People. Brand people. They're asking for the death of the brand. They're tired. They're tired by how badly beaten up the word has become. Even Kevin Roberts (Worldwide CEO of Saatchi + Saatchi) titled his last book, Lovemarks - The Future Beyond Brands. Roberts ain't just looking for "what's next" for the sake of creating some kind of consumer Blue Ocean Strategy.
The new word is "experiential." One of our people thought that someone on another marketing agencies' website had mis-spelled the word - they could not figure out what "experiential marketing" was. I was challenged to answer that question.
So what's it about? Are marketing people selling a lot of hot air that is, for the most part, a logo - no matter how hot the brand identity book is?
Traditional branding. Are we heading back to the start? I'm starting to believe (no, I know!) that we, as Marketers, are simply trying to help people connect. Connect with products and services. Connect with each other. Connect with themselves.
Why are Blogs and Podcasting so popular now? They help people connect. I call those technologies "instant personal publishing." Whenever Twist Image takes on a client or a project our first question is: how do we help this person connect with the many people they interact with? You see, at the end of it all, the end-game is a community. It's a group of people with a similar attitude, altitude and aptitude who want a similar and successful outcome. Sounds simple enough.
Aren't the simplest things the most complex? Branding is complex because at its core you're trying to find the simplest way for people to love and connect with what you do. You're looking for them to create emotion and dedication based off of how they connect with your images, words and products or services.
Connecting. How are you connecting with people at every touchpoint - with everyone who deals with you? That's the true power of your brand. Whether you like the word or not.