While the 2015 Heineken Cup final had been due to take place at the San Siro in Milan, the first European final to take place in Italy, the new organisers decided to move it to Twickenham Stadium in London in order to "guarantee the best possible financial return to clubs". However, with less than two weeks to go before the final took place, it was reported that fewer than half of the stadium's 82,000 seats had been sold, with just 8,000 French supporters travelling to London to watch Toulon face Clermont. The organisers subsequently made "free" tickets available on Ticketmaster (with only a £2 booking fee applicable), before admitting to this being a mistake – the offer supposed to have been linked to a purchase of a Premiership final ticket. This was described as an "embarrassing fiasco" by the Western Mail in Wales. 56,622 fans subsequently attended the game. EPCR were said to have "failed on many levels" by The Irish Times, with the attendance figure for the final "a fitting postscript to the hastily-convened decider to what was, after all the brinkmanship, a hastily-convened tournament".
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Brands that have endured through the ages.
What is it about brands with longevity and staying power; those that stay the course when so many others fall by the wayside? Is there something they do that we should know about? As an entrepreneur starting in a new business venture, it is important to know about the value of good branding.
What is a brand?
There are confusing misconceptions about what exactly constitutes a brand. Many wrongly identify it with a company, service, or product’s logo – and yet this is incorrect. The term brand relates to a far broader, all encompassing notion of a company’s standing in the perception of the consumer. Branding is more about how the consumer responds emotionally to a product, and while this can be influenced to a certain extent by the manufacturer or provider, branding tends to be shaped more by the way a product is responded to by its end-users.
Still confused? Perhaps it is easier to think about the core values we subconsciously attach to a few of the better known big name brands:
Hoover: Dependable, reliable.
Gucci: Indulgent, luxurious.
The Body Shop: Ethical, sustainable.
Coca-Cola: Carefree, fun-loving.
Apple: Humanist, cool.
By harnessing the power of good branding and the potency of the feelings they engender in the consumer, the five companies listed above have secured their place at the top for many years.
Getting it right.
Branding is the emotional corporate image of a product, and sometimes it is hard to get it right. For a new start-up business, it is wise to start off with the branding before going anywhere near logos or the visual identity of a product. Consider the core values of the business and how this can be reflected throughout the corporate model. Everything the company produces, owns, and does should adhere to the core values of the business so that a consistent message is transmitted. Once this is nailed, move on to company identity and design, and the all important logo. When all this is combined successfully, good branding occurs.
A fine example of a brand that has gone through the ages is the classic British furniture manufacturer Ercol. Started back in 1920, this long established purveyor of finely designed furniture knows a thing or two about branding. Good design, function, and comfort are all associated with the Ercol brand and their high quality furniture has graced thousands homes throughout the United Kingdom. Several generations of British families have had Ercol furniture in their homes, and the familiarity of the graceful shapes and simple lines makes the general public feel comfortable and warmly disposed towards the brand. This combination of nostalgia and an innate stylishness taps into the current love affair with all things mid-century modern – although in actual fact Ercol has changed little over the years. While some brands feel the need to adjust their place in the perceptions of the consumer and undertake re-branding, Ercol has avoided this by evolving to meet the changing tastes of the design-savvy consumer, while also holding fast to their core values of great design, comfort, and functionality.
Entrepreneurs could learn a lot from studying a great British furniture brand such as Ercol. They have been around for almost a century, which certainly proves that they are doing something right.stating that there must be more of an effort to made all round in learning other languages and reiterated that English is really not all that universal.