The Brave Brands of 2014
Exclusive and prestigious, Brave Brand status is given to the brands that successfully break through the white noise to make a statement. It’s about stepping out of the comfort zone in order to set forth on a higher path. The Brave Brand causes a disruption in efforts to redefine an often tired category. It stays so true to its convictions that it is even willing to put potential profit on hold in the name of values. So which brands stood out for us last year?
The Australia and New Zealand Banking group is the third largest banking group in Australia. Why was it brave? ANZ launched an awareness and fundraising campaign in Sydney for the upcoming Lesbian and Gay Madi Gras festival. The campaign saw ANZ decorate 10 ATM machines across the city. The camp, brightly coloured machines were aptly called GAYTMs. Operating fees generated from the GAYTMs, throughout the duration of the campaign, went to non-profit Twenty10. The organisation provides assistance and guidance to young people in the midst of coming out or discovering their sexual identities. The campaign brought together beautiful street art and a good cause, not things a lot of consumers would expect to be on a major bank’s radar. Read the article in full
Durex unashamedly loves sex and it knows full well that we do too. Its perseverance and success in the face of the many rules, watersheds, regulations and limitations imposed upon it (due to its adult nature) are really something to admire. Why was it brave?Brand conscience Like all good brands should, Durex is very big on social responsibility. It loves a good cause and has its heart in the right place. Elements such a safety and reassurance form the fundamental core of its proposition and go hand in hand with Durex’s wider conscience. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6VPUTtuKuk] Design Durex’s competitor brands pale to insignificance on shelf as the colourful packaging manages to sell fun, pleasure, safety and responsibility in remarkably equal measure. Naming and copy Product names like Play, Tingle Me, Discover and Little Devil are confident and dynamic. Not just breaking taboos but smashing them. Read the article in full
Now 103 years old Oreo is an untouchable part of the American brandscape. There’s no doubt that if innocent-looking Oreo ever had any competition, it would squash it. Why was it brave? The celebrated cookie stood alone in its category. Lots of brands possess an impressive heritage that they are proud of and rightly so. The difference is that Oreo stays up with the times instead of stalling in them. It’s gained and maintained relevance with people of all ages by leveraging its childish side, not an easy niche to carve. When a brand stays as current, humorous and dynamic as Oreo, it’s hard not to be impressed. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7wFQLRsMYQ] Read the article in full
Founded in 1957, Dove had always been the Mary Sue of skincare. Synonymous with purity and gentleness it was a highly recognisable category constant with a loyal consumer base. Why was it brave? In 2006, the popular and respectable beauty queen decided the time was right to disrupt the personal care category. Utilising print, TV and social media advertising in an unprecedented commitment to its cause, Dove shook the foundations of the beauty industry and started the ‘Real Beauty’ revolution. With third wave feminism and growing concerns over eating disorders and the sexualisation of young girls at the very peak of their pertinence, Dove’s decision to become the people’s champion was perfectly timed and paid off in spectacular style. The real beauty of the Dove rebrand campaign is that it provided a totally new appeal by taking a fresh approach to its brand proposition rather than uprooting it completely. Dove has always been known and admired for its sensitive and caring qualities, the Real Beauty campaign simply extended them beyond skin, to a whole person with a heart and mind. Read the article in full
Coca-Cola bought its first 18% stake in Innocent in 2009. Four years later, in 2013, the soft drinks giant upped its ownership of the smoothie brand to 90%. Why was it brave? Innocent successfully juggles a multitude of brand values. A friendly and relatable personality upheld through copy and consumer engagement activities helps Innocent maintain a transparent and honest relationship with customers as well as generating huge brand loyalty. As a brand, it consistently strives towards innovation and self-improvement, whilst remaining confident in the work it’s already doing. And Innocent is undeniably making the world a better place, both in terms of its consumers’ health and charitable works around the world. We think Innocent is just great. Read the article in full
Ten years ago Uniqlo had just 100 stores, all in Japan. Next year, it will have 840 in Japan and a further 1,170 elsewhere. The two-thousand or so stores are performing phenomenally with the clothing retailer was set to amass sales of $14 billion in the financial year of 2014. Why was it brave? Uniqlo’s mission statement begins: ‘We consistently provide fashionable, high quality, basic casual clothes that anyone can wear anytime anywhere – and always at the lowest possible market prices.’ And it’s certainly a mission Uniqlo has rigorously stuck to. Anyone who’s browsed one of the brand’s stores or wears its clothing will attest its excellent quality relative to its affordability. Innovation flows throughout the company, from the advanced technicality of its fabrics to the lean, flat, open way the business is organised. Even more impressive perhaps is Uniqlo’s relentless commitment to protecting the planet and securing a sustainable future, not only for itself, but for the whole world. Read the article in full.