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Marketing lessons from the British royal family

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The monarch is the head of 43 countries in the world. However, one royal family stands out because of its importance and influence: England’s House of Windsor. Fascination with the British royal family spreads even in countries with strict anti-monarchy principles.

Why is it? This is probably a matter of good PR. The British royal family has done a great job for decades using PR tactics to build and maintain an image that resonates with most people, British or not. Not bad for an outdated establishment. In this article, we will analyze how you achieved this.

Message consistency is important.

Rule #1 in public relations is message consistency. This applies not only to what you say, but also to what you do not say. The House of Windsor has been notoriously strict about consistency of message for decades, a message summed up by Queen Elizabeth II in her inaugural address to the British Commonwealth in 1947: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether long or short, will be devoted to your service and to that of our great imperial family to which we belong.” to them all.” In other words, “the customer is king.” The royal image is reserved, respectful, considerate, and modest yet powerful.

This message guides not only what to say, but also what not to say and how to act. For example, for fear of appearing partisan, no member of the royal family is allowed to vote or publicly express their opinions on political issues. They must adhere to a conservative dress code, which even includes the color of nail polish a woman can wear (only transparent, nude or light pink). They should accept any gift they receive with gratitude, even if it is something they do not want. Members can’t play Monopoly because, as Prince Andrew once said, it brings out their evil side.

Lessons for us: Be clear about what you and your business stand for. Write three or four talking points that sum up and stick to your brand. And the course of speech. Don’t do anything that goes against your stated values.

Partner with the right people and the right brands.

Except for Edward VIII, who abdicated Windsor He has always been very attentive to the people they associate their brand with. The most formal way to do this is to approve products through Royal Warrants of Designation, which give the manufacturer the right to mark their products with the Royal Coat of Arms and the statement ” By appointment to His Majesty the King Which means the product is fit for a king. More than 800 entities now have a Royal Warrant of Naming, and they are all of the highest quality, befitting the royal family’s profile.

They’ve also struck up some more creative partnerships, such as joint video appearances of Queen II and Paddington Bear to promote her Platinum Jubilee. The video gave members of the royal family the opportunity to show off the Queen’s kindness, thoughtfulness and sense of humor – all of which are trademark – and to associate the royal brand with a national symbol beloved by people of all classes and backgrounds. Then there was the very funny and well-done partnership with James Bond – another symbol of British skill and daring – during which the Queen parachuted with actor Daniel Craig onto the ground to start the London Olympics. This infamous stunt also helped the brand, positioning the Queen and the British monarchy as both respectful of the country’s adventurous history, but also smart and confident enough to do something over the top.

Lessons for us: You can enhance your brand by drawing on the equity of other well-known and respected brands, but carefully consider each partnership to ensure that it presents an image consistent with the one you have created.

Adapt to the times.

Besides finding contemporary partners, the British Royal Family has done an excellent job of adapting their brand to the changing times, as evidenced largely by the King’s rebranding of the family. George V in 1917. The problem was the British royal family’s German ancestry, evident in his Teutonic surname: Sax-Coburg-Gotha. (At the time, Britain was under attack from German Gotha G heavy bombers). George V said the family name would become Windsor, a very British-sounding name borrowed from one of the family’s English castles. Then the general discontent with the idea of ​​a German on the throne of England dissipated.

Lessons for us: While consistency of message is important, stay aware of change and have the foresight and courage to make a change when external circumstances put your brand at risk.

To find the Royal Path to Success for your brand, consider embracing the ways of serving and leading the British Royal Family. It’s not easy (although they make it sound), but if you combine conservatism with daring as they did a thousand years ago, you could find yourself at the helm of a business dynasty.

Translated article from Forbes USA – Author: Jeff Bradford (Nashville bureau chief for The Dalton Agency and former journalist with over 30 years of experience as a PR professional)

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