When you want to build a brand: Change the world

  • Remember that great brands are easy enough to build.

    Few professions seem to hold as little regard for knowledge as advertising. Almost as if the evidence of how brands grow could somehow pose a threat to the creative magic. At Revolt, we choose to build our approach not around hunches, but on the shoulders of giants; the IPA databank and the Ehrenberg Bass Institute. And their evidence is clear. The difference between big and small brands isn’t their loyalty, their fans or their
    silverware. It’s how many people buy them. To grow a brand you simply need to attract the people who don’t buy you yet.This means even the best advertising works, not by
    cultivating the love of the few, but by nudging a brand into the interest of the many. It doesn’t get people to think of the brand as different, it simply gets them to think of it at all. It makes the generic memorable.
    Which seems straightforward enough. Until you consider that 89% of advertising is forgotten. Not blocked, not ignored, not badly targeted. Just badly conceived.

  • The formula for success is clear.

    When the brand comes readily to mind, market share follows. But we think much less than we think we think.
    Our brands have to find a way into a world of low involvement processing. A world of cognitive misers and collective indifference. A world where advertising is incidental to life. We have two weapons in this fight against apathy: fame and feeling. Aim for fame and fortune tends to follow. Remarkable campaigns get remarked

    Meanwhile, emotional response is most predictive measure of business effectiveness. It delivers higher sales, greater market share and reduces price sensitivity4. Advertising that makes people feel something draws them closer, triggering more associations and the instinctive system on decision making that will leave the favoring the brand. When you pick the right fight, your brand can ignite that rage in others.

  • Remember that great brands are easy enough to build.

    Few professions seem to hold as little regard for knowledge as advertising. Almost as if the evidence of how brands grow could somehow pose a threat to the creative magic.

    At Revolt, we choose to build our approach not around hunches, but on the shoulders of giants; the IPA databank and the EhrenbergBass Institute.

  • Learn from the great revolutions of the past

    The biggest opportunity is for communications to invite consumers into the fight. For our brands to become activists. For our campaigns to become revolutions. The tactics they’ve used are not only clear, they are replicable: Pick a fight. Revolutions start with a no and end with a yes. Find a battle small enough to win and big enough to matter.

    Establish and action. There’s no point rallying an army without a battle plan. Will they raise pressure, or raise funds? Do you want to shift behaviours or shift minds? Build an action around this that makes your audience part of the solution. Lead a rally-cry. The call to arms that acts as your statement of intent. Words that will become your chant, your sign-off, your #hashtag. Create a symbol. An image that those on the inside are proud of, and those on the outside covet. Treat your iconography as an invitation to participate. Launch a mindbomb. No matter how worthy your fight, it needs eyeballs to have impact. Give the world an image that can’t be ignored. One that travels on the back of its cultural impact rather than its media spend. Spoonfeed the facts, force-feed the emotion. When everyone is silent, you’ll be amazed how loud one voice can be. Develop propaganda. Worship at the temple of publicity with tactics that maintain a constant hum in popular culture. New stories, fresh ideas, content, opinion pieces. Never underestimate the importance of small multiplied by often. Finally, forge allies. Insure yourself against rejection and criticism with partners that can back you up.

  • Turn around what you think a brand can be.

    The danger in becoming so fixated with all the new pipes is that we forget about the communications we put down
    them. In the race towards production and distribution efficiencies we stop asking ourselves what kind of ideas
    the world needs. People now think brands offer a better opportunity to change things than charities or governments7. Our audience cares more about what we stand for than what we sell. But you won’t benefit from this shift through corporate social responsibility or the odd spot of charitable giving. Instead of focusing on what you’ve done internally, look at what you could do in
    the wider world. Find your fight and start making
    change happen. This might make you uncomfortable. Sat alongside the need for quarterly market share growth, it can be easy to relegate these issues to the back of the to-do list. But doing good no longer means a round of kumbaya with the fringes. It means acts propel your brand into popular culture. Into the memories of your consumers. And into the eternal affections of your shareholders8.