There is a phrase that I have always been rather fond of: if you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything. Whilst nobody really knows who the hell said it, it really is an adage that is applicable to most areas of life, and certainly the world of marketing. Because marketing forms the core of your communications strategy. It is the message you send to your consumers, and helps you form sustainable connections. In fact, if the Apprentice taught us nothing else this series (which I think we can safely say it hasn’t), we can at least take from Japanese Jeans-gate just how important careful branding is.
Any brand needs to know what message they hope to send to customers and to do that they really need a rich and nuanced understand of their company. The number of companies who believe their USP is “being very good,” makes me wants to hold my head in my hands. And these are, most often, run by a phenomenal group of people with a fantastic product, yet they haven’t thought beyond the surface. If we think of branding as an iceberg, and avoid any unfortunate Titanic connotations, it isn’t enough to tap the surface – you have to dig much much deeper. Otherwise your branding will fail to set you apart from the rest.
For some branding inspiration I would advise a look at Innocent drinks, a brand that essentially delivers bottled juiced fruit for around £3.00. And yet they have managed to take this achingly simple process and in 2015 made an outstanding £250 million in revenue. Why? Because their marketing is quite simply cracking. From their brand name, to their logo right through to their colours and copy they are absolutely consistent and extremely clever in targeting their audience. In a world that is besmirching McDonalds, KFC and other fast-food establishments they have clearly established themselves as a brand that is ethical, honourable and full of integrity. You feel they truly care about the environment, and about their customers – and this clear branding strategy is set to have them take over the healthy drink market.
Another example that again was inspired by a recent episode of the Apprentice is Candy Kittens. For those of you who don’t know, this brand, was founded by reality TV star Jamie Laing whose claim to fame is appearing on Made in Chelsea, where he plays something of the clown. (Well so I’ve been told, obviously I’ve never watched it…)
His sweet company, which has managed to get itself into Topshop, Tesco and Sainsbury’s has done remarkably well given that he is selling sweets for the rather shocking price of £5-10 bag. And again this is down to his branding – Jamie’s candy kittens are a “gourmet” sweet, an indulgence. And this is clear in the extortionate prices, the glamorous (made in Britain packaging) and their achingly hipster Instagram page. Clearly, Jamie is aiming his sweet brand at adults who want to indulge their inner child whilst still feeling like grown-ups. His brand values are clear: Jamie’s sweets are hip, cool and bang on trend.
Neither of these products are particularly revolutionary, but their marketing is exceptionally effective. Clear and consistent, they have obviously identified their values and disseminated them in an exceptionally powerful way. An example to us all.
If you would like any help with your brand values feel free to give me a bell on 0208 088 2015 or get in touch!