Britain the brand: Why protecting the monarchy is key to our future

The Diamond Jubilee has heightened the passions. And reaffirmed our belief that heritage and authenticity are key to Britain’s brand story.

It’s awakened feelings of Britishness on one side, while reigniting the fury of the anti-monarchists on the other. It’s one of those few issues that still has the power to split the nation.

Love them or not, what has become clearer in the last few days is the power of the Royal brand.

On a daily basis our role is to find the authentic story and communicate this in the most relevant way. This task involves research and consideration. Often it involves some honest, uncomfortable conversations with the client, backed up by solid research of course.

Sometimes you will find yourself in a rather enviable situation, with a powerful brand story. The Royal family has this position. It has everything you want: authenticity, heritage, and because of that it hasglobal appeal and incredible brand value.

The Diamond Jubilee brought this to life. It emphasised their strength and their inextricable link to Britain. One Telegraph columnist described the monarchy as “the personification of the nation”. This might seem slightly exaggerated, but to a large proportion of the international tourists that make up 30 million visits a year, this is their perception, like it ornot. Five of the top 10 UK attractions were connected to the monarchy. Our royal heritage sells, to such an extent that Britain can pretty much stake claim to ‘ownership’ of the ‘royal brand’.

Critics are, not without reason, irate that we can spend £40 million a year supporting a family that according to Forbes has a personal wealth of £310 million and other sizeable assets. Comparisons are made with the German presidency, which apparently costs £26million. But has anyone ever visited Germany on the back of the German president?

British tourism generated £17 billion in 2011, and our heritage is at the heart of this important wealth generator. The monarchy is key to our story and protecting and building on it, rather than dismantling it are key to our future.

Tim Sharp is design director at Uniform

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