When King Charles III is crowned at Westminster Abbey in London on 6th May 2023, the British taxpayer will be the one paying for the ceremony and subsequent celebrations.
Whatever your thoughts are about the monarchy, there is no doubt that this coronation will ruffle a few feathers. With many people living in poverty, interest rates high, the cost of living continuing to soar and the economy still suffering from the impact of COVID and Brexit, criticism was bound to follow,
As Graham Smith, chief executive of the campaign group Republic said, “Charles is already king. There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime. At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.”
But it’s not only the financial burden that is coming under question by the British public. Many wonder whether the Royal Family is truly relevant or adds any value in these modern, multicultural times when many global monarchies have been abolished.
This complexity has meant that they’ve faced some tough decisions when planning and organising this historic event. However, this can teach us a great deal about the importance of focusing on your target audience, managing their expectations, and promoting the public image of the brand.
Today, we’d like to explain what will be different about the coronation of King Charles III, why their strategy is so important and what we can learn from it when creating our marketing strategies and campaigns.
What is going to be different about this coronation?
When planning the coronation, the Royal Family were careful to take into consideration modern British society and the extra financial pressures that we are all facing.
For this reason, the event will be shorter, scaled down and less expensive than when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned back in 1953. Back then, there were around 8,000 guests at the event. This time there will be a little over 2,000. The guest list will also be much more inclusive, with representatives from different faiths, young people from charitable organisations, and ‘Covid Heroes’.
There will also be refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ singing groups and deaf-signing choirs at the Windsor Castle concert on May 8, the day after the coronation.
On the whole, the coronation moves away from the archaic religious event that it used to be and instead represents the multiple faiths, cultures, and communities across the UK.
The marketing of the coronation has been as sensitive as possible to life in modern Britain and the state of the economy. A far cry from 1953 when Britain was still in a stage of post war recovery and times were pretty austere. The lavish spectacle of the coronation and its cost was not really front of mind for the event organisers.
The more considered and culturally sensitive approach of the King’s coronation marketing also sends a strong message to the ‘audience’ (in this case, the British public) that the Royal Family isn’t just some distant elitist old-fashioned institution but actually cares about and represents its citizens.
How does this relate to creating our marketing campaigns and strategies?
You may notice that we used the word ‘audience’ just a few moments ago. We did this for a reason.
Because just as with any business, the Royal Family needs to be aware of its public image. It also knows that keeping an eye on its branding and adapting to audience expectations is key to survival in the modern world.
As explained on their own website, “The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service. In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.”
In business terms, the King or Queen acts as brand ambassadors for Britain and serve to meet the needs of their audience or customers- British citizens.
If the monarchy didn’t work to understand their target audience or customer, their problems, and their unique place in the world, they could cause further controversy and miss a valuable opportunity to connect with modern British citizens and ensure the longevity of the British monarchy.
What can we learn from their approach?
The truth is, the Royal Family, like any other business, cannot succeed if it doesn’t understand its customers' expectations.
By understanding the wants and needs of these citizens (its customers) and then tailoring its marketing approach to suit, it can…
- Better communicate the value it offers (why the monarchy exists)
- Boost brand loyalty (keep pro-monarchists interested)
- Communicate brand values (what the British monarchy stands for)
- Reach a wider audience (get more citizens interested in the event)
- Better personalise their marketing (make them feel like a person, not just a number)
- Demonstrate their difference (how the Royal Family is modernising and still relevant)
If we adopt the same approach in business, we can also reap the benefits and ensure that our businesses achieve their goals, despite current financial pressures.
To do this, we need to;
1. Understand our customer’s needs
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What value does your product/service offer?
- How does it add value?
- What differentiates you from your competitors?
- Who buys your product/service?
2. Get customer feedback
Customer feedback can help you understand their opinion, behaviour and where they are in their sales journey. You can collect it by;
- Tracking email open rates, clicks and engagement
- Analysing your website traffic
- Monitoring your social media engagement
- Asking for feedback directly
- Checking relevant review sites
3. Stay innovative (and sensitive)
Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest marketing trends, competitor and customer behaviour and interests then tailor your marketing approach to suit. By being sensitive to the needs of your customers, you can tap into what makes them tick, what they value and how you can align your approach to keep them onboard and happy.
Summary: Managing Audience Expectations
As the upcoming King’s coronation shows, if we want to ensure our branding and marketing efforts are successful, we must keep our audience’s expectations in mind. By understanding our customers and their behaviour, getting feedback and staying both innovative and sensitive, we can help ensure our businesses survive, even during these difficult economic times.
Need help with your marketing? Our team at Marcom would love to help.
Contact us today to find out what we can do for your business.