What is common in Nobel Prize, TAG Heuer and Ralph Lauren?


What is common in Nobel Prize, TAG Heuer and Ralph Lauren? Well! The names suggest that there is no correlation and they are poles apart. Think again. The common thread in the three is that they all are heritage brands.

In a recently concluded Nobel Prize award ceremony, 2 Asians i.e., one Indian and one Pakistan national were awarded by Nobel Peace Prize. Malala and Kailash Sarthi were rewarded for their relentless efforts in fighting for rights of children. While I was reading all over the web about these two individuals and their work, I stumbled upon something different and captivating. Being a hard core marketer, I always apply marketing to anything. A research paper in Harvard Business Review caught my attention. The writers studied Nobel Prize as a “heritage brand”.

Before diving into wonderful story of how Nobel Prize is regarded as the heritage brand. Let’s understand what a heritage brand means. According to Jerry McLaughlin of Forbes, brand is what your prospect thinks of when he/ she hears the name. Essentially, a brand is the perception which is created in minds of people by the product or the service. A brand becomes a heritage brand when its past is leveraged into its positioning and value proposition.

Nobel Prize satisfies this definition. Moreover, every heritage brand displays certain elements such as track record, longevity, core values, use of symbols and history important to identity.


Track record

Nobel Prize has demonstrated performance over time. The performance is known to all. So far, more than 800 laureates all over the world represent the Nobel brand.



Nobel Prize is first award in intellectual category. The awards started in 1901. This long passage of time proves the heritage of the prize. Over 100 years of heritage and history has made the brand stronger.


Core values

Discovery, excellence and engagement are the core values of the Nobel foundation. A brand is known for its values and Nobel Prize is certainly a well-known brand in the world. Nobel Prize rewards discovery and is the greatest honour for scientists and innovators.


Use of symbols

In other brands, the product or service is associated with the logo, symbol and taglines. Nobel Prize also uses symbols. The symbols are none other than the grand ceremony, the medal, the diploma and the banquette etc.


History important to identity

The will of Alfred Nobel is the foundation of Nobel Prize. The awards are recognised because of this legacy as well as personal history of Nobel Laureates.


Brand orientation and market orientation

Similar to other brands, Nobel Prize also exhibits brand orientation and market orientation. Market orientation means customer is the primary focal point. The service or the product is designed to cater to needs and wants of customer. On the other hand, brand orientation is an approach to protect the brand identity.

In case of Nobel Prize, the reputation and the elevated position of the prize is not because of the glamour that the prize it attracts, it is because of the people who cared and worked hard to carry out wishes of Alfred Nobel. This undoubtedly created a strong brand identity.


Brand identity

Brand identity is bedrock for long term building and perception of the brand. Brand identity is a strategic tool to create a perception of a brand for internal as well as external stakeholders. Thus, the strategy often revolves around the core values of the brand. Following diagram enlists different elements which build brand identity.




Brand identity can be strengthened by collaborating with the organizations of shared goals. The intent might be different, but the ideologies should be similar. Many corporate brands exploit synergies for mutual benefit. For example, Barclay’s Premier League. This is an example of co-branding. The organization identifies the culture and tries to gel with the masses by presenting themselves as one of them. Nobel Prize is also a collaborative endeavour of 4 institutions. Co-branding of the Nobel Prize comes from the world famous Nobel laureates.

Nobel Prize is a heritage brand. Who would have thought of an award for a breakthrough innovation or relentless effort for peace would be a brand. The common thread between TAG Heuer and Nobel Prize is definitely interesting.