David Bickerton

Director of Communications
BP PLC

David Bickerton

Which up-and-coming brands do you think will soon compete on a global stage?

Areas to watch out for include transport (electric cars), ethical finance, China, and personalities.

In this “age of responsibility,” how do you see your consumer changing?

They are becoming savvier, with greater access to information and more choice. They are becoming more brand disloyal.

"The importance of brand coherence across geographic boundaries and across internal and external audiences contributes to building a successful brand."

How do you see the marketing of brands changing in the next five to 10 years?

They’ll be more open and dialogue based. There will be a greater focus on internal brand coherence.

How do you expect the changing role of digital to influence your brand strategy?

Opportunities for dialogue really need to be understood. It will influence the ability for rapid distribution and word–of-mouth marketing.

What unpredictable factor most impacted how you managed your brand in the past decade?

There were two things: changes in technology and 24/7 rolling news.

Is there a single touchpoint of your brand that you think will become more influential to your consumers in the next five years?

Influential touchpoints will be the web and social media. Also, wireless broadband, which enables consumers to always be online.

What points can you share from your experiences that contribute to building a successful brand?

The importance of brand coherence across geographic boundaries and across internal and external audiences contributes to building a successful brand.

How does your brand influence the decisions made at your organization?

Our brand values guide the conduct of our business.

What advice do you have for marketers at other companies who are facing similar challenges that you face?

Don’t be afraid of candor. Test for relevance regularly and be prepared to listen constantly.

Can you provide us with insight on how you have managed to successfully balance a diverse portfolio of brands?

Balance has been achieved with clarity of thinking around audiences, the brand proposition, and interrelationships between our corporate and product brands.

Biography

David Bickerton is Director of Communications at BP PLC, based in London. He has responsibility for BP’s internal and external communications, including its corporate reporting program, BP’s reputation measurement, its extensive online presence, and communications to over 90,000 employees globally.

He joined BP in 2002 from Interbrand, one of the world’s leading brand consultancies. Bickerton has over 25 years’ experience in the field of brand, advertising, and corporate communications, working with many of the world’s largest brands.

Bickerton has spoken at numerous international events on corporate reporting, reputation, and corporate communications and holds a Ph.D. in corporate branding and reputation from Cranfield School of Management, U.K.

Despite these many adventures, he remains married with two teenage children (who both swear that they will never follow their father into the corporate world).