We haven’t made a habit of awarding a Brand of the Year but there’s no doubt which one it should be this year were we to do so: Leicester City FC.
Not just because they’ve won the Premier League – although that’s rather key to it – but the way they’ve done it. And the biggest contributor to that has been manager Claudio Ranieri, who may have been dubbed the “nearly man” of football for coming second a lot of times but positively exudes integrity, not something you can say of that many people in football.
Great brands are built on trust, as Unilever’s Keeth Weed remarked the other day. Well his players and Leicester’s fans trust Claudio, even to the extent of piping down (eventually) as he introduces his friend Andrea Bocelli to sing Nessun Dorma to them (and something else which sounds equally magnificent) as they prepared to lift the Premier League trophy.
In contrast to most such celebrations this surprises and delights and makes you feel good about people. Which all brand messages should at least aspire to.