Next generation of royal warrants

22 June, 2018

If the current granters of royal warrants tend to favour brands that are traditional and old world, what sort of brands will the new generation grant their warrants to? Presumably brands that reflect their own values and interests – brands that are modern but have respect for tradition, fashionable and maybe more approachable, while retaining values of luxury, credibility and ethical behaviour. We see opportunities ahead for newer drinks brands such as Hendricks Gin rather than Gordon’s, Fever Tree rather than Schweppes, Chapel Down Sparkling rather than Champagne Lanson Pére et Fils.


Finally, for the new generation of royals there is an opportunity to receive reverse benefits for their patronage. Being associated with modern British brands also highlights the differences between them and the older generations, positioning them as young, modern, proudly British monarchs. 

If brands such as Paul Smith, Cutler & Gross, Hendricks, Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Fever Tree were the new recipients, the rub-off could be very beneficial, both to their own image and their relevance to a new generation of consumers, who are currently more influenced by celebrities than by royalty.


Of course, there are many brands within the drinks category that do not embody the values associated with royals of any generation. Take the popular Barefoot wine brand. Traditional? No, not at all. Approachable, yes; contemporary, yes; but definitely not traditional. Not British or European, but American. Not prestigious, but value priced. Should Barefoot be granted a royal warrant? Would it be believable? Not really. In fact, it would be at odds with the casual, approachable nature of the brand so the commercial impact of the royal warrant would be negligible. It might even make the brand appear confused about who it is and what it represents, which could even be damaging.


Looking ahead, surely one of the key roles for the royal family is to promote British products and services. The Prince of Wales has long been an advocate of this through his organic Duchy business, as well as his support for programmes designed to reverse what he saw as the disintegration of countryside communities. In future years, perhaps royal warrants will be granted only to British products rather than products from France, Portugal and Switzerland? 

According to a 2015 paper by Professor Qing Wang at Warwick Business School, 57% of Chinese shoppers felt the royal warrant is important or very important in increasing the desirability of British lifestyle brands. Perhaps it would make sense if the commercial benefits of future royal warrants were felt only by British producers? That represents a clear opportunity for the UK’s booming drinks industry – an opportunity that we can only see increasing as the next generation of royals rises.

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Nick Strangeway

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