Four things marketers can do to make their lives easier


Ever heard of Hutchison Whampoa?

It’s not the catchiest name for a brand.

Especially for one that arrived late in the UK mobile phone market.

So when the Hutchison Whampoa company launched a new mobile brand here, they had the good sense not to use their name.

They knew they needed to stand out from the crowd.

So they chose a great brand agency (Wolff Olins) to name and design their brand.

And they picked a top creative advertising agency (WCRS) to make their ads.

The result was Orange.

It was a simple, memorable name that stood out against its existing competitors, Vodafone, Cellnet and Mercury One2One.

It had a warmth that they lacked.

You couldn’t miss Orange’s brilliantly designed high-street shops.

And you were inspired by its optimistic advertising and the endline “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange”.

Within six years Orange became Britain’s leading mobile phone brand.

And that’s because Hutchison Whampoa did what a lot of companies, in my experience, don’t do.

They got the fundamentals right, by choosing a good name, brand design and positioning.

Those made it easier for Hutchison Whampoa to get outstanding, memorable advertising from WCRS.

Fortunately, one of my clients thinks like that marketer.

He’s just chosen a terrific name for his new brand.

To do that, he crowdsourced a load of names, and my creative partner and I contributed a few.

One particular name jumped out (I think it came from someone in his company).

We had to talk our client into choosing it though.

So, what’s so special about this name?

It’s distinctive, it sounds good (quirky) and it taps into a relevant consumer need.

So it will make our job of creating brilliant advertising a lot easier.

Which, in turn, will make it easier for our client to shift stock.

If you have the opportunity to avoid a hard slog launching your brand, why not take it?

Here’s what I’ve learned in my decades spent in advertising and marketing:

Four steps to making your life easier

1. Choose a good name. Use one that’s simple, stands out in your market, and relates to a customer issue (e.g. the name Orange had a warmth that other mobile network brands lacked). A catchy, memorable name makes your life easier. One of my recent favourites is FitFlops, a brand of flip flops that exercise your legs as you walk.

2. Hire a top brand designer. Your name and brand design should work together seamlessly. So choose a designer with an outstanding portfolio of award-winning work.

3. Use a descriptive endline or slogan. Unless your brand name says what you do (e.g. FitFlops) you need a descriptive endline or tagline. This will help your prospects understand right away what business you’re in, or what you’re offering them. A British company I know of launched in the US without making it clear, up front, in their ads at least, what they actually did.

4. Make sure you have a BIG IDEA (one that comes out of your brand)  Choose a creative team or agency with a track record of having created BIG IDEAS. So, how do I define a BIG IDEA? It’s a concept with legs. David Ogilvy defined it well, as an idea you can run for five years before people get tired of it. An art director I knew said it was like an oil well; once you strike the BIG IDEA other ideas will gush out. Even your least creative colleagues will suddenly come to life and start coming up with ways of using the idea. Compare the Market/Meerkat; Old Spice/”The man your man could smell like”; the old red print campaign for The Economist; the Orange campaign – those are just a few BIG IDEAS. Such ideas make your money go further. They make it easy to use different media channels, to create memorable direct marketing and social media campaigns (Compare the Market and Old Spice must have had an easy time attracting followers on Twitter by adapting their BIG IDEAS.)

From this copywriter’s perspective, you marketers have a hard enough job as it is.

So on your next brand launch, why not make your life easier and follow the steps above?


4 replies
  1. Dean
    Dean says:

    Hello Pete. Well, my URL is good for attracting fellow copywriters. I hope you’re well and keeping busy.

  2. James
    James says:

    I’d tweak your advice point No. 2, it should be choose a designer who has an outstanding portfolio of work that has proven to work. Awards are ten a penny and quite often what wins an award is not the same as what actually gives you the most effective design for the business.

  3. Dean
    Dean says:

    Hi James, thanks for commenting. “Awards are ten a penny”? Really? D&AD Award entry fees are hundreds of pounds. I do agree with you though about design that’s proven to have worked – it’s a good criterion to use when choosing a designer.

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