Serving a Marketing Ace

It wasn’t just sports fans that were glued to their TV screens when Murray played Federer on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon’s Centre Court last weekend…….the hopes of a nation were at stake and few could resist tuning in to see if they could, at last, be realised.

Our collective national pride may have been hurt once again, but one thing that, perversely, was not damaged by his defeat was Andrew Murray’s reputation. Doubtless the fact that it’s in the nature of us Brits to warm to the underdog and celebrate the achievements of a ‘try-er’ will have something to do with his enhanced popularity, but much more significant was his gracious, heartfelt and articulate response.

As a brand, Andy Murray has struggled in the past.  He’s been uncommunicative, not just in what he’s said – or not said – but in the way he’s appeared on camera.  A brand needs personality; it needs to engage with its audience and give that audience a reason to be loyal. Until Sunday, the only values that brand Murray had to inspire loyalty were that he was British and he was more likely to win than any other British tennis player.

The thing is, being the best – or one of the best – at what you do is not always good enough to inspire loyalty or engage with your audience.  And in a commercial environment, the simple fact of being British or ‘local’ certainly isn’t going to cut it. Customer choice and brand loyalty is usually based on much more intangible attributes that are often difficult to communicate such as integrity, passion, commitment, aspiration. Andy Murray managed to convey all of that in his post-match speech and that one event, much more than the game itself, has changed perceptions of him and made a nation eager to cheer him on next time.

The same principles apply in the commercial world.  Sometimes, it’s important to take a step back from the relentless focus on being good at what you do and look at how you can communicate that dedication. It may be a single ‘event’ such as a new brochure or website that helps you make a change, or a more holistic approach to changing your messaging across all marketing and sales channels. Either way, communicating with sincerity and clarity is just as essential to success as having the best products or the most talented team.

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