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SUNY Maritime College ​thank you very much are you all well uncomfortable I was a bit cold are you warm enough okay tell someone if you're cold or hot um my presentation is entirely in three dimensions it's just like this but there are no slides if any of you like any of this or interested in any of it you can just write it down I guess in the good old fashioned way or you can ask me I have two envelopes which i'm just going to pass to a couple of people at the front could you take one of those and i'll give please don't open it that's the that's the only request I'd make and I'll pass that to this lady you can pass them to other people if you want to but whoever ends up with them police don't open them I'm going to talk to you about branding but I need to explain from the off what I mean by branding and why I think this might be of use to some of you if not all of you my perspective on branding is that it's not just for corporations or indeed for small enterprises or that it's got necessarily anything to do with the commercial world exclusively at all I think that you can use the lessons of branding to develop your own career even to make life decisions or indeed if you're an entrepreneur of some kind or you run a micro business even or or an SME or a charity or whatever and I've been involved in branding now for approximately 21 days so I'm qualified to speak about it and no actually I've been involved in it for about a decade and what I've discovered over that decade is that it isn't that difficult frankly it's it's really really quite simple and it comes down to four things and I'm going to just tell you those four things in a moment and I hope you'll find them useful which is why it doesn't need a PowerPoint presentation but number one the sort of building block upon which the four principles are built is this that brand is nothing to do with logo your brand is not your logo neither is your brand anything to do with advertising or marketing or PR or your reputation even it has elements of those things in it but that it's not what brand is brand is one very simple thing brand is a collusion between all of us as people in the world and the individual or the company or the organization that wants to have a brand it's a collusion in other words brand is a set of meanings and unless there is some agreement some collusion if you like between us the people and the brand then there is no brand and just by way of example I'm going to need you to shout out in a moment one at a time ideally such stick your hand up and then I'm going to ask you but you'll have to speak or not speak you have to shout your answer very loudly so that the the cameras can pick it up you'll all be familiar no doubt with a store called John Lewis ok everyone's heard of John Lewis is why pick it as an example because in the UK it's it's very well-known ok the John Lewis logo is not terribly interesting frankly they're advertising is you know it's kind of ok but that's not why John Lewis is a great brand which it undeniably is John Lewis is a great brand because of its meanings what it means to people so what I'd like you to ask you to do now is to tell me what you think John Lewis means so can I have a hand somewhere so ok just give me one word ok ok value reliability quality ok middle class ok any more any more sort of slightly critical ones yeah partnership okay we've had quality service value partnership bit middle class anything that's a bit negative about John Lewis ways that oh ok haha it's not the cheapest okay but wait yes sir stable ok stables good trust good mass-produced ok reassuring expensive okay that'll do for now somebody's got an envelope with P written on the front could you open the envelope and then just pass me the piece of paper that's inside it the P stands for positives okay remember remember the words that you shouted out what I've written down on here is quality service value partnership okay I've done this with literally hundreds of people that literally many many many tens of workshops and so on up and down the country those four words always and I promise you always are the four words or the four meanings that come out and you've named all those meanings you sometimes use the other slightly different words but they're always the same can I take the one that says N on it guess what n stands for okay um yeah I can't open it now I should have asked you to open this shouldn't I okay is there anything negative to say about John Lewis let's see huh see I good job I don't that powerpoint i can't even cope with piece of paper okay his middle class did someone said middle class suddenly it's a bit boring nobody actually said boring but there was some implication but it was a bit stable I think someone said and mass-produced someone else said and expensive okay now they're the only negatives that people can ever think of to do with John Lewis and frankly they ain't negative ugly when you think about it John Lewis is perfectly happy being a bit boring middle class and quite expensive that is that it isn't negative now I could have done this with other brands

and we could have come up with some more convincingly negative words but that's not the point the point is you try this at home it's a good party game yeah and the the what happens is if more than half a dozen of you at a given party can agree on a set of meanings then you're talking about a proper brand if everyone in the party has a different meaning and you disagree with each other then you're talking about if it is a brand at all it ain't going to be a brand for long that's the essence of it now you can apply this whether you're someone who wants to start a business of their own whether you're wanting to change your career at any stage in your life whether you're running a charity a government department anything you like but how do you make those meanings how do you make those meanings work for you and that's the four things I want to leave you with really there are four pillars and the first one and this is why you'll understand me when I say that brand has got nothing at all to do with advertising or logo the first one is be authentic great brands are authentic but I'll explain what I mean by their great brands are true to themselves in other words if you are starting a brand or deciding to treat yourself as a brand which is what i recommend be authentic be true to yourself in other words don't pretend to be something that you're not now hesitate to mention apple again because they as has been pointed out earlier they always get mentioned but the reason Apple is such a great brand is because it's fundamentally true to itself it has been from it's very inception to do with creativity and innovation combined and out of that Springs a particular aesthetic and out of that Springs a particular way of communicating and out of that spring some wonderful products and ferocious brand loyalty so be authentic John Lewis is authentic to itself and when you see brands failing whether their shops manufacturing political parties when you see them failing or struggling it's because they've failed they've they've lost that authenticity they stopped being true to themselves so that's number one be authentic number two is be compelling and what I mean by that is engage people emotionally we know we don't buy things no matter what people tell you we do not buy things and I say buy things in the brit mean I mean that the broadest sense we don't buy things rationally we don't buy things because of the features and the benefits and the relative cost of that thing we just don't and there's a really good example again back to Apple the entry-level price for a pc notebook laptop computer by you know generic pc laptop notebook computer manufacturer is about 349 pounds the entry-level price for an apple about now is about eight hundred and ninety nine pounds it's not just a little bit more money that's more than twice as expensive and why do we buy wide or apple lovers by Apple it's not because they're stupid it's because it's an emotional decision if you think about when you bought a house the most expensive thing that most of us will ever buy that's an extraordinarily emotional purchase and you can utilize that when you're creating your own brand so be compelling ways of being compelling tell great stories but make sure they're authentic stories engage people's emotions I don't mean make them go Oh laugh or cry I just mean have some emotional impact so be authentic be compelling number three but no less important is to be distinctive utterly distinctive if you are running a charity or running a small business or deciding to change your career and do something that you've always wanted to do make sure it's utterly distinctive don't be like the other guy don't say I love that little company down the road that little bicycle shop it's so successful that I'm going to be rather like it don't do that be completely different Seth Godin calls it being a purple cow unfortunately Seth Godin concept of the purple cows being ever so slightly misunderstood i came across a marketing company whether they called purple cow and i thought they've kind of missed the point the idea of the purple cow is to be utterly distinctive and the fourth one and this sort of underpins the other three really is to be excellent at something you really have to be jolly good at something if you want to try the brand game which is another reason why branding is not the same as advertising the reason the Eden Project you all familiar with the Eden Project in comal the reason the Eden Project is such a successful national international global brand really it's not just because it's it looks wow it does they the wow factor it's because it is excellent if you'd heard about the agent project you thought going to take my children it sounds fantastic it's going to be 10 wonder holiday experience and you turned up and it wasn't very good he wouldn't be a very good brand for very long because as we all know bad news travels pretty quickly but as it turns out barring the odds failure which all things have now and again the Eden Project is excellent all great brands you can think of our excellent John Lewis is excellent etc etc etc so you have to be authentic you have to be true to yourself you have to be compelling you have to engage people's emotions and if you are thinking about setting up a business think about how you're going to engage people's emotions you're going to make them laugh you're going to tell them a great story are you going to make them go ha are you going to make them go wow tate modern is one of my favorite brands I don't know if you're familiar with tape modern but if you are you probably won't disagree with me that when you go down the slope into the turbine hall do you entertain modern from that and you can't help but go wow it's sort of or inspiring so when I say engage people's emotions you can engage all kinds of emotions the sort of sense of or a sense of humor a sense of ambition a sense of whatever but make sure you're doing something that's emotional it's not enough to describe you have to engage I've worked recently with the tourist destinations visitor destinations and some of the

people that have approached me have thought it's enough to describe in a piece of literature a leaflet or something how good there are they're offering it is not enough to describe because we don't do things we don't make rational as purchasing decisions you have to engage emotionally so be authentic be compelling the distinct and be excellent and those four things combined you can use as I said they are the essentials of branding you can use those not just to to change the fortunes of a business but to change your own career and without going into enormous detail about this i'll just tell you very briefly about how I've helped a group of people in a tiny little seaside reserve autin in Norfolk called Hemsby to use these tools hemsby and newport as its properly known but it's everyone calls it Hemsby is a tiny tiny little village of about 2,000 people with a little seaside resort sort of attached to it one drag of amusement arcades and cafes and stuff that leads down to a fantastic beach but it had fallen on hard times in the last few years and one of the major holiday park operators had pulled out and hemsby got just a bit of a Down rotten slightly dull reputation of seeing sort of a bit jaded in a bit tat in rather lost in the past its heyday was in the sort of 60s and 70s really so I started to work with the people of hem streets just down the road for me about 20 miles from where I live so I did it just as a sort of voluntary sort of fun activity really and I started working with him about 10 months ago and everything about this place has changed because we applied those principles so the authenticity is they are a tiny little holiday resort we didn't try and pretend there were anything else about that so we stuck to that great beach lovely people salt of the earth down to earth all that sort of stuff we didn't try and change that good old-fashioned British seaside holiday that's the authenticity but the compelling thing is we had to find a new story to tell because their story wasn't very compelling and what we discovered was that the be why at the end of Hemsby is a Danish or Norse thing it indicates that Hemsby was a Viking settlement that 1,200 years ago Vikings landed on that bit of coastline and settled it so we created a new logo for the town which is a Viking brandishing a bucket and spade okay and underneath the strapline says 1,200 years of seaside fun and when I first proposed that to them one of the guys one of the local traders said I was mad he said you can't possibly do that that's just outrageous and I said no no it's true the Vikings arguably well the first people have fun on the beach at hemsby and once they'd stop laughing and got over their shock and horror they adopted it is now on the village sign and it's had the incredible press coverage both in the travel media but also in the local media it's been on TV and so on so forth and the villagers have all got behind it and they've started to put it in their shop windows and they've started to use it on posters and so on and so forth so it's not only telling but it was utterly distinct because no other seaside resort is talking about the Vikings so and from that we decided to bring it to light so in june this year there's going to be a hemsby viking festival the first of its kind in east anglia probably be very small to start with but it has to italy changed what people think about Hemsby now and I've note in six months it is measurable when I began six months ago or 10 months ago people set of God you don't want to get involved with hemsby there's no way that that place can change now they say our Hemsby that's the viking place isn't it you're the guys having the viking festival and finally and this is the bit I can't control I can only encourage them but the wonderful thing is that built up boosted from a morale perspective by this narrative that they've captured themselves the villages the traders the people running the amusement arcades and the mini golf and so on a picked up this I'll whole idea and they are the ones becoming excellent so a 10 months ago when I met them I said what's going to happen if we don't do this i asked them in a sort of little meeting in in a pub and they said some of us are going to give up some of us are just going to jack it in we can't make a living here now when you ask them they say we're going to make him to be the best little seaside resort on the east anglian coast and that's the excellent part so they may not have been excellent to start with but they're there thundering towards excellence because they've inspired themselves so if they can do it with and I hasten to add with no budget at all and and we've had national publicity we despise that travel trade and national publicity and we make up stuff sometimes I i we have a meeting and discussed about her what would make this Viking and scandinavian festival fantastic and they said well we're having an abba tribute band competition which is a wonderful combination of a traditional seaside resort kind of activity with the Viking story and I said that's fantastic wouldn't it be great if we got Benny Andersson to come and judge it and they said he is brilliant so we've invited Benny Andersson formerly of ABBA for those of you who don't know to come and judge the the abba tribute band competition now of course you and I all know that he probably ain't going to come but that's not the point you should see the publicity we're getting for it the local paper said my my we hope to see you at our Viking festival Benny that was the local local press and what the wonderful thing about getting that story in the local press is that now people are talking about it is though it's going to happen it's what Tim Smith the founder of the Eden Project referred to as future truths so anyway it's time for me to wrap up I hope that's useful brand is not logo Brandy's meaning and you can make your own meaning thank you very much Tisch School of Arts.