One of the more famous UK natives, David Beckham is probably better known this decade for his family, fashion sense, and general “brand” than his actually soccer playing. A recent deal with H&M seems to confirm this. David Beckham has recently signed a deal to be the face of a new line of “bodywear” for the UK retailer. For those who are not fluent in fashion-ese, this means underpants.
If you are dying to get your hands on Beckham brand underwear, they will be available at H&M stores beginning in early 2012. Becks is not the first UK celebrity to get a line with the retailer; he follows in the footsteps of Madonna, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld.
Indeed, David Beckham seem is be one of the most marketed and most marketable people in the UK. It is hard to picture an item that could not be sold by his athleticism, style and attractiveness. This makes David Beckham an interesting study in branding. Here are a few lessons that we think many businesses in the UK can learn from the world-famous football player.
- Be visible. Do customers and members of your community interact with your brand on a regular basis? This is a huge part of David Beckham’s success. He has done a phenomenal job of keeping himself and his family in the public eye. He is friends with high profile celebrities and even married the tabloid favourite Posh. While you probably cannot get the same amount of free publicity that is available to a football player, you can make sure your logo design is present on the internet and social media sites as well as a variety of places in daily life.
- Be mysterious. David Beckham may be seen on billboards all over the UK (and soon on bodywear packaging), but he is private enough that people retain a certain amount of interest in him and his family. While you cannot create the same aura of mystery with the average UK business, you can somewhat duplicate the effect. Make customers want to know a little more about your brand and always put your best foot forward.
- Don’t forget your core market. There has been a significant amount of press lately about the diminishing brand of the Beckham family. This is likely due to the move to Los Angeles. Beckham was an icon in the Manchester United; he had a history with the fans. In Los Angeles, he is a new face—one that is not performing up to standards at that. Never reject a strong market for the chance to tap into a new one.
- Let your brand grow slowly. David Beckham was not an overnight icon; he began as a simple football player and worked his way up, gradually reaching his current level of popularity. His brand grew slowly and organically over years, which is why it has lasted through the ups and downs of his career. His brand has a history, and your brand should have this as well.