Does your brand win or lose where it counts the most?

I never thought that I’d write a blog inspired by the MotoGP. But after a weekend at Silverstone amidst a sea of Valentino Rossi yellow, what struck me aside from the racing, was how vital it is to brand your product at the point that really counts. To remember what product your customers are really paying for.

It was my first live MotoGP. Every rider has their own brand and merchandise, some stronger than others, and Rossi more popular than them all. But when the bikes come around the track, the vital thing is to see who’s who in a split second. The American woman next to me in the stand leaned over and asked – can you see the numbers on the bikes? And of course they’re going so fast, and at such an acute angle, the answer is no – especially with more than one rider on a Honda, or Ducati or Yamaha, each with the same team branding.

Where Rossi has it right is the dominant use of a singular colour wherever he can – on his leathers, helmet, gloves and bike. You might not see the 46 on the front of the blue Yamaha, but you just know that it’s “ValeYellow” whatever position he is in the race. And so his fans get the rush of cheering their hero every lap. Which is why they really came – and then went on to buy the t-shirt, hat, flag and all the other stuff that makes up the overall experience.

I’m a big champion of thinking about the whole customer experience not just the product, and then ‘joining the dots’ from start to finish. But as marketers we should never forget the main purpose of what clients are buying from us – the product – and how important that touch point is to bringing your value proposition home. Focus your brand on what you do well. Then build your story around that. Not the other way around.