Brands need love and trust, says Colenso BBDO’s Nick Worthington

Worthington speaking at BeFest

Worthington speaking at BeFest

It takes a brave client and marketer to move away from TV and into other media but for any work to be successful a brand needs love and trust from the public, according to Colenso BBDO executive creative director (ECD) Nick Worthington.

Speaking at BeFest, the Festival of Content Marketing and Branded Entertainment held in Sydney today, Worthington said agencies cannot get anywhere with a client if they don’t have their love and trust, just as a brand cannot get the public to buy their product or service if they don’t love and trust the brand.

“Great work needs great clients,” he said. “It takes a really brave marketer, client  and group of people to not do that [TV] and do something else. It is usually new for them, they haven’t done it before. It feels risky and takes a lot of encouragement sometimes to get people to do that.

“You can’t get anywhere if you don’t have love and trust and if you’re a brand and you’re trying to sell your stuff to people, people have to love your brand. People don’t buy stuff from people they don’t like, it’s as simple as that.

“It doesn’t matter how good you’re stuff is, if they don’t like you, they’re not going to buy it,” he added. “Brands need love and trust and so do agencies.”

Worthington said his team at Colenso spends a lot of time “trying to foster that love and trust”.

“If people love you, you can sell anything and if what you sell is amazing, they’ll trust you with everything,” he said.

“I need people to want to buy from me, they need to like me and they need to like the agency and what we’re doing and then they’ll buy from us because they like us and they start to believe we might be right.”

Worthington continued saying if the relationship between agency and client reaches that point then both are rewarded.

“Then you’ll reward them, they’ll reward you. The way they reward you is they give you other bits of the business, and they give you more confidence and freedom and it grows. You get organic growth,” he said.

“Commercially, if they love you and you give them something that doesn’t work, that isn’t any good, you’re not going to get that trust, and if you lose that trust you go back to square one and you have to work through that whole cycle again.”

Worthington also hopes to see ideas stick around longer then a marketing budget cycle, citing examples such as Popeye, who was used to market spinach to children in the 1920s, as proof that some ideas can last for a long time.

“Sometimes we’re still in the mentality of creating things and thinking ‘great, that solved this year’s business problem’ but if we’re a bit more confident we’ll be able to keep some ideas going and challenge ourselves to keep things interesting,” he said.

“We’d have to organise marketing budgets to sustain that.”

Miranda Ward 


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