It pains me to start this as a Lancastrian but having spent 4 days in Yorkshire last week it really is one of the nicest parts of the planet United Kingdom. Fantastic Vistas and great food and nearly all the people are lovely!*
From the moment you turn off the A1 and head towards Richmond you get a familiarity about the place the rolling hills the country pubs and the “all creatures, great and small type feeling”, straight away you start to get that warm glow an emotional connection to the area. And Yorkshire does it well reinforcing the values and feelings at every junction – without feeling like it is.
The best example I could give – Masham Black Sheep brewery.
There are lots of examples to choose from, but the Masham brewery serves as a good focal point.
I don’t drink bitter – never have and never will – but I’ve long since heard the stories about the Beer wars of Masham from when they ruined Matthew Browns beer in my local cricket club as a lad. So it was with a little bit of intrigue that I set off with my better half, Elaine, to visit the brewery tour and hear about the Theakstons family.
What a really friendly place and what a great advert for Yorkshire. From top to bottom they get everything right – marketing, café, food, lay out, brewery tour, fun elements and business. The tour makes you a true brandfan, delivered with dry wit and proper Yorkshire humour, telling stories of Ba Ba and Blitzen. You walk away with empathy and that emotional connection – in Elaine’s case 6 beers and a diet coke for the driver. (See for yourself at www.blacksheepbrewery.com/visitor-centre/brewery-tours)
We had a great time at the brewery, but it wasn’t unique in making the most of its roots. You soon realise it is not just one place that creates the positive picture for Yorkshire it is everything from the shops in Hawes to the Yogurts – everything just talks Yorkshire up.
Relating this to what you do as a business is key, everyone I know who is from Yorkshire talks about Yorkshire, they create things like the Letour De Yorkshire http://letour.yorkshire.com/ they are proud of their heritage and protecting the future – the Leeds fans are still Leeds fans!
This loyalty is something that you have to encourage, build into your brand values and what you deliver- be the Best at interacting and telling stories and back up that heritage you create with real life actions and experiences – if you don’t you won’t get many brand fans.
*We did go to Hawes and a book shop in the market centre – which has been in the news recently. The owner didn’t want browsers – he only wanted browsers that bought (not sure if that is always possible), and demanded 50p just to enter the shop. As you can imagine he didn’t have many brandfans. Maybe he wasn’t from Yorkshire?