Brand Marketing

Maximising the value of your brand

Every organisation is a brand, which has a meaning for its customers. Trust lies at the core of every brand regardless of the audience they are seeking. Creating brand values and translating them into messages that resonate with the target audience is paramount to the success of every business. It sets the tone for the expected behaviours and helps attract an audience to an organisation who are willing to engage, purchase and remain a customer. Conversely, if a brand’s behaviour is incongruent with its values severe damage is done. This is increasingly likely given the rise in cyber crime which often shines a light on poor investment in infrastructure or a muddled approach to crisis management.

I have been the custodian of some of the world’s leading brands, which have been in business for nearly two hundred years. In that time I have gained skills that enable marketing messages to speak to existing audiences, driving increased new sales and higher customer retention and satisfaction rates. For other organisations, I have identified the need to widen the definition of their brand to appeal to its true, and much larger, audience. Managing a brand requires sensitivity, time, patience and great insight. I can see the DNA of a brand and develop a brand marketing programme that translates your brand into increased revenue. I am also experienced in crisis management, remaining focused, calm and authoritative until the crisis has been managed successfully.

Successes

Scroll through my successes
  • economist

    The challenge

    The Economist has been seen as a news provider that provided business, financial and political stories to a largely male, white-collar audience. The reality is that The Economist is a viewspaper that provides mind-stretching journalism to a globally curious audience. The Economist contains a wide-range of content including in-depth analysis of sectors including science, media, technology, environment and social policy. As such the audience is much wider than the traditional view. Having identified the need to expand The Economist to this wider audience, a brand marketing strategy was implemented.

    The solution

    Firstly, I worked with my colleagues in The Economist’s senior marketing & circulation team to ensure that stories from The Economist covering science, technology, media and others were included in the programmatic advertising, social media, email and experiential marketing (such as the insect ice-cream initiative). Further, our media relations programme promoted this content in the tier one media around the world. I created a brand video for dissemination across social media. This video formed part of the new staff onboarding process. Additionally, the key message that ‘The Economist provides mind-stretching journalism to the globally curious’ was to be used by all spokespeople in their presentations at conferences, when being interviewed by journalists whether broadcast or in print, and in our corporate literature.

    The outcome

    As can be seen from The Economist’s annual reports, circulation revenue is growing tremendously. Within that growth there is an increasing number of women and younger readers subscribing, evidencing the success of the new brand marketing strategy.

  • OAG-Logo-Landscape

    The challenge

    OAG Worldwide Limited was sold by Reed Elsevier to a venture capitalist fund called Electra & Partners in 2001. The new management team for OAG were keen to modernise the company and turn it into a robustly profitable business by more clearly defining the company’s proposition to the business travel, aviation and air cargo sectors.

    The solution

    OAG had been providing an online flight schedule look-up service free to all visitors to OAG.com which played a part in undermining the value of the paid services OAG was providing to the business travel market, which I had identified in my role as customer retention marketing. A team was formed under my leadership with the aim of revamping the existing print products and creating a new paid-for online flight service. During this project, it became clear that the travel information which enabled business travellers to understand the culture of the countries they were visiting plus the various visa and vaccinations required to enter countries, could be used to augment the service offering from OAG to all of its traveller and travel planning customer base. As such, we created a customer-loyalty online service called OAG Club, which offered these services and additional perks from organisations such as Conde Nast, iJet and Netjets which I negotiated for Club members. I persuaded the Board that a usability agency, Flow Interactive, must be engaged to ensure that the new website was easy for customers to use.

    In time, it became clear to me that the structure of OAG.com did not accurately reflect the three audiences the company served, and that the travel services on offer were of value to consumer travellers as much as business travellers. It took two years for me to convince senior management that OAG should create three separate brands, create three separate websites under the brands of OAG traveller, OAG aviation and OAG cargo.

    The outcome

    The OAG Club was launched to over two million customers who received their membership packs in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin, as appropriate, resulting in an increase in customer retention across the product portfolio. OAG Worldwide witness revenue growth. Subsequently, OAG was sold to UBM and has been sold again to another venture capital fund.

Charles made a significant contribution to the transformation of OAG. Over two decades OAG had established itself as a leader in the print publishing of airline information. Print, however, was clearly an obsolete media with the rise of internet based content. Charles led a team that created new content and its distribution via new media and therefore re-positioning OAG as a modern and dynamic business.

Duncan Alexander, Formerly, Managing Director at OAG Worldwide