Launched today and available on Amazon is ‘Decoded’. Written by Phil Barden it promises to explain the science behind why we buy. We’ve worked with Phil on RAC brand strategy development. He has an amazing and unique process for understanding the subconscious triggers behind consumer behaviour. He works with many leading brands – working out if your words, branding, packaging and campaigns will resonate with customers or not. It’s all in the mind – most of the time we humans operate on autopilot, letting our subconscious do all the hard work.
He’ll be pleased to know that we think ordering a copy is a bit of a ‘no brainer!’
We’ve just finished recreating RAC’s branding from the 1960s for their sponsorship of The Goodwood Revival.
This classic motorsport event is set in a pre-1966 world where attention to detail is essential. With such a rich heritage, RAC wanted to play on nostalgia for their brand but also sell membership and launch their classic car insurance product.
The project started with a trip to the RAC Control Centre overlooking the M6 and a day spent rummaging through dusty cupboards, blowing the dust off forgotten photographs and memorabilia.
This valuable archive formed the basis of the vintage branding for the event including a 30 second ad we created by animating the still photography.
We’ve just finished a neat bit of animation for The Chartered Institute of Marketing. In under two minutes it brings the many benefits of membership to life and shows you how to join. Developed using After Effects, this dynamic blend of motion graphics, voice over and music is a great way to communicate complex information. Take a look – if you’re not already a member, it may convince you to join up…
Every brand needs a story to tell and pass on, so here’s the fifth of our ten pointers to help you tell yours.
5 – Start the story with the name
A great place to start a story is with a name. Give your name some character. What is the story behind it? There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a bit of myth and legend either. That’s the job of advertising and PR after all.
When I was at school in the 1980s a rumour circulated that sports brand Adidas stood for All Day I Dream About Sex. Of course it was just a story. The name actually comes from the founder Adi Dasler, a German running shoe pioneer. No-one can be sure of the origin of the myth but at the time it was great playground currency and Adidas was the essential brand to be seen with.
Leading hairbrush brand Denman International had a problem outside the UK with its grooming brand Pashana. There was demand for the products but another brand had rights to a similar name. The answer was to create and register a new trade mark for overseas markets. The new name comes from the company founder ‘Jack Dean’ and the brand story has been inspired by his travels around the world during the 1930s.
As a key sponsor of this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed RAC wanted to maximise awareness and attract new members during the event. We helped put together a full promotion including programme advertising, branded car park stands and press area, crowd stoppers and a prize draw.
We also created a 30 second video to show on the giant screens; it features an RAC Patrol as he races around the Goodwood track. Directed by Milestone’s Peter Wilkinson, it was actually filmed on a day when scores of vehicles were using the course as a service road. Patience and careful editing means you never see the other vehicles we had to share the track with. The final edit was delivered to the client 36 hours after we arrived on location.
All brands need some level of ownership. Here’s the fourth of our ten pointers to help give your brand the edge over the competition.
4 – Ownability
At the basic level this just means you’re the only one using the name for your product in your immediate vicinity. It could be a small niche or local business. As long as your name is identified with your product or service, customers will find you and hopefully buy things.
Ownability steps up a gear when you need a name for a bigger market – like nationally or internationally. The chance of someone beating you to it is suddenly greater.
The final phase of ownability is of course the registered trademark. With one of these in place you can protect your name from competitors in categories and markets of your choice.
Other ownability tactics include the creative use of spelling. Mitsubishi’s innovative electric car, the i mieuv makes use of this combined with another recent trend, prefixing the brand with an i. You’re supposed to read it as ‘I move’.
Come back soon for part 5 – Start the story with the name…
The customer is a key consideration when choosing a name. Here’s the third of our ten pointers to help give the right impression.
3 – Working for your customers
Marketing is all about customers. So, of course you have to assess your different customers, markets and languages in relation to your name. The holy grail for global companies are of brand naming are the names that work around the world. However it’s rarely that simple and many have to adapt to different geographical territories or live with the fact that not everyone will get it in the same way to begin with.
Some brands change to homogenise around the world. Cif was once Jiff. Snickers was once Marathon. And we still buy them both.
It helps if customers can understand the name and are able to pronounce it. Remembering it and telling all their friends about it is another ‘nice to have’ feature in a name.
In western countries many people have trouble pronouncing Korean car manufacturer Hyundai. At one point the company invested in trying to get foreign markets to say it the correct Korean way – Hee-Yun-Day. But it just created more confusion. In the end they relaxed. After all, they are selling lots of cars to happy customers. Why worry?
It pays to be wary about asking customers for their opinions on naming. Like McVities Hobnobs, some of the best brand names have been rejected by customer focus groups. Test the name carefully in conjunction with the product and see how they like it in practice. If they don’t reject it out of hand it’s a good sign they may grow to love it.
Come back soon – our next installment is about Ownability…