The Sussexes: an abject lesson in the value of brand and reputation management
The Sussexes have lost their Podcast and Spotify contracts – the reasons given are around the quality and quantity of their content.
They are apparently lazy and unproductive: “f*cking grifters” I believe was the expression used by a Spotify Exec.
I’ve expressed before how I feel about Prince Harry. Damaged and lost, he’s made some poor decisions and I feel both sorry for and irritated by him.
However, this is also a clear lesson in how a strong brand is the result of clear messaging and consistent, hard work. It is also a case study in the importance of protecting and nurturing your brand in the fierce world of commerce.
I get no sense of the values that The Sussex brand has tried to live up to. No clear message and certainly no clear benefit to the millions of interested parties around the world. In this regard there is no brand just celebrity.
The secret of a great brand narrative
At its conception the brand could have stood for almost anything. A massive groundswell of curiosity and pity surrounded them. Most wished them well, but the public don’t want to be shackled to someone else’s miserable story ad nauseam.
The secret of a great brand narrative is the happy ending. The “Prince and Princess” riding off happily into the sunset having learnt, grown and shared a little wisdom
The privilege, experience and trauma the Prince has lived through would and should make remarkable compelling stories, if expressed for the sole purpose of serving others.
The Archetypes podcast was supposed to be a joint effort (I understand that the Prince never showed up) so, with five minutes thought, here’s how I would have planned the next five Archetypes series:
Series two: Health, healing & Heroes– what it takes to survive combat and where to find help.
A series of interviews with decorated combat veterans from both sides of the pond talking about mental, physical and relationship survival.
Putting Harry centre stage in series two, balancing his wife’s inaugural series, and talking on a subject which historically brought him huge respect.
Series Three: children of a lesser god – surviving and thriving after parental loss.
Series Four: be careful what you wish for. The cult of celebrity.
Series Five: life lessons learnt. Spreading you wings and taking flight.