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How To Build Advertising Brands

Updated on June 14, 2014
 Nike, A Successful Brand
Nike, A Successful Brand | Source
Drayton Bird, Former International Creative Director Shares His Views On Building Brands
Drayton Bird, Former International Creative Director Shares His Views On Building Brands | Source
One Of The World's Most Successful Brands
One Of The World's Most Successful Brands | Source

Consistency Crucial in Building Leading Brands

Those in the advertising business can’t help hearing a lot about brands. According to Bird, successful brands possess particular qualities, real or imagined, which distinguish them from their competitors. Research at Ogilvy & Mather has proved that strong brands are more profitable. They survive hard times better than weak brands. And they endure.

In 1933, says Bird, some of the leading brands in their categories in the UK were Kelloggs, Gillette, Schweppes, Colgate and Kodak. And they remain leaders today. In fact, they are worldwide leaders.

They have achieved this leadership through consistency. To quote Bird: “Consistency over time. Consistency across markets and disciplines."

By consistency Bird means:

  1. Each brand should have a common look and feel to its communications. The same typefaces should be used, and where appropriate, the same colours. Whether a mailing, ad or insert is the first in a series or the tenth in a series, whether it is going out in the UK or in Spain, it should breathe the same brand values.
  2. When it comes to building a brand across different countries, the ad agency should be able to transfer what it has learnt in one market to another, when required. The writer should not get carried away by his own sense of “brilliance” and express himself in his own way in his own country just because he wants to be different. Clients are increasingly conscious of financial restraints – as are agencies. Neither can afford costly duplication of effort.
  3. To quote Bird: “I do not mean that everything should be identical everywhere, or that every communication should adhere rigidly to particular guidelines. Obviously, if you’re not allowed to try something totally different from time to time, you lose the element of surprise and novelty which can often have a big impact. But I do think that generally every communication should support every other communication and emphasise the qualities of the brand. This is the only way to build a big, enduring, worldwide brand.

Bird concludes by saying that unless agencies learn to promote brands consistently, their future will be restricted to “short term, relatively tactical activities.”

What Makes a Brand Successful?

  1. A brand should have the same look across media, markets and countries.
  2. A brand should share learnings and research across countries.
  3. A brand should possess a distinct personality.
  4. A brand's communication should be written in the same tone and style.

Brands Should Possess a Distinct Personality

The most memorable brands are those that possess a distinct personality which distinguishes them from their competitors. Such brands are built not just by selling the product or service they represent, but by adhering to consistency across markets, disciplines and time. The look and feel of the communication should be the same regardless of the country where it is being created by the ad agency.

Source: Drayton Bird’s Commonsense Creative notes previously only accessible to employees of Ogilvy & Mather.

David Ogilvy On Building A Brand


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