“A brand is no longer just a mark or logo. It is every facet of your entire business. It is an emotional reaction that exists inside the heads of people which you cannot control. It is all about perception. Not your own perception, but the perception of others. It doesn’t matter one iota what you think your brand is; it only matters what your customers or potential customers think it is.”


This quote comes from James Watt, co-founder of Brewdog, the ‘punk’ brewery and is a revealing insight into the mind of a man who has helped build a company from scratch, to being recently valued at £1bn – in just ten years.

Brewdog’s evolution has been based on listening to their customers to develop new products, and is now Britain’s fastest-growing food /drinks producer and bar and restaurant operator, with 30 bars across the UK.


Brewdog, from the very beginning, have relied on insight – they have 50,000 customers who own shares in the brand. Regular meetings with shareholders means interacting with their actual customers, allowing them to react quickly and accordingly to direct feedback.

How a brand taps into its customer base to find out their thoughts is a process that should be at the heart of any marketing activity. If a brands’ self-perception differs from what their customers are experiencing or thinking, this could potentially create a hole in, if not a complete failure of, any communication strategy undertaken.

Investing in insight will ensure brands understand their customers, allowing the creative element of any marketing activity to communicate the right message and in a way that will be relevant and engaging. Being authentic plays a huge part of this communication as consumer look to engage with brands that represent the values they hold dear in their own lives.


It boils down to how a brand is perceived and whether consumers believe it to be authentic and resonate with them. Having direct and accessible link into the mind of their customers is vital to ensuring a dialogue with them. 

“Know your brand and stand by its ethos, be relevant and authentic”, Werner Brell, Red Bull Media House North America.