Bringing culture into branding
At the risk of committing the ultimate “mortaller”, I’m now going to utter the dreaded words, “I’m not a copywriter but . . .” and suggest tentative lines of approach for some of the growing number of Irish food brands whose success not only creates wealth and employment but which give us a psychological boost when we see them succeed in the face of multinational competition and retailer pressure.
I think “Purpose” and “Pride” offer the best possibilities, with the latter enabling Irish brands that are making brave forays into export markets to strengthen their position at home by discussing their exploits with a population eager to share their success.
Butler’s Chocolate Cafés could tell us a story along the following lines: “Next time you’re in Wellington, Karachi or even London, drop in to a Butler’s Chocolate Café, relax with a coffee, enjoy our chocolates and we’ll make you feel right at home”, thus giving the brand an even stronger hold on the Irish imagination by revealing the extent of their export success.
In the same vein Ballymaloe Country Relish is starting to make inroads into the German market and could usefully let us know: “We’re giving the Germans a bail-out – helping to improve the taste of their food”. And while we’re at it Flahavan’s could tell us that “It’s an Irish morning in America as Americans opt for a more healthy way to start the day”.
When it comes to “Purpose”, we’re spoilt for choice because there are so many Irish food brands that are providing employment, inspiration and hope in areas ravaged by unemployment and emigration. Folláin marmalades and jams, which provides much-needed employment in Cúil Aodha in the west Cork Gaeltacht, is now the leading Irish-made marmalade brand. It could start a conversation about the wholesome nature of fruit grown in the area – Folláin is the Irish for “wholesome” – and of its determination to continue to expand the business but never to abandon its roots in West Cork.
Cultural branding doesn’t have to be frightfully serious – Cully Sully have built a successful brand by reflecting the founders’ engaging personalities and their enthusiasm for food. You’d expect them to be committed to environmental sustainability but not to be too po-faced about it, so why not: “Support Global Warming: Slap Your Laughing Gob around more Cully Sully’s Soups”.