Posts Tagged: Brands

What’s Your Story?




by Zane Radcliffe, Creative Director at The Agency

One of the first things we like to know about people when we first meet them is where they’re from and what’s their story. The same is true for brands. We refer to this as brand ‘provenance’; a word derived from the French ‘provenir’, meaning ‘to come forth’ or ‘originate’.

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Is the British Brand broken?

Union Jack

As a nation Britain has suffered from brand decay, largely around football, holidaymakers abroad, even the Iraq war. But recent riots, televised and sensationalised around the world have even had the head of Visit Britain and British Tourism on television defending the nation.

The problem that the British brand faces is that it stands for dysfunction. Dysfunctional coalition government, dysfunctional ethnic tolerance, dysfunctional society, even a dysfunctional Royal family (although they have made strides in recent years). It is difficult to think of a nation that so clearly re-enforces its stereotypes with the rest of the world. In the past, I’ve even been asked by chief executives to steer clear of national advertising campaigns that feature the Union Jack in shop windows, just in case it incites antisocial behaviour against the store brands in question. Read more on Is the British Brand broken?…

Social media is just a mad trolley dash? by @TheAgencyUK

The recession hit everyone hard. Yet amidst the downturn we saw the rise of social media. Big brands embraced it with both hands, trying new creative ideas gaining interest and generating momentum.

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Brand Desire: What makes us love the brands we love?

Have you ever wondered why people love the brands they do?Why people are likely to buy a brand more often; pay more for it; try something new from it; forgive it if it disappoints and even recommend it to a friend?

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why a bank still needs a brand

I’ve just read Chris Barraclough’s intelligent blog on brands in financial services, which struck a few chords.

There’s no doubt the past few years have seen many well regarded financial services brands (and some less well regarded) fall by the wayside or be consumed by a competitor. But to assume that the lack of a publicised exodus of customers indicates that brands don’t matter in this sector doesn’t quite sit right.

Chris is right – it’s a shame some financial brands are “little more than a name allocated to a range of products and services”. But the way a brand should be expressed depends on the type of financial services brand you’re dealing with.

From a consumer point of view, there are two sorts of FS brands: those they can walk into and those they cannot.

High street banks, building societies, the Post Office: once you’ve established a relationship with an organisation of this kind, the ‘brand’ is the smiling (or miserable) person behind the counter, how long you have to queue, whether the pens work – personal interaction stuff, not a logo, positioning statement or advertising.

It’s logos and branding and the like that will have impact at the outset of the relationship along with peer recommendation, ease of access, product rates etc. So in these sorts of businesses, a name change affects retention less than, say, sweeping redundancies in your front-of-branch staff.

The place where a strong brand identity can pay huge dividends is with those FS firms that customers interact with virtually, and less often. Life insurance and pensions, investment houses; pretty much anything else you have to buy from a sales person (either in a bank or an independent financial adviser) falls into this category, where there are no pens to leak or disappear.

The smartest marketing departments realise that, to be considered, a strong and consistent brand message is essential, whether it’s in the form of better staff training if you have branches, or brand identity work if you don’t. That’s why many millions were spent on the Norwich Union transition to Aviva. Those with less ambition (and, to be fair, budget) rely on trotting out the same old commercial (perhaps with a new voiceover) and past glories to keep consumers interested.

It’s been complimented a million times, but Compare the Meerkat proves how incredibly important brand can be, even in the highly commoditised price comparison site sector.

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Enough of the junk mail already!

It seems that scatter-gun emailing still a viable way to educate consumers about a brand, from the amount of irrelevant stuff that was yet again in my inbox when I logged in this morning.

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Farewell to the strangely familiar man in the mirror

Anyone old enough remembers where they were when they heard that Kennedy was assassinated. In 1977 I was in a coach car park when people shouted – literally wailed – over the death of Elvis Presley. I remember the assassination of Lennon, Kurt Cobain’s ‘official’ gunshot wound to the head and the loss of Freddie Mercury. Last week I first heard the rumours about Michael Jackson whilst watching TV. My fears were soon confirmed via my fellow lost souls on Twitter. At least for Presley, his family had the dignity of learning the news in private, before it being announced to the global plebs by a local celebrity gossip website.

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New Marketing Rules

It seems that just about everywhere I turn some marketing guru somewhere is offering me the definitive way to beat the recession through marketing salvation. My in-box is stuffed with offers for courses… free downloads… podcasts and just about everything in between. Having studied most, ignored some and chortled at others, I have decided to throw my own two-pennies worth into the advice jar.

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Spotify – another one-hit wonder or a sustainable player?

Spotify’s founder Daniel Ek spoke on Friday (15 May) at the Great Escape festival in Brighton. He told the conference how Spotify had come to be and shared his vision for the future.

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