they launched Winter Pimm’s. That’s like Speedo marketing
Brands like Peperami with that immortal line ‘it’s a bit of an
animal’. Suddenly there was a new snack hero on the block
idolised by the kids, and a Simpsons-type creation hit the air-
waves and word of mouth took over.
Brands like Amazon who, after years of building an unprofitable
database, now have a direct conduit from writer to reader that in
a few more years or so will be impossible to break; and they have
Kindle. Amazon has the buzz that success breathes – it knows
about me – what I read, what I seem interested in, so yes, it
cares, it really cares about me.
How to create a brand
For the purposes of the argument I am reflecting on a B2B start-
up company but it could be for anything because the principles
are the same. The components are these:
1 A name
Create a name. And yes it can be a bit silly but remember
you have to live with it. Great names have the following
● Authenticity – Kettle Chips, Rachel’s Organic Dairy,
Fisher-Price, Brabantia, Penhaligon’s.
● Provenance – Ben & Jerry’s, Thursday Cottage,
Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Loseley, Pilsner Urquell
● Character – LeapFrog, Mother, Jaguar, Sweaty Betty,
Mandarina Duck, Big Bertha
You’ll create your name by thinking and thinking and one
morning you’ll wake up and know it. Do not spend money
on getting an expert to create the name unless you are a
very rich company.
48 bri lliant marketing
2 A logo
Nike for very little money got that ‘swoosh’. What you need
is maybe nothing or maybe a thing to aid memory – an
illustration of the idea your company stands for.
● An artefact – Sir Bibendum the Michelin man, HMV,
● Brilliant colours – Caran d’Ache, Google, Channel 4,
● A symbol – the Hadfield’s fox, the Bass Red Triangle
and the line ‘Reach For Greatness’, the [yellow tail]
3 A design
Now it’s time for an expert to come in.You are already on
the road to creating an identity.You need someone to
extend, develop and refine that identity. But make sure you
brief them well.
4 An attitude
No one but you can create this. Decide exactly what it is
that makes you better, inspiring and different. Keep trying
to express it in fewer and fewer words. What is the essence
you are trying to own?
5 Various faces
Express your brand on business cards, letterheads,
envelopes, signs, posters, mugs, pencils and so on. As many
places that, with wit, you can make it live. Developing your
web site so it reflects your brand character is especially
critical. There are a lot of good designers around.
See if you can get your customers to respond and even to
use your branded artefacts. If they like your branded mugs
they may use them.
On brands and brilliance 49
7 A developing personality
Every six months review where you are and see if you can
develop your brand.Your office decorations; staff T-shirts;
Christmas cards; golf balls, pads, pencils etc., etc.
Development never stops. Have a regular ‘brand and what
we can do to make it sing more compellingly’ meeting.
One brand that has been brilliantly developed over time is Nike.
When it had a bad year Phil Knight, founder and CEO, was not
reticent in blaming, apart from other things, boring advertising
50 bri lliant marketing
Don’t ever be boring. Learn from the maestro at Nike.
Here’s a quick overview of the Nike story which describes brilliance in
action. It borrows from a brilliant book by Robert Goldman and Stephen
Papson called Nike Culture: The Sign of the Swoosh and from the
experience of FCO and the people there who launched Nike in the UK,
principally Richard French and Ian Potter.
Understanding your business is key
‘We got the sweaty side of health and fitness with the romance of it as
Phil Knight, CEO
In other words be authentic. And simple . . .
‘How do I improve my times?’