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Creating the Myth

Beyond storytelling lies the creation of a brand myth or legend, at the execution of which some brands in the luxury category excel.

Let me put my cards on the table, I’m not a luxury marketer, I have never worked in this category so I don’t claim to be an expert. (You know there is an “however” coming, don’t you?)

However last night I had the pleasure of participating in a presentation by Tim Sayler the CMO of Audemars Piguet (AP), on the topic of “(Re-) branding an haute horlogerie brand”, as part of Swiss Marketing Vauds conference series.

In my consumer centric world, the brand or product, constantly reinvents itself to suit its target consumers, always of course faithful to what the brand wants to stand for and its core values, but nevertheless adapted, (at least in its messaging). So last night it was refreshing to have glimpse inside the “luxury” world where the brand or product is at the centre of everything they do – no compromise for the consumer: “we are what we are”!

An outstanding product with a rich history is an essential starting point and AP holds up its brand values and history and says clearly; “we have an artistry in our brand, a craftsmanship of little equal, and there are consumers out there that will search for that, appreciate it, and they will find us”

Now clearly even with this level of product-centricity, the consumer cannot be, and is not, ignored, it is simply not the first consideration. AP have created outstanding web video content made by top filmmakers, exquisite photography in print and on-line and a beautifully crafted retail experience, all built upon the mythical and even mystical world based in the Jura mountains of Switzerland which focuses on their product and its values.

Product first, consumer next. Those of you in the “luxury” world reading this will say “so what – we know that”. For those from the FMCG world, maybe we can learn something from luxury brands like Audemars Piguet; a relentless focus on our product, our story and our values might help us create a compelling myth around our brand. Worth a thought?

Thanks to Tim Sayler for an excellent presentation and thanks to Swiss Marketing Vaud for organising a great conference.

Please let me know what you think.

The Branding Authority helps brands win. Understanding your brand, articulating those stories, creating and then building on your brand values is how we do it.

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