There’s a good deal of talk these days about personal branding. Here in East Africa we have experts running event, training sessions and personal consultations to aspirant leaders and established public figures alike. It’s a growing market powered by an increasing awareness that it matters what other people think and feel about you. This is a good thing. Only a decade ago the prevailing attitude among leaders was that they could do and say what they wanted, and if people didn’t like it they could lump it. The social media explosion has helped accelerate the shift. Say the right thing or put a foot wrong: either way you can instantly feature on thousand of small screens.
Get personal branding right and it can become a career in its own right. Over in the United States a wealthy yet surprisingly unsuccessful businessman with an awkward personal manner is in the running to be the next President. His personal brand just happens to resonate with a huge number of his disaffected countrymen and women.
In the UK, a retired footballer and his former pop singer wife (and now their children) are working to create one of the most valuable brands in the western world. Brand Beckham is currently estimated to be worth half a billion Sterling pounds (US$771m).
The brand is used to add value to a multitude of industry sectors.
Researchers at The London School of Marketing have recently crunched the numbers. They estimate that brand Beckham generates between £30 and £40 million per year. The experts concluded that the Beckham marketing power resides in the family’s three main corporate vehicles: Footworks, where David’s football related revenues are collated, the Beckham label, for all their endorsements, and Beckham Venture, for Victoria’s fashion business.
Interestingly, researchers found that the Beckham label has grown in value more rapidly since David, 40, gave up his professional football career. As David and Victoria have focused more on their respective businesses, both have seen increases in profitability. Beckham Ventures could achieve a three times multiple on turnover this year compared to last.
Both the opening of Victoria’s flagship clothing store in London last year and the positive response to her New York Fashion Week show prove how she has shifted from 90’s pop star to established fashion designer.Whilst Victoria keeps busy with her booming fashion brand, David recently partnered with beverage giant Diageo to launch Scotch whisky brand, Haig Club. He recently celebrated ten years of fragrances, has his own range with H&M and models for Belstaff.
And it’s not just the parents who are making waves in the media. The eldest of the Beckham offspring, Brooklyn, has also caught the media’s eye. In his first interview with the international magazine Miss Vogue, Brooklyn discussed how he’s gained over four million followers on Instagram and shared his top tips with readers.
Last year, younger brother Romeo fronted the Christmas advertising campaign for fashion powerhouse Burberry, who claim he helped boost their sales by 14 per cent.
Speaking about the findings, Chief Marketing Officer at the London School of Marketing, Anton Dominique, commented: ‘The Beckham brand has been used to advertise everything from designer clothes, to satellite television and even whisky.
What is also interesting is that the family name is almost as influential as any individual family member. The Beckham name has the Midas touch when it comes to advertising, even the mere mention of their name associated with a brand is a news event in itself.’
The famous family is richer than the Queen of England, and ranks second only to her own family in terms of brand recognition. Says Dominique:’ After the Royals, the Beckhams are Britain’s most recognisable family with a global pulling power that’s almost second to none.’
Personal branding as a family business, will this be the next development in our own regional economy?
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