Brexit means Brexit. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times over now. However, we are here today to talk about something a little more interesting than what you will see in the news headlines. Will Brexit have an effect on British heritage branding?
Initially, brands were worrying that they would suffer, not only financially, but also by their image. The vote result brought controversy and UK brands were worried what the world would think of those with patriotic branding.
These socioeconomic factors caused an identity crisis, but it actually seems that these brands need not worry. Post-Brexit, Burberry for example, has seen a 30% increase in sales!
Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Liberty, Harrods, Cath Kidston & Mulberry, just to name a few, all have quintessentially British branding. They often use classic patterns or our favourite British features, like the British Bull dog or Union Jack, whether this is represented in their products, visual merchandising or advertising.
If anything, Brexit has made British heritage brands stand out further. Cath Kidston is well-known for their use of pretty floral prints that have a nostalgic and vintage feel to them and according to Sue Chidler, their marketing director, ‘Brand Britain seems to be stronger than ever.’ So, it doesn’t look like they’ll be making any visual changes.
Just because we’re leaving the EU, doesn’t mean their image has to suffer. Heritage is heritage, and it won’t change, no matter if the United Kingdom does become a little less united. With Britain trying to be less influenced by others, Britishness is going to become more powerful! Consumers are currently loving these types of brands, the more nostalgic, the better.
Some of these also use the ‘Made In Britain’ unique selling point to help power their brands and it seems that it is better for brands to be focusing around making their products in Britain. Especially those who have been importing from Europe, as soon, import taxes are likely to be increasing. If there is to be an increase in product production in the UK, this could also open up many new jobs and benefit the British economy.
As side from what is currently happening in the UK, the demand for ‘Britishness’ is on the rise in Asia, including China, Japan and India, particularly in the fashion sector.
Brexit should have no change in how our brands will look, but there may be some financial hiccups along the way.