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20 May 2016 by Adam



Can a brand have a regional accent?

Do companies and organisations have a regional personality? If so, then is this a good thing? Well, I certainly feel that Yorkshire businesses most definitely do and certainly use that local identity to their advantage. Let me explain.

Whoever ‘they’ are, ‘they’ say that Ireland’s biggest export has always been the Irish. Globally the Irish brand, it’s people, it’s heritage, it’s personality, it’s very ethos is what keeps the Guinness, Bailey’s, Jameson & Waterford Crystal synonymous with the Green Isle and valuable global brands.

Trying to find that certain ‘personality’ within a geographic area is slightly harder in the UK. In fact I would argue, outside of London and Scotland, the area with the biggest brand personality is God’s own country – Yorkshire!
We are seeing a very sharp interest in the area due to certain factors, first came the UK Olympic 2012 winners – ALL of whom were from Yorkshire (nearly), then the prestigious Le Tour de France came to our magnificent 18 dales with Le Grand Depart and the Tour de Yorkshire is a regular event on the calendar now. Oh and England have just beaten Sri Lanka at cricket at Headingley.

So, why this resurgence in interest in Yorkshire? Well simply put, like our Irish cousins, it’s all about the people and the location. Magnificent scenery and plain-speaking Yorkshire folk make it beneficial for brands to be associated with the heritage of the county. Brands such as Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate are entirely built on their Yorkshire roots and capitalise on this association to market their brand globally.

Another regional company, telecoms provider Plusnet has also capitalised on it’s regional bias to promote it’s ‘Good, honest broadband from Yorkshire’ & ‘Plusnet – we’ll do you proud’ taglines. Plusnet also shouts that it’s customer call centre is based in sunny Sheffield and staffed by sunny Sheffielders.

When you think about it, Yorkshire people and their reputation for, shall we say, being careful (not tight) with their money and shrewd business opportunity which together has encouraged Yorkshire to become the UK’s biggest regional area for financial services, retail and food outside of that London, with some of the UK’s biggest advertisers based close to home.

So yes, regions do have their own idiosyncrasies and personalities, with Yorkshire as the predominant region on the up, the War of the Roses, or indeed the North South divide has never been stronger.

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