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The Apprentice shows us how not to create a brand

by Owen
by Owen

Love it or loathe it, The Apprentice always gives us plenty to talk about. And, as per usual, the advertising task gave us plenty of reasons to despair last week. It may not be Halloween just yet, but I’m sure many creatives were hiding behind the sofa as the contestants fell in to just about every trap possible when developing their shampoo brands and advertising campaigns.

Here we take a look at some of the issues that arose and should be considered when putting a brand together.

Take your ego out of the equation. Keep the end user in mind at all times. What do they need and what will motivate them? Creating a brand is not an exercise in self-satisfaction. Be prepared to let go of your ideas if they don’t meet the brief. You’re creating this brand for your customers, not yourself.

Stick together. Teamwork is so important and it is vital that all parties cooperate and respect one another. Whether it is the relationship between client and agency or art director and designer, mutual respect is a key component of any project. Everyone has something worthwhile to bring to the table. Combining industry experience and insight with creative flair and marketing knowhow can achieve great results. Cultivating a culture of shared success breeds trust and momentum.

We saw how poorly some of the candidates on The Apprentice promoted a brand that they didn’t believe in and felt that they hadn’t been made part of.

Establish structure. You would hope that any agency would have a well drilled creative team, each knowing what their role is. I think it’s safe to say that the candidates on The Apprentice didn’t quite fit that bill! Good project management is vital. But what about client side?  A common issue that we encounter at 6rs is conflicting opinions and messages coming from owners and boards who are not unified in their vision, or who haven’t clearly defined a single point of contact for the agency.

Maintain consistency. A clear message should be consistently rolled out across all brand touch points. If there is disconnect between your website and your TV advert then you breed confusion among your audience and your message is lost. Reinforce it at every opportunity.

Keep benefits in focus. Whatever your USPs or PODs, make sure you highlight the benefits to your audience. Many brands have fallen foul of placing too much emphasis on aesthetics and not giving consumers enough reason to buy the product.

So thanks to The Apprentice once again for bringing some of these brand issues so sharply in to focus. I’m sure the current bunch of hopefuls will give us plenty of ammunition as the series goes on.

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  • Author Owen
  • Position Managing Director
  • ID #0004H