William and Kate’s Royal Wedding: Why We Care

Royal Wedding’s 3 Marketing Lessons

Ever since William and Kate announced their engagement, the world’s been a buzz with gossip. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding isn’t just any wedding, a joyful occasion in its own right. It’s a royal wedding where the groom is in line to be the King of England. While Kate Middleton wasn’t a scullery maid when she met William at university, she’s not royalty. This point underscores that their marriage is a fairy tale come true where the bride is marrying her prince.

3 Marketing lessons from the royal wedding

What can you learn from this happy event that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy? Here are three actionable tactics you can use for your organization.

1. Fairy tales rule! When it comes to fairy tales, we’re all small children again who love to hear the same story over and over, even if we know every detail by heart. It’s even better if the fairy tale is the happily ever after type.

  • What stories do your company, products and brands have? Are they unique to your organization?
  • If not, can you use your company’s special history or attributes to make its version memorable?
  • If you don’t have a great story about your firm, can you borrow one? For example, King Arthur Flour, a premium baking company, borrowed its name from the mythical king of England.

2. Everyone loves gossip. It’s a guilty pleasure. We all want to know how celebrities live, whether it’s British royalty or the latest movie star. Born into royalty, William has been the focus of media attention since he was an infant. Gossip sells whether it’s at the supermarket checkout counter or your favorite gossip blog. As a result, the news media’s been eating it up with any angle of the royal wedding they can get.

  • Can you use old-fashioned public relations to get high profile individuals to wear or use your products?
  • Can you create iconic personalities to attract public attention through effective use of media? Even better, can you incorporate these characters into your company’s story? For example, the rumor mills cranked up when Martha Stewart, the doyenne of American home decorating, hit the front pages of the tabloids with her insider stock purchase fiasco. Yet after being in prison, she’s re-emerged (although she’s not allowed to be CEO of the firm she created that still bears her name.) Alternatively with its 186 video campaign last summer, Old Spice turned their well built athlete turned advertising spokesperson, Isaiah Mustafa, into a dreamy celebrity that grabbed headlines.

3. Any excuse for a good party. Weddings are traditionally associated with parties. In honor of the royal wedding, public celebrations abound in England.

  • What can you do to raise the profile of your company or brand by having a party or being strongly associated with one? 1-800 Flowers has created a sister content site focused on Celebrations since flowers are often used to commemorate a special date or event.
  • What can you do to create a party atmosphere around a special event at your company? Birthdays and anniversaries are obvious answers. Don’t forget the party favors!
  • How can you use the party to expand your content and community activities? For example, geo-location social media site Foursquare celebrated 4/16 as Foursquare Day with meetups around the world.

From a marketing perspective, use the attributes of the royal wedding to find opportunities within your organization that can be leveraged to build your brands and products.

What have you done for your brands or firm that draws on fairy tales, iconic personalities or fun parties? Please share your experience in the comment section below.

Wishing the happy couple the best in their new life together.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Aurelien via Flickr

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  • Heidi, I take issue with #2-Gossip. Celebrity endorsement can have it’s place, but it’s not as big a draw as inside information. No one was watching the wedding yesterday because Victoria Beckam was invited. And we didn’t watch TLC’s week of programming because of it. And we didn’t download royal wedding apps because of it.
    Inside info is much stickier than paid-for celeb endorsement.
    The public likes genuine stuff. Celeb endorsement isn’t that. Better to give people behind the scenes stuff from your company. Photo shoot behind the scene stuff, or nuggets about your CEO being a weekend soccer coach or grease monkey. “We the people” can sniff out endorsement. We can’t get enough of genuine. The trade off, of course is celeb endorsement only takes budget. Behind the scenes/insider info takes consensus. In many cases budget is simpler 🙂

    It also give a big “SNAPS” to how the palace’s media team used social media platforms to make the day initmate for all 2 billion watchers. It was amazing, expecially on a 5 month time line.

    • Carla–

      The public loves gossip and knowing about the people they consider to be celebrities. The strength of the old and social media coverage of WIlliam and Catherine’s wedding was the fact that 2 billion people were interested in knowing every detail. Will and Kate are celebrities. As with any wedding, it’s the couple who are the center of attention.

      While I appreciate your taking issue with celebrity endorsement, the reality is that the designer of Kate’s dress around which there was lots of speculation before the wedding and many wedding dress companies are rushing to knock it off will be able to charge more. Additionally, any dress or hat designer in London who was making creations for guests did whatever they could to get air time. They were chosen by the attendees; they didn’t seek them out. Similarly, Vera Wang received press after Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

      Yes to work in social media, it’s critical to be genuine and find the stories within your firm but why not leverage other opportunities when they present themselves.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  • Good use of a relevant hook. And yes, sometimes we forget that our role as marketers is to tell a good story.

    • Jessie– Thank you! I couldn’t let the royal wedding pass without a related post! As marketers, we need to learn to use events around us to tell more stories. They’re a means of communication that humans have used since the beginning of time to make life relevant. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • Fairy tales rule – YES! You don’t have to be a royal to create magic. Example: A circus’ promo makes a man Assistant Ringmaster for a night — with his kids in the front row!

    John Deere gives one of its tractors the Orange County Choppers treatment, takes it on a tour of county and state fairs, generates tons of press, before selecting the lucky winner.

    Cool stuff, and it all relates directly to the brand and adds to their brand stories.

    • Barrett– Agree. Magic is an important aspect of storytelling. As marketers we should do more of it. Thank you for sharing the John Deere example. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen