Brand Britain must talk up its strength in tech, says GREAT marketing boss

Britain must promote its creativity and innovation, while keeping hold of 'heritage Britain', according to Conrad Bird, director of the GREAT marketing campaign.

Brand Britain must talk up its strength in tech
Brand Britain must talk up its strength in tech

Speaking at an event hosted by agency RKCR/Y&R yesterday, Bird said while ‘brand Britain’ had some "age old perceptions" to shift internationally, Britain has a strong reputation for business and education.

"If we have a position to take it's around technology and innovation," said Bird, who runs the GREAT campaign which aims to promote Britain in order to drive growth and encourage investment. "We have a strong reputation, not just for our huge creative industries but actually the creativity we bring to business technology."

He added that other industries brand Britain should leverage include luxury retail, healthcare, logistics and infrastructure, science and innovation, energy and advanced manufacturing.

"Our favourite word in Britain is 'sorry' but I don’t see how we can apologise to ourselves for international success… my effort is to talk ourselves up."

To win future contracts and further establish Britain’s strength, he added the UK should not be afraid to promote donations abroad. Noting a situation where Britain had built a bridge in a developing nation, and the French had "put their flag alongside it", he argued Britain should act more strongly to promote the brand.

"Why should we be subtle? We need not emblazon the flag everywhere but let's not forget people don’t know who we are."

He added that he found the term 'Cool Britannia' "unpleasant" and that the challenge was to ensure Britain keeps hold of its established heritage as well as promoting modern Britain.

He added that Shakespeare and David Beckham were most strongly associated with the British brand, but warned if the London riots had been longer they would have "eaten away at our brand like acid". 

Read next

Gangnam Style: the secret rise of Kia

McDonald's launches major transparency drive to tackle 'pink slime' rumours