On 2th June, in the London soho venue Kettner’s, three marketing and branding experts – individuals who have positioned countless household and corporate brands, assembled in front of a packed room of senior marketing and communications professionals to debate whether “Brand” is at saturation point – are we experiencing the beginning of the end?
Robert Mighall, author of Only Connect, speaking about corporate branding, questioned whether people really lived brands, “people are not branded – they have free will,” he said, unlike cattle, who were originally branded, as a mark of ownership.
David Arkwright, author of The Making of Dirt is Good, argued that people do live brands and used the example of NIKE – people experience the NIKE concept and are affected and influenced by taking part in the likes of Run London and Run Paris. Nike’s brand ethos of ‘Just Do It’ may seem vauge (i.e. what that ‘it’ is, is not defined). But an iconic product and tagline that enables movement is always going to hit an accord.
What Makes A ‘Great’ Brand?
To distinguish between corporate brand and consumer goods brands, Andy Law, author of Implosion, bridged the gap by speaking about John Lewis, a corporate brand, which is lived by its employees, but even John Lewis needs to work at making sure that their brand values are firstly believed by their “partners” (employees) in order to be implemented and lived. This allows for cohesion of brand values and brand experience.
The panel established that brands need good brand guardians in order to survive and that the role of the Brand and Marketing Director is as demanding as ever, if even in a different way than before.
When Brands #fail
As Andy Law quite humorously put it, brands do not die – they are murdered, murdered by disengaged employees, which flows down from bad management. Surviving brands are those that are successfully managed and Marketing Directors need to be savvy and know where and how to invest resources.
Brands That Behave Well
Law spoke about brands which, “behave well,” i.e. not in the CSR sense – but in the meaning that they do not need claims to justify what they do, and brands like UBER and WeChat, which are born quickly and spread like viruses amongst consumers as they successfully simplify complicated processes. Andy went onto say that the brands that add value and have a delivery mechanism you can praise and get excited about, are the brands that do well today.
Why Did We Put This Event On?
1. Today’s pace of change is exponential, and as a recruitment consultancy, by bringing together clients and candidates and evoking a timely debate upon future consumer, and working environments, we’re better placed to get better results, as the market forces that lead organisational change are always going to affect the type of positions we recruit for, and demand different qualities of individuals that are suitable to be a success in them.
2. We’re a recruitment consultancy, so we’re in the business of connecting people. We hope that many of the conversations had at the event will turn into new connections and relationships. We also hope you enjoyed the debate and the pedigree of the speakers we were able to secure.