Friday July 12, 2013
Andy Murray's recent Wimbledon win captured the hearts and imaginations of many. He hasn't always been so popular. I asked our good friend Tom Crawford, AKA The Brainminer who is rather passionate about building brand through talent, to analyse the Murray brand.
"Andy Murray is a disarmingly authentic character in a media sea of facades and bleached teeth. Ironically it is his natural, even inadvertent “what you see is what you get that” that made him struggle to connect with the British public, even until quite recently. And I think the problem lies with us not him. When approving celebrity brands we wish to endorse we’ve become lazy. We focus on the packaging not the substance. We’ve wanted to follow and emulate lifestyles not values. Celebrity brands are too often built on whether they look good in pants or whether people would like to smell like them. Celebrities even hide “real” aspects of themselves such as sexuality and mental health issues for fear it will impact merchandise sales. The reason they became famous in the first place ie their sport or talent or even their passion, becomes secondary to whether they can shift sales of everything from cars to shoes.
Let’s not forget though that we now live in very real times. Unprecedented levels of poverty, hardship, trouble making ends meet. There is so much crisis and conflict in the world it is starting to get a little scary. The gloss of celebrity brands as we’ve known them for at least a decade is starting to grate. I believe that when Andy Murray showed real emotion when he lost in last year’s Wimbledon final to Federer, giving a non-scripted, heartfelt reaction, he changed something for the better in us. Here was someone who was passionate about his sport, unashamedly focused on it and determined to do his best for people. He doesn’t have great hair and his teeth are refreshingly irregular. He is not a natural orator and frankly would you buy his pants? Nonetheless at that moment we warmed to him and he gave many people hope. He exuded authenticity and realism in a way which was endearing. Andy Murray is a new hero for the majority of us who can’t afford to go to swanky nightclubs let alone be photographed falling out of them drunk on a school night.
For me that is actually the power of his brand and what will make it distinctive."
Some interesting thoughts from Tom (follow him @thebrainminer). Be interesting to hear your thoughts on brand Andy Murray, do let us know what you think.