After a great launch last year, 2019 Rebels & Rulers was built around brand culture, and it brought together a nice list of guests. Good presentations, nice beat, and memorable case studies. This is the very short presentation of this 2-day branding event.
But before I move to tell you more about the insights I got from this event, I have to tell you a different “revelation” that surfaced in a conversation with a friend and fellow attendee. It is about making things happen, which besides being part of my slogan, it’s also a big driver for me. I like to get involved and move things forward. In this case, it was about attracting what you wish for.
To shorten the intro, I won a double invitation for this year’s edition, which I really wanted to go to. More, in the event, I won what is possibly a ticket for 1 day in the 2020 edition. So the feedback was: wow you are lucky! And I am, I truly am. But I went back after a while and revisited my path. I did not find those tickets on the sidewalk or got them randomly in my inbox. I asked around to see if anybody had invites already or was interested in a group discount, I searched for alternatives and I signed in for a contest. To put it in other words – in order to make the magic work you have to work the magic.
How Is This Related to the Rebels & Rulers Event?
One of my key takeaways from this marketing event is that if you want to build a solid brand, you need to base it on authentic beliefs, values, and actions. Not on well-phrased promises or headlines.
You need years to create a reputation. It will probably require a lot of failures until you find the format that works for you. You will have to learn constantly, remain constant and dedicated throughout all the fog and uncertainty that lays ahead before you can reach the shiny shore of success. It rarely simply happens to a brand, if it does not stand or fight for something.
“Beliefs take a long hard look inside.”
Eric Solomon, NOVIO CMO
It sounds obvious when you hear it the first time, but going through a few cases studies like the fight Patagonia brand is carrying to save natural reservations and the courage it takes to go against the president is rare in all markets, but it’s worth standing by financially as well. Statistics show Millenials are willing to spend more money on and be loyal to brands that walk their talk. Perhaps the era of “try to look pretty for the media” is closing to an end. And I say that as a marketing professional, not just a consumer.
To circle back to my story, it might not be enough to want something. You have to believe in it, to work for it and sometimes to fight for it.
Out of the Box and into the History
It might sound over-ambitious to say that advertising writes history. But it depends a lot on what you understand by advertising. I am not talking about those ads to newly opened online stores that make you delete all accounts and stop using Google. Plus, there is already an advertising museum in New York and Tokyo, as well as a Museum of Brands in London.
The reason I am so confident in the impact brands can have is not related to any public institution. It is the result of two observations:
- consumers are starting to demand more responsibility and honesty from brands
- the shorter the attention span, the better and more consistent an ad has to be
If you do the same as everybody else, the overall commercial noise will cover your message faster than waves wipe up footsteps in the sand. So the choice is clear, but the solution is not simple. I will not lie and say it is within every brand owner to think super creative campaigns. But it is within their power to stay relevant and vertical in their business practice.
Not to stray too much from the subject, I have another case study I want to share with you. I hope you will like it as much as I did: The Immigrant Songs.
The basic idea of the campaign was to offer access to legal information to a disadvantaged social category. For that, the agency used an existing channel and a familiar form of entertainment. The agency transferred legal advice into songs and used radio to broadcast it in the region. Smart and impactful, I would say!
Find a Way or Build a Way
At the end of the conference, I took a moment to see how everything I learned or discovered in these two days would help Coach4Marketing. And the answer was easy – I felt inspired. It was not as much about the theoretical concepts as it was about substance and possibility. It was about creating a solution where there is none yet or it takes too long to find. About changing perspective, but maintaining core values at all times. And most of all, it was about building a business that has a positive impact.
After all, that is why I became an entrepreneur and why my job is to stand by people’s dreams and make sure they land safely on that bright success shore.