The Mr Yum team recently presented Table Talk in Sydney, an afternoon where hospitality professionals gathered to hear three expert panellists discuss the topic “building brands that bond”. We’ve collected the top insights from the event so you can learn the ins and outs of brand building from the pros.
Meet the panellists
Victoria Tulloch - Head of Marketing at one of Australia’s most-awarded distilleries, Victoria knows the ingredients for creating memorable moments and shared her insights into building Archie Rose into a much-loved brand.
Nathan Lennon - A highly awarded creative director and now co-founder of independent craft brewery Hawke’s Brewing Co and its flagship HQ, the Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre, Nathan understands the power of storytelling and creating a community of brand advocates.
Gerald Torto - Practice Director at M&C Saatchi Group's global design business Re, Gerald (AKA G) works with scale-ups to discover and define their story and bring it to life through design.
Why design matters
Gerald works with brands every day to help them define themselves and turn the essence of what they do into beautiful designs. He shared some insights on why design matters for brands.
“Design matters because basically, we're impacted by everything that we see, everything that we hear, touch, anything that affects us, stimulates our senses. And I think we can very much notice when something isn't designed well – it grates.”
“And so design is really about thinking about the end user, the experience that you want to create, the impacts, the thing that you want that person to think, feel or do in a particular situation.”
“You want them to feel something. And in the context of brand, that feeling and that doing is attributed back to what you stand for and what you’re about,” says G.
Defining your brand’s story and legacy
Creating a story for your brand is something that Nathan Lennon understands all too well, and his brand journey benefited from a lot of experience in the marketing and advertising world. Nathan spoke about how Hawke’s Brewing Co found its purpose.
“We sort of landed on this interesting thought of what if Bob Hawke was the figurehead or the face of a brand in Australia that wasn't a joke or a flash in the pan or about the fact that he likes sculling beers at the cricket, but actually stood for something and stood for his legacy,” he says.
Once Nathan convinced the former PM to get on board with the business, Bob chose Landcare Australia as the charity partner that would receive his royalties – and this moment helped them define the brand.
“We always wanted this to be a purpose-driven brand tied to charity, but he tied the bow on that part of the story to give us the substance that this was a legacy, not just for him but part of our own legacy,” says Nathan.
On setting values and sticking to them
Victoria Tulloch heads up the marketing team at Archie Rose, and given the brand’s explosive growth in the boutique spirits market, she had a lot to say about the power behind planning and having a brand vision.
“We always go back to our values, which are innovation, quality, education and authenticity. And, you know, we continue to go really deep on that to help guide us moving forward.”
“Having a really clear vision around your purpose and your values is fundamental. I think if you don't have that, you know, it's easy to kind of flap in the wind,” she says.
Building a community
G spoke about the benefits of building a community around a brand and why creating something your audience can latch onto is essential.
“You've got to have this value add, and that's where brand can play a role. So, in terms of building a community, it's very much about how do I feel when I use that brand and that product. What does it say about me? What does it communicate to others?”
“If people can identify with your story and they have the permission to continue their own story as part of your narrative, then you get really tight,” he says.
Growing through content
Archie Rose is known for their branded content, which helps them stand out and foster a sense of community. Victoria spoke about the benefits of content marketing.
“I think if you really seriously are looking to grow your brand or your venue, you do need to get quite focused on how you actually create really engaging content and do it really regularly. And then find the channels to make sure that you’re sharing it the right way because it's basically like your little marketing engine,” Victoria says.
We’ve already touched on how Hawke’s charity connections formed part of their story. But Nathan also offered some advice for brands looking to build themselves around a charity connection and how to stay authentic.
“So be very honest with yourself about what it is that you can give back, but have goals and take people on the journey of what that's going to look like, so you don't get caught in that environmental instance where you become a greenwash.”
“Just be very real, be very transparent. And I think with that level of authenticity, you do start to create community because people appreciate that level of honesty. You're doing good, but at the same time, you know, you're not a bullshit artist,” he says.
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