Interview with Ralph Ardill
How did you become The Brand Transformer? Thinking of that you studied physics and geology.
Throughout my education and rather varied career I’ve always been fascinated by complex systems and understanding how they work…whether its about plate tectonics, quantum mechanics, how a new underground musical ‘movement’ becomes mainstream or the complexities of building and managing a corporate brand image. This coupled with my other passion for always looking to challenge convention in the pursuit of creating something new and better are probably the two main reasons!
Can you provide 3 tips for successful creative branding?
Know Your Purpose: The world doesn’t owe your brand living. So it’s essential your brand has a highly relevant and valued purpose above and beyond increasing your profit value. Discover the true purpose of your brand and what it can really mean for people to help you unify, liberate and realise its full potential.
Keep Your Promises: Your brand is an experiential promise of many components – from rational promises of quality, value and consistency to emotional promises of creativity, innovation and transformation – It’s never been harder for brands to keep these promises or easier for consumers to find out when they are broken. So be mindful of your brand promises, never take them too lightly and wherever possible always aim to promise less and deliver more.
Inspire Your People: Brands that stand-out are usually those that stand-up for something and inspire people. In doing so their employees become ambassadors, their suppliers become partners and their consumers become ‘fans’. If your brand is not inspiring people then it’s likely to soon be stalling or standing still.
How can you help companies to deliver successful change?
Time and again research studies show that 70% of all major attempts at strategic change in business fail. That’s a lot of hopes, dreams, late nights and hard-earned dollars failing to deliver! Over the last 10 years I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to understand this woeful statistic and one of the most important aspects I think is helping companies accept and embrace the reasons why the odds are potentially against them and then inspiring them to harness these insights to create bespoke transformational change journeys that are designed to anticipate and navigate the unique ‘change challenges’ in their business.
How are your keynote presentations unique?
Speaking and presenting for me is always about the audience – understanding who they are, what they might be looking for and then sharing my experience, stories and hard-learned lessons to help inspire them whilst also providing some powerful and pragmatic tips and tools they can immediately try out back at the office.
So I don’t have an ‘off-the-shelf’, ‘one-size-fits-all’ set of presentations but instead always try to get a bit closer to my audiences – often sounding-out a few attendees in advance – to help me tailor something I know will be impactful, memorable and of course enjoyable for all of us.
Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?
I recently began collaborating on a consultancy project with someone who attended a talk I gave about 15 years ago. He remembered the talk which helped to inspire him to start his own business and even a question he was going to ask on the day but didn’t get round to! It’s a simple story but means a lot and reminds me that speaking can often be as much about the consequences of a talk as it is the content.