Can a couple be a brand? We consider the royal wedding as a brand experience. Posh and Becks have done it. What does the way Harry and Meghan, the latest Windsor super-couple, are preparing for their launch party say about their brand?
Everything has the whiff of brand about it. If you can feel it; see it; touch it; taste it, then it’s brand territory. That’s why the wedding of the year, between Harry and Meghan – I’m amazed they don’t have their own Brangelina super-couple portmanteau yet – is, whether you like it or not, a brand event.
This led me to ask myself, what would be the brand attributes of, let’s call them #MegnHaz?
Well, they’ve been quite proactive in their desire to be open – which is ironic for such a closed ‘firm’ – and have invited 2,640 members of the public to Windsor Castle for the wedding. What I like about them is their determination to try and connect directly with Mr & Mrs Smith. And, included in that number are 1,200 young people, so it’ll be a youthful event. They are clearly aiming for something more than the people’s royals. They want to say, “hey, we are actually just like you, we just happen to work in this family”.
So, let’s get Open and Youthful down as our first two brand attributes. Not a bad start.
And let’s consider who are not on the list. Donald Trump – which at least helps London avoid the embarrassment of crowds cheering and booing at the same time – and some of Meghan’s immediate half-siblings didn’t get immediate invites to the big day. Haz didn’t even ask his ‘bro’ to be best man until very late in the day and Megs has said there will be no matron of honour. That shows a lack of sentimentality – which is good – and the courage to avoid kowtowing to politics. And in a veiled kick at Simon Dudley, the leader of Windsor Council who tried to have the homeless removed from the streets, the couple named Crisis as one of seven charities who should receive wedding gifts to recognise the big day.
Elton John still makes the cut on the guest list, perhaps a clear link back to Harry’s mother, and shows that the Diana narrative has not yet disappeared. That’s loyalty.
So, let’s add Courage and Loyalty as two more attributes.
We’re left with a brand that is Open, Youthful, Courageous and Loyal.
Discovery/Knowledge: The Innocent, The Explorer, The Sage
Vision/Structure: The Creator, The Ruler, The Hero
Belonging/Care: The Lover, The Regular Guy, The Nurturer
Change/Risk: The Outlaw, The Magician, The Jester
If we put the MegnHaz attributes through a brand archetypes exercise, then we come out with them being a little like ‘The Innocent’ and ‘The Hero’. Or in other words, a little bit Dove Soap and a little bit Nike.
Like Nike, on a good day, they might be seen to be improving the world (Invictus Games), but on the other hand, they need to avoid being a little arrogant or aloof (well, they are born with silver spoons in their mouth say campaign group Republic).
And, like Dove, at their best they can make us feel happy, content and feeling good (hey, the girl from Suits has injected fresh hope into ‘the firm’), but on a bad day a bit boring. Well, he’s not exactly third in line to the throne, is he? What is he now? Sixth! Who remembers who came sixth?
But, on balance, this brand seems like it’s off to a great start. So, all they need now is a new initiative or product – no not that! – to start pushing the brand. Open, Youthful, Courageous and Loyal? I predict a royal trip to Mars to give the youth of the planet hope for the future.