I am pretty sure that ‘Branding’ was not a word in 1664. It wasn’t until I started reading more about identity and branding that I realised that I had been a member of one of the worlds’ most famous brands, the Royal Marines. Upon joining and subsequently going through training, the history, ethos and values are instilled into you. The Royal Marines have many parts to their identity; a cap badge which is based on the Globe and Laurel, our Corps Colours connecting all our history and our regimental march ‘Life on the Ocean Wave’, so all visual and audio aspects are well established. Most brands have a small audio piece that defines them, think of many devices that upon start up play a few notes that become synonymous with that brand?
Royal Marines History.
So a little bit about The Royal Marines history. Originally formed in 1664 and then called, The Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot, they went through various iterations until the early 18th Century when the then regiments of Marines formed into the Royal Marines. The title ‘Royal’ was granted in 1802, by an order of King George III.
From their earliest formation, armies and regiments would carry ‘Colours’ into battle, the Corps being gold and scarlet. Early headdress was worn encompassing some form of cypher. This badge cypher would go through many alterations, but ultimately the laurel leaves, fouled anchor, crown and moto have been apparent since the earliest of times. The current Crest is described below.
With the visual aspect of the badges and colors, then came the regimental march being composed in 1882 underpinning the values and ethos of the ‘Commando spirit’. The ‘commando spirit’ derived from the aspects of training and operations during the Second World War. These have endured over 80 years, and are worn with pride for all those who win the converted green beret. The green beret an important element of the brand in itself.
So why am I aligning today's major brands with a centuries old maritime regiment?
Brandings Common Aspects
All recognised brands share common aspects that are still prevalent today as they were several hundred years ago. The Royal Marines have a USP that makes them stand out against any other regular infantry-born unit in the world. Their values that remain key shape the way it has been flexible and adapting to various outside forces to maintain its survival – I refer to the many instances of Government reviews of our Armed Forces. This is isn’t a political dig, far from it, but a support for all British and allied Armed Forces.
Royal Marines Branding And The Beret.
The Royal Marines most recognised symbol is the Green Beret, from its creation during the early stages of World War 2, and the metaphor attached to Commando exploits. The green beret is sort after, it shows and breeds differentiation and within that it bears loyalty. This can be translated into what works for a companies customers for a non military organisation. A defining set of ethos, processes, product, service and behaviours of employee help define that brand. These defining influences show how we ‘do business’ to the rest of the world. Early on your company must define their own and make sure it's preached and lived by from all sides of the organisation. Brands instilled to a businesses core creates a cohesion to make things successful, providing they live by a 21st set of values.
It’s Not Exclusive, But Brands Do;
- Communicates directly to your audience
- Engages customers
- Connects your product/service to your customer emotionally
- Motivates buyers
- Confirms and increases your credibility
What Top Brands Do
Branding is wide as it is broad. Having been involved with various branding projects with some of the largest branding agencies in the world we find that the very top brands don’t just do the above list they also have something ‘extra’.
- Clear defined leadership within the organisation
- Communication processes that provide clarity not ambiguity
- Constant reinforcement of the brand and what it stands for internally
- Processes that deliver on the brand promises time and time again
- Customer Focuses On Making Things Right
- Organisation That Does The Right Thing
A good branding Strategy is where it starts. If you would like help with your brand we and a free consultation please reach out to us at Pier 9.
Take a look at the Top 100 Worldwide brands as defined by Interbrand.
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