Brand strategy: Brands, capital and crises

Rita Clifton

In this edited version of her British Brands Group lecture, Rita Clifton looks at the features of strong brands and examines the reasons why some brands find themselves in crisis. Her main point – that the brand is the business, from the inside out – is one that many companies ignore at their peril.

We have been so spoiled for crises over the past few years that it is difficult to choose which ones to talk about. However, there are a lot of common lessons – good, bad and ugly – that it would be good to share.

One thing to say about these crises is that the brand element is often overlooked until it is too late. When I was in Frankfurt at a conference just as the financial crisis was developing, the panel before me was discussing the prospects for the financial markets, speculating on what would happen and how it might all end in Armageddon. Then the chairman stood up and said: "And now we will have a presentation on the value of branding in financial services."