What a change of character

What struck me when reading your article “Money Machine” (MW March 29) was how the debate has moved from “How does this character add value to your brand?” to “Is this brand a suitable money carrier for your character?”

In other words: ask not what the character can do for your brand but what your brand can do for the license holder?

Brand manufacturers and licensing concerns are acknowledging that the brands that truly benefit from building their profile and increasing long-term sales are the “characters”, and perhaps by implication, that brands are best focused on building their own values, while “characters” are becoming potent brands in their own right.

As someone who has been passionate about brands for longer than I care to remember, I breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe the industry has learnt that short-term tactical approaches to branding and packaging generally leave brands to rebuild recognition and values painstakingly established over years. Perhaps we have learnt that brands need continuity and strategic focus simply because consumers are bombarded by millions of messages engulfing their senses every day; therefore, brands need above all icons, recognition, continuity and simple messages to “cut through”, be seen, heard and understood, where they matter most, at the point of purchase.

Don Williams

Head and executive creative director

PI Global

London W11

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