My goodness, how I love a good argument……..
One of my favourite Monty Python sketches in the distant past was the one about the “Argument Clinic”. It was a great idea…the outlet that allowed disputation a place to play out….for money.
“Excuse me I’ve come in here for an argument.”
An argumentative proposition I heard recently was “no one gives a toss about brands any more”.
Well, true or false?
Actually, neither … how’s that. It’s clear enough isn’t it? No it’s not. Yes it is. No it isn’t…
The fact of the matter is that more rubbish is talked about brands than anything else. Linda Barker (God bless her, calls herself a brand – Linda? You know the Interior Designer and TV Presenter). Jordan née Katie Price probably thinks she’s one too.
This is brand Barker or barking…..
Becoming a brand is a bit like getting an OBE – something awarded for doing something worthy of recognition. Heinz is a brand because as Tony O’Reilly, ex CEO, said “a brand is a product so desired that a customer would leave a supermarket if it wasn’t in stock and go elsewhere for it. Apple is a brand because it’s sexy”. Steve Jobs said of the keyboard of the new Mac that “it looked so good you wanted to lick it”. He understood brands.
Yum, yum, my darling
Without real brands supermarket power would wane. We used to think that own label would win. Stroll around today and see who the swaggering heroes of the shelves are – Persil, Ariel, Innocent, Warburton, Heinz, Hellman, Domestos, Nurofen, Provamel, Twinings, Knorr, Duchy, Dettol, Philadelphia and so on and so on.
Let’s move to cars where the mediocre marques are third division brand players but where BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar strut supremely.
This is a page three picture – shameless
So the idea that people don’t get brands or don’t like them is daft. In Asia, India, China, Japan and Indonesia, where half the world’s population live, they account for approaching 60% of the sales of global luxury brands. Clearly they understand the exclusive, quality standards that great brands set.
But I’m not sure they’ll buy into Colgate, Tetley or Hovis – all of them sort of Nottingham Forest brands – but they really get Hermes, Rolls Royce, Johnnie Walker and Tanqueray. And they also buy into Chelsea (may they be forgiven), Manchester United and Arsenal.
So let’s get back to that proposition about nobody giving a toss about brands anymore.
Is this a legacy of the stuff that smart unscrupulous advertisers brainwashed or brand washed the consumer just like Ross tried with Harry Palmer in the film the ‘Ipcress File’………… “now listen to me, now listen to me”…..
The villain Ross seemed so plausible. But never trust a man with an umbrella and a green tie.
I believe brands globally have never been in better health and that with proper nourishment they’ll thrive even more. Here’s what Nick Britton of Diageo said about recent Guinness advertising:
“We think the new brand creative will resonate with people who are open-minded and alive to opportunity and it will inspire them to never settle for the ordinary. The idea of something being made of more is one that really reflects a shared attitude Guinness has with its drinkers who love the distinctive look and taste of Guinness and aspire to get the most out of every aspect of their lives”.
I think Nick might wish I hadn’t quoted him….oh Nick isn’t this just a bit pretentious. You can love brands, yes but ”aspire to get the most out of every aspect of their lives”? Hmmmm!
Guinness is still getting more bang from its brand advertising than ever although this is my favourite.
That’s the problem. Brands take themselves terribly seriously. But people still love them. And that’s possibly because they value themselves so much.