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How James Bond became the epitome of brand longevity

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How James Bond became the epitome of brand longevity

  • Date18 March 2019

New research from academics at Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Birmingham, and Sheffield University, claims that heritage brands have a lot to learn from the James Bond franchise if they want to achieve longevity.

Consumerism, brands, branding, advertising, logos, world map - Consumption, Culture and Marketing

Dr Chloe Preece, Senior Lecturer in Marketing within Royal Holloway’s School of Management, along with co-authors Dr Finola Kerrigan, Reader in Marketing and Consumption at the University of Birmingham and Dr Daragh O’Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries, at Sheffield University explains how, despite already spanning six decades, the James Bond brand has continued to remain a relevant part of today’s pop-culture.

By examining a wide range of brand-related data, including analysis on films, books, and marketing materials, the research explores how the challenges of brand survival arise over time because of change. However, despite the socio-cultural developments over the past 57 years, the James Bond brand has stood the test of time, through its ability to remain recognisable whilst embracing change.

The study concludes that a balance between consistency and change is essential for brand longevity and survival. Brands need to offer familiarity rooted in their history, as well as incorporate risk, excitement and innovation to retain interest.

Speaking of the research, Dr Preece, from Royal Holloway, said: “The need to tell a story is obvious when your product is a film or television show, but we can see how the need to continually refresh your story is relevant for all brands. 

“What our study shows is that where there is a strong brand heritage, this should be drawn upon when refreshing the brand. 

“However, this is not enough; keeping up with industry trends and with what is going on in the wider world is essential to keep the brand relevant.”

Dr O’Reilly, from Sheffield University, added: “The James Bond franchise provides a fascinating case study for brand longevity due to its enduring success.

“With this paper we were able to highlight important areas of serial brand management by developing a framework to handle the different areas of change and continuity.”

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