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Could the royal family help you improve your firm’s image?

Does your business have an image problem? It can be hard when you’re operating in a fairly unglamorous industry or niche sector to really stand out to the masses and convey a strong brand image at the same time. And it’s probably even tougher if you’re quite well established, as your audience probably has a very fixed idea in their heads of what you’re all about.

How, then, can you shake things up and get noticed? Well, you might find some inspiration in one of the UK’s greatest and longest lasting institutions – the royal family.

According to a study by YouGov, 50% of marketing professionals believe the royal family have done a good job of successfully marketing themselves to the wider public throughout the last year. This is particularly interesting in light of the fact that there’s often controversy relating to the royals, ranging from scandals to objections about how they fit into a democratic system and their cost to the taxpayer. And critics frequently argue it is a stuffy and outdated institution that the average working man and woman simply cannot relate to.

But it seems the younger royals in particular are helping to dispel this image. The engagement, wedding, birth of Prince George and last week’s arrival of Princess Charlotte to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has become a national obsession in the last few years – and Prince Harry’s rebellious streak has certainly struck a chord with the public.

Rachel Bowman, Director at Marketing recruiter EMR, commented: “Certain younger members of the family have likely received a ‘slap on the wrist’ for placing themselves in situations that have not promoted a refined image of royalty. This hasn’t dampened the royal brand and according to marketers has actually boosted popularity. It seems the youthful elements have provided what many may describe as a stuffy and outdated institution with a bit more of a human story the public can relate to.”

So if you feel you’re struggling to get your business to engage with people, or believe your image is perhaps a little stuffy and out of date, then why not draw some inspiration from the royals and try to project a more human side to your target market?

Build a brand story
Instead of overtly trying to sell a product, many firms try to get customers on board by establishing an emotional connection with them. This can be achieved through a narrative that shows your values and ethos, beyond making a profit. Well established brands often incorporate nostalgia in their advertising and incorporate their original marketing materials into their latest campaigns; this is often supported with commemorative merchandise such as mugs, posters and T-Shirts to celebrate anniversaries and milestones. If your brand story is successfully portrayed through all your marketing activities, it can be a very powerful (and affordable!) way to build loyalty.

Sponsor or take part in events
Anything from a church fete to a music festival can give you an opportunity to get yourself seen – so sponsoring or participating can raise brand awareness considerably and reinforce the narrative we discussed earlier. Offer to supply lanyards or wristbands for larger events and get your details printed on them. You can also use these occasions to make a lasting impression on attending members of the public by handing out freebies with your name and logo, such as balloons or pens. It’s a great way to get yourself remembered.

Post content online

Even the Queen is on Facebook these days, so use social media to post informative, entertaining and relevant content on a regular basis. This could be anything from blog posts and images to detailed infographics and YouTube videos. They don’t have to be typical adverts. It could be your view on a particular subject, or even something that’s just plain funny and entertaining. Promote your social media accounts on items such as stylus accessories, or earbuds; such items appeal to a cross-section of audience and especially to millennial audiences. Either way – it makes you look more relatable and engaging.

Brand loyalty these days is often built on seeing the face behind the corporate facade, so anything that shows you as a human that your target audience can relate to is certainly worth pursuing. It could be the difference that makes you stand out over and above your competitors.