Lessons on branding Britain

Conrad Bird describing the Britain is GREAT campaign

Turning Britain’s soft power into hard cash has been the key to the ongoing success of the Britain is GREAT campaign, its creator, Conrad Bird, told an audience of economic and trade attachés at the Athenaeum Hotel.

AERL members heard how the branding campaign, with an initial investment of £45 million from the Treasury and focusing on 12 key markets, had delivered a £1.5 billion return on investment last year – through increased tourism, foreign students and investment.

Bird explained how the GREAT campaign had been rolled out across Britain’s network of embassies and trade missions in 145 countries worldwide. It partners with 250 companies, including top British brands, who have joined the campaign, recognising that it is a marker of quality.

Celebrities and sports personalities also offer to promote the brand for free, boosting the brand’s social media presence, which now has three million friends on Facebook

After two years, the brand has been valued at £158 million and this is expected to increase to £1.7 billion in the next five years, making it one of the top 50 most valuable brands in the UK. This makes a powerful argument for the Treasury to continue to fund the campaign, said Bird.