Truth to Dare: Reinventing Brands

Marketing | March 8, 2017 | Guest Article

Hany Ezzat Crystâl Brand House

By Hany Ezzat

Madonna once said, “I am not the owner but the manager of my talent”. I happen to be lucky to manage a few hats of my own. One of them is being a Hypnotherapist. Pursuing Clinical Hypnotherapy helped me fulfil my curiosity for the Human Mind & Soul. What I realised is how this study has/continues to help me create more meaningful associations between the Brands I manage and their respective audience groups. Brand Communication is hardly driven by purchase. Brands are truly built when they become part of a consumer’s life. Brands become timeless and irreplaceable (to a great degree) when they establish an emotional connection with its audience, an emotional connection that is relevant and special. As a planner, the most gratifying part of my job is finding that emotional connection or as earlier mentioned, the insight that ties my Brand with my Audience, forming a bond and a relationship that can be cultivated and grown further.

The question then becomes, how can a single Brand stay relevant? Another way of asking the same question is, how can a single brand and its target audience remain connected and even grow that connection stronger?

The word that I initially planned on using as the heart of this article was: Innovation. But being a Brand custodian, I realised that Products Innovate while Brands Reinvent. Innovation happens on a product level, driven by technology, scientific muscle and also, business vision and funds. Reinvention on the other hand is driven by emotions, feelings, experience and connection. Products Innovate while Brands Reinvent.

My last article drew parallel comparisons between Brands & Humans. Our bodies represent our “common” hardware. What isn’t common and what makes us unique and different from one another is our emotions, feelings and thoughts. Similarly, product differentiation is possible but is becoming harder by the day. The opportunity becomes in Emotional Brand Differentiation. In fact, the challenge isn’t just finding out that emotional insight or engineering that connects with our audience. The challenge is in growing that insight, evolving it and……Reinventing it.

A brand grows with its audience. We evolve, change, grow and our needs and expectations follow. A true Brand keeps its hands on the pulse of its audience, track the change, the evolution and the ever-changing needs. A true Brand not only gauges the pulse, but also Change, Evolve with its Audience. I would go as far and say, an Iconic Brand never FOLLOWS but CREATES…and ANTICIPATES the Change. What is mostly happening nowadays is that Brands are reactive to consumers’ needs & expectations. Brands wait for consumers’ needs to determine their next move, their next innovation and their next launch. Established Brands have both the vision and insight to create trends rather than play catch-up.

Madonna launched her career almost 32 years ago and recently wrapped up her 10th world tour that consisted of almost 82 shows around the world. Madonna is not only a Brand but a master in Reinvention. Most people I talk to, including non fans, acknowledge both facts. However, Reinvention isn't a recipe that can be achieved by just adding ingredients. Reinvention has its secrets. Madonna reinvented herself across 3 decades simply by being true to herself. Every album is born out of personal experience and her own individual takes and perspectives on whatever she writes about at the time. Once the theme of the album is born, the music & her image follows. Madonna chose her own personal growth and evolution, as a human being, to be her source of inspiration and her ‘brand differentiation’. This sense of authenticity & personal mark is what connects her to fans to this day.

In the world of communication, innovation starts with the product but we, as communication professionals, have an equal responsibility in the creative process. Our challenge is not only to create an emotional association with a particular Brand but also constantly & consistently Reinvent this association, renewing our vows with our audience with each step of the Brand Journey.

About the Author

Hany Ezzat has been living in Dubai, UAE for 40 years. He graduated from The American University in Dubai in 1999 (with a BBA in Marketing and an IAA in Advertising) and has been in the industry for almost 18 years, having worked with a global & local line up of agencies.
Between JWT, TBWA, Team Y&R and a Consultant position with Face to Face, his experience covers global blue-chips like Unilever, Nestle, Coca Cola, Philip Morris, HSBC, HSBC Amanah, Nissan, Infiniti as well as some strong local players such as, Abu Dhabi Airports, Mashreq Bank, IFFCO Foods, Aujan Refreshments, Sahara Mall, Burjuman, Deira City Center and Aldar Retail.
Hany co-founded Crystâl Brand House in 2015 and is the Head of Strategy. Crystâl is a full-fledged Advertising House with an office in Cairo. Hany's ambition is to remain true to the process of creating ideas that minds & hearts fall in love with - building Iconic Brands in the process and working with passionate and dedicated talent.
Hany is also a part-time Hypnotherapist, Teacher, Writer and a Yogi.

UAE-based advertising professional and Co-Founder of Crystâl Brand House, Hany Ezzat explores what makes brands meaningful and relevant.

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