MW Engage Awards 2013 will be better than ever

“In any business, you get to a point where you do things because that’s the way you’ve done them for the past five years. Somebody new coming in questions that thinking and you get a new drive for innovation.” So says Frank van der Post, managing director of brands and customer experience at British Airways.

Ruth Mortimer

Van der Post should know about innovation. He’s the man credited with turning around BA’s reputation since arriving at the airline in 2011. In 2010, the brand posted its biggest loss of more than £500m as the recession, a fall in passengers and the effect of strike action by cabin crew took its toll. But now the figures tell a different story: in August, it was announced that BA made an operating profit of €13m (£8.1m) in the first six months of the year.

Alongside the financial story is the reputational story that can never be divorced from the bottom line. Van der Post has overseen an upswing in BA’s brand and how customers perceive it. The airline has risen up the YouGov BrandIndex buzz rating, which assesses what people say about a brand.

Earlier this year, I sat in a room full of judges debating who should win our Marketing Week Engage Award for the Brand of the Year 2012, in association with YouGov. The BBC ultimately won but the judges praised BA for its enormous reputational turnaround, with some suggesting that even better was to come over the next 12 months.

That is particularly relevant now as we are launching the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2013, in association with YouGov. We’re looking for the marketing campaigns and ongoing strategies that have made an impact over the past year.

The Engage Awards are the best out there. Last year, judges from brands such as Disney, Heinz and John Lewis pored over the entries for weeks in order to ensure that the winners truly deserved the title.

The awards night on May 21 2013 will provide an opportunity to get together with some of the smartest minds in the business. Whether you’re a client brand or an agency, it’s great company to be in.

This year, we’re introducing a new award in our Special Awards category. We have created the Senior Marketer of the Year award, in association with Adobe, to reward top-level marketers who make a big difference to their brand but also to the marketing industry. We all know the important contribution the right people make to their businesses so we want to make a commitment to those individuals too.


Mark Ritson

Brand equity can damn as well as aid you

Mark Ritson

A few years ago, I was working as a consultant for a luxury brand. After a long and fruitful week of branding meetings across Europe, we ended the week in Paris and I visited the brand’s biggest boutique with one of its senior executives. Enamoured after five days of working for this lovely brand, I decided to buy one of their nice bags for my wife.