In amongst all the noise of the ongoing saga of Brexit, we are starting to see an interesting trend emerge from British brands.
The result of the Brexit referendum on 24 June 2016 may suggest we, as a nation, are suffering something of an identity crisis. This uncertainty has given British brands an opportunity to reaffirm who they are and what they stand for – a rebirth of Brand Britain. This move by British brands is likely no coincidence, but a strategic decision to seize an opportunity, as trust in non-UK goods looks set to take a hit following our separation from the European Union.
Brand Britain extends beyond the visual cues of the Union Jack flag, to deeper, shared values – According to the latest research, for American consumers, there’s one word which sums up their perception of UK goods: quality. It’s the most common positive trait associated with British products, followed by heritage.
In the UK, consumers value British brands along similar lines as the Americans. Three in five Britons associate British products with quality, and 60% of British women see Made in Britain as a stamp of heritage.
It is heritage that is driving the emerging trend. Vauxhall, in 2018, introduced ‘British Brand Since 1903’ as a slogan to their communications. A swift visit to their website and you’ll be struck by a very strong visual stance toward Brand Britain.
Recently Heinz celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its most famous slogan (voted top slogan of all time by Creative Review), Beanz Meanz Heinz, by relaunching the catchphrase on special anniversary packaging. By repacking these original great ideas, brands remind us that, although they evolve and adapt as necessary, they are longstanding and have been a part of our lives through generations.
When asked why we may be seeing this trend, Richard Powell OBE, from the History of Advertising Trust said:
“In uncertain times tradition, heritage and long dependable histories are sought by customers and brands alike. Consumers are looking for brands they can trust consumer trust leads to consumer loyalty which gives the all-important sustainable income that brands need. One of the best ways that brands can show they are trustworthy is by the fact that they have a long heritage. Brand heritage is earned over time and shows an authentic and traditional way of life that is of value to the past, the present and to future generations. It suggests inheritance of shared experiences, and of a common history between the brand and the customer. Brands with heritage can give a strong message through their marketing that they are secure, dependable and have a long developed and tested quality and reputation. Consumers are more likely to put their trust in brands who can utilise their own heritage in their marketing. Using heritage in advertising is important for brands who can do it. Keith Weed (CMO, Unilever) once said, A brand without advertising is just a name’ Quaker Oats without advertising is just porridge, but Quaker Oats’ heritage is what sells a hot oat breakfast cereal.”
On our doorstep, the value of heritage is equally apparent – one of our long-standing clients, Hadley & Ottaway, celebrated their 90th anniversary last year, a remarkable achievement for any company, but especially for a removals firm. Like many other companies with a rich heritage, they are ingrained in the fabric of the local community and the royal blue trucks are synonymous with driving in Norfolk – Stephen Fry once said he always felt he was back home in Norfolk, when he saw one of the Hadley & Ottaway trucks on the roads.
As part of our relationship with Hadley & Ottaway we have always tried to maintain the authentic British values and heritage of the company and use this across all forms of marketing. Last year was a great opportunity to re-enforce those values, given it was such a milestone birthday for the company and we’re pleased to report that 2018 was the busiest year for over a decade, with storage reaching all-time record levels.
Brands large and small, up and down the country, are realising an opportunity in these uncertain times. Naked Marketing, together with our clients, are continuing to monitor events and opportunities which may arise and, as January draws to a close, 2019 looks to be a year to celebrate history and brand heritage, as we spread the message to ‘keep calm and carry on’.
By Naked Marketing on 23.01.19