Charlie Robertson

Yesterday, my Creative Strategist Ad Class heard from Mr. Charlie Robertson, a brilliant mind in the world of branding. This Scotland native brought enthusiasm and excitement through visuals and storytelling to our classroom. Needless to say, he captured all of our attention.

Robertson works for an independent brand consultancy firm called Red Spider.  This firm works for brand owners and their agents to fix problems due to branding issues. It was founded in the UK in 1994 and has been thriving ever since.

While working for this brand consultancy firm, Robertson found many predicaments with the level of understanding employees of various advertising agencies had regarding branding.  Because he was now speaking in front of a classroom of 250 advertising students, he took it upon himself to inform us of these problems so that in our futures as advertising people, we can mend the gaps.

As I was sitting there with the utmost attention, I found that one of his statements stuck in my memory above others.  He said, “brand expression only goes wrong in three different places: strategy, idea and execution.” He went on to explain. All of these could go wrong at the same time depending on the objectives you set forth. There needs to be focus and drive in all three.

Brands are like nests. It’s a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer. It’s all about the consumer. So much research needs to be done in order to actually reach out to the target market you want and need to survive. Your brand is your reputation and how people view you. Brands offer a promise to customers, shareholders, employees, and suppliers. They create trust. Without this trust, you have nothing but the price of your product. These were the reasons he gave for the importance of branding. The greater the risk you take, the greater the return you receive. I couldn’t agree more.

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