Branding Lessons from the Royal Wedding

Depending on your penchant for romance and spectacle, Friday’s “wedding of the century” may have moved you or bored you… to tears.

But regardless of whether you were in the “set my alarm to 5am camp” or the camp of “please, aren’t there other things in the world to focus on?”, there’s one thing everyone can agree on…the whole event was a masterpiece of branding.

Here are my top 3 branding lessons from the Royal Wedding.

SPOILER ALERT: none of these are anything you don’t  already know…but like most successful brand campaigns- it’s not always about break-through strategy. Sometimes its about executing a simple strategy really, really, really well.

1. THNK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL

The Royal Wedding appealed to many audiences, but the two I d like to mention are Kate’s hometown of Bucklebury (how could you make a better name up?) and   the larger global community of 2-3 billion estimated to have watched the wedding live or on YouTube. 

In the case of Bucklebury (a small hamlet about an hour outside of London with 2,000 residents) she and Wills apparently invited several of the local shopkeepers to Westminster Abbey. And as for the larger universe of multiple countries with varying standards of dress and modesty – I think her elegant, but non-revealing dress was a smart  respectful nod to other cultures  – many of which  no doubt are important political friends and allies of the UK.

2.  GIVE THEM THE MONEY SHOT

A picture has always been worth a thousand words, but in today’s world where news is viral, visual and mostly delivered instantaneously on the web I think the royal couple were very savvy  branders in thier visual orchestration of the event.

Two notable details to support this point. The first is that Kate and her advisers realized that the most important shot of the day was  going to be the first reveal of the dress as she stepped out of the limousine to walk into the church. The fact that she was greeted by her sister and maid of honor Pippa in a dress by the same designer which was complementary in both color and cut was not  just interesting fashion, it was a savvy orchestration of a key image.

This meant that Pippa appeared to be a continuation of Kate and  not a distraction in the photos and  this made the image even more powerful. Likewise, William had several uniforms he could have legitimately chosen. But the bright red coat of the Irish Guard was also a dramatic, effective visual choice.

3. ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE

The ceremony could have been positioned as a passive spectator sport.  An event happening to two other incredibly fortunate, rich and good looking people, but not something that the average Joe could relate to. But here I think the Bishop of London did a very smart thing to engage his audience and make people relate to the “brand presentation” they were witnessing.

Early on in the ceremony  he said “all weddings are royal weddings with the groom and the bride being the king and queen of creation, bringing love into the world.” Suddenly anyone who had ever been married (or hoped someday to be) was made aware that this was a ceremony that included, and was relevant, to all of us.

Smart move.

I think this generation of brand savvy royals has definitely understood the power of the media, and made a great first foray into building the potentially powerful  brand of “Will and Kate”.  Or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they have now been re-branded.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What branding lessons did you take from the Royal Wedding?

2 thoughts on “Branding Lessons from the Royal Wedding

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