Magazine article Marketing

It Takes Time but Building a Brand Really Does Pay

Magazine article Marketing

It Takes Time but Building a Brand Really Does Pay

Article excerpt

To be honest, I'm still recovering from being patronised by Quentin Bell in the letters page a while ago in respect of my literary and intellectual pretensions. It felt like being advised on etiquette by a Millwall supporter. But enough of that, let's be serious.

The hardest job in advertising, I think, is the creative director's. Much harder than running an agency, I would say, having done both jobs simultaneously for a scary few months. Squeezing gems out of fractious, egotistical and childishly sensitive people is damn hard work.

Perhaps the best creative directors ever were Bernbach, Ogilvy and Burnett. In this country, Stanhope Shelton, of Mather & Crowther in the 60s when they were the outstanding agency and John Webster of BMP (trained by Shelton) seem to me superb exemplars. Norman Berry, who did the job at O&M New York in their glory years, was astonishingly good. Recently, I re-read a 1987 piece by him in Viewpoint, the O&M house magazine. He discussed how to revitalise brands, telling a good story about identical television sets made in England under the names General Electric and Hitachi. Although the Hitachi cost a lot more, it outsold the General Electric model ten to one.

At a time when the average marketing director may wonder if he will still be around next Wednesday, the long-term perspective required to build brands is in distinctly short supply. So it is worth reminding ourselves of all the happy consequences that flow from having a strong brand. …

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