A couple of weeks ago, like many people over the past 40 years, David, James & I donned our tightest lycra and wandered down to Battersea Park for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. This is a global event taking place in 13 cities around the world and is described as, "a celebration of teamwork, camaraderie and community."

In short, it's a 5.6km corporate run with the London leg being held in Battersea Park. Over 30,000 people took part this year and whilst David sloped off towards the elite athlete entry, James and I wisely went a little further back to plod around in the stifling heat. 

It was a great event, well organised with a good atmosphere but what I thought was very impressive, was how well JP Morgan controlled the conversation around their brand in the run-up to, during and after the event. 

We nearly always use the Hero, Hub, Hygiene Framework  to provide a bit of context when breaking down the different forms of content organisations use to engage with their clients and prospects:

  • Hero content tends to be the marquee events or white papers, which get the brand out there in a big way in a short space of time - The Hero content in this instance was the run itself.
  • Hub content being the dynamic, up-to-date, regular drumbeat of content which keeps you forefront of mind - This was the regular newsletters, tweets and updates to create some buzz around the event / updates throughout.
  • and the Hygiene content being the website / brochure-style content, which says who we are, what we do and how to contact us - This was the Corporate Challenge website itself which set out the details of the event.

For the 48 hour period leading up to the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge and the hours which ensued, anyone who was participating in the run (and then their subsequent networks) were bombarded with images, updates and photos of the big event. 

As we ran through the start line, we were all reminded to share photos & updates of our run around Battersea Park tapping into the virtual community using the hashtags and showing their own participation on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook both as individuals and as a part of their companies, as well as wearing the Race Finishers t-shirts (all emblazoned with #JPMCC). 

What's the point? 

Of course, bringing together 30,000 representatives from a group of different organisations represents a fantastic opportunity to network but the real aim for JP Morgan will have been to build brand awareness and to bring together the disparate groups of people who make-up their clients and prospective clients.

They have built a community around their brand and showcased the values with which they wish to be associated - community, supporting others, competition & winning, and, of course, a bit of exercise with some craic at the end. 

In a country where the scars of the 2008 financial crash are still very recent for some and where the financial services industry (particularly the large investment banks like JP Morgan), were seen as the chief perpetrators of the money mismanagement which was integral to the crash, this is a fantastic exercise in creating a truly positive brand image and presenting a human, caring face to their brand. 

For the coming weeks, whenever I think of an investment bank I will inevitably think of JP Morgan and more importantly, I will think of them in a positive light.My guess is that this sentiment will have been replicated across a large proportion of the participants. 

The difficult part now will be to control the discussion after the event with regular, relevant content to those people who engaged with their brand in the first instance after the event and to remain forefront of mind.