After playing our own small part in the mega event of London 2012, RPA is settling down, like so many others, to evaluate the legacy of the Games for Britain.
The euphoric wave of medal winning, creativity and showmanship delivered by The Summer of Sport gave us something more fundamental and longer lasting than a few weeks of top class entertainment. It gave us back something of the confidence and self-belief that had been slowly ebbing away over the past few years of recession. And, perhaps more importantly, it gave us an excellent opportunity to rebuild ourselves, not just at home but abroad. Now British business needs to work hard to take advantage of our new found confidence and build upon it. We need more initiatives like the ‘British Business Embassy’ run at Lancaster House alongside the Olympics. The “embassy” arranged for 4,000 business leaders to attend the biggest trade event ever held in the UK, and helped to generate £1bn of the £11bn of trade and inward investment so far expected as a result of the Games.
As we officially leave recession behind us the economic benefits of the Games have started to kick in. Now, something needs to underpin what we have achieved so far and it’s the perfect time for British brands to embrace being British, associating their products and services with the fundamental values of heritage, passion and style that were illustrated so well in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Maybe it’s time that we revisited the advertising campaign, created by Mother for the British Government in 2011? The campaign, centered around the word ‘Great’ was intended to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business. Then, against a backdrop of rioting hoodies, it didn’t strike the right note, but now it would be a perfect fit. If there was ever a time and a place to put the ‘Great’ back into Britain it is here and now.
The feel good factor should also help lift the mood on Britain’s High Streets, as the success of the Games is predicted to bring more visitors to the UK in coming months and years. Stores should be planning to take a leaf out of Danny Boyle’s book. After all, he showed the world how impactful ‘theatre’ can be, and that theatre can be translated into the retail environment. It’s important to remember that we are not just feeling different about ourselves we are also being viewed differently overseas. Feedback from colleagues and clients across the globe all boils down to buzz words like quality, innovation and success. There is a universal feeling that Britain can punch above its weight and still has what it takes. Once again global investors are prepared to listen and willing to invest in BrandGB, and that is a legacy worth having.