Malcolm Walker and Tom Reddy how we applaud you!
Being the subject of an observational documentary is not without risk, but Iceland emerges triumphant from their series because as an organization, they don’t perform. They don’t hide. Malcolm and his team remain unashamedly authentic whilst not taking themselves too seriously. How wise. Who would have thought that Malcolm Walker and Tom Reddy, the steady, old school ad man would be showing us the way?
We exist in a world where it is very hard to miss your own reflection. It is more vital than ever that brands know what they look and sound like! Multi channel media demands businesses can quell customer satisfaction and enquiry in real time. In this instance, only the truth is good enough.
And the truth is immediate.
Cleverly Malcolm Walker never steps too far from Iceland’s unique ethos and culture. Understanding the value of the founding story means Iceland can communicate in a manner that is authentic and engages their audience. It’s essential that all brands are packaged up in a way that people immediately grasp.
There’s another thing. The mass market was always a myth.
Marketing and PR is the business function designed to sit right where the business meets people. The problem with real people is they see the world in all sorts of different ways and not remotely in the same way as the business does! They don’t speak bullet points, don’t organise in flowcharts – they are unpredictable and fickle and beautifully disorganised!
So brands must quickly embrace the need to be human again. Marketers and ad men need to understand consumers and how they behave and this means that intuition is becoming increasingly valuable as every business has so much access to data. Brands MUST make sure they capture and respect the full human experience with all its context and imagination, in the best ways they can.
Malcolm Walker recognizes that running a business these days is a team sport. Iceland is a fine example of a centrifugal business with a vision that springs out into people’s lives. It inspires and engages its employees and brings value to its customers.
Tom Reddy, the wonderful ad man has real passion and soul. He wins the day because he cares passionately about Iceland. He does not put forward self-aggrandizing “BIG IDEAS” for the sake of the idea rather than the point. Creatives have a role. Their role is to help their clients find their truthful self-expression. Not impose their view of what is good advertising or PR.
A brand is simply a way of remembering things for future reference. Something you value. Something you trust and admire.
Malcolm Walker may have had his moments. He may have occasionally spoken out of term. But his success lies in the fact he is wholly passionate, he cares, rewards and at all times just shows up as himself.
Tom Reddy, his team and customers respond in turn. Kudos!