Brand Association: Joules have got it right

For such a small island, we did ourselves proud at the Olympics

But in the run up to the games, it was the brand wars and various advertising campaigns which were winning more headlines than the games or athletes. LOCOG issued an inordinate number of rules and regulations surrounding the use of any reference to the games in order to protect the exclusive rights of the sponsors, and the brands sponsoring the Olympics were clamoring for the biggest and best athletes to endorse their product.Why? Because the right sorts of associations make brands bigger, better and more noticeable.

Joules have nailed it

Joules started a country brand, selling unusual designs of horse wear and accessories for both the horse and rider at country events. Unlike many other country clothing brands which based their range on various shades of tweed, brown and green, Joules set out to create clothes which reflected the colourful personalities of their customers. These days, you're just as likely to buy a beautiful dress from Joules as you are to purchase a pair of funky and hard-wearing pair of wellies. But whatever you buy, you're guaranteed that the look and feel will fit right in with their country, outdoors-y values.

So who do Joules associate with?

Just recently, I passed the local Joules boutique in Sevenoaks which was advertising the opportunity to win a country cookery course, reinforcing that farmhouse feel which encapsulates their brand. But the icing on the Joules cake is that Mary King, a famous British eventing rider, puts her name to the brand (along with Emily King, Mary's daughter and a hopeful European Champion rider). The Kings represent the absolute epitome of the Joules brand personality and are suitably high profile in the right places for them to be very relevant to the typical Joules customer.

We may not be able to sponsor a world class eventing rider, but you can take a leaf out of Joules' book

Whether you choose to link up with an allied company, sponsor a charity event which appeals to your target market or simply advertise in the publication that your prospective customers will be reading, there's a whole host of things you can do to reinforce your brand message through positive associations (to reinforce my credibility as a branding expert, I write for the business pages of the local press). Find a quiet moment to think about how you can make positive associations work for you and jot down just 3 actions you can take. What will they be?

All images from Joules' blog