At FreshBritain it is vital for us to get deep into the psyche of a brand. Without experiencing that first hand it can be difficult to get a genuine handle on what makes them tick. That old saying about having to walk a mile in another mans shoes before you can judge him is true here. In the case of UVU though, walking a mile didn’t quite cover it. Bob Sheard explains why:
“Working with UVU we ran the North Pole marathon. Our team ran across the jungle, we pounded the desert and this then culminated in running the North Pole marathon. You don’t just turn up with your trainers for something like that. It was hard but it was all a vital part of the immersion process. It meant training for six months, running in mud, running in sand, fog and snow. It meant getting up at 2am because that is when it is coldest and running at 50km runs with sleep deprivation prepared us for the North Pole marathon. Only then could we truly get into the mind and soul of the UVU consumer.”
To illustrate their commitment this is FreshBritain’s Business card at precisely 90 degrees north:
“We knew from experience that there will come a time in a runners life when your physical exhaustion has to be overcome by your mental resolve and that is what inspired us to name the brand UVU – you versus you. You can’t make this stuff up. You have to live it to understand it.”
The authority when building a brand from scratch comes from connecting to the soul of the consumer. In all cases, FreshBritain seeks to connect with them. They know that we understand them because we become them. From scratch you have to create a process and a DNA that creates a behaviour that generates the authority for a brand to do what it needs to do. UVU has more authority in the sphere ultra-running than any other brand in the world right now.
That appetite for immersing into the brand isn’t restricted to UVU either. Bob continues.
“When we worked for New Balance we ran marathons and when we worked for Nike ACG we went to live in the mountains for six months. When we worked for Karrimor Travel we sent our creative director to the Alps with £30 and told him he had to get back to the UK. On his return we asked him to tell us about his experiences and only then did we get to the core of what it meant to be immersed into a brand.”
FreshBritain has a commitment to finding out everything there is to know about a brand. The only way to do that is to become the brand and its consumers. In the movies, there are method actors. At FreshBritiain we try to be the method actors of branding.