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Building a successful brand requires not only innovative ideas and great technical execution, but also the ability to tell a good story. Speaking at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO, Scott Bedbury of Brandstream discussed his career marketing some of the largest brands in the US, and a few branding lessons he has learned along the way. While working at Nike in the early 1990′s, he describes what set them apart from other brands, primarily, that they completely rejected traditional marketing methods and in fact refused to even use the word ‘marketing.’ Working with Wieden + Kennedy, they set out to create a new kind of advertising which did not focus on the product, but rather focused on much bigger concepts that connected with consumers on a personal, psychological, and emotional level.
After Nike, Bedbury moved on to Starbucks to help develop the brand. He describes the fundamental principles that define successful brand communication: People need to feel safe, welcomed, recognized, valued, empowered, loved, have love for someone else, and feel as if they are part of something bigger. These are basic psychological ideas, and a successful brand must recognize and speak to these desires. Bedbury also gives the reminder that if a brand does not tell its own story, then somebody else will.
He closes his talk with a list of rules he has developed which can guide successful brand development. Primarily, he says that consumers are not constantly asking to be marketed to, they are people with lives and their intelligence should be respected. A brand must also be clear and concise with a single voice, and also respect the art in everything it does which will help build towards the important big ideas. Finally, it is important to always be present and relevant in the current moment, while at the same time being curious of new things in the future.