A creative conversation between Des and Tina, Brandopia's mythical brand developers
DES: Back in 2005 we discussed a big brand idea for London's Brompton Road, then one of the worst-performing commercial streets in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city. TINA: Four years is a long time in destination branding, so we were delighted when Kevin Caruth the founder of Urban Gentry: London tours for the savvy visitor, brought us right up to date with what was happening in Brompton - in 2009.
DES: According to KevinC, Brompton has been very active in positioning the area as a 'design district' especially around the London Design Festival each September. TINA:He recommends it as "A must for any design buffs visiting London" - "Where you can combine the top end luxe brands with independent, quirky stores."
DES: Music to our ears. TINA: A destination brand concentrated on a single big brand idea which also has a future-focus.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"First attract with a single branded proposition, then distract with multiple products and experiences ."
A creative conversation between Des and Tina, Brandopia's mythical brand developers.
DES: Brompton Road in London's fashionable Knightsbridge, used to be known for its defunct Underground station made infamous by a rather annoying public address Tube train announcement: "Passing Brompton Road". TINA:Today, however, the road is also developing a local reputation for one of the worst performing commercial streets in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city - despite being surrounded by world-famous destinations such as Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
DES: In fact, most local real estate agents refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Brompton brand name, preferring to use the more powerful and upmarket Knightsbridge name to describe the area. TINA:And to make matters worse, Brompton is also strongly associated with one of London's largest cemeteries where all its famous residents are sadly no longer in the land of the living.
DES: OK Tina, what would be your brand development thinking for Brompton Road? TINA:Well, London as a world-class city has many world-famous streets - from the medical mafia of Harley Street to the sartorial suits of Savile Row.
DES: These and other street destination brands became prosperous by concentrating on a single, focused, big brand idea. TINA:A brand strategy which Brompton Road needs to duplicate, if it is to achieve iconic status in the future.
DES: But many brand owners get nervous about adopting a single-focus strategy, quoting the demise of Fleet Street, once the home of Britain's newspaper publishing barons. TINA:Fleet Street's problem wasn't its narrow focus, but its failure to re-invent itself, in order to meet the needs of a modern printing press industry, a change which most brands need to go through from time to time if they are to survive and prosper.
DES: So give me a clue as to what Brompton Road's focus should be? TINA:By studying the current commerical tenant mix, you will discover a small interior design company called Lutyens Design Associates just off Brompton Road. The owner, Candia Lutyens, happens to be a descendant of Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of Britain's greatest architects, who also was a fine designer of furniture.
DES: A big brand idea is born, in the form of a new tenant mix strategy: attracting the world's top home interior designers and retailers. TINA:Welcome to the future of Brompton Road: London's First Home Interiors Quarter.
'Brand' the Marketect says: "Turn acorns into oak trees. Find the seed of an idea which has the potential of developing into a big brand story, then plant it in fertile soil - a new market category".