Like many I was keenly interested in the recent wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. If you’ve read my last few columns, you’ll know I’m fascinated by the concept of branding. The Royal Wedding had some great things to teach about the topic of building a successful brand.
- Pay homage to the old, but don’t forget the new. The Royal Family represents history — 952 years of it. The wedding was a great mix of time-honoured tradition and progressive change. It was held in an old church, as expected, but the couple waited until they had reached the steps to the chapel’s entrance to have their first kiss as newlyweds — a nice touch that made it feel new and different. This is a huge business and branding lesson. Yes, tradition is important. Your customers need to know that they can rely on you to provide the service they expect — but they also want you to be flexible and to try new things.
- Don’t be afraid to be unique. Meghan Markle is the first American to marry into the Royal Family. The Royal Family has embraced this, and it showed at the wedding. Giving a powerful address was an American bishop. A gospel choir sang “Lean On Me”, a song written by an American, as the couple left the church. Your business should be just as open to change and shouldn’t be afraid to show it. Flaunt what makes you different — don’t keep it in the background. Instead, put it up front for all to see!
- Give out free swag. Harry and Meghan invited 2,500 members of the public to watch the ceremony from the grounds of Windsor Castle. Included were people selected for their service to the community. Not only that, they were provided with goody bags. People love goody bags! If you don’t generally make up pens, or shirts, or hats, or other various goodies with your logo on them, you should consider it. There’s no better form of advertising than to have someone see your logo every time they look at the pen in their hand, or when they put on a t-shirt with your brand on it.
I look forward to seeing what else Harry and Meghan do to put a new face on the monarchy. They’re a great example for us all on our journey to refresh and renew our brands.