One of the intellectual games that marketeers love to play is the ‘Brand Management’ game. Like most conceptual ideas, games like this manifest themselves in two broad (sic) forms. One form is based on a deep grasp of purpose and intention and the second is based on flimsy ‘word smithery’
The BBC report today that “Brand Strategy Guru” Simon Middleton has…now wait for it…a new logo and a new “toolkit” of images and slogans to transform the perception of the Norfolk Broads. This will be done by describing the Norfolk Broads as – “‘Britain’s Magical Waterland”. No wonder the role of Marketing gets such a bad press such as Nigel Richardson’s Telegraph article. Perhaps there are some branded golf balls and pens available too?
Pick up any decent book or article about the notion of branding and it defines it as a complex notion that communicates a promise a value. Something that taps into the values and aspirations of customers, clients and consumers. Something that represents meaningful benefit.
How on earth does the notion of ‘magical waterland’ do any of these things? Why the abstraction? Why not convey precisely what the Norfolk Broads do for people? I totally agree with the feelings of local residents that the whole idea is ridiculous and arrogant.
So what do the Broads ‘do’ for people – help them relax? get away from it all? explore culture, history and heritage? what are the signs and symbols – the waterways, the wildlife, how do the Broads make them look and feel? healthy, happy, great parents? Whatever the answers I don’t know for sure, but somewhere in there will something better and more meaningful than ‘Magical Waterland’
off the top of my head…
The Norfolk Broads:
Places Peace and Pleasure.
Timeless beauty. Time for you.
At your pace.
Space to breathe. Time to think.
…and not a magician in sight
What would you suggest?