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    What the Royal Wedding Teaches Us About Marketing
    The Vault

    What the Royal Wedding Teaches Us About Marketing

    May 2018

    If you set your alarm bright and early on May 19th to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say, “I do,” you weren’t alone. Over 29 million people in the U.S. alone watched the nuptials live says Nielson Media, a staggering number which will likely increase further once cable ratings are factored in. I couldn’t bring myself to set my alarm for 4 a.m. on a Saturday, but I’ve been enjoying the highlight reels quite a bit since then. And, since I can’t help myself, I’ve drawn a few connections between the royal wedding and successful marketing strategies. Like it or not, that wedding captured some serious attention (and money). Anything that generates worldwide “buzz” is worth a closer look.

    Before we take a look at marketing lessons, I think it’s important to figure out why we’re so fascinated with royal weddings in the first place. On the face of it, it makes no sense that anyone in America should care about a royal wedding. We cut ties to the monarchy generations ago, Americans views on marriage are divided, and we’re beginning to trend toward simpler weddings overall. Why on earth would we ever care about a foreign affair filled with such pomp and circumstance?

    The answer is very simple: The royal family is excellent at storytelling.

    Weddings happen everyday. Children are born everyday. Families go on vacation. We pay little attention to those events. When the British royals do those things, however, they capture our attention because they wrap everything up with an air of fantasy. We keep coming back to the story -- to the courtship, the wedding, the birth of their children, and so on -- because we just want to know what happens next. It’s like a good book we can’t put down. They use multiple platforms to share content and photos, and we eat it up. We just love their story.

    People can love your company’s story, too. That’s really the secret of great marketing campaigns: They pull people into a narrative and keep them coming back for more. The royal family does this better than just about anyone. So, let this most recent royal wedding serve to remind you to about how to execute your marketing story:

    Keep the content coming.

    Even here, across the pond, we’ve always had Prince Harry on our radar. Graduations, military accomplishments, who he was dating...all chronicled to keep us interested in his story. Each piece very subtly pointed us to the hope that there would someday be another royal wedding (his), and we kept coming back to see when that would be.

    Never neglect content. Blogs, photographs, print articles, social media presence -- they all matter. Content serves as the way to hook your audience and keep them engaged in your brand.


    Share your human side.

    The royal family lives in a world of opulence most of us cannot fathom. Yet, at the same time, and at least with the younger generation, they manage to portray themselves as relatable. We see Prince William taking his son to school or Kate Middleton shepherding her children during Harry’s wedding and we’re instantly connected to them. These are things we do. Never mind that the school is one we can never afford or, quite likely, there is a team of nannies helping with the children! No, those folks are just like us, and we are able to see ourselves in their story because of how they market themselves.

    Aim to show the personality in your business, the people that make your company what it is. People want to connect with people. Even boring businesses have a personality to share.


    Honor your history.

    Sure, this royal wedding had some surprise elements, but the day was steeped in British tradition. An American princess, sure, but a supremely British day.

    Your marketing efforts should also reflect your history. Whenever you tell your story, weave threads of your humble business beginnings in. Highlight the milestones. Bring your customers along on your journey. Nostalgia draws people in.

    Finally, don’t be tacky.

    Dress up for social occasions, display your crown jewels, do not hesitate to celebrate in spectacular fashion. Just do it in a way that allows you to maintain an air of humility -- just like the royal family.

    Humble bragging on social media is acceptable. Victory celebrations that reinforce your company’s culture and key tenants are good. Raucous parties that don’t connect people to their experience with your company are not.

    Here at BGW, our post-tax season parties look like this: teammates on the roof in Charlotte playing cornhole together, the Hendersonville team on a brewery tour together downtown, the folks in Myrtle Beach lunching at a favorite spot. Modest celebrations we do together, as teamwork and partnership are core values for us. That’s the kind of celebration you should seek.

    So, take a lesson or two from the royal family. As always, there are unexpected lessons for your business in almost every affair.


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