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.
In 2000, an article in Wireless called into question whether machines were quite the panacea we hoped they were. It was possible, said the author, that this dependence on machines was not going to a good place.
In a world besotted with the new, sometimes the most powerful thing a brand can do is take people back to a time and a sentiment that feels comfortable and familiar.
One of the hardest judgment calls for brand managers is relevance. Brands must change to stay consistent yet they must also remain recognisable in order to preserve brand equity. So what should you change, and when?
Often, when people in agencies talk about brand strategy, what they are meaning is the thinking that has led to the work they have been doing on the brand. That’s not brand strategy.
Coke’s new campaign direction feels like a push back towards product-focused advertising. The decision to move away from the more abstract concept of happiness towards a campaign that focuses much more specifically on the taste and the bottle begs the question: are marketers trying to be too clever? Have we forgotten that we’re here to sell?
Ever since the GFC, global markets seem to have become more volatile. Oil prices rise and crash; China’s growth soars and slides. When market dynamics are this dramatic, how should you look to effectively develop a brand? Do you go with the ebb and flow, or act as a beacon of constancy?
Brands come alive for people when they encapsulate ideas that consumers want to have in their lives. That’s partly what makes brands distinctive and desirable. So what do you do when your core idea is no longer as attractive as it used to be?
Many Roads, One Goal is based on my most popular blog post ever. It’s about why it takes more than one strategy to find the best strategy and how you can develop a portfolio of strategies to overcome challenging times, implement and test them in batches, and then manage the portfolio down from many to whatever the market has revealed works best.
Everything your brand does happens within a context. You can’t ignore that, nor should you. But here’s the irony – if you allow that wider context to drive how you manage your brand, then you risk losing control because the course you are steering is no longer yours.