferences. For example, we’re in the process of helping Puma evaluate its sustainability platform globally, and it has allowed us to look in more detail about what beliefs drive audience connection with sustainability, with a richness of insights that takes us beyond the industry norm.”

McCafferty said client feedback to the new offer had been positive: “We’ve already used it in pitches and with some clients as it’s being alpha and beta-tested, and I haven’t had one conversation where people haven’t been interested. Most insights platforms look at what and how, this enabled us to look more at the why – which is PR’s special superpower – and this takes us even deeper.”

He added: “It’s an unashamedly commercial model that allows us to tap more into the values of companies and audience groups, based on something that was accelerated by Covid but it was true before: the way we show up in the world is becoming incredibly important.”

At the same time as the Belief Stack launch, the Publicis Groupe agency has announced a new UK positioning, ‘We Build Belief’, reflecting, it says, the increasing importance for audiences and brands of the values and emotions that drive people’s decisions, beyond trust and logic.

McCafferty said the new offer and positioning was part of MSL UK’s ambition to be “the most progressive networked agency in the market, with better insights, better ideas, better creative, better and more effective execution across emerging platforms.”

He said: “I think there is a gap in the market for that, and the thing we needed was a compelling point of view of the world. We asked ourselves, what are the unique strengths of Publicis Groupe and the answer was data, so I set out on an exploration to find our point of view on the world – and the data to support it.”

Publicis Groupe UK CEO Annette King said: “The MSL Belief Stack has been designed for forward-thinking clients seeking to understand their customers’ beliefs and values, to help grow their brands and their influence. This new tool is the result of a collaboration from people with different skills and capabilities from across Publicis Groupe UK who have come together to innovate, find and interpret the data, and make a great idea happen.”

MSL UK has been under new leadership since McCafferty joined in September 2019, joined by UK managing director Jo Grierson in January 2020. New brands to have chosen MSL in the past year, as well as Puma, include Subway, Fossil, AXA and Bank of America.