Adgully Exclusive | Brandhouse's Crispin Reed: Banking big on digital

"Emotion is our business' is the philosophy followed at Brandhouse, a company that helps companies use emotion to build stronger, more profitable brands. A brand ultimately resides in the hearts and minds of the consumers and so it is important to understand consumer trends in depth to talk about branding.

Crispin Reed, Managing Director, Brandhouse in an exclusive conversation with Adgully, discusses the evolution of this space. Reed, have a wide experience in leading global advertising and design agencies, brand consultancies and as Marketing Director in the fragrance industry.

His various stints include 13 years in Leo Burnett (both in London and Singapore) and then with Cradle Holdings, a fragrance and skin care brand. He kick started his career in the Branding industry with the London Office of Sterling Brands, a leading branding house based out of New York.

Having been with Brandhouse since August 2007, Reed said, "Working with incredibly bright, talented people and having the pleasure of travelling the world through my work is one of my highlights with this company. Tackling some intellectually challenging business issues on behalf of our clients is another key highlight."

Brandhouse's clients include Britvic, CNN, Kellogg's, Mars, Marks and Spencer, SABMiller and Thomson Reuters.

According to Reed there are two significant factors in the evolution of brands outlook, one being the changing consumer and the other being the digital revolution. He further explained, "Consumers are very savvy and know when brands are not 'behaving' in the right way. They are very used to being 'marketed' at. The best brands acknowledge this and engage in a relationship with their consumers appropriately. And digital revolution impacts on brands in a number of they present themselves, how they are distributed and importantly how they manage their relationship with their consumers."

"Some commentators say that the consumer now 'owns' brands due to the digital revolution. I don't subscribe to this view as I still firmly believe that the brand owner does just that i.e. owns the brand. However, I think brand owners have to be even more aware of their actions as consumers can comment on a brand and its actions in a very public way these days," he further added.

He said, "It would be difficult to single out one project or one client. I can genuinely say that I'm proud of all the work that we do on behalf of our clients", commenting on his best works till date.

Reed feels that the only challenge in this space is the speed of change and managing brands in a digitally activated and engaged world, something most brands are struggling to keep up to.

India being an emerging country is definitely a market with high potential. "Amazing potential but as my taxi driver said to me when I arrived in Mumbai, India is like 26 different countries all in one. I think this is an interesting insight," he stated.

According to Reed, the clients are ready to embrace digital initiatives and riskier initiatives only in varying degrees. "The enlightened ones are willing to take that step further but some are held back by years of doing things in a certain way," he said.

"We are fast approaching the time when 'digital natives' (i.e. a generation that has been born in the digital age, as opposed to 'digital immigrants) will be in positions of influence. This is when things will get really interesting!" he exclaimed talking about the future of this space.

Reed is an Associate of Ashridge Management College, a member of the Superbrands Council and sits on the Advisory Boards for the Global Marketing Network and Branded Content Marketing Association.He is a regular speaker at conferences, including the UK Spa Business Association, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the Food & Drink Forum in Monaco, the Luxury Marketing Council in Brazil and Florida and Sensory Solutions in Australia. | By Janees Antoo [janees(at)]


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