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Goafest 2012: Charles Wright: What matters is what is delivered

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | April 21, 2012
In his presentation on 'Combining rigour with magic to solve complex business problems', Charles Wright, MD, Wolff Olins spoke about how an all-inclusive approach and overall efforts by the organisation towards brands help them become profitable.

In his presentation on 'Combining rigour with magic to solve complex business problems' on the Day One of Goafest 2012, Charles Wright, managing director, Wolff Olins attempted to give a deeper meaning to brands and the impact on profits. According to Wright, a CEO shows disinterest in brand awareness, brand attributes and market share. "All he wants is profits," he said.

Charles Wright

Giving an example of Indigo Airlines, Wright said that in order to gain profit, delivery wins over theory. In this case, he said, delivery to fly on time matters. "What matters is not what the agency promises (in the ad), but what the client delivers," he reiterated.

According to Wright, telling clear, simple stories has a dramatic effect on the share prices.

At this point, Zia Patel, strategist, Wolff Olins Dubai took over from Wright. According to her, a logo should be a symbol of ambition. "Creativity is about making useful and unexpected connection," she said, citing the example of Mercedes creating a solution for safety.

According to Patel, design is a language that can help people move brands from being tolerated to being loved.

She posed a valid question on how one can help employees deliver on their brands. "It is not by merely giving logo design documents to them. It has to be communicated through various points such as customer experience and HR training." She added that the staff experience of living the brand reflects externally. "Indian companies will need a lot of time and dedication to build internal culture," she stated.

According to Patel, in order to get into the heart of the category, we need to do simple useful things. She gave the example of the Heathrow Express. Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports, used by more than 50 million people a year. In the early 1990s, its operator BAA set up a joint venture with British Rail to build a fast rail link to central London. But how could it tempt passengers away from the cheaper Tube or from the privacy of cars?

To bring travellers on board, Wolff Olins defined a service offer that, in effect, reinvented the rail link. The model would have airline service standards, with high speed, high capacity, high levels of information and special ticketing. Wolff Olins designed almost every aspect of this customer experience, from the station architecture at Heathrow, through train interiors, to details like tickets and uniforms. The agency advised on pricing and ticketing, and helped create the on-board television service. It also inspired a highly professional service culture. And, to signal this dramatically new way to travel, the agency created the Heathrow Express brand.

Towards the end of the session, Wright revealed how, every few months, there is a survey on the most powerful brands but each survey has different conclusions. According to Wright, the 'four big things in the world' are more choice in more places, technology revolution, brand on the board agenda and united management.

Click here to see videos and pictures of Goafest 2012.

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