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History, Hallmarks and Habits of Luxury Brands: the iconic markings of great luxury brands

By in Branding, Customer Experience, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

Since time immemorial, our attitude to gold and silver has been inexplicable.   Of the 118 elements in the periodic table, both metals are chemically boring and have few special qualities. And yet… for the last 5,000 years they’re the ones we’ve tended to use for personal adornment and currency. Why? They’re valuable.   They’re also storied, scarce and special – like every luxury brand. Part of a series on Luxury Branding, this article explains the hallmarks of a traditional luxury brand and how the myth of luxury has evolved.     Since ancient times, gold and silver have been connected with money. Both ‘noble’ metals, their malleable nature and rarity made them the perfect choice for currency, but purity proved problematic. Without set standards, unscrupulous silversmiths debased the currency by melting down coins, reducing the silver content, increasing the...

The Taylah Swift Method of Brand Domination

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

She’s a branding superstar … dressed as a popstar.   Why? Well it’s hard not to notice the impossibly perfect red lipstick. Then comes the obvious talent and fashionista looks.   But it’s the loyal relationship she’s built with her fans, that makes her a brilliant businesswoman.     Yes, we’re talking Taylor Swift. And it’s all true. Her bigheartedness and obsession with surprising her fans – the Swifties – is in large part responsible for her swift (pardon the pun) path to world domination. At just 25 years old, she helms a brand more profitable than most companies: she earned $64 million in 2014 – with her album, 1989, selling 1.287 million copies in its first week and bringing in more than $7 million in sales and counting. Any business would be envious of those numbers, and there’s more. A single post on Instagram clocked 670,000 likes in under seven hours, and...

Batman Branding for Remarkable NFPs – Part 3: Evolving Your Brand? Then Build Your Brand Mythos

By in Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing | 0 comments

He’s seventy-eight. And one of the most iconic characters ever created. But it wasn’t by accident.   Since his debut in 1939, Batman’s mythos has evolved and transcended his comic book birthplace. He now features across every media platform – print, digital, TV, movies, gaming – and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone, of any generation, who doesn’t know him.   This final article explains how the Batman brand has evolved and become a legend of brand storytelling.     What makes a brand great? Many things. But for Brand Batman, it lies in two central things: his mythos and his humanity. His power isn’t drawn from chemicals, radiation or intergalactic magic – he’s human. It lies in his extraordinary motivation (his origin story), willpower (knowing what’s at risk) and focus (his purpose). Combined, those have become his mythos. And your NFP brand, needs one too....

Batman Branding for Remarkable NFPs – Part 2: Know What’s at Risk for Your Customers

By in Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing | 0 comments

Heroes and villains. Batman and Bane. On the bell curve of all people, they’re the outliers, the extremes. Which one is your NFP?   Most people would say the former… but how were the people of Gotham inspired? Who gave them the right story and reason – the one that changed them from bystanders to participants?   The second of three articles explains the different ways Batman and Bane evoked the people of Gotham City and how, for your NFP to do the same, you need to ask-and-answer four questions…     Are heroes born or made? Both. In the case of Batman, he was made from the tragedy of his childhood. Just an ordinary person, who in a time of crisis, was inspired to rise up and become a reluctant hero. And there’s been others, at other times, for other reasons. But there’s also those who’ve fought the hard battle and then realised… they’re on the wrong side. They’ve...

Batman Branding for Remarkable NFPs – Part 1: Rediscovering the WHY of Your Brand

By in Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing | 0 comments

The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. The Winged Avenger. No matter the name, there’s no superhero like Batman.   His origins are human and he has no superpowers, but he fights for what he believes and wins our hearts.  So why do we love him? Simple. He knows his calling.   This, the first of three articles, explains how your NFP brand can be remarkable – like Batman – by truly knowing (and owning) your purpose.     Batman knows his beginnings. All too well. His alter ego, Bruce Wayne, describes the trauma of the night his parents died, as when “all sense left my life.” It becomes his mantra and the driving force behind his life’s work — and the reason why he relentlessly pursues its fulfilment. Like Batman, all great brands have a deeper purpose. They’re acutely aware of the underlying purpose for their product or service. Be it for-profit or not-for-profit,...

Gen C: The Generational Marketing Hybrid

By in Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing | 0 comments

A market-making merger has happened.   You didn’t know?   In the last of this Generational Marketing series, we go full circle and see how, instead of separating ageist cohorts, the emergence of Generation C binds generations together.     Yes, that’s the newsflash. M&Ms and chocolate bars have merged – creating a deliciously successful conglomerate. It’s a whole new category.  No longer just separate crunchy colours, M&Ms are now bound together, in a block of choc-yumminess. And… you may recall, at the beginning of this series, that I likened generational marketing to sorting M&Ms into colours: “each generation owns its distinct differences and shouldn’t be marketed to (or eaten) together.” Generation C breaks that mould. Instead, its closest likeness is the new M&M Block – a mashup of previously distinct and ageist cohorts – bound...

Is Your Brand Ready for Gen Z? The iGen is growing and mowing down brands

By in Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing | 0 comments

Move over. The Centennials are on their way.   They’re WiFi enabled and unsurprisingly, in the not-so-distant future, they’ll be forcing brands and businesses to change their ways. Again.   The fifth of this 6-part Generational Marketing series, highlights how the first cohort of this generation – now a mere 16-20 years old – are already being depicted as difficult to engage, extremely design conscious and have exceptionally high expectations of all brand activities, especially digital.     Surprising. That’s what Generation Z are, once you get to know them. Sadly, though, as young as they are, they’ve already been written off as having the attention span of a gnat. But much of that, is the older ‘generational rite’ of complaining about ‘the kids these days’ and is loaded with preconceptions, stereotyping and biases. If instead, you try to glimpse the future through...