Small brands are edgy, attuned and preferred. That seems to be a common sentiment right now. But there is nothing to suggest that any of this makes it easy to win as a small brand today.
As brands seek to stay in touch with consumers, some are saying the future of brands depends on them looking less manufactured. That feels like an overstatement.
In uneasy times, the most powerful thing a brand can do is to define its place, value and opinions in the world. That way, everyone knows where they stand.
Brands drive attention and income off awareness, but they derive their real value from their ability to shift and sustain longer term sentiment.
The ethical consumer may be a well identified buyer in the marketing press, but customers themselves seem somewhat confused by what counts as a responsible brand.
Every brand decision is a negotiation between what has worked to date and what is required to succeed going forward.
We often think of brand value in financial terms. But that value, I would venture to suggest, is actually a result of a broader initiative that brands need to think about in these busy times: finding ways to be valuable in the lives of those who buy from them.