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Here’s a Health Unto His Majesty

April 30, 2011
The Union Flag of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Unifying forces - how can publishers generate consistent emotional loyalty

Yesterday’s Royal Wedding tells us a lot about brands: if a brand has emotional resonance it stands robust against a sea of ice. One of the surprising features of the British Royal Family is that despite the best efforts of naysayers and doom merchants, it survives as the physical representation of British spirit and togetherness.

The people may in their indolence let politicians and cynical media hacks try to dismantle the country by stealth but, when the chips are down, the people unite behind the brand.

So it is that other brands must seek the same relevance. A brand must be natural, be positive, be above the hubbub. It must have a character defined by what it delivers. It must be consistent, engaging and robust. Whenever it is encountered it must brush the viewer gently – as Shakespeare says, like a “little touch of Harry in the night”.

So how do publisher brands seek to engender similar relevance? What charm do you pass on to your readers, your representatives, your advocates? While publishers cannot be like magical princes and princesses, they can – nay must – possess personality if, like the British monarchy, they are to survive.

Apologetic brand strategy has no place any more. In an age of transition, where revenues are at risk, publishers surrender control of their brands at their peril. But today, digitisation actually offers publishers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to re-take the initiative from the trade and re-assert their relationship with their readers.

As publishers embark on digital strategies, they must act to ensure that their brand is maintained lest third parties ambush their offering and disguise it as their own. Publishers need to be brave: to know what they stand for, who they are, why they exist. And then they need to assert this personality lest, like shy teenagers, they are left to stand around the edge of the dance hall, unobserved, desperate and aloof.

Meanwhile, as yesterday’s men such as Morrissey of the “Smiths” fire negativity against joy, and as Channel 4’s journalists assume that because someone says that they aren’t necessarily royalist means that they must be a republican, we at A Brand Day Out instead celebrate the joy which is beauty.

And, as Jeremiah Savile penned in his paean to the monarchy in 1697, we sing “Here’s a Health Unto His Majesty, with a fal-lal- lah-la-la lah lah

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